A new kind of hybrid

June 12, 2009 in It is what it is - opinion column | Comments (0)


There are dog people. And there are cat people. Generally you’re one or the other.

But sometimes I come across folks who exist quite comfortably at the crossroad where those species can – and often do – coexist peacefully.

And sometimes, people surprise you.

For example – when people find out that I have a cat they are, generally, quite taken aback.
Yes. Dogs and cats living together.” In harmony. In my house.


Shocking both because cats and dogs generally … well, fight like cats and dogs; and because I think most people who know me would qualify me as a dog person before a cat person. I tend to be more boisterous than not, tend to be more effusive than not and certainly enjoy a good romp in the park (especially if there are swings or great climbing trees). And of course with my being pretty consistent when it comes to the whole microblogging thing, and since Truman’s out and about with me most of the time, he’s often part of that mix.

But as I sat one morning a few weeks back giving Princess a good once over with her Furminator …

OMG: Complete and utter editorial sidebar here … If you’ve not checked out the Furminator, and you have a pet that sheds. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? A dear friend introduced me to this ever-so-excellent grooming implement, I hemmed and hawed and then finally bit the bullet and coughed up the coin for it. I should have gotten one AGES ago. And no, I’ve not been asked by the Furminator people to say this, they’ve not paid me and I haven’t gotten anything free from them. I just LOVE this thing.

Okay … now where was I … Right … So as I sat in my kitchen basking in the early morning sunrise, purring cat in my lap, enjoying the warmth, companionship – not to mention the aroma wafting from my mug of coffee – it dawned on me. Most folks don’t know I have a cat. Like I said, Truman’s out and about with me all the time. Princess doesn’t get out a lot.

Check that. She doesn’t get out at all.

There was that one time she decided, after seeing that the screen had slipped away from the window, that walking on the window ledge was a good idea. Of course there isn’t really a ledge outside that screen, so Princess ended up taking a little dive instead.

Did I mention that I live on the 6th floor? (Don’t worry, several thousand dollars and a titanium plate later, my little spitfire is good as new.)

Anyway, with her being more of a home body and with my not entertaining at home much these days – mostly because I’m not there very often – not many people get to meet my “eldest”. But a month or two ago I got a new computer. While getting the desktop set up I opted to put a picture of Princess as my wallpaper – and in doing so, Princess began to come out of the house a bit more.

The responses ranged from downright surprising to incredibly amusing:
“What the hell is THAT? A mountain lion?” (asked by someone who saw the projected image on a rather large monitor).

“Um, Cathy … you have a CAT?”

“So…that’s a cat. Yours? Weird.”

After the first few comments I began to think about it a bit more. And then as I was driving over to a barbecue in the East Bay with my pal Stowe Boyd and as our path wended its way from the cool fog-frosted air of San Francisco towards the dry blasting heat of Walnut Creek, the topic turned to personal relationships.
Quite a few people (myself included) talk frequently about the way in which the very fabric of human interactions is being (has been) re-stitched, woven and knitted due to social media. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that the fabric isn’t being reformed at all. It’s more that you get to see a wider range of what fabric people wear.

And another thing social media has done, it has given a platform through which one is able to see more aspects of another’s life thus giving more opportunity to see those things that can inspire.

For me, the friends with whom I have the most deep and intimate connections are those in whom I see things to which I aspire. The people who mean the most to me (aka my family of “choice” rather than my family of “origin” are those who I can love unconditionally and who offer me the same in return.


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