What are friends for?

Indy feels the concept of friends is overrated.Indy, a grey tiger cat

“I don’t know why ‘friends’ are such a big deal,” he told me. “Sure, some of the jokes were funny, but I didn’t think the show was all that.”

“I wasn’t talking about the TV show, Indy.”

“Oh, you mean your audience on Facebook? I never could get that, either. You humans spend so much time worried over your right to privacy, then turn around and tell anyone who cares what you’re doing or thinking at any given moment. I would think you’d want fewer friends.”

I can’t blame Indy. Cats aren’t really social creatures. Sure, they can get along in groups, but they are just as likely to fight as get along… Something like us, now that I think about it. Of course, he’s lived with us for, like, forever. What would he know about friends? All he’s had is us. I told him so.

“So the fact I’ve had to live with you all my life makes us friends? I suppose Hitler’s schnauzer was his friend, too.”

“Hitler had a schnauzer?”

“I don’t know! That’s not the point,” he said. “I know friendship has nothing to do with proximity or genetics, unless you’re a dog. If Hitler had a schnauzer, the dog couldn’t help but be his friend. That’s just the way dogs are. But cats, we’re more particular. If I knew who my brother or sister was, I still couldn’t call him or her a friend. Nor could I count as friends any of those people who come visiting every now and then. Or haven’t you noticed all the times I discovered I had urgent things to do somewhere when ever someone visited?”

“Even the kids? You go hiding when they come visiting, too!”

“I wasn’t hiding! I just had some pressing matters to attend to whenever they visit. When I finish, I come back to visit for a little while. I can’t help it if they’re just leaving when I do! But, you see, friendship is something more than knowing a person. Friendship is a comfort level. Friendship is being able to let your guard down with someone. And frankly, I don’t see that happening too much.”

“You let your guard down with me,” I reminded him. “Otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

“That’s why I think friendship is overrated. I’m giving it a try, but I don’t see what it gets me.”

“Oh, Indy,” I sighed, “friendship isn’t like a shopping club or an association… well, maybe it is, a little. You give friends preferential treatment, even more than family. So, what you get as my friend is preferred access to me, 24/7.”

“Something like the auto club?”

“Hehehe, yeah, like the auto club.”

“Well, then, how about that gallon of gas? My bowl is empty!”


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Alan Frayer

Alan Frayer has been a computer network administrator, a computer network engineer, a certified instructor, a freelance journalist, and an Internet consultant specializing in e-commerce, marketing. This blog deals with just about none of that.

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