Everyone who knows our family knows this: I run with cats, Darling Wife runs with chickens and Precious Daughter runs with wolves.
I've always been a cat person. We've had at least one cat for the past 20 years, and we've had as many as five at any one time. In 2005 we evacuated with four cats, two of which still live with us today.
Last weekend Darling Wife and I found ourselves at the mall in the middle of an SPCA Pet Adoption event. I was ready to adopt a cat right away, but it took all of five minutes for Darling Wife to commit to a sweet little grey and white tabby. We brought her home and introduced her to our two other cats, Smudge and Callie, and after a few days of perfunctory hissing and growling I predict they will be getting along just fine by New Year's Day.
Cats are not Darling Wife's first choice for pet. A city girl from birth, she has always pined for a romantic life on a farm. For many years I had her convinced that city ordinances prohibited keeping chickens. She finally looked it up herself a few years ago and discovered that keeping backyard chickens is legal within city limits. (Curse you, Internet and your easy access to information!)
And so it was three years ago we were living in a FEMA Travel Trailer on our vacant property in Gentilly and I spent several weekends building a deluxe chicken coop that Darling Wife would dub, "Poulet Chalet." When we moved to the higher ground of Esplanade Ridge, we paid movers to lift the coop up and over the fence of our new yard. Chickens, we have since learned, are not uncommon in this part of town.
Yes, we get eggs from our fowl, but eggs are not a favorite food of Precious Daughter. Being more or less obsessed with Japanese Anime nowadays, she prefers eating a big bowl of Ramen noodles with chopsticks. Precious Daughter has always been an avid reader, devouring classic books such as "Lord of the Flies" for school and "Tegami Bachi" and "Naruto" manga books for fun.
Like most teenage girls, Precious Daughter has also read the "Twilight" series of books, an angst-filled teen romance involving a depressing human girl, a brooding vampire, and a fun-loving werewolf. Fans of the series love to debate whether protagonist Bella should marry Edward the vampire or Jacob the werewolf--as if either represents any sort of happy option in the normal sense of things. Precious Daughter's loyalties are firmly in the camp of "Team Jacob," and she has a T-shirt that proudly indicates so.
It says, "I run with wolves."
I took her to see "New Moon," the latest movie installment of the series, the other night. Surprisingly, I found it a fairly entertaining movie. But perhaps most fun was experiencing it with Precious Daughter, who was openly delighted every time Jacob delivered a great line, transformed into a wolf or simply took off his shirt.
I'll leave it to the psychoanalysts of the Internet to interpret what it says about us that we love our cats, chickens and wolves, respectively, almost as much as we love each other. My only worry is that Darling Wife has hinted recently about getting a goat.