I was in the middle of playing a cutthroat game of Cranium the other night (I’m cool, I promise) when I received a phone call from my father. “Papa,” I said into the vague direction of the phone, “Can I call you back?” He sounded a little sad and disappointed as we hung up, and I made a mental note to be sure to call him in the morning. As I headed home that night, my phone dinged an email. I opened it and found the above picture. My dad was eager to share the news of a new member to the family.
A quick scan across my life will show me being directly or indirectly responsible for bringing home approximately (1,2,3,4…) 12 animals. That’s not counting the pets my sister and brother brought into the house. The number gets up in the 30’s, we’ve determined. I had the entire routine down:
For the pout: mouth turned slightly downwards; eyes wide and looking upwards.
Begging and nagging had to be done without restraint or pride: Say “please” and “but I love him” over and over, something akin to Chinese water torture.
Last ditch efforts: Mope. Mope the hell out of it. Schlump into rooms, flail across furniture, and sigh. Pick at your food. Gaze wistfully into the air. Mutter the name of the pet in question you haven’t the right to name, yet.
Surprisingly, I found that all of the above worked just as well whether I was 6 or 16. All the while, my parents played the reluctant enablers to my whims. But this latest addition to my parent’s household, the cat, has confirmed my suspicions: It wasn’t all me. They were the ones who brought home the Great Dane. They took in a stray cat all on their own.
Suddenly, it’s all come into focus rather clearly. 80% of the time, my parents put me in the path of the poor animals in desperate need of a home. Like, “let’s just go look at the puppies.” Or, “Hey Jo, come see this stray cat under the bush.” Which means either they enjoyed torturing me or they wanted to bring the little munchkins home, too. AHA!
Really, this revelation feels very good. I just have to say.
In other news, my father has named the cat “Guido”. I begged him to reconsider. I tried to suggest Gianni, Como, or Dino. I gently informed him that “guido” is a bit of a derogatory term these days. That “guido” was currently associated with juiced up, gelled up, tanned up douches (I may have phrased it differently). My father could not be swayed, however. He insisted that lots of men are named Guido. So Guido it is.
Welcome to this crazy family, Guido.