For the last year, I have been doing many things alone… watching TV alone, often eating alone, and sleeping alone. The one thing that has really struck me as unusual, though, is going to the bathroom alone! This is the first time in YEARS that I have gone to the bathroom at home without a cat, a toddler, a dog, or some combination to accompany me!
When my son was small, I took him with me so I could keep an eye on him, rather than leaving him unattended. As he grew older and became more independent, I was able to leave him alone for short periods of time. The pets, however, were another story!
My cat Tristan, who lived for 15 years, spent nearly every moment of his life at my feet, or in my lap if possible. At any rate, he was at least in the same room as me. Many times he would follow me to the bathroom, knowing I would be a captive audience for a few minutes, and he could beg to be petted, or jump into my lap while I was unavoidably seated. He waited for me while I showered, and even fell into a bubble bath once when he was sitting on the side of the tub, trying to play with the bubbles.
Even worse than the cat, though, was when my dog Baikonur would follow me everywhere I went, including the bathroom. I haven’t always had the luxury of having a bathroom large enough to comfortably accommodate both me and a Rottweiler! Yet, he was with me every step of the way. If I had to be there for an extended period of time, he would lie patiently and quietly on the floor, waiting for me to finish. Once, when I wasn’t feeling well and knew I was going to be there a while, I shouted to my husband to go ahead and put the dog out for the night. BIG mistake!
He came to the door and called him, but Baik didn’t move. He started to get irritated and his tone of voice changed, angrily demanding that the dog get up and come with him. When he finally made a move toward the dog to tug on his collar, Baik growled at him! Needless to say, Baik stayed until I was finished, and I put him out, as usual. From that point on, however, I never worried about my safety as long as my dog was around! A raised voice was enough to put him on the defensive!
Now, I go to the bathroom alone, and though it is much less crowded—and that’s nice—it’s also lonelier somehow…