When my brother, Salem, pushes my buttons, I immediately revert back into my five-year-old self. Sensing that this same phenomenon must be happening to him, I decide to use it to my advantage.
Salem has a third date with Tabby today. A third! It kind of annoys me. So when she comes over to see him, I say “Hi” in my most mature and polite voice.
Salem struts up and throws out a, “Hey,” all casual like, as though he had no previous plans with her, and this is all spur of the moment. I cringe inside. So, while they are talking, I stick my paw out and just ever so slightly touch him.
He cuts his eyes at me but continues his conversation unfazed. A second later, I slowly extend my paw and just barely graze his fur with the tip of my claw. His lips tighten, and he throws me another warning look. You know, the one that says, “I will tear your head off if you do it again.”
So, I do it again.
This time he loses it. A minute later, he’s sitting on my chest and holding my bottom paws to my nose and sneering, “Smell it! Smell those dirty paws!” I smile.
Then I glance over at Tabby, who is standing there, eyes bulging and mouth hanging open at the sight of her date: five-year-old Salem. That’s when I know my work here is done.
God, I love being a sibling.