My Bride is out of country – in Ghana – for a few days for some Save the Mothers work which means I’m talking to The Cat again, not to mention statues, flowers, my dinner plate and anything else with a listening ear.
But The Cat. God help The Cat.
The Cat, some of you know, is no ordinary animal. He’s a walking, furry, ulcer. A playboy. A migraine headache of epic size. Always at his girlfriends’. We’ve lost count how many he actually has. I’m guessing, by now, at least a dozen.
This is why some months ago we got The Dog. A Good Dog, I may add, a fine dog, the sort that licks your face and lays at your feet, a dog, I’m ashamed to say, that isn’t even yet recognized with a photo on this blog, something which will soon change.
The photo of The Cat must now be replaced by a photo of The Dog, that is Zack The Dog. This is because The Cat – his name is Candy, but from now on he’ll be known as The Old Cat – no longer lives here. That’s right. Those of you who know The Old Cat – remember this … and this … will not be surprised.
Besides Zack the Good Dog, two other cats have taken The Old Cat’s place. The New Cats are Bubbles and Princess and I suppose they deserve a photo too.
This is how all these changes unfolded. One day a few weeks ago, after The Old Cat was gone for a week or two, I made an ad to post across our university campus home. “Have you seen our cat?” the ad said. “He’s breaking our children’s hearts. He’s never around. Shoot him at will. Then call this number and I’ll pay you big money.”
Okay, I left out the part about the shooting.
The ad had literally just come out of our printer and fallen on the office floor when Liz ran in the house with the big news that she just found three kittens in a flower pot outside. “Daddy, Daddy!” It was the freakiest thing.
So we took these three kittens in, just a few days old, nursed them and all that, and have since given one away and kept two: Bubbles and Princess, so named by proud mama Liz. The two little cats are happy and inseparable and, yes, always around, currently both lying on the top of the rear, right tire of our truck.
“I’ve been replaced by a cat named Bubbles?” The Old Cat said to me.
“That’s right,” I said. “And Princess.”
“And that … that DOG?” said The Old Cat. “I see that DOG is still around.”
“He guards the place better than you. Besides you were never around. What kind of pet are you, anyway? We thought you were, you know …. dead!”
“No, I was just at the dining hall.”
“The dining hall?”
“The food’s better at the dining hall.”
Now, I know The Old Cat is telling the truth because, this is the freaky thing again, just after we posted those ads across campus, who showed up that very night? The Old Cat. After being gone so long, he just sauntered up to the house as if everything was normal. My Bride took a photo so we all had evidence.
The next day, all the other reports came in. “Oh, sure, we’ve seen your cat. He’s always at the dining hall.”
So we know The Old Cat lives and somehow will continue to live. And I suppose that’s not the worst thing in the world now that we have the New Cats plus our Good Dog. Everyone’s happy. The Old Cat gets his dining hall food and has a ready place to take his dates and we no longer carry any burden for him.
Bubbles, by the way, has a habit of laying on his back just about three inches away from The Dog, just on the other side of his fence. But Zack really is a Good Dog, and even though he’s grown from a puppy to be almost as big as a house, he just lays there and watches quietly.
And if The Old Cat comes back? I think it’s still reasonable to give that order to kill.