After putting the food on the table, our human yells out, “Dinner!”
Ten minutes later, she yells again, “Dinner is ready.”
Another ten minutes goes by before Teenager saunters to the table and slowly reclines in his chair.
Our human scowls, “You were only in the next room. What took you so long?”
“I had to tell Dad I won my track meet today.”
“Oh, yeah? What event?”
“The hundred-yard dash.”
Salem and I were bored, so we decided to eavesdrop on our humans.
“Ok, Mom, this old phone is just too embarrassing. I need a new one.”
“Oh, you’re exaggerating.”
Teenager waves her phone in the air, “I had to hide behind the auditorium just to make a phone call after school.”
Our human waves her off, “Minor inconvenience.”
“I was surrounded by kids who were smoking, and not just cigarettes. One girl had piercings all over her face, and she was practically having sex with something covered in tattoos.”
“That doesn’t sound so bad.”
“Mom. When I pulled out my flip phone, they all backed away from me.”
I’m packing up my stuffed mouse and some catnip when Salem walks up. “What are you doing? Are you going someplace?”
“I’m taking a vacation. I can’t take looking out that same window one more day. I need a change of scenery.”
“Where are you going to go?”
I stand up straight, grab my bag, and point, “Under that bed over there.”
Salem and I race into the hall at the sound of our human screaming.
It’s Monday morning, and Teenager isn’t out of bed yet. We glance at the clock on the wall, “Yep, she’s going to miss the bus again.”
We watch in wonder as our human rapidly fires out words that we don’t even know the meaning of. Then, Teenager does something we know won’t end well; she rolls her eyes.
Salem turns his head, “I can’t watch.”
I look at my human and smile, “Wait, I’ve seen this movie. Any second now, her head is going to start spinning around.”
“Soon, our human will be taking the family Christmas photo.” I look down at my stuffed mouse. “I don’t think I want to be in it this year. She’s obsessed with making it look perfect.”
My little brother Salem looks at me, “Tell me about it. She made me wear that stupid Christmas tie last year.” He puffs out his chest, “But I did look smashing. Face it; the humans need us to make them look good.”
“Is that the photo?” I point a paw to the mantle.
“Yep,” he grins, “See, I’m right there in the front row, licking myself.”
When I am bored enough, I listen to the conversations of my humans. This was today’s gem:
My human sets her coffee cup down and looks at my other human, “We never talk anymore.”
“Oh, that’s easy…”
She holds up her hand, “And not about soccer.”
“I’m drawing a blank then.”
“It’s gotten so bad, I’m starting to talk to the kids.”
He looks around the room, “These are all ours?”
“Yes, what did you think? They were buy one get four free?”
“I thought one of them was having a slumber party.”
“I’ll make you a deal: I’ll keep cooking your dinner if you can converse with me during it.”
“Fine. I will be happy to converse during any meal that isn’t served blackened.”
“So, Chelsea wants to buy back Eden Hazard, huh?”
Salem walks up to me and asks, “What’s wrong with the little human? I just heard her yelling in her room.”
“She has something called ‘sassiness’.”
“That sounds terrible.”
I nod, “Apparently, it’s been going around. I think it affects her fingers because she’s not allowed to use her phone until it’s gone.”
Salem holds his paws up, “I hope I don’t get it. I need my paws to eat.”
I just purchased several cases of very expensive low-fat tuna. I am stacking them all up when Salem comes into the room.
“What are you doing?” he asks.
“Oh, I’ve decided to go on a diet.” I touch my little tummy, “I want to lose a few pounds.”
He looks at the rows of cans stacked three feet high and says, “Couldn’t you just eat less?”
I shake my head, “Why do you hate me?”
It’s ten minutes until dinner time and my little brother Salem walks up to me and smiles, “Getting hungry, huh?”
“Yeah. How’d you know?”
“I just watched you eat a feather.”
Salem points a paw out the window, “Jack, a sparrow friend of mine will be flying south to Florida, soon.”
I wince, “Why Florida?”
He scratches his head, “I don’t know, really. He flies to Florida every winter for vacation.”
I stare at him, “How do we know he’s not trying to go to the Bahamas but is too proud to ask for directions?”
Salem looks at me and pulls at his whiskers, “My head hurts. I bet it’s a brain tumor.”
I eye him, “Have you been watching Cats of the ER again?”
“It’s educational. Besides, I’m pretty sure I have crus abscissione truncantur.”
I shake my head. “That means your leg is amputated.”
He looks down, “I thought my paws felt weird.”
“Well, let me be the first to diagnosis you. You’re an idiot.”
“You’ll be sorry one day when the vet verifies that I died of a rare medical condition that I predicted and you made fun of. I’ll bet you’ll be crying then!”
“I’ll take my chances. Just make sure you will all your treats and toys to me, okay?”
“Whatever, I have to go. Stray’s Anatomy is on and I want to watch it before delayed visual maturation blindness sets in.”
I waltz into the living room and say to Salem, “Well, well, well. Guess who might be going out with that foxy little tabby next door?”
His eyes widen, “Certainly not you? How did you swing that?”
“I walked right up to her this morning and said, ‘Look, I always open the door for you, I lavish you with tuna and stuffed mice every holiday, I always compliment you on a new collar, and I own my own cat tree, which is at your disposal anytime you wish.’ Then I smiled real big and said, ‘I appreciate you for who you are, and not just for your looks. I have a great personality, I’m kind, and I’m funny. Now, wouldn’t you rather date me than those good looking purebreds that never call you back?'”
“And she chose you, huh?”
“No.” I pause, “But, she’s thinking about it.”
Salem looks at me funny, “Did you do something different to your fur? You look different.”
“No,” I stand up tall, “I’m taking this new course to boost my self-esteem. This is the new and improved Suki.” I stick out my chest, “More confident. More commanding. What do you think?”
“Well, you do look confident. I gotta be honest, it’s freaking me out a little. I hope this doesn’t upset the balance of the universe or anything. You know how I hate change.”
A few minutes later he elbows me. I look to the left and Aphrodite herself walks by.
Salem turns to me, “Did you just gulp?”
My face gets hot and I wave my paw at him, “Ergno, hee hee, no man, I was, I was just…shut up.”
“Oh, yeah,” he snickers, “the world is going to be just fine.”
Salem looks at me and asks, “Why does our human look so glum?”
“Oh, she just found out she lost ‘Mother of the Year’ again.”
“That’s too bad. By how much?”
“Six votes,” I say as I look away.
“But there’s only five little humans.” He stares at me.
“My dinner was late three times last week, okay?!”
Salem elbows me, “Meeeow. Take a look at her.” He points his paw to a sleek-looking Persian sitting in the yard. “I may have to go turn on the old charm.”
I wave him off, “She’s out of your league.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Well, to start with, she’s wearing a rhinestone collar.” I point at his scruffy bare neck, “You don’t even own a collar.”
“No, but I can win her over with a dizzying display of power and strength by beating up another animal in front of her.”
“And how do you propose to make that happen?”
He smiles at me, “Stand still.”
I look at my little brother Salem, and in a low voice, I say, “You know, brother, together we have survived adoption, a death in the family, screaming sticky toddlers, the great Friskies famine of 2020, illnesses, vet visits, and dog chases.”
Visibly touched, he smiles at me and nods.
I place my paw on his shoulder and add, “I accidentally peed on the human’s new rug this morning…”
He looks me square in the eyes and says, “Mister, I’ve never seen you before in my life,” and walks away.
I’m sitting with my little brother Salem when he holds up his front leg and licks it, “I injured my leg saving that stupid chipmunk again. Oh, the battle wounds I have…”
“Ah,” I nod, trying not to encourage him.
He holds up his right paw and points to a missing patch of fur on his butt, “And this is from a two-year-old’s red sucker one fateful Halloween night.”
I look down at my soft, clean paws and wince.
He continues gloating and slowly thrusts his head at me, “This nick in my ear is from a nasty fight with a stray in the alley last year.”
I can’t take it anymore, and before I can contain myself, I shove my face in his and point to a chipped tooth, “Well, get a load of this!”
He grins. “You tripped on your way to the food bowl, huh?”
I lower my head and walk away, whispering, “It still hurt, you know.”
Salem looks at my bowl overflowing with tuna and shakes his head, “Aren’t you worried about getting fat?”
I rub my tummy, “No. I need the extra weight to protect me from disease.”
“And what disease would that be?”
I walk in from outside and Salem asks, “How’s it going?”
“Well, I was staring at the cutest Calico you’ve ever seen in your life. She was grooming herself in the yard when she glanced up at me. I was so stunned, I tripped over my paws and fell flat on my face.”
I look down at my paws and continue, “She came running over, and as I got up and dusted the leaves off my butt, she laughed at me and said, ‘Um, Suki, you have some grass in your teeth.'”
Salem shakes his head, “I’m sorry man. Maybe you’ll have better luck next time.”
“Are you crazy? It was the best day of my life!”
His eyes widen, “How so?”
“Weren’t you listening to the story?” I puff out my chest and beam, “She knows my name.”
I’ve decided to mentor a new kitten in the neighborhood. I figure I could share a little of my wisdom. He’s just a rookie in the world of humans so, I’m helping him out.
“Now Kitten, you don’t ever want to fall asleep with your mouth exposed. Try to always tuck your face in and cover it with your paws.”
He looks up at me with wide eyes, “Why?”
I shake my head. His innocence is adorable. “Because the humans have some kind of monster that steals your teeth while you sleep. They say that he sells them on the black market and leaves your cut under the pillow. They call him,” I lean down and whisper, “The Tooth Fairy.”