Life with Her Dog
By Meredith Scott
I tell what has been, for my therapist(s), a harrowing tale, I wish
to clarify its title. Firstly, by "My Life" I refer to
my love life, the last 14 years or so that just so happen to revolve
around significant and various regular contributors to PETA whom
I collectively refer to as "Her." "Dog" is a
catch-all concept for any species of the animal kingdom that
might be owned -- or in some cases possessed by -- any species of
the lesbian kingdom or vice-versa.
I personally never owned a copy of the ubiquitous "Hang in
There Baby!" kitty poster, I feel compelled to emphasize my
genuine appreciation for animals as well as for birds and the ladybug.
Even I would be at a loss to dispute the necessity and purpose of
unicorns, dragons and other magical beasts. I've read about the
use of animal therapy on prison inmates and, apparently, a serial
rapist can find much needed self-esteem in the sweet snuggle of
a scruffy spaniel. It's irrefutably beautiful! I must have seen
Academy Award-worthy Benji a hundred times and often gave
inspired discourses on its value during recess and nap time. I'll
bet Tony the Tiger is in fact Grrrrreat! and that Pooh is, as some
suspect, the second coming of Christ. Come to think of it, who would
Bam Bam be without the flight of the Pterodactyl as inspiration?
Hey, I even lent my voice to the straight-to-video opus The Lion
King Part 2. And recently I was horseback riding and told my
willful (that's trainer euphemism for psychotic) pony that he was,
"Such a good boy!" while I patted his saddle horn. I even
did it in baby talk for emphasis.
and I go way back. Throughout childhood, I loved and cared for multiple
shitzsus, two cats, three parakeets, four hermit crabs, (another
story entirely), countless goldfish and a ball can of fireflies.
To quote Golde in Fiddler on The Roof, "If that's not
love what is"?
I have learned in the years since my fireflies tiny lights winked
out is that pets are fine!
it's the owners who should be spayed
and neutered! That registered, whatever affection I had for
the household pet population has been repeatedly and violently side-swiped
by, what in my admittedly unsolicited opinion, had been my partner's
imbalanced pursuit to fulfill a desperate desire for real intimacy
by projecting it onto a four-legger incapable of it, instead of
creating it where it is possible
years back, the actor Harvey Fierstein personally told me that,
quote, "I had better reincarnate, as a cat" so that a
love-starved women would happily rub me all the time. I quickly
set him straight by explaining that cat owners aren't love-starved
at all, but rather love-stuffed and need a place to express
their love where it might be received unconditionally and not met
with the complications so often associated with relationships with
being said here's the rundown, in sound bite vignettes, of some
of my experiences. Please note: The names of all women, lesbian
or lesbian adjacent, and their pets, have been changed just enough
that anyone who's ever met me or sat next to me on a subway, can
still know exactly who I'm talking about.
in '92, pained poet Janice and her muse, a Tonkanese named Stanley,
took turns hiding under the bed and behind the piano
never just for fun. They shared an agoraphobic response to the
world and my regular visits to the apartment (I lived there),
pushed a few of their delicate buttons.
and her "boyfriend" Chippie, a Terrier mix, ate tri-tips,
from Smith & Wollensky's, at the dinner table. Together. I
imagine they still do. Chippie likes a nice cabernet.
couldn't stand her husband but took care of him anyway and this
was also her position regarding his cat Camelot. The husband moved
out before Camelot did. Just my bad luck, I guess.
and I fell for each other pretty hard weeks before my journey
to Nicaragua to help poor people build houses. And I mean poor.
An entire family shared one tattoo. Anyway, during my stay there,
Margaret, who remained in L.A., was busy doing her own good deed
and rescued Tammy the Tabby from the three things that plague
all felines: flea infestation, homelessness and crystal-meth amphetamines.
Margaret and I stood a chance at becoming a loving, conscious
couple but our last moment alone, well, without Tammy, was at
baggage claim carousel 2 the night of my return.
am starting to feel nauseous.)
two "children", Annoying and More Annoying, shunned
their litter box and preferred to pee in the bathtub. "Bad
cramps, Meredith? Should I make you a bath?" "Uuuhh,
actually, I am having a pretty good hair day, honey, and I should
probably keep it dry, but
maybe next time like if I am menstruating
in a hotel room or, ya know, in my tub!"
cats had their own email address and quite possibly their own
account and password. We had a hard time sending and receiving
instant messages. Lisa and I simply had different servers, I guess.
one experience stands out for me as wholly bizarre. I read somewhere
that experience is the worst teacher because it gives us the test
before presenting the lesson. How fucked up is that?!
a direct descendant of the Mayflower folk who never felt there was
enough time to live up to her name, saw me at a friend's birthday
party and then shortly thereafter again at a dinner party she herself
was throwing. (I later came to understand that this woman could
cook up anything
in the kitchen and out.) After an attraction
was quietly considered, we simultaneously whipped up some witty
banter and a lotta yada yada and presto! Instant "us!"
A tantalizing dish that compelled me to dig right in, clear out
a drawer, and pack up my fancy Fred Segal fennel flavored toothpaste
for an indefinite sleep-over at her place.
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