Meet Zucchini. She lives in my new apartment where she’s pretty much The Queen. In one short month she’s turned my life upside down and completely changed me...for the worse. She has turned me into my nightmare.
I’ma just come out and say something that might offend a few people but, you know what, this is a safe place where I get to do me. Here it is: I think animals, well pet animals, are dumb. I do not care for them! I got a Michael Vick t-shirt for my birthday, you guys. I don’t do kitty videos or puppy calendars or YA novels about horses who help red headed girls have self esteem while dying of cancer. I think the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making that godforsaken ASPCA commercial with the Sarah McLachlan song and all the dying, homeless kittens. Shut your face, Sarah.
I’m a horrible person! I am well aware. But I'm just being Miley, y'all. I guess I just don’t get it? I’m missing some kind of animal empathy chip. It is actually a frequent disaster. I find myself literally unable to empathize with friends over their relationships with their pets. Cat ran away? Get a new one! Dog died? Sorry to hear that. Actually I don’t feel any emotions at all! I’m trying to be sad for you because you are my friend but I thought your dog was kind of a pain the ass and once she peed on my backpack and that really sucked so...rest in peace?
I am sure there is a special circle of Hell reserved just for people like me and I look forward to being there.
Quick Anecdote: One summer during college I dated this guy, and when I say dated, I use the term very, very loosely. We would sporadically hang out and talk on AOL Instant Messenger but, to paraphrase Beyonce, he had me sprung and didn’t care who saw. I was doing every single move He’s Just Not That Into You warns against, plus adding some real doozies of my own design. I knew this was headed exactly nowhere but I was consumed with the kind of fiery passion that burns when you’re a 20-year-old virgin and some dude makes you a mix CD.
I carried this torch into the fall, keeping it burning during a full semester of my year abroad, returning home over Christmas ready for some Burning Hot Luv. The reality of was more of a lukewarm situation but oh, I soldiered on.
The day before I was due to return to Old Europa, homeboy got a lil puggle puppy. I went to his place ready to blow his miiiind with the tender, loving way I nurtured his new pet who, might I add, he’d owned for all of 14 hours at this point, but what happened instead was, I broke her. The dog. I broke his dog.
We went for a walk and I was carrying her for some reason and then, in the flashiest of flashes, she went from snuggled in my arms to flat on the ground, limbs akimbo, squealing in pain. No one knows exactly how it happened. I mean, let’s be honest I probably dropped her but maybe, just maybe, she jumped. She can’t exactly speak up to defend herself so I’ma go ahead and say it: the bitch took a dive. She lived, but spent the rest of the night limping and the dude spent the rest of the night doing the very opposite of making out with me and then I went back to Europe and he never talked to me again.
I am now a grownup, slightly (slightly!) more rational and confident young lady, so I know my vicious crime against dogmanity was not in any way related to this brush off (the dramatic ‘why don’t you love me!’ e-mails may have played a minor role) (20-year-old Liz was a real gem) but there was an embarrassingly long stretch of my life there where I associated dogs with getting dumped.
You might say this period in my life was pretty RUFF!
Oh just a little joke! Shit was starting to get a bit too real up in here.
But all of my Sarah McLachlan-hating, puppy-limb-breaking days are behind me, now that I’ve met the Zucc monster. Like the Whoos down in Whooville with their cheery Christmas songs, she’s changed my grinchy disposition in alarming ways. I snuggle with her and try to get her to sleep in my bed and I talk to her like she’s a human and I play ball with her and take cell phone pictures of her every move and, you guys, I love her.
Like every Great Love, we do still have our moments. Last week I took her for a walk to the dog park where she promptly took a giant dump. I had a plastic baggie with me but didn’t know how to get the poop from the ground into the baggie...I guess you’re supposed to like, put it over your hand and then scoop and then turn the bag inside out, but this disgusted me, so instead I found a stick and used it as sort of a poop-skewer to transfer each turd into the bag. No sooner had I tossed the stinky sack into the garbage when, dog after my own heart, the old girl dropped another deuce. I considered just grabbing Zucchini and running away, leaving the steaming pile for someone else to deal with, but in NYC that’s a crime and crime does not pay, kids, it does not. So I did the next best thing. I gingerly walked back to the trash can (shudder) and took my baggie back out.
It was then I realized that the greatest trick the devil really ever pulled was making lil creatures so fucking cute that even as you're walking circles in a park carrying a grocery bag full of dogshit you still can't get enough of 'em.