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.
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.”
As my brother Salem is sitting on top of me, pinning me down, a large drop of spittle is forming in the corner of his mouth. As brothers often do, he threatens to let it drop on my face if I don’t submit to his will.
“Say it. Say you won’t touch my things ever again.”
I can’t help but stare at the drool forming into a large droplet dangling precariously from his lips. It could drop at any moment and yet I surprisingly hold firm. “NO.”
He grins and shakes his head causing the droplet to start to separate from his mouth. “Swear you won’t take anything of mine again!” He leans closer so that his face is within one inch of mine and says it one more time with gusto, “Sweaaaaar it!”
“Aaaaah, I swear. I swear,” I utter as his claws dig into my chest.
He lifts his body off of mine and struts away in triumph. Sitting up, I shake his loose hairs off of me. I glance over and see that his food dish still has several Friskies treats in it. Hmm, I scratch my head. I wonder what flavor those are?
Yesterday, I observed one of the small humans refusing to eat something called a “leftover”. It seemed frighteningly inedible. First, he poked it with his finger. Then he leaned down and gave it one good sniff. His body shivered and he slowly backed away. I glanced at the food and back to the human, but he had already escaped. I didn’t take any chances and fled as well.
Later, when I spied the same food in Salem’s dish, I knew what I had to do:
I promptly put stickers with my name on it, on his cat bed, toy snake, and scratching post. #NotWarningYourAss #TakingYourStuff #RIP
My human is a writer. She’s pretty great most of the time. She tells me the funniest stories and I like the way she scratches my chin, but she can be pretty gross, too. I mean, I never see her lick herself clean before she handles my food, and who knows where her paws have been.
She also doesn’t always say ‘thank you’ when she should. I fluffed up two sweaters for her today and nothing. Nada. Zip. It wasn’t easy getting all those strands of yarn to stick out, but I did. You’re welcome.
My human has five smaller humans living in our house, too. They come in assorted sizes and smells. I think their names are “Don’t Touch That”, “Don’t Eat That”, “Put That Back”, “What’s That Smell”, and “Go Ask Dad”. I usually try to avoid them, but sometimes they have food.
I have a sister named Sasha and a little brother named Salem. He’s your typical little brother. He takes my food when I’m not looking and he tries to take my spot on the bed. When he gets too annoying I like to get even. I usually just take a bite of my human’s food and leave it by his dish. It drives her crazy and she ends up putting him in the garage for the night. Hee, hee.