Love thy neighbor. Love thy neighbor. LOVE THY NEIGHBOR, DAMMIT, is what I keep chanting over and over to myself. Even though my neighbors have not only single-handedly infested our block with feral cats, they’re the reason we spent more money than I can talk about without crying on a big guns extermination because our “rats” turned out to be feral kittens.
And now, now, my darlings, I chant LOVE THY NEIGHBOR to a steady beat in my head, because now, the CAT CRAP TRIFECTA is complete: Licorice has fleas. Even though she’s on a flea preventive. And they’re cat fleas, OF COURSE, courtesy of the feral cats tromping around in the yard. So we are treating and bathing and flea-bombing and oh yes, don’t forget, Licorice has severe flea allergy dermatitis, so even though we caught this very early, she’s itchy and red and miserable.
And it’s crappy and annoying and itchy and expensive and if only my neighbors weren’t so incredibly… well, THE WAY THEY ARE… I wouldn’t be dealing with any of this. ARGH.
However. I’m trying to love my neighbor. Through gritted teeth, while I bat at imaginary fleas and scratch phantom bites I don’t even have. Through another bath, through another load of laundry.
I have a long way to go, in this regard. It’s not “love” just yet so much as it’s “not quite the abject hatred I might otherwise feel.” Ahem.
I do love the dickens out of this particular pitiful ball of fluff, enough to keep her next to me all day long and interrupt her attempts to scratch and chew with soothing belly rubs. Enough to call the vet this morning and wait for them to devise a plan whereby maybe she could tolerate the previously-rejected oral flea med by giving it in smaller, spaced-out doses on a full stomach. Enough to then sit on the floor with her and hand-feed her spoonfuls of peanut butter to coat her tummy before the meds.
I love her enough to still find her preternaturally long tongue charming, even when it’s coated with a fine slime of peanut butter. Enough to try to capture it on film even though I can’t stop laughing and the camera shakes.
I love her enough that even as I slap at bugs I only imagine to be there, I’m still willing to celebrate Love Thursday. And there’s probably enough love leftover for my neighbors, even. Maybe. (Perhaps I will send some fleas over to their house to deliver it.)