I used to work with a man named Harry, he was a decidedly ‘interesting’ character, spent most of his lunch hours at the bar across the street drinking multiple scotch and waters – this made him very chatty and I’ve lost track of the countless afternoons he spent leaning over my desk sharing information I probably didn’t need to know.
My favorite Harry story goes a little something like this:
Harry’s mother in law died and his wife being just an ‘interesting’ as Harry was trying to make decisions and sense of what was left of her life now that she was gone. Her Mother had lived in a little house in Germantown, a town a good 30 minutes away from where Harry lived. Her Mother had a cat, a very old, crotchety cat.
Instead of bringing the cat to live out the rest of it’s life at their house, they were afraid that it wouldn’t get along with their cat – cats? (I cant really remember but they remind me of the type of people that would have a small hoard) so they decided to let it stay in it’s familiar territory. They never tested this theory , they just assumed it would be all chaos and mayhem.
In order to make this work Harry left the office everyday and drove from center city out to Germantown (30 minutes) to feed and hang out with his dead Mother-in-laws cat. He would give it dinner, play with it – turn on the evening news and then leave and drive home to (presumably) do the same with his wife.
I remember Harry and I having conversations a lot like this:
“Wouldn’t it just be easier to have one of your Mother in Law’s neighbor’s just pop over to do this for you?”
“Don’t you think that would upset it – To have strangers over there everyday?”
“Why don’t you make your wife go over during the day to feed it while you are at work?” (she didn’t work)
“That would never work she gets upset going over there and I think she’s decided she doesn’t want to drive anymore…”
“Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to sell your mother in laws house so that you dont have to keep up with it and pay the taxes?”
“How long do you think you are going to do this?”
“I don’t know, how long to cats live?”
I bring this up because Harry’s wife’s name is Lucy and when we were picking baby names I thought ‘Lucy, I don’t know… someday she might make her husband spend over an hour of his day hanging with my crotchety old cat in the house they have essentially given it so it wouldn’t get lonely.’ And then I thought – awww, my cat would probably really appreciate that.