Everything was great before Billy came to town. I was happy. I was loved. I was the king of my spacious condo castle. Before Billy all eyes here laid on me. When I ventured outdoors, others constantly complimented me on my handsome appearance — my cute, scruffy beard, my old man eyebrows — and my charming, effervescent personality. Glee and delight were mine for the making and sharing. Easily, and without competition, I won the hearts of each person I met. Child or retireee — it didn’t matter; to them, I was the man.
But when Billy moved in, my whole life changed. I went from lead singer to member of the chorus, from celebrity to semi-lebrity, and from head honcho to pack rat. At six months old, my 15 minutes of fame abruptly expired. Now they weren’t just interested in me, in caring me for and making me happy but in doing the same for Billy as well.
If sharing attention wasn’t bad enough, I also had to start sharing my food. Yes, I know! Before Bill treats were ALL mine! Now delicious snacks I used to devour alone were divided in two; full hot dogs became half. And if he was positioned closer, he obviously got dibs to tasty morsels falling to the kitchen floor.
To make things worse, Billy arrived with sister Maven, another species all-together, the likes of which I’d never met and still don’t understand. Unlike me and Billy, Maven moves slowly and deliberately. I never know what she’s thinking, where she’s going to leap, or what makes her bottom smell so good. She is a mystery and she drives me crazy. I play with her a lot since she provokes me. For some reason, though, I’m always the one to get in trouble. “Sammy, no!” someone always shouts. I obey but can only comply until the next time I get an enticing whiff of her rear.
At first, I thought I could convince someone to make Billy leave. I acted up, yelled and growled for attention. I even tried to be extra cute.
But none of it worked.
Billy is still here.
Deep down I know they still love me as much as before. Except that’s hard to remember when the two hands that used to rub my belly alone now have to work double duty and rub Billy’s simultaneously. Love shared is not love multiplied. Check your math — it’s half of love. Sounds rather sad, I know. But then again, I’m only human.