My pets are spoiled

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My cat, Abby, is literally sitting in my lap with her front paws on my desk as I’m typing this column. Her presence is creating a challenge, but that’s ok. I’m glad she wants to be in my presence, because some cats like to keep to themselves. My aunt and uncle had a cat for over 20 years, and I’m not totally convinced that the cat actually existed. I spent the night over there once and I saw it the next morning—I think.
Ruby, my 80 pound chocolate lab, would be in my lap, too, if she could. Sometimes she can. It’s not always the most comfortable predicament to be in, but she is my baby and is pretty much always within arm’s reach.
My grandfather, may he rest in peace, did not believe in bringing dogs inside, no matter how cold it got, although he believed in leaving the faucet water running just a little bit during a freeze. He did have the dogs in a pen with a quality shelter, though. When it got really cold, he put a light bulb in there to help keep them warm. He cared, but imagine if your sole means of warmth was a light bulb.
Later on in life, we found a little dachshund for him who he eventually named Matt.  Granddaddy had a change of heart, and Matt stayed inside. Inside the house, we slept with electric blankets when it got cold. I miss those electric blankets. Much like me, Matt liked to get under the electric blanket, too. Granddaddy loved that dog.
The temperature here in Opelika dipped below freezing a couple of nights this week, and I couldn’t help but think of all the pets that were left out in the cold. My pets are spoiled, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Abby is strictly an indoor cat, and Ruby only goes out when she needs to or if I need to. Like I said, she goes wherever I go.
As a responsible pet owner, I make sure they have a nice, warm, and comfortable bed to get into each night. Sometimes, they even leave enough room for me to get into the bed, too. When they do, they like to snuggle up next to me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I had a nightmare the other night. I dreamed that I heard something in the kitchen, and when I got up to investigate, the lights wouldn’t turn on. I wound up going to the door and letting Ruby out. I then pulled out my pistol and pointed towards the kitchen. Abby rubbed against my leg, so I picked her up as I continued to point the pistol towards the kitchen. Then the lights inexplicably came on, and I woke up. I was a bit scared until I realized the dream took place in the house I grew up in on Jollit Avenue.
Even in my dream, I was taking care of my pets. I love them and do whatever I can do to keep them safe, happy, and healthy. I’ve hit some low points in life over the last six months or so, and they have been there with me as I do my best to transition back to normal life. Abby finds comfort in my lap or on my chest while I’m lying down and has become an unofficial therapy cat. She’s a natural. Ruby is just the sweetest, kindest, smartest dog I’ve ever known and truly fills the role as man’s best friend.
They take care of me, and I take care of them. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Jody Fuller hails from Opelika. He is a comedian, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.

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