Rushville Republican

October 8, 2012

Ruger: Doodles and Kruncher

B. Ruger
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — I’ll begin with, “I’m sorry”. To those of you who don’t like cats or dogs; my apologies. To those who tire of reading yet another blip about someone’s beloved feline or canine; sorry again. However, I’m still going to write. After all, this is my writing.

In order to protect the privacy and dignity of my companions, I’ll refer to them by the names “Doodles” and “Kruncher”. Doodles is certainly no ordinary cat. She strolled into my life one day five years ago and absolutely turned me inside out. Kruncher is in most regards a very common dog. Loyalty is his middle name (it should probably be his first name).

I had been married for eleven years when Kruncher entered the picture of our family. We had known countless dogs in prior years. But the circumstances surrounding how we got Kruncher at the age of twelve weeks were heartbreaking and set the tone for our resulting relationship. Our family suffered a tremendous and unexpected loss when Kruncher was about six months old. As if he knew what was going on, he simply sat with me for hours at a time and let me grieve. Unfortunately, loss seemed to visit us in a variety of ways over the next several years. Kruncher remained steadfast and was my faithful friend. He never showed disappointment in me (even when I honestly deserved it). I might have been late taking him out for “yard patrol”; better known as potty break time. I know I even forgot to feed him on multiple occasions. It didn’t ever seem to matter. Unconditional love was waiting for me.

Now Doodles is an entirely different story. Her method of therapy came from a very different school. Doodles, like most cats, is of the opinion that I am blessed to have her in my life. Now although I don’t disagree, I can never let her know I feel that way. She needs no encouragement. If I’m having a bad day, she believes that one of several different approaches will be appropriate. She may find her way to me and rub against my arm or leg; obviously her sheer touch of awesomeness will make everything  better for me. As quickly as she comes she goes. There’s also the approach of “no approach”. She doesn’t need to be bothered with my miniscule problems. There’s absolutely no need for her to expend the energy to get off of my neatly folded pile of clean laundry or the back of the couch where she’s sunbathing. Simply being in the same house with her should suffice.

I could ramble on about these two separately or I could move on to the really good stuff. The scenes which unfold are not unlike an episode of Tom and Jerry (my second favorite childhood cartoon). It’s beyond hysterical. I could never make this stuff up! It makes me seriously wonder what they do when I’m not home.

I recall numerous times that Kruncher has been quietly minding his own business; Doodles would saunter through the doorway to find the peaceful giant relaxing. Instantly, Doodles comes to a halt. What follows is a stalking mode. With stealth-like movements she approaches her innocent victim. Once within striking distance a determination must be made. Should the attack come directly in front? Maybe from the rear is best? ( Of course this adds the opportunity for extra meanness.) After brief contemplation, a plan is in place. The assault will come from an aerial stance. Brilliant. A swift leap from the coffee table and the right paw and the left paw abruptly graze the nose of her prey. What ensues is the most outrageous unraveling of a room I’ve ever seen. Newspaper is flying. This mornings’ last cold drink of coffee is now the latest stain on the carpet. Quarters lying on the corner table turn into torpedoes ripping through the air. (And never assume it’s the cat who is on the table.) Throw pillows are tossed into the drapes. The plant in the entryway has been repotted for the last time. All of that is within the first fifteen to thirty seconds! Holy crap they’re heading for the kitchen and supper is on the stove!

Regardless of how brutal the war, they always seem to “sleep with the enemy”. The calm of a rainy day may cover the house. It’s unusually quiet. I walk through my sons bedroom door to find those two rivals asleep.......on his bed........Doodles laying her head on Krunchers’ neck. Really?! Did you pick up the mess you left in the laundry room before your afternoon siesta? (Kruncher, you know you’re going to wake up to her biting your ear again.)

But my thoughts quickly turn. I’m now divorced. One of the first things I noticed when I got Doodles five years ago was how I could often find direct correlations between my ex-husband and that dang cat. Then wait a minute! I’m like this sucker-of-a-dog, too! Oh my stars! Are you kidding me? This is too funny! Hear me on a few silly (but serious) thoughts.

I loved my husband when we were married. Maybe too much at times. I loved him somehow even when he mistreated me. Those unexpected attacks were the most damaging. Yet at the end of each day, we were usually sleeping under the same roof.

Keep in mind that Kruncher isn’t always without fault; an innocent bystander. He’s been known to gently (and without warning) place Doodles head in his mouth. It’s necessary to keep the opponent guessing you know.

We all probably want basically the same things. We’d like to have some peace and quiet. But we also enjoy that random bout of rowdiness that “wakes us up”. We want someone to love us in the middle of those times when we least deserve it. (And if we don’t fall asleep alone, I guess maybe that’s just a bonus.)

The day will come when I’m faced with the decision of living without such mediums of entertainment or filling their void with another generation. Until that day, I’ll thoroughly enjoy each and every burst of laughter and moment of reflection they bring. Life is mainly........good.