In March, our cat, Garland, turned 16. The average lifespan of a cat is 15 – 20 years, so I figure a sixteenth birthday for a cat is a pretty rare event, and it needs to be celebrated … with a balloon.
So WCK and I went to the grocery store and picked out a “Happy 16th B-Day” balloon. The lady behind the counter at the floral department asked me if the balloon was for a boy or a girl, so she’d know what color ribbon to put on. (By the way, does any 16-year-old care what color the ribbon is on his/her balloon? Do 16-year-olds even care about balloons? Aren’t they just going to look at it and grunt?) I said, “Uh, it’s for a cat.” The floral department ladies thought this was hilarious, and I waited for my seven-year-old to back me up on the cat-balloon thing so that I could give the floral department ladies a knowing look, like, “This was all the seven-year-old’s idea! Ha ha!” Of course, the seven-year-old was hiding behind a balloon display, so I just looked like a crazy cat lady.
Then I got in the checkout line with the balloon, a bag of cat nip, and a little cake (for the humans), and the lady ahead of me in line said, “Oh, is someone getting ready to drive?”
I should have just said, “Yes.” Not only could I have avoided follow-up questions, but the mental image of Garland driving was pretty awesome. Instead, I had to explain the cat thing again. Again, my seven-year-old did not back me up.
But we got home and showed Garland the balloon. I think she was about as interested as a 16-year-old human would be. Then we ate her cake. Finally, she got to celebrate with a fresh bag of ‘nip, and I think that’s when Garland realized it was the Best. Birthday. Ever.