There’s a cute Maine Coon that walks through my yard each afternoon. I’ve been working up the nerve to talk to her all week. It’s not as easy as it sounds, actually, but I’ve been practicing. I’ve gone over it several times in my head, and when Salem isn’t around, I practice it out loud.
“Hi, your fur looks amazing today.”
“Hi, your fur looks amazing today.”
“Hi, your fur looks amazing today.”
Okay, here she comes. I got this. I can do it. She walks up, and I take a deep breath and exhale, “Feather. I licked a feather yesterday.”
I hang my head as she walks on past. Yep, that’s about right.
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.
I see my little brother Salem heading for the water dish, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
He pauses in front of the dish, “Why? What’s wrong?”
I smile and launch into my spiel, “Well, earlier, my tummy wasn’t feeling good, so I went to the litter box. After that, I, of course, cleaned up. But that left my mouth dry and parched, so I drank some water. So, if you drink that water, it’s basically like you…”
Salem holds his paw up, “Stop. I beg of you not to finish that sentence.”
He turns his head to the side and dry heaves, “You’re a horrible brother, do you know that?”
My little brother Salem has a date with the Tabby down the street today. He’s been bragging about it all week.
When she arrived at the door, I waited close by to see him in action. He was smooth, I must admit. He managed to stand in a way that oddly highlighted his flexed muscles. I bent over to try it myself and pulled a hamstring.
He complimented her fur and whiskers. She giggled. Really?
He leaned in to sniff her, and instead, let out a loud and thunderous burp, right in her face. I pulled another hamstring, laughing.
It was the highlight of my week. The best part is, I now have a story to tell at every gathering EVER until I die. I began imagining all the people I would tell this to and the reactions I would get. I would suddenly become the life of the party. I could milk this story for years. I might even manage a date or two myself out of it.
The next time Salem teases me about my little pudge, I’ll say, “Oh yeah, well, at least I didn’t burp in my date’s face!” Take that. Or when he beats me at Catopoly, I will add, “Maybe I should just burp on you!” Burn.
Oh, the possibilities are endless. What I’ve learned from all this is that the phrase “This too shall pass” doesn’t apply to family.
I’m in the living room with my little brother Salem when I see the Maine Coon from next door walking up to the window. I mention this to Salem, and he frantically starts looking around for a place to hide.
“I can’t go out with her again! She’s nuts. Just go along with me, okay?”
The Maine Coon walks up, and Salem flops to the floor and closes his eyes.
So, of course, I invite her inside. I throw a paw toward Salem, “He’s not feeling very well.” She looks over and frowns.
Then, being the good big brother that I am, I bend over and wipe his nose with a tissue, “I think it’s time for somebody’s suppository.”
Two of the little humans in our household were recently inspired by a movie. In the scene, a man and woman are seen rolling around while tossing $100 bills into the air. “Raining money”, they called it.
Our little humans felt they could do better. One laid down on the floor while the other one ran to get the money. Seconds later, screams and shouts were heard as one poured a jar containing $78.32 in coins on top of the other one.
Salem and I laughed so hard our Kibble almost came back up. We heard there’s another movie called 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag, so we’re pretty pumped!
The beautiful calico down the street stopped by today to chat.
Bored, we decide to watch Salem scarf down all the food in his dish, a magnificent feat he accomplishes in under thirty seconds. Then he lifts his head and smiles at us, Meow Mix running down his chin.
The calico points a paw, “So that’s your little brother?”
“Yep,” I reply.
She just stares at him, “The resemblance is uncanny.”
I notice my little brother Salem with a large pile of twigs and sticks lying in front of him and ask, “What are you doing with those?”
“I’m going to throw them at that cute calico down the street.”
“And why on earth would you do that?”
“Because, when the little human did a cartwheel in front of Tommy at recess, she said he was pelting her with straws by lunchtime. And apparently, that means he really, really likes her, much more than Jenny because he only threw a spitball at her.” He places another stick down, “It’s foolproof.”
I scratch my head, “That sounds about right,” then I bitch slap him as hard as I can. As I’m fleeing for my life, I yell, “That just means I love you the most!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!!”
It’s a beautiful fall day outside. The leaves are rustling, and the squirrels are skittering about the yard. I, of course, am lounging on the sofa.
And my little brother Salem is darting around the room chasing a fly. He seems to be on a mission, and I watch.
He leaps over the ottoman in a single bound and bounces off the coffee table onto the carpet in one perfect move, sticking the landing. Two seconds later, he is sprinting in and out of the room and turning on a dime.
I notice his flexed muscles as he does a vertical leap into the air, extending his paws in an effort to catch the fly.
Putting my paw on my slightly protruding tummy, I say, “I’m going to need you to fail at that.”
Salem and I watch as one teenager puts her donut down with one hand and grasps her cell phone with the other, in between sobs.
The second teenager panics, “Oh my God, did something happen? Was Mom in an accident?”
Salem looks at me, “This is getting good.” I nod.
She takes a deep breath, “It’s Noah.” She clutches her phone, “He sent me a wink face emoji. So, then I sent him a vomit emoji by mistake,” she gasps. “Then I tried to fix it and I sent him a kissy face emoji and a potato emoji by accident.” She continues sobbing, “Then I panicked and sent him a cow, a carrot, and a baby!”
Both teenagers scream in unison.
“Okay, hand over the phone.” The second teen reaches out and pries the phone out of her hand. “Don’t worry, we can fix this. It’s going to be okay. ” She starts texting, “We’ll just tell him that Suki stepped on the phone, accidentally sending garble.”
Kibble falls out of my mouth as I stare in disbelief. “You just can’t trust humans,” I shake my head. “I wonder which emoji means, ‘I just peed on your shoe’?”