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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Grumpy Old Cat

Today has been a banner day for a lot of reasons (I'm 180 and wearing size 32 jeans with ease, primarily being the reasons) but as with any day, there are chores around the house that need to be taken care of. No one likes chores. No one wants to do chores. Even I, Mr. Routine, wouldn't mind seeing chores eliminated from my routine, but alas, chores have to be done. And predictably chores are...well, a chore.

That being said my chores today were house cleaning and my most loathed form of house cleaning is cleaning bathrooms. I hate cleaning bathrooms, it's a pain, nothing's easy, and it doesn't smell much better clean than it did dirty. Despite that, I had been given my marching orders and I was bound to carry them out. However, my cats found my cleaning antics to be interrupting their "lying around in the bathroom" antics. All three of them have an obsession with the bathrooms to some extent but the two younger cats (Aslan and Lilly) are the big offenders. Aslan likes to be a bum around the sink while Lilly sits in the windowsill and sunbathes.

So, I had to chase them out multiple times while I was cleaning the bathroom. Eventually, I got so exasperated by it I turned the oldest cat we have, Lightning, threw up my hands, and told him to teach those two how to behave when cleaning is being done. Lighting being the oldest cat we have, is the veteran, the cat who's earned his retirement. We've had him since 1995, when he was a fast little kitten (hence why I named him Lightning). He's been around longer than 3 out of the 4 cars we have, longer than two of my siblings, longer than a host of cousins, and he's pretty much seen it all.

At this point in his life though, he just doesn't care. His day pretty much boils to waking up for breakfast, eating, hissing/scratching at the dumb dogs, going back to sleep, waking up for lunch, eating, hissing/scratching at the dumb dogs, going back to sleep...well, you get it by this point. The old man is pretty much set in his ways and he doesn't really pay much mind to the younger cats-in fact, he pretty much ignores them unless them make him mad and then they run. Despite the fact he's practically ancient in cat years, he's still a mean guy with those paws of his. He used to mess my first little brother up pretty bad as kids; the two of them did not get along, which only made me happier to have him as MY cat.

Anyways, I asked him for some help and predictably he didn't do anything. He just stared back at me, blinked a few times, and went back to sleep. Why I thought I'd get anything different I don't know, but he's one grumpy old cat. That got me thinking many times in our lives do we do the same thing to other people? Not literally the same thing, but the basic idea of us ignoring a plea for assistance and returning back to our routine; how many times do we do that in our lives?

I'd venture a guess and say quite a lot. I mean, I love my routine; it works, it doesn't change often, it's pretty much set. Having to break from it to help out someone annoys me a bit and were I Lightning's age (in cat years mind you) I doubt I'd have much motivation to go give some younger folks an earful about staying out of a bathroom while it's being clean. Often in life, we're asked to do things that we just don't want to do; it's not that it's particularly hard it's just that we'd rather be lazy and stick with the routine that we have. I do that a lot of the time, partly because I am lazy, and partly because I'm obsessive about my routine. It's a bad mix.

But some days we need to stop being the grumpy old cat, get up off our tails, and help out. Sure, it sucks some days, and sure, it's not easy some days, but it's better than being no help at all. I'd rather help out a little than not help at all. Every little bit helps.

Even if it comes from the grumpy old cat. ;)

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