I have been under more than my fair share of stress lately. I know everyone else is as well so I don’t mean to sound whiny but I balance my own full-time cat behavior consulting practice and am also in the middle of filming my first television series for the Discovery Channel. Add to that, the fact that I’m also the wife of a wonderful man who is amazing in so many ways but has yet to master the skill of putting dirty clothes in the hamper, dirty dishes in the dishwasher or closing the door when he goes to the bathroom. I am the “mature” mother of a 10-year-old girl who thinks she’s a pre-teen and an 8-year-old boy who thinks I’m a dim-witted old fogey, the caregiver for my 91-year-old mother (who lives with us) and the caregiver of the family pets: one dog, one cat and one goldfish.
I love my whole family with all of my heart but lately I’m enjoying Jack’s fish, Goldie, most of all. Goldie doesn’t bark, she doesn’t throw up hairballs that cause me to almost break a leg when I walk into the bathroom in the middle of the night, she doesn’t leave her dirty underwear four inches from the hamper, nor does she give me attitude when I declare that flip-flops are not appropriate footwear when it’s 50 degrees outside. She doesn’t roll her eyes and say that I don’t know anything when I announce that vegetables must be eaten before dessert. She doesn’t call me in the middle of the night with a work-related emergency and she doesn’t camp outside my bathroom door waiting to ask me a question every time I step into the shower.
Goldie just swims around in her tank all day. I’ve even taught her a few tricks. She’s smart (according to my own personal fish intelligence rating scale so don’t go emailing me with information about how your fish is smarter than my fish), she doesn’t crinkle her nose up at the food she’s offered and she even gives me goldfish kisses when I stick my finger in her tank. Again, don’t go emailing me facts about how she just thinks I’m food… I need to feel loved right now even if it’s by my son’s goldfish.