Most people don’t know this because they assume Mr. Chuckles is my cat, but Kris is actually the one who picked him out. We went to the pet store at the urging
and prayers of a friend to check out this adorable kitten. Kris was adamant about not getting a cat, and I was dying to get one. Our compromise was that we would look but not get. Within 3 minutes of being there, this beautiful Maine Coon kitten crawled up on Kris’ shoulder, perched on him like a parrot and refused to move. Kris walked around the store with the fluff ball sitting on him for a good 20 minutes. They were about to close up shop, so I told Kris to put the cat away… although I was DYING to take him home. Kris looked at me and said the best words I have ever heard: “I think we should get this one.”
Hip hip hooray! We loaded that baby up and hit the road to happiness…well I did anyway.
Maybe it all started on the drive home when Kris hit the brakes a little too hard and I was holding on to Mr. Chuckles a little too loosely and he had his first encounter with our dash board. I don’t know, but somewhere over the last (almost) three years, there has been a shift in their relationship.
It seems that Mr. Chuckles has found a new favorite past-time–irritating Kris.
How you ask? Let us count the ways:
Example #1: The Litter Box
A while back we got the idea, from Shark Tank, to potty train Mr. Chuckles. Seriously, the woman made it look so easy. Chuckles has always been smarter than the average cat
and probably some humans, too so we thought he wouldn’t have a problem catching on. And we were right. From the very beginning he knew exactly what to do. The problem was, he didn’t want to. Mr. Chuckles is a very stubborn child cat. Where’s the book Parenting Your Strong-Willed Cat when you need it? We eventually gave it up because Mr. Chuckles decided that if we didn’t bring back the litter box he was going to make our kitchen floor the litter box. Now some of you may be skeptical of his potty training abilities, but I assure you he got it. I know this because he still uses the toilet to pee in to this very day. He refuses to pee in the litter box. Sometimes he will even follow me into the bathroom and then run and jump on the toilet ahead of me to use it first. So not cool, Mr. C.
So what does this have to do with Kris? Good question.
Once I got pregnant, Kris took over litter box duties. We had a good system going. Chuckles peed in the toilet and pooped in the box. Eventually, Mr. Chuckles decided that Kris was not cleaning his box to a satisfactory level. So, on the days when Chuckles felt like the box (which is enormous, by the way) was too full he would poop next to the box. At first, I’ll be honest here, I blamed Kris. I told him he needed to clean the box more and promised him up and down that the problem would go away. Kris told me that Chuckles was doing it on purpose to spite him. I told him that was ridiculous.
Some time went on and Kris began to take more notice of the box, but something interesting began to happen. And I promise this is the truth. Kris would look at the box when it started to look full and say, “I will clean the box tomorrow.” Chuckles would look at Kris and promptly go into the bathroom after we had gone to bed and poop that very night next to the box. This happened about 7 times without fail. Chuckles only pooped next to the box when Kris would say that he was going to clean it the next day. Does our cat understand English? I’m not sure. But it started to get weird. Again, Kris was adamant – “Chuckles is out to get me.” I wasn’t convinced, but I did begin to wonder.
Some time went on and Kris became really good about cleaning the box. He would see that it needed cleaned and he would clean it. You would think there would be no more problems… right? Wrong. Mr. Chuckles apparently IS out to get Kris because he could not let an opportunity go. Every.Single.Time. Kris cleans the litter box, Mr. Chuckles immediately poops next to the box. Folks, this is a one-time only deal. The box gets cleaned, Chuckles poops next to the box, Kris cleans up the poop and Chuckles goes back to using the box…until Kris cleans it again. As you can probably imagine…it drives Kris bananas.
Example #2: The Squirrel
This is the squirrel that my Father-in-Law bought for Mr. Chuckles a few years ago. It is Mr. Chuckles’ absolute favorite possession. He plays with it every day and has loved on it so much that it is falling apart. A while back (not sure when this started), Mr. Chuckles decided he would put the squirrel in the doorway of our bedroom…every day. (As pictured above.) Every day, Kris would boot the squirrel out of the way and go about his day. The next day, without fail, the squirrel would be back. Kris complained to me… “He does this every day. He does this on purpose.” Big boot and the squirrel goes flying across the house. Again, I defended the cat. “Stop kicking his squirrel. He doesn’t do it on purpose.” I’m not sure why I do this because more and more it is proving that Kris is actually right.
One day, I came home from work and in the doorway of our bedroom was a little baby shoe… no squirrel to be found. I knew Kris wouldn’t be happy about Chuckles stealing the baby’s clothes so I quickly picked up the shoe and took it back to the baby room. We had been storing her shoes in a suitcase on the floor and I went over the suitcase to toss the shoe in. As I threw it in, I looked down and what do I see in the suitcase amongst the shoes? The squirrel.
Example #3: The Look of Mockery
A while back Chuckles broke the screen on our back door. He wanted outside and decided since we wouldn’t let him out he would head butt his way out. We have decided to wait to fix the screen until we no longer have cats or move because we don’t want him to break another one and it really wasn’t too bad…just unattached at the bottom. However, our other cat, Nova, realized that she could escape from the house if we left the back door open even with the screen door closed – so last night at dinner I told Kris that we needed to at least fix the screen ourselves so she wouldn’t be able to get out.
Here’s Kris fixing the screen and here is Chuckles watching him. And although I don’t have a picture, you could almost see the mockery and laughter on Chuckles face. I did capture the moment though, and, yes, Chuckles really sat there watching Kris the entire time.
“Hey dad, what are you doing? Are you fixing the screen? Are you fixing the screen that I broke? Can I help you fix it? No, I can’t because I don’t have thumbs. I’ll just watch. And laugh. Hey dad, it looks like you’re having fun fixing the screen. Do you like fixing things that I break? Good job dad. I’ll break it again later. Bye!”
And that my friends sums up the relationship between my husband and our cat.
And then we’ve got this girl who’s all like… just give me a hamburger guys.