In almost any story, there will come a time when the main character has to take a stand – a time when a line has to be drawn in the sand – a time when the main character is tired of giving way and decides that enough is enough. If the character is asked to make one more concession, there will be the devil to pay! Blood may be spilled, and heads may roll!
It doesn’t matter if it’s a romance or an adventure story. The story may be about soldiers or dogs or floods. A time will come when the tree is tired of being thirsty and decides to start dropping it’s branches. The beautiful young maiden will become tired of being taken for granted or the soldier becomes tired of obeying stupid generals. At some point, a stand must be taken.
Americans have taken those last stands and used them for battle cries throughout our history. Remember the Alamo! Remember the Maine! Remember the Lusitania! Remember the Chicago Riots (or the Los Angeles Riots or the Utica Riots)!
These last stands resonate through us and, when we hear them, we want to draw our flaming swords and start beheading the bad guys! My problem lately, however, is that I have somehow become the bad guy!
My middle cat, Jessie, has had a bad summer! We had a lot of rain that kept her inside during the first part of summer. Then the clinic across the street from our house put in a reverse well and started pumping water out of the ground and into the street. To my ears, it had the sound of a rushing mountain stream but to Jessie, it spoke of monsters wanting to eat her up!
If that wasn’t bad enough, Jessie was outside when I was playing with a screen door at the back of the house. Something scared Jessie and she came barreling up to the door only to bounce off the screen. She went racing away to find a good hiding spot and I spent half a day trying to find her to apologize for playing with the screen door!
I have three entrances to my house: a front door, a back door, and the attached garage door. The only door that Jessie has not been turned from (because of the water monsters or the invisible screen door) is the attached garage door. She’s half afraid to go out that door because it may turn on her at any moment and she would be unable to get back in the house at all!
If that wasn’t bad enough, I replaced the disgusting food bowls that we have had for years with three cute smaller cat bowls. There’s a bowl with a smiling cat face on the bottom, a bowl with a shiny gold outside, and a small plain black bowl. The only bowl she’ll eat from is the one with the cat face. She isn’t very good at sharing it, either.
I discovered that she has reached her line in the sand when I bought some new pajamas. They are soft and light weight and really cute! They are a far cry from the sweatpants and holey tee shirt that I usually wear, and I was feeling pretty girly when I wore them for the first time.
When I woke up, I came into the living room to let two cats out while Jessie sat watching. She refuses to go out the front while the water is still rushing out across the street.
I had breakfast and went to sit on the couch. We have a routine with this. I’ll sit up against an arm of the couch with my feet stretched out on the couch. Jessie will come up and sit on my lap and we’ll read the paper together. (She really likes the cartoons). This day, Jessie jumped up on the couch, put one foot on my new pajamas and pulled it back like she had put her foot in a horrible bowl of flea powder! She looked at me like I had betrayed her on the deepest level, turned her back on me and walked to the other end of the couch to lay down. She didn’t even come up to read the cartoons!
I realized that she had been pushed beyond her limitations! I had to promise her that I would never wear those pajamas in our house ever again. I could wear the pajamas while traveling but not within our house. I had to go put on my ratty sweatpants and tee shirt before she’d come over to sit with me!
Once you’ve decided that enough is enough, you can’t really change your mind. You must stick with your guns. I wouldn’t swear to it but, after the summer that Jessie has been having, she may be applying for a gun permit!