And so the story begins....................
My children have always loved cats; my wife does not. She claims she is allergic to cat fur. When it comes to who rules the Hen House, children don't usually win out, unless of course a compromise can be made.
Well, one day this past August a compromise was struck. While away for work, and a planned return just two days before my daughters birthday, I wanted to come up with a unique surprise for her special day. I thought long and hard - dolls........no, stuffed animals.......................no, clothes.............................ugh! My mind was twisted!
Then I got this idea; this crazy, insane idea. I would get her a cat. But not just any cat, a Sphinx - a rare breed of hairless cat, that even though it still had dander, was considered hypoallergenic due to the fact that(you guessed it) it had no hair!
............................so, long story short, I picked up the cat on the morning after my return, and surprised my daughter with her unique present at her birthday party later that afternoon. Cheers of joy could be heard ringing through the Tyler household, with an occasional scream and obscenity from my wife.
The kids had finally gotten their cat, and there was not much my wife could say, considering she was allergic to cat fur, not dander, so the kitten had found a home. Now all that was needed was an appropriate name.
We debated some of the more common ones - fluffy, whiskers, boots, patches.......but alas, none of these fit this rare, unique little creature. It was actually my six-year-old son who said, "daddy, can we call him Griffin?"
Griffin. Griffin.........hum. As is one RG3, I asked?
Now, ever since the Redskins drafted Robert Griffin III, my son has been obsessed with him. We watched Baylor highlights on the computer of him jumping over defenders in route to a touchdown, and Evan loved every minute of it. RG3 had immediately become his favorite player.
Wonder where he got this?????
So Griffin it was. The whole family(aside from my wife, who would yet to actually look at the thing for more than 5 seconds)agreed. It fit him perfectly. He was unique and special in every way. I had never seen anything like him!
The little kitten has now grown into a beautiful cat(didn't think I'd ever say this about a feline), and is a proud member of our young family.
Now, to the second part of my story................................
It's Monday night. The Redskins are preparing for their biggest game of the season against the Giants. I am so fired up, I can hardly think straight. I spent 15 minutes before the game, kneeling in front of a RG3 Fathead in my basement for Gods sake!
Kickoff comes. Evan and I sit glued to the TV. My wife is reading a book. My daughter is upstairs watching the Disney Channel. We watch, we gasp, we cheer,
we I curse. Finally, Evan is sent to bed, because it is a school night, and he's only 6. He cries himself to sleep, dreaming of 76 yards touchdown runs by his favorite player. My wife scurries off to the bedroom.
All that is left in our family room is myself...................................and the hairless cat, who has found it's way up on the couch, and curled up in a small ball on a soft fleece blanket. Just me,......................... and Griffin!
The fourth quarter comes, and I literally have no fingers nails left. I can't yell, because I'll wake the family. I can't throw things because...........................well, you know - I'm an adult? I'm left to holding my breath, grunting and kneeling with hands firmly pressed together in prayer in front of my TV. The whole while Griffin lay sleeping at my side.
Sometime towards the middle of the fourth quarter, my cat awoke. He hopped onto my lap and began puring. "Get down", I
yelled whispered. The last damn thing I needed right now was a cat with it's ass in my face, wanting to be pet. Griffin sat back down on his fleece blanket and stared at me. I felt bad. I gently patted his tiny, bald head.
In that moment, a sense of solace and serenity came over me. We had named this little cat after the greatest quarterback ever to be drafted by the Redskins, and I was pushing him off my lap, during the most important part of the most important game of the season? This cat was named after the man who would eventually lead us to victory against the Giants. The least I could do was show him some respect.
After that moment, every time the Skins would need a big play, I would gently rest my hand on Griffin, and POOF, we'd get the stop on defense, or convert the first down. My hand was resting on his hairless head when Griffin hit Garcon on the slant for the first, and it was in the same spot when Morris broke through the line for the first down that sealed the victory for the Redskins.
The cat and the Redskins had a connection; this I was certain.
After the game, Griffin and I spent a few quality moments together. My eyes were watering, and I'm almost sure his were too.
I could almost swear I saw him crack a smile on his hairless face, when the final seconds ticked off the game clock.
That night, for the first time ever, Griffin slept next to me in our bed...............................
What crazy rituals do you have before or during a Redskins game?