Now, before you all get visual images of podunk USA full of toothless rednecks who can't formulate a clear sentence, I must say that Knoxville is actually really nice. It's nothing like my ignorant mind imagined. There are great restaurants, it's a clean city, the people were friendly and great to talk to, and it is close to the Smoky Mountains (which happen to be absolutely beautiful). But no vacation can be perfect, and this vacation was no exception. The reason why? Leroy the cat.
If you were to describe, in general, how cats behave, what words would you use? I know what words I would choose. The words would be solitary, loners, quite, loners, self-maintaining, loners. Oh, did I mention that I think cats are loners, as in they usually like to be alone? I did? Three times you say? Well, that is because every single cat I have ever met has been a loner. They like to be alone. You get within twenty feet of a cat and they run away like Usain Bolt running the forty yard dash. Dogs, on the other hand, will gleefully run towards you while they simultaneously try to smash their stinky hairy body against you, with their tongue sloppily lopping around in a dopy grin in the hope to be petted before you even finish your first step of walking into the room. Dogs crave attention like a drug addict craves heroine. Dogs want us to love them, while cats think that they are too good for us. They make us earn their love (which boggles my mind why someone would want a cat for a pet, but that's a whole other blog entry by itself). It's what makes dogs great and cats silly as a pet. But Leroy? He is no typical cat. He's more like a cog; body of a cat, mind like a dog. It sounds great, and in most ways it is; but there are times it can be absolutely terrible. And the absolutely terrible is what I am writing about.
This morning at 6:00, my brother Devin left for meetings for church. This posed only a slight problem as I was sleeping on the couch in the front room after traveling the whole day before. I was extremely tired, so falling back asleep seemed inevitable. I of course forgot to calculate that there was a cog awake in the room. Leroy, who is very awake and active at this fine early hour of the day, decided to voice his sadness of Devin leaving. This would actually make for a really cute story if it were in a ABC Family children's movie, or if no one else where around. Unfortunately it wasn't a cute children's movie, and I happened to be around. Leroy, like a dog, sat by the door that Devin just exited. And, like a dog, Leroy was vocal about his displeasure of his owner leaving him. Leroy meowed, again, and again, and again. Not just for 5 minutes, for that would be tolerable. Nor for 30 minutes, which would cause only mild agitation. No, Leroy the cog meowed for a whole hour and a half. Non-stop, no break, of straight meows at 6:00 in the morning. I even got up and locked Leroy in the bathroom as an ill attempt to put him in some sort of a time out. It made sense since dogs get the cue that they are being punished. Leroy didn't quite understand that he was in trouble, which proves that he does possess some cat-like characteristics, so the vocalization of his displeasure only continued louder now that he was away from his coveted front door. Long story short, for the duration of the hour and a half, I slept for five. Leroy was let out of his time out after two minutes, and immediately went back to his position in front of the door. There he continued his lamentation of his departed owner.
I think it is sweet that Devin is loved by his cat. I even think it is kind of neat that Leroy acts more like a needy dog than a loner, self absorbed cat. But having a cat meow for an hour and a half in the crack of dawn doesn't cause you to think about the positives of a cat acting like a dog; it makes you want to throw the cat in the middle of the street and pray that a stray raccoon discovers its new toy.