We’ve got a beat-up raggedy tuxedo cat name of Oswald, who rewards us for the pre-killed food and the use of the waterbed by visiting upon our skulls his patented vibro-massage therapy.
Basically, he lays across the top of your head, while you try to sleep, and purrs at a decible level just shy of a Lear jet’s engines; this can result in loose fillings, displaced cervical vertebrae, and seriously wicked “pillow hair.” Plus there’s the lost sleep you get from constantly snapping awake, thinking, “There’s an 8.5 earthquake whose epicenter is my freakin’ pillow!”
Our crotchety old Siamese rewards our years of service, vet bills and cat food by ensuring the speed of our hand-eye coordination. She does this stealing anything edible in the entire house that goes more than 2 seconds unobserved by human eyes. If you make a sandwich for lunch, sit down at the table and realize, “Hey, some 'tater chips’d go good with this here repast,” you’d best sprint on the way to, and back from, the pantry, or you’ll find said sandwich on the floor, being messily disemboweled* and devoured.
*[sub]She goes for the meaty inside bits o’ the thing first, y’see.[/sub]
Julia, the pathetic little shelter cat we rescued rewards our attention by tolerating approximately 7.3 seconds of physical contact at a stretch. Any longer than that in one sitting, and she’ll turn and bite the hand that scratches, to abuse a phrase.
And then, there’s Simon. He’s the only cat in our house with a genuine reason to distrust, resent, or outright hate our treatment of him. Y’see, he’s the one that had the urinary blockage problems, and, after one too many, ended up with a large section of his urethra surgically removed. So, while the rest have had to deal with ‘normal’ vet visits, he’s had three midnight runs to the emergency clinic for catheterization, and a three day stint at the regular vet’s place for shaving, anasthesia, penile shortening surgery and recovery.
And how does this truly maligned soul repay us for this evil?
He gets in bed with us every night, and attempts to groom the hair in my armpits. I swear he’s a masochist.