Wait, What?

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.”

He Ain’t Heavy, He Ain’t My Brother

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.

Here We Go…

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?”

“Damn it.”

I lower my head and walk away, whispering, “It still hurt, you know.”

It’s All In The Perspective

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.”

Advice to a Kitten

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.”

Charity Begins at Home

My brother, Salem, and I have the typical, complicated sibling relationship that comes from being born of the same litter of kittens. He pushes and shoves to get the lion’s share of milk and I, in turn, lay with my butt on his face while he sleeps. Like I said, a typical sibling relationship.

As we have grown, we’ve both learned important life lessons from each other. He has taught me how to wake our human for breakfast at 5 a.m. by knocking her shit off the nightstand, and I taught him all about the beauty of a good catnip high.

Being brothers, we have had our share of scrapes, as well. In our younger days, he would hold my tail to my face exclaiming, “Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?” and I would pretend to eat his birthday cake, sending him into a fury. We have fought over things like sunbeams and the “good” spot on the sofa as, well as whose turn it is to scare the dog.

We are much older now, and even though I feel as though I have gleaned all the useful knowledge I can from him, he still fancies himself as my tutor. Every now and then, he will toss out a bit of dating advice or whatnot. I smile and try to accept it with the love in which it was offered. From time to time, I reciprocate with guidance like these crickets are crunchier, that squirrel is too chatty, and watch out for small humans with lollipops. Our days are now filled with naps more than anything else.

Today, as Salem and I are watching an alley cat walk by our window, he elbows me, “Watch this.”

I glance over, and he taps on the glass and winks at her. She smiles back, exposing a mouth full of missing teeth and one slightly yellow, broken one.

“And…” I ask, bewildered.

“Notice how I made her day? I call it ‘throwing the uglies a bone.’” He smiles at me proudly, “It works for the aesthetically less pleasing as well as the financially unfortunate,” referring to the recent spike in homeless felines around our neighborhood.

He puffs out his chest, “See. I treat them like they’re as good as me. It does my heart good.” And he looks out, admiring the effects of his good deed.

 I nod. “Does it work with the intellectually challenged ones as well?”

“Oh, the idiots?” he says nodding, still pleased with himself. “Yes. Yes, it does.”

I turn and pat the top of his head, tousling his fur, “That’s marvelous, little buddy. Thanks for teaching me something.” Then I wink at him.

Driving Lessons

One of the Teenagers in our house is begging our human to teach her to drive today, so Salem and I sit and listen. It promises to be entertaining.

“Please, Mom, Dad will just yell at me the whole time. He has no patience.”

“Okay, but the minute my hair starts falling out, it’s over. You have to let your Dad teach you.”

As they settle into the car, Teenager eagerly puts the keys in the ignition.

“Whoa, there. What do you think you’re doing?”

“Starting the car?”

“Not so fast, missy. Are you trying to get us killed? First things, first.” Our human points in front of her, “Now, this is the glove compartment. Know it well. It will contain all your essentials: An emergency twenty dollar bill if you ever find yourself broken down in the middle of nowhere and needing a taxi, an emergency cell phone charger in case you find yourself stranded and your phone is dead, a first aid kit in case of a minor accident, a map to the nearest hospital in case of a major accident and you can’t find your phone, a list of emergency phone numbers in case you need AAA, the insurance company, or a tow truck, and a small screwdriver, a hammer in case you need to break the window to get out of a smashed-in door, a knife in case you have to cut yourself out of your seatbelt after an accident, and a can of mace in case a lunatic approaches you while you are broken down on the side of the road, and you have to defend yourself.”

Teenager opens the door and starts to get out of the car. Our human looks at her, “What are you doing?”

“If you think I’m driving this death trap now, you’re crazy.”

Boredom and Brothers

I’m lounging in the sunroom when boredom sets in. I glance around and see my little brother Salem playing with his stick toy, so I let out a very soft rumble.

Salem’s eyes dart in my direction, so I stare straight ahead as though I don’t notice him. Then, I let out another faint purr.

Salem’s head swivels toward me, “Stop that!”

“Stop what?” I ask.

“Stop purring. You’re doing it just to annoy me.”

I blink my eyes, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not making a sound.”

Salem looks at our sister Sasha, “Do you hear that?”

“What?” she says.

“Suki’s purring so only I can hear it, just to annoy me. Look, you can see the fur on his chest vibrating!”

Sasha stares at us both for a minute, shakes her head, and walks away, “Sorry, but I don’t hear anything.”

I smile at Salem…and purr.

A second later finds me sprinting through the house, tail puffed, and Salem following close behind. It ends with me hiding under the sofa and Salem sitting next to it making sure I can’t leave. So I lay down…….

and purr.

Human Naiveté

After leaving the vet’s office, our human drove one teenager to work, one to the library, and then went to the post office, the UPS Store, and Lowes. Then she put her grocery list back into her purse, saying, “This will just have to wait another day.”

Our other teenager looked at the dashboard and said, “I can’t wait to get my driver’s license.”

Tired, our human sighed, “Really, why?”

“Oh man, just to have independence.” He smiled and said wistfully, “You know, that feeling of being free.”

I glanced at my human. Then we laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

Salem’s Advice on Dating

I was picking through my treats for something nice to give to this cute feline I know when Salem interrupts.

“You’re not going to get a girl like that. Look, you’re too much of a gentleman.”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re too nice. You compliment them, you give them your treats, that kind of thing. Chicks dig the bad boy.”

“I can be a bad boy. Remember last week when I used the litterbox and totally didn’t cover?”

“Oh yeah, we almost had to call animal control on that one,” he rolls his eyes. “Look, you have to be tough. Dangerous. They want to feel safe. You know, like you can protect them from dogs and spiders, things like that.” He waves his paw and looks around.

“Suki…? Where’d you go?”


Suki Math

As I’m furiously writing down calculations, Salem asks me, “What are you doing?”

“I’m taking the number of sprints I’ve done this morning, then subtracting the number of naps I’ve had today, and adding the number of times you asked me a dumb question. Whatever answer I get is the number of treats I allow myself to eat.”

Salem eyes the pile of treats next to me and smiles, “You’re welcome.”

Suki’s Thoughts on Marriage

Salem and I are watching our humans bicker. It happens from time to time. It’s usually about whose turn it is to fill the sugar container or make the coffee. You know, important stuff like that.

Salem paws me, “You know they have a big anniversary coming up, right?”

I watch my human clip her toenails on the sofa while my other human watches a rapid succession of war flicks and wonder, “Why do you think they’ve stayed together all these years?”

“I can’t say for sure, but I think she’s waiting him out just to get in the last word.”

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.