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.”
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 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 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.
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?”
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.
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!”
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.
“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.”
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?
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?
If only there were some way to find out.
It’s been a rough day. The little humans are always home now. I never get a moment of peace or privacy anymore. And I have places that need to be licked. Feeling the mounting stress, I find a warm stream of light to relax in.
I reach for a nice Friskies tuna flavored cat treat and realize the pouch is empty. You always think it’s going to happen to someone else.
I hold firm and don’t cry. Okay, I cry. I cry a lot. Then I eat an entire pouch of the lesser-known Frooskies cat treats my human bought me once thinking I wouldn’t notice. Asshole.
Life is hard sometimes.
I walk into the bedroom and my little brother Salem is napping away. I clear my throat and remind him, “Our human is going to be mad if you don’t go and pick up your toys.”
He opens one eye halfway and responds, “I need a nap.”
“No you don’t, you just had one.”
“But I haven’t taken my meds yet, I’m exhausted,” he stretches his paws forward and closes his eyes again.
I scream in frustration, “They’re Tartar Control Friskies Bites! Stop calling them ‘your meds’!!”