Our school doesn’t have advisory periods (time set aside each day for teachers to talk about how to deal with life), so we compensate with a monthly advisory program, which usually consists of a thirty-minute session of prewritten discussions, PowerPoint slides, and nonresponsive children. A group therapy session, basically.
Anyway, last time, we discussed and visualized what healthy and unhealthy relationships entailed. Because I can count the number of people with whom I’m deeply involved on one hand and no fingers, I didn’t think the topic pertained to me—you can’t be in an unhealthy relationship if you’re not in a relationship to begin with—so I half listened, half visualized myself eating some chicken-fried steak.
I learned enough to recognize the warning signs, though, and it has become clear to me that I am involved in a deeply toxic relationship with Cat (my cat). I mean, even in the beginning, I had no illusions as to the one-sided nature of our relationship, but the disrespect is just getting ridiculous.
The Signs, aka Why I Should Dump Cat
- She starts testing your boundaries. You start catching her in places that you have clearly designated as private and/or off-limits, like your sinks and school projects and showers.
- She only values you for one thing. Don’t even think about confiding in her about your tragic life. Once she’s had enough of the petting, you’re dead to her.
- She acts like you’re not there. Namely, she steps across your face to get places.
- She sets up guilt-trips. She positions herself so that you will accidentally kick her and feel so bad that you bend to her will.
- She destroys your property. Out of pure spite, it would seem.
- She starts leaving her unwanted possessions with you. Other pet owners secretly wipe their hands on their pets. I suspect that Cat visits me just to wipe off all her excess hair.
- You give more than you get. You spend time massaging her behind the ears. In return, you receive a hug. With her teeth.
- She would rather drink out of acrylic paint water than spend time with you.
- She finds it acceptable to, in plain sight, lick her own butt and proceed to drink out of your cup.
… That got real specific, real fast. I could go on, of course, but it’s only fair that I balance out that list.
Pros of keeping Cat around
- She’s cute.
And therein lies the problem.