The joys of pet ownership...
Sadly enough for us, however, this is not the full extent of our animal problems. I have mentioned my dog's issues previously, indeed perhaps in too much detail, and need not belabor them here, but the cats are themselves rather troublesome. The orange cat is in most respects a sweet animal but he has a pathological hatred of all houseplants. Any plants he discovers that are small and frail enough are swiftly removed from their rich earth and deposited... somewhere else. It's often a mystery where as he drops them when he grows bored of carrying them around. Since our orange cat has an attention span measurable in picoseconds, that's usually not far from the pot but there are occasional outliers. With larger houseplants he doesn't remove them from the earth but rather contents himself with making war upon all of their leaves and stems. This has given us a rich assortment of pots of dirt that contain no apparent trace of foliage. Quite the decorative coup, believe you me.
The gray cat, on the other hand, doesn't destroy things and has less of a tendency to get into mischief. Indeed, he is a very sweet critter and often crawls up into available laps in the hope of extensive petting. This would be entirely good were it not for a slight drawback: he kind of smells. More accurately, he smells in a way that Tycho and Gabe correctly describe as "relentless." Other cat owners may well understand the horror of which I speak. This odor is not present all the time- most of the time he smells fine- but on those occasions when he does stink, it is as of death. I will go to rather extreme lengths to avoid him at such times despite my Sainted Fiancee's protestations that it isn't his fault. Perhaps not, but that doesn't improve the scent.
So why am I spending so much time discussing the failings of my pets? Well, partly because I have nothing better to talk about right now and am swamped by a project. More importantly, however, it is because I think they are an important metaphor for how we feel about others. Nobody is perfect, everyone has their flaws but, much like pets, we love them anyway. Even more, sometimes we love others as much because of their flaws as because of their virtues. My dog may be annoyingly enthusiastic, but I treasure her zest for life. My orange cat may denude domesticated plants, but he is also a curious and endearing critter. The gray cat may smell but... uh... really, I could do without the stench, but otherwise he's a great cat.
With so many different forces telling us that we aren't good enough, I guess sometimes it's good to stop and remember the immense human capacity to love despite, and because of, imperfection.