The Heart of Darkness in Sharing a Bathroom

I stumble out of the litterbox gasping for air and exclaiming, “The horror. The horror.”

Salem gives me the stink eye.

“I need my own litterbox. We can’t share anymore. It’s killing me.”

“What are you talking about? I’m a delight to share with. I cover at least half of the time and I rarely kick out more than two or three clumps a week.”

“Are you kidding me? Every time I have to go in, it’s like a death march. And let’s not even talk about the odors emanating from there.”

“Well, there’s your mistake: You’re not supposed to breathe while you go.” Salem shakes his head, “Amateur.”

“I’m not going to be able to erase the images from my mind. I think I need a sedative.” I rub my eyes and glance around, “Where’s the nearest sunbeam?”

“Don’t be such a baby.” He waves a paw at me and burps.

“Ugh, what have you been eating?”

“I don’t know. I found it on teenager’s floor.”

“Well, now I know why the humans have been wearing masks lately.” I hold my nose and leave in search of a sunbeam. Only rest can save me now.

Ah, Sweet Revenge

When I woke from my nap yesterday, Salem was sitting on my chest and holding my tail to my face and saying, “Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?”

So, I decided to get my revenge today.

Right before bedtime, when Salem was at his most exhausted, I looked at him and slowly shook my head. Then I whispered, “The vet called about you today. They are calling back tomorrow to discuss it in more detail.”

Sleep on that, tail boy!

What Goes Around…

I trot into the living room and see Salem watching television. “Oh my God, did you just watch Garfield 2 without me?”

“You were napping forever, and I wanted to see it. What’s the big deal? You can watch it now.”

“What’s the big deal? We watched the first one together and we agreed to watch the next one together. Now, you know what happens before I do. It’s just like you to be so inconsiderate!”

“You didn’t miss much. Garfield lives in a castle, big deal.”

“AACCKKK!” I cover my ears with my paws. “I can’t believe you just said that!”

“You’re being ridiculous.” He waves me off with his paw. “Watch your stupid movie.”

“I will, you insensitive dog licker!”

“Hairball breath!”

Salem starts to walk away and glances back, spying the empty Friskies bag beside me, “Hey, is that the new Chicken flavored Friskies we were going to try?”

“Um….” I look away.

Take That

“I don’t feel so well.” I hold my tummy and lay out in front of Salem.

He ignores me and continues napping, so I let out a louder moan, “Ohhh, I said I don’t feel so well. I ate too many Friskies treats.”

Salem opens one eye, looks at me as though I am annoying him, and goes back to sleep.

“You are so selfish! Don’t you care that I don’t feel well?”

I’m not selfish. You are. I’m trying to sleep. and your tummy ache doesn’t have anything to do with me.”

“That just shows what you know! It was your treats I ate.”

And the Beat Goes On

Salem and I are watching our neighbor, a yellow Labrador, playing outside with his human when Salem scoffs, “He thinks he’s so cool. I bet he has fleas.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Look, his human throws a frisbee and he catches it in his mouth.” Salem rolls his eyes.

“That is kind of cool.”

“Big deal. Remember that time I swallowed a piece of yarn and pooped it out in knots?”

“Yeah,” I stammer, “you got that going for you.”

We sit and watch them play for awhile.

Finally, I look at him and say, “You know, if you practice and work at it, I bet you could learn to catch a frisbee in your mouth, too.”

“No, thanks. It’s a lot easier to make fun of him.”

Only Brothers Would Understand

Salem has been anxiously watching the mailman all week. “What are you waiting for anyway?” I ask.

“I saved up my paw points for months and ordered a pair of super special x-ray glasses. You can see right through fur with them!”

“That doesn’t sound possible.” I scratch my head.

“Wait and see.” Just then, the mail arrived through the slot. Salem paws through it and rips open a large envelope.

“It’s here!” He hurriedly puts on a pair of black-rimmed glasses and stares at me, grinning.

“Do they work? Can you see anything?”

He squints his eyes, moves his head from side to side, and says, “Ah, fascinating!”

“What? What do you see?”

“I can see all of your bones. They’re gross.” He smiles.

“You can not! Let me try.”

“I can so! And no, your eyes aren’t sophisticated enough to see this. You have to look through them in a certain way.”

He grins, “You have big bones!”

“I do not!” He spends the rest of the day parading around the house in those stupid glasses, acting all superior. After lunch, he looks at me, “I can see what you ate!”

“Argh!!!!”

Later, when he’s not looking, I put on the glasses. I don’t see any difference. Maybe I’m not wearing them correctly. I hold up my paw. No bones. Just a furry paw. That dunderhead. He must be making it all up.

Unless there really is a trick to seeing with them. Damn it!

As Suki’s World Turns

I’m relaxing on my pillow when Salem races into the room yelling, “HIDE!”, like his tail is on fire.

I glance around and ask, “Why? What’s wrong?”

“Teenager just walked in wearing something called fishnets, which sounded cool at first, I mean fish, but when I saw her,” he drops his head, “well, it wasn’t good. When our human sees it, bad things are going happen.”

“I’m sure it isn’t that bad.” I wave my paw, but as soon as I get the words out of my mouth, I hear Teenager yelling.

“You bought me this top!”

Our human yells back, “I bought it for your American Girl doll, not you! And that was three years ago!!! How on earth did you even get it over your head?”

“I’m not a little girl anymore and I’m not going to dress like one!”

“Oh, really? Then whose teddy bear is that sitting on your bed? And who was it exactly that got into a fight yesterday with their little brother over who had more Cap’n Crunch cereal in their bowl?”

“Snookums Bear is just part of my décor,” Teenager stomps her foot, “and you know Michael always eats the good cereal before I can get any!”

Salem looks at me and points a paw, “She is an adult you know.”

“Why do you say that?”

“She wrote it in crayon, right there on her door.”

He grins, “Let’s listen from under the bed.”

I nod, “I’ll grab the kibble.”

The Tippy Toe Trot

I’m sitting with Salem and Sasha. We are discussing the best method for approaching this cute feline that’s standing in our yard. She’s chatting with a squirrel and she’s breathtaking.

“You should just tiptoe up to them, slow and quiet like, and join in their conversation. Like you were there the whole time.” Sasha smiles at me.

“I don’t know,” I flounder, unable to commit.

“No, no. Don’t listen to her. You have to walk up with swagger. Walk fast and hard and swing that tail,” Salem says.

I start to take a small step when Sasha says, “Tiptoe slow.”

“No, walk fast,” Salem counters, raising his voice.

“Tiptoe!” Sasha yells.

“Run!” Salem screams.

I get nervous and end up doing both at the same time, kind of a running tip toe. Three steps in, I fall flat on my face.

Salem grins, “Yep. That got her attention.”

Self-Reflection

I’ve had a really rough week dating wise. I stare into the mirror and inventory my growing list of imperfections. There seem to be quite a few: stubby whiskers, flabby muscles, bowling ball eyes, etc… I sigh in defeat and rub my ever expanding tummy.

My little brother walks up, “What are you doing?”

“I’m wondering if trimming my fur will make me appear thinner.” I break into laughter.

“Why are you laughing?” he asks.

“Because I’m out of Kleenex.”

My Diary

Salem walks in while I’m writing in my journal and asks, “Is that your diary?”

“Yes, why?”

“It looks like a menu.” He takes a paw and points at an entry, “Tuesday: Kibble, Wednesday:Kibble, Thursday:Kibble, Kibble.”

“And your point?” I ask, blinking.

“Ok,” he scratches his head, “but why two Kibbles on Thursday?”

“Oh, that was the day I started my diet.”

“So then, why two?”

“I thought about eating the extra lean Kibble first, but then I decided not to. Instead, I rewarded myself with double Kibble for considering such a healthy choice in the first place.” I beam with pride, “Diet success depends on a good reward system. You wouldn’t understand.”

That’s What You Heard?

I hear a tapping. I glance around the room and hear it again. Tap, tap, tap. Then I see her.

At the window, tapping on the glass is the most beautiful white Persian I have ever seen. I muddle over to the window and manage a feeble “Hi.”

“Hi. I’m so glad to see you. I was walking through your yard, on my way to a friend’s house, when I stepped in poop. You didn’t cover it up at all, and now I have it all over my beautiful white fur. See how it’s stained brown now? It looks and smells awful, and now I have to see my friend like this.”

Her voice gets louder and louder as she talks, but I can’t stop staring at her eyes. “Are you a dog or something? Why didn’t you cover it? It’s simply offensive. You need to cover when you go. And don’t you have a litterbox you could be using? It really is the most disgusting thing. You need to come out here and clean up your yard!” She storms off just as my little brother Salem walks up.

“What did she want?” he asks, his head tilting in her direction.

I turn to him smiling and stammer, “She said she was so glad to see me.”

Salem is a Suck-Up

I’m napping in the living room when I hear our human walk into the kitchen. Salem and I hop up at the same time and trot in after her. Time to wrangle some treats. I sit patiently by my food dish. There’s no need to beg. She’ll get the hint.

Salem walks over, purring like a freaking 18-wheeler, and starts rubbing against her legs.

I glare at him, “Really? You’re such a suck-up.”

He throws me a grin. Geez, whatever, that won’t work. She’s too smart for that crap. Then her hand reaches down and pets him. Well, la tee freaking da. “Big deal, you didn’t get any…” then she gives him a treat. Oh my God! I wish you would just die already. Death by hairball. You think you’re such a big deal because she pets you all the time. I only let her pet me when I feel like it. It’s a choice, asshole! I throw him my “I hate you” eyes and start to flip him my paw when …clink, clink, a treat drops into my bowl.

“Look, a treat.” I smile and eat my Friskies. Now, what was I doing?

Holyfield Vs. Tyson

Salem and I are lounging by the back window when a sudden screeching sound followed by loud hissing gets our attention. We simultaneously turn to look. A fight has broken out in our backyard.

Sitting on the grass is a dish containing extra large chunks of tuna, and next to it are two unknown alley cats from the area going at it like Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson! As we watch the scuffle, one cat seizes the other and bites him on the ear, drawing blood! Salem points a paw, “Did you see that?!”

“Yeah,” I murmur, trying to keep my Kibble from coming back up.

We both gasp as tufts of fur fly about like confetti. But like some horrendous car crash, we can’t seem to turn our eyes away and continue to watch in shock.

The hissing stops, and a series of low growls follow. And then, as suddenly as it started, one feline breaks away and sprints off. The other one slowly eats the tuna with his ears pinned back and his eyes darting around.

Salem looks at me and whispers, “That. Was. Intense.”

I exhale, “I know, did you see that tuna?”

A Calico Walks By

Bored, I walk over by the window to play with my favorite toy. Then I spot something out of the corner of my eye.

I nod, “Well, well, well, what have we here?” There’s a cute little calico walking by.

“Wait, wait!” Oh crap, she saw me pick up this stick toy and is walking away before I can pretend that I was just moving it over!! Noooooooooooo!!

“Well, that’s it. She thinks I’m a moron.”

Salem walks up and smiles, “Nah, she thinks you’re a moron that plays with stick toys.”

This Will Not Be Tolerated

I look down at my bowl and then at Salem, “Our dinner is late again. We have to do something about this. Now.”

“You’re right. You go scratch up her sofa and I’ll stand by and bore holes through her with my eyes.”

“Why do I have to do the hard part? She might get mad.”

“Because I have delicate features. I could never survive on the outside.”

I look at him, “Outside? You think she might ban us to the outside?”

“Maybe.”

“There are spiders outside,” I glance tentatively out the window.

“Okay. I say we let this one slide, but I have my eyes ready. Next time my dinner is late, she gets my ‘This Kibble is lukewarm and late and about to be flying across the room’ stare.”

I nod in agreement and hurriedly eat my Kibble before a spider appears in the window.

Suki’s Ponderings

I’m sitting at the window, chatting with my friend, Chip, a chipmunk who lives at Plath Cottage next door, when I see a dog down the road.

“Sometimes I think my human would have preferred that I was a dog instead of a cat,” I ponder aloud, “I often feel like I’m letting her down in some way, and I can never live up to her expectations.”

“Really? How?” Chip’s eyes look into mine as if he himself is searching for the same answer.

“Well, she’s spent years trying to train me to fetch that felt ball over there.” I point a paw to the corner of the room where a faded old brown ball lays, unused. “I do try to follow her finger when she points, but I can never quite figure out what she’s pointing at. We just both end up being frustrated and saddened by the experiences.”

“Oh, that’s too bad.” He tenderly pats my back, in an effort to console me.

“I finally mastered it, though,” I resume.

“Oh, so you learned how to fetch it, huh?”

“God, no,” I laugh, “I learned how to live with her disappointment.” I smile, “It’s really easy once you get the hang of it.”