Free to any home

I have to wonder about pets and the soundness of owning said creatures. Where do I begin in my account of the state of my sanity that is worn frighteningly thin?
Let’s begin with Stinky.
Stinky is a cat. He watches the birds out the front window while he dreams of safaris and hunting excursions. He wears a bell around his neck, and he may or may not be aware that this piece of equipment is a preemptive strike to protect our songbirds (he isn’t all that bright).
He also likes to get tangled up in the patio door curtains for his own entertainment.
Stinky has a mournful meow that can be heard three concessions away. He prefers to use this loud voice of his when someone is sleeping, when someone is reading, when someone is concentrating, when someone is on the phone, when someone is eating.
Actually, he uses this incredibly loud voice when someone is doing absolutely anything.
It makes me want to harm him. It really does. I may require some meditation and chanting to control my lust for violence. Ooo-eee-aye-ahhh. I will not harm Stinky. Ooo-eee-aye-ahhh.
Then there’s Gracie, the 70-pound wonder dog. Gracie has squeaky toys that she insists on playing with while I am on the phone.
I could sneak into a sound-proof booth to use the phone and she would know; would wake up from a nap anywhere else in the house and bring her squeaky toy to wherever I am when I am using the phone.
She likes to put her chin on my knee while I am writing—just in case I need her opinion on my choice of words—and she stares and I find it hard to concentrate.
She likes to be present when I use the washroom, whether I am having a shower, brushing my teeth, or anything that occupies my time while I am in that room.
When I have a bath, Gracie prefers to rest her chin on the edge of the tub, scrutinizing my process to be sure I wash behind my ears.
I think the concept of privacy is lost on Gracie. I try to be an example to her and I avert my eyes while she tends to her business on our walks. The least she can do is reciprocate.
Those things are annoying, but nothing like the barking to go out, followed immediately, or just after I sit down, by the barking to come in.
She no longer chews up everything in sight, but she does shove all her toys under the couch—just out of her reach and mine. And while I dig them out for her, she feels it’s a good idea to place her 70 pounds on my back, just for encouragement, of course; a cheering on if you will.
Gracie is the official greeter at our house. She should get a job at Walmart and start paying her own way. Her standard-operating-procedures manual advises her to knock people flying in her eagerness to welcome them.
She also feels compelled to drive her entire body through their legs and then stand there with a look on her face that says, “What? Isn’t this how it’s done?”
Our friends press their bodies against the wall when they come in the house to avoid this little manoeuvre and, come to think of it, the number of friends visiting seems to be shrinking. Further study required.
We have a pond in the pony’s paddock that doesn’t always remain fresh and sparkling. The more disgusting it is, the more appealing to Gracie.
We were playing a game of fetch the other day—a game that more closely resembled you-throw-the-ball-and-I’ll-get-it-and-not-bring-it-back. Suddenly, Gracie stopped in her tracks, dropped the ball, and looked in the direction of the pond as if something was calling to her (some voice not discerned by anyone but her).
Then she took off. Despite my yelling, “Gracie, don’t do it! For the love of God, don’t do it!” she leapt into the pond and emerged a dripping, stinking mess and she never looked happier.
I, on the other hand, am writing up an advertisement to post everywhere and anywhere.
Free to good home. No wait. Maybe that should read ANY home.