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Sample from A Conversation with my Cat

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News and Events
by Brian Weilert

So, I’m having this argument with my cat the other day about how I changed his food without consulting him first, his words not mine. He went crazy on me…storming about the kitchen, knocking crap off the counter and crying out like a baby…I mean, really making a scene.  It was such a trivial thing too as I had changed his food before without any reaction whatsoever.  We have an unspoken understanding that he gets what’s on sale.  He knows I’m frugal; otherwise we would have a nicer apartment.  It bugs him.  I know this.  Example: I know he hates that my sound system is cheap and dated.  He never really comes out and says so, but when I crank up some tunes, he goes off into the bedroom.  “If you don’t like my speakers, go buy your own!” 

So, anyway that’s why the overreaction this time made me want to take a second look at the situation; he just wasn’t being himself.  I was in bed thinking these very thoughts when he scratched at my door and asked to be let in.    At first, I thought he was going to come clean on what was really bothering him, you know, a real heart-to-heart, with some effort he clawed his way up the comforter and onto the mattress before settling in at my feet… and proceeded to totally give me the silent treatment.  I thought, dude, two can play at that game, so I turned on the television and proceeded to watch some old movie of which I can’t honestly recall the title.  During the first commercial break, he rose and approached me, mounting my chest, it was clear he wanted to get something off of his.  He opened his mouth and…

…First, I should give some backstory so the rest of this makes some since.  The cat was a bit like the check engine light in my car.  It just showed up uninvited one day, I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of it, and finally just accepted the fact I was going to have to live with it.  I acquired him after moving into my new apartment.  He seemed to already be living there, and I just let him stay.  He wasn’t actually in the apartment when I finalized my moved but was loitering just outside in the hall.  As I fumbled with my keys while balancing a bag of groceries, he managed to maneuver between my legs when the door opened.  Before I could make my way to the kitchen, he was lounging on the couch. He had a look of disgust as if he had been waiting too long and perhaps I should have called to let him know I was running late.    In fairness to me, I didn’t have his cell number at that time. We never really sat down and talked about what the arrangements were going to be.   I kept wanting to get around to it, as I am the kind of person that likes to put things in writing…the cat, well, he’s different.  After about six months, things sort of naturally fell into place and we established a routine…so, I just never got back to it.   Sure, from time to time we would have our spats as any roommates would…about leaving items strewn about the living space and occasionally missing the toilet; basic hygiene stuff.  Once he interrupted me and a lady visitor and well, yeah that was totally awkward.  I was going to talk to him about respecting boundaries the next morning but he gave me one of those looks like, Sorry Bro…and it felt genuine.  I figured he got the message so the conversation never happened.   Plus, I actually felt sort of guilty as I knew he was going through a bit of a rough patch where he was striking out with the ladies and I would rib him with bad puns about not finding any pussy…though it wasn’t from lack of trying.  He would leave through the fire escape window each night and I would see him the next day with a variety of open wounds so I knew things couldn’t be going great for him out there. It all crescendoed when I awoke one morning to find him wriggling on the kitchen rug and one of his friggin’ eyes was hanging out.  After a moment of morbid fascination of how it looked like marble on the end of a Twizzler, I sprang into action, stuffing it back into the socket with my thumb and putting a piece of duct tape over it and then securing the patch with…you guessed it, more duct tape around his head.  I’m no doctor but I would dare someone to say he would have received better care at a veterinary hospital.  Plus, I saved hundreds of dollars.   He never was able to see out of it again but it looked okay…well, at least better than when it was dangling from the gross little bungee cord.   So, yeah he may have had some bitter feelings about that, but quite honestly if he did, he kept it to himself.  Not once over these many years has he even broached the subject of his milky, blind eye.  

Then there was that time I…ummm…well, I forgot he lived with me.   We never had what I would call a pet/owner thing going on but rather two guys cohabitating and just trying to find a little happiness.  Well, I thought I had found happiness in the guise of a sweet girl named Meredith.  She was quirky.   For example when cutting up strawberries, she wore plastic gloves.  When I asked why she stated, “I just love the smell of them so very much that if I get it on my hands, I will be distracted all day sniffing my fingertips.”  Not weird at all…right?  I ended up spending a week living in her apartment before things fell apart when I found her happiness apparently also involved another sweet, quirky girl…named Madge.  When I returned home, it wasn’t until I turned on the lights and discovered all things, and I mean all things, which had once stood on flat surfaces, were knocked to the ground, that I remembered…ah, I have a cat.   Anyway, maybe that was at the root of all of this…but that too was years ago.  I was about to find out. 

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