“Feed me,” my cat whispered.
“No,” I retorted.
“Hungry,” he whined.
“It’s not time yet.”
He rolled onto his back and showed me his belly, perhaps to demonstrate how empty it was. It wasn’t the best strategy because he’s … well … fat.
But he’s a cat. Cats aren’t much about strategy. They stalk and kill. Not much strategy there.
“Go find a mouse,” I said ungraciously.
He stalked off … or more like waddled … most likely to go nibble on one of my plants so he could barf it up in revenge.
I wish this is how it went.
What really happens is this.
He can’t sleep in the bed, because if he did, he would wake me at four in the morning since he’s absolutely convinced he’s starving.
So the door is shut. Not just shut. It’s locked because of fears he will spontaneously sprout an opposable thumb to defeat the doorknob. I’m safe on one side. He’s prowling the countertops and dining room table looking for crumbs on the other.
And when my alarm clock goes off, it’s a call to action for each of us.
Carefully, I open the door. The cat falls into the room with a fuzzy thump because he’s been trying to push it open for the last hour. There are cat prints and fang gouges all over the door.
I walk through the darkness towards his bowl, with him zigging and zagging between my feet doing his best to trip me, because obviously I will feed him faster if I fall on my face.
Like I said, cats aren’t big on strategy.
But what he doesn’t appreciate is I’m old. Something else is making demands on me, too.
“I gotta go,” my bladder whispered.
“I can’t. I have to feed the cat,” I retorted.
“Now!” it insisted.
“No. Can’t you see, the cat is starving to death.”
To emphasize the point, the cat headbutted my leg, nearly sending me into the wall.
“I don’t care,” my bladder sneered. “We go to the bathroom, or you’ll regret it.”
I tried to imagine trying to measure out cat food while trying to hold off my bladder while the cat’s pushing against my legs. Kibbles and Bits would go flying.
For the first time, I wondered if perhaps my bladder and cat were in some kind of dark conspiracy.
So I veered towards the bathroom. Seeing me not heading to his bowl sent the cat into a maddened frenzy and he tried heading me off like a collie shepherding baby sheep. But I dodged and ducked him in a crazy cat dance and raced towards the bathroom, my bladder chuckling in evil triumph.
Before I could get inside and shut the door, the cat slipped inside so he could torment me while I was trying to ..well, you know.
So I closed the door.
Him on the inside. Me and my bladder on the outside.
“You’ll be sorry,” my bladder hissed, as I hurried to the cat bowl.
I crossed my legs as I dumped food in the bowl. I could hear the cat throwing himself against the door. I ran for the bathroom and whipped the door open. A fuzzy torpedo shot off towards the kitchen.
Watching his fuzzy butt, I whispered, “enjoy.”
Then, well, you know … time to empty the bladder.
(new book! Fang Face. Vampire humor at its most juvenile. www.fangface.homestead.com)
Birthing a Book, by Dan Metcalf
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