Ice Hockey and Cats Don’t Mix

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Photo: Cesar by Marilyn Regan

“Do I look excited? Well do I? No. I hate this and I am bored. Can’t you tell? Hockey, really? It is loud, violent, and unnecessary. That is just my feline interpretation and we are seldom wrong.”

“Ok enough from you. It’s my television after all,” I replied.

I then look away from him and set my attention forward. The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks were battling it out in the 2019 New Year’s Day NHL Winter Classic. Two of the original six NHL teams, playing outdoors at Notre Dame Stadium, were tied. I sat there with my man. He has fur, four legs and whiskers, but he is my man none-the-less. We’ve talked it over and he’s fine with it, though I must meet certain demands, but that’s a story for another day.

Cesar couldn’t be less interested in hockey. While he normally occupies the small nook in front of me on the couch for other less violent forms of entertainment, today he left his space and was focused on whatever lay beyond the window. He can’t snuggle if I am moving, no matter how slightly, though during hockey games the movement is more than slight.

I am struck by the fact that the other problem is he is not the center of attention. Here I sit on our favorite corner of the couch not giving him his due. He is more like a dog in respect to the amount of attention he craves, following me everywhere, and reaching out his paw to gently pat me and remind me he’s there.

Sorry, baby. It’s New Years’s and I love hockey. To me, the spontaneity and skill of hockey is the pinnacle of athleticism. You must be able to skate, shoot, hit, fight and think quickly. The slow of mind need not apply. Goalies are stuffed like Thanksgiving turkeys and react to 90 mph pucks in a split second, seeing the periphery of the ice with hawk-like eyes. Cesar was not impressed.

“Just because someone can move like a cat, doesn’t mean s/he is one and a cat would never both rushing around like that.”

Yes, we not only talk, but I can read his mind.

Still, I persisted. I am one of those obnoxious Boston fans with the puffed-up ego, proud of the Boston Sports legacy and Bobby Orr especially. Don’t get me wrong, Brady is awesome, but Orr is a legacy and a humanitarian.

The Bruins tie and then score the “go ahead goal." I jump and screech and whoop. At that point, Cesar jettisons off the table with a screech, a nasally “raher,” in other words, “I object.” He remains on the floor, unwilling to retake his seat in the firing line of my tsunami-like vituperations of enthusiasm.

“Hey, these are the Big Bad Bruins after all,” I remind him. “Have a little respect.”

His look replies, “This is barbarism, unnecessary noise.”

Third period with a minute left and a one goal lead. The Blackhawks pull the goalie and put the extra man out on the ice. This is a last ditch effort, a power play of sorts. They could score and tie or lose by an additional goal in this last ditch effort. It’s another unpredictable, heart pounding part of the game.

A minute into it and the SCORE! The Bruins win the Winter Classic by two goals. My only regret is that I don’t have anyone I can fist pump or glass to pound. I cannot entice my man.

Cesar exits the room, ears back, tail raised.

I enjoy the elation a few second longer, but the reality of the situation hits me. Cesar will never celebrate a Bruins victory with me. He is not only a cat, but a male. Double whammy.

Alas, watching hockey with a cat is a lonely undertaking.

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