Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The "Granny Factor"

We have an expression in our household which we use to describe a family pet (usually a cat) who relentlessly pursues and affectionately gloms onto a less than enthusiastic host, someone who largely tolerates the presence of domesticated beasts in the home. We refer to this phenomenon as the "Granny factor". Let me explain.

For years we have respectfully and playfully referred to Virginia Maher as "Granny". "Granny" never cared for pets be they feline, canine, or any other species that might co-habit a household. Given her disdain for four legged friends, it amazes me that Denny ever grew up with a dog in the home ("Pepper", the hyped up beagle) since Virginia held firm that there would be no pets. How it happened anyway is another story for another time.

Despite "Granny's" dislike of cats and dogs, for some unexplainable reason cats and dogs always gravitated to her, enjoying physical closeness and begging for any return of affection. Years ago, our cat "Bubba" invariably latched onto "Granny" whenever she was in our home, following her about and sitting beside her on the couch, inching closer and closer, hoping for a kind word or a pet, neither of which he ever received. But, he never gave up. Neither did "Sasha", our dalmatian. I wonder if they felt "Granny" was a potential convert or perhaps they had more malevolent intentions to torment her. Whatever the case, the attraction of these pets for a more than ambivalent human companion we called the "Granny factor".

As for Denny, he loves dogs but cats he only tolerates (although, deep down, I wonder...). After having pets in our home for years, when Sasha and Bubba passed on, we were "petless" for over a year until we adopted "Boo" from the McGrady household in June. Boo was to be Kate's companion but rather immediately he latched onto Denny. Although Boo graciously accepts affection from one and all, it is obvious
that he has bonded with the man of the house. This is the " Granny factor" all over again. We have to laugh and I swear, Denny really does like cats for all his rants and raves about another beast in the house. Welcome to the family, Boo.


  1. I love it. Is that Boo sleeping beside Denny?

  2. Denny and Dan must share the Granny Factor and I believe Boo must be a traditionalist. Meaning that he wants to follow (closely I might add) the -male- leader of the pack. Boo (who was MY cat during his tenure in the McGrady household) followed Dan around with a vengence. He was in Dan's lap before there was even a lap to curl up in. He was NEVER deterred by the shove off the lap either (he would would continously jump back on EVERY time he was pushed off). Sadly we have two small children who demand even more of our attention than Boo, so we needed to find a place where Boo could get what he needed. Clearly he has.


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