We have two cats.
Tobi is a lithe, curious, poorly behaved cat who likes to ensure that everything is pushed off the table and onto the floor before he goes to bed each night. He's popped keys out of my keyboard, broken kitchen canisters, and torn open bags of food, toys, and anything else he could find.
Earlier this week, he absconded with the scarf that Elysha had just knit for Clara. He took it to the basement and hid it amongst the winter coats. It was only because Elysha saw him running with a flash of pink in his mouth that she was eventually able to find it. Otherwise it would've been lost forever.
To his credit, Tobi also allows the kids to manhandle him without complaint. He cuddles with Clara and Charlie more than anyone else. He's a jerk who knows exactly what needs to be done to find his way into our hearts.
Pluto is my buddy. While he loves everyone in the house, it's universally acknowledged that he loves me most. He sleeps with me at night. I'm the only person who he allows to pick him up. He sits beside me while I write.
Best of all, he begins purring as soon as I enter the room. Without ever touching him or even coming close to him, he is so happy to see me that he purrs.
Thanks to Pluto, I've come to realize that this is what I want from everyone.
When I enter my classroom, I want every one of my students to be so thrilled to see me that they can barely contain their enthusiasm.
When I arrive on the golf course, I want my friends to thank me for spending time with them.
When I step on a stage, before even speaking a word, I want a standing ovation.
When I enter my home, I want my children to come running to greet me like they haven't seen me in a thousand years.
Most important, I'd like Elysha to begin purring every time I enter a room. That alone might be enough.
Pluto has set a high bar, but I believe in establishing high expectations and working like hell to achieve them.
If a cat can do it, so can you, honey.