How do you tell a cat you still love them, despite the fact that, lately, all your time and energy has been devoted to their new baby sister? You give them treats, right? Well, what if you’ve given your cat so many treats they’re starting to resemble Orson Welles (The Later Years)? What then? You rub them under their chin, right? Well, what if every time you try to rub them under their chin they bite you, like a drunk Orson Welles? What then? You play Chase the Laser Pointer, right? Well, what if instead of chasing the laser pointer, they just give you a thousand-yard stare from the room at the end of the hallway, which is really creepy because it’s basically the farthest you can possibly be from somebody in this house while still looking them in the eye. What then? You give up and tell the other cat that you still love them, right? Well, what if the other cat hasn’t been home in days, and goes out all night partying with owls and a raccoon that bears an uncanny resemblance to Orson Welles? What then? You blog about it, right? Well, what if every sentence you write is in the form of a question, because you’re sleep deprived and creatively paralyzed by the infinite responsibilities of parenthood? You tweet jokes about topical subjects, right? WELL, WHAT IF YOU HATE TWITTER BECAUSE IT’S BEEN, LIKE, FIVE YEARS AND YOU’VE TWEETED LITERALLY THOUSANDS OF JOKES WITH LITTLE TO NO RETURN WHICH MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE THE WORLD’S WORST JOKE FARMER – YOU JUST PLANT JOKE SEEDS AND WATER THEM AND WAIT FOR THEM TO GROW UP AND BE FEATURED ON ELLEN AND WHAT DO YOU GET? WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDS! What then? Eh, I guess I’ll make a breakfast burrito.
Print is dead. Well, at least it is in our household. That’s because New Cat has made a habit out of sitting on our printer like a gargoyle – a gargoyle that loves belly rubs and licks your hair when it is hungry - rendering the various functions of the device about as effective as a those of a rock. As a result, I have realized two things. One: I can’t look at a cat sitting on a printer without laughing. I just can’t. And I would be willing to bet you can’t either. Just close your eyes and imagine the printer department at Office Depot. Now imagine that a bunch of cats are inexplicably sitting on top of every single show-model. Still not laughing? CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’RE A ROBOT. Two: I don’t really kind of sort of actually need a printer. Not sort of literally at all. I’m not in school, which means I have no term papers to print. I have GPS on my phone, which means I have no need for directions. And I laugh every time I see a cat sitting on a printer, which means I’M NOT A ROBOT. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to spend the next five days hand-copying my electronic tax return. What’s so crazy about that? How do you think Franciscan monks made copies of their tax returns? With an all-in-one printer-fax-scanner combo?!? Oh man, you-you’re funny. Not as funny as a cat sitting on a printer, but, still…pretty, ah, you know. Pretty funny.
Can’t we all just get along? Yes. We can. How do I know we can? Because I have recently discovered the ultimate conflict resolution tool: cat treats. No, I’m not suggesting we should gather all the world’s leaders in a room, lock the doors, and circulate trays of Whiskas® Temptations®. Although remind me to turn that idea into an interactive educational app for children called War & Treats. It would feature characters like Chairman Meow, Feline Calico Roosevelt, and Winston Purrchill, and be free on the app store (I’d make my money on in-app purchases like Catnip Warheads, Scratching Statues, and Medals of Yarn). What I am suggesting, however, is that if cat treats can get Cat and New Cat to be in the same room without tearing out each other’s fur, why can’t they do the same for hoomans? Not only do hoomans have significantly less fur to lose, but they also seem to love spoiling their pets. Dog owners know what I’m talking about. If a bunch of strangers can huddle together in a freezing dog park and make small talk while their dogs hump and pee on each other, certainly cat owners can do the same while their cats enjoy tender morsels of chicken, tuna, and duck. After that, all we have to worry about are the reptile pet owners [shudder]. On second thought, it’s probably best if we leave those folks alone.
I think New Cat is cheating on us. Last week, I saw her paw at the front door of the neighbors across the street. A few moments later, the door opened, and New Cat strutted inside like she was walking into the lobby of a five star hotel. I didn’t think much of it, until a few days later, when I saw her paw at the kitchen window of the neighbors next door. Sure enough, the window opened, and New Cat gracefully stepped inside like she was climbing onto a yacht. At this point, I was really starting to suspect that she wasn’t 100% committed to being a one-family cat, although I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. “She’s just checking their homes for rats” and “She’s just ones of those cats that gets easily confused because they’re kinda dumb” were two pieces of flimsy reassurance I fed myself. That’s when a third neighbor knocked on our door to return some mistakenly delivered mail. “That New Cat is over our house all the time! She’s quite a character!” My mug of coffee floated towards the kitchen floor like a satellite knocked off its orbit by a juicy piece of space gossip. Ever since, I’ve found it difficult to look New Cat in the eye, especially when she waltzes into our house reeking of a brand of kibble Wife and I are not familiar with. [single tear]
I’m an expert on modern decor. What, were you expecting me to say, “I’m no expert on modern decor? Why would I say that? Short of picking your nose and eating it, I don’t think there’s a faster way to get people to stop listening to you than by starting a declarative sentence with “I’m no expert, but…” That’s why I prefer to lie and say I’m an expert about every single topic of conversation. For example, at the ballet last week I turned to Wife and said, “I’m an expert on post-impressionist interpretive dance. This performance stinks.” Therefore, seeing as I am an expert on modern decor, you have no choice but to listen to me when I say the wave of the high-end furniture future is…trash cans. How do I know this? I have engineered a fool-proof system that can determine whether any given object is comfortable to sit on: New Cat. If New Cat sits on something, you can bet your buns it’s comfortable. Sure, I can be skeptical about the comfort level of some of New Cat’s napping spots at first – a pile of winter hats, gloves, and scarves looks lumpy and unstable to the untrained eye – but once I try them myself, I immediately realize the wrror of my eays. So when I walked downstairs, flipped on the lights, and saw New Cat catching some z’s in a overturned trash can, I didn’t think twice. I raced to the garage, flipped over a garbage can, and climbed inside. And do you know what it smelled like lounging in that garbage can? The future.