Sorry I haven’t written anything lately, but my boarder seems to be struggling along in his typical inept fashion. Nothing exciting, no Pulitzer coming out of that mess that “leaps” off his keyboard. But he hasn’t asked for my help lately, and it keeps him occupied. Better than him spending his time trying to get me to chase that silly red light (When I was a kitten, I did kitten things; when I became a cat I gave up those things.) or chase a feather on the end of a stick (What does he think I am, a dog? ridiculous).
But events of the last couple of days require me to write again. Some slights just can’t be ignored. The pen is mightier than the claw. Actually, I’d prefer to use my claws, but he is the one who feeds me, and I don’t need him mad.
Now for the rest of the story. Yesterday I was lounging in the hallway of the old house I let my boarder share with me. It was early in the morning, and he was doing something he calls chores. He goes in and out of rooms and carries things up and down the stairs and jumps under running water (Ugh, my kind would never do that.) and stands and stares at himself in the mirror. Thankfully we cats don’t do “chores”; they seem like something the humans might trick dogs into, though. You never hear of a cat coming from a “working breed,” do you?
Anyway, I had been awake a good 15 to 20 minutes, and it was time for a nap. So l laid down in the middle of the floor in the perfect spot to make the boarder have to step over me as he moved around the house. And then it happened.
The boarder was standing under the stream of water, singing like he usually does (double ugh). I was positioned so that when I opened my eyes I would know where he was. That’s an important thing if you live with humans. You need to know where they are at all times. You don’t want them to know you’re watching. You must maintain your edge of indifference, but they are unpredictable and prone to erratic behavior. My boarder in particular.
So I was in my typical morning spot. In the middle of the hall, napping, positioned to swat at the boarder’s ankles when he walked by. But then I noticed he had left the door in the hallway slightly cracked. As I recalled later, he says it leads to something called the “attic.” Or maybe it’s an “attaché”? Regardless, this part of the house has been extremely “off limits” since I let the boarder move in. I know, I know, I own the place, so how can it be off limits? My kind spirit allows him a few perks that make him feel important, I guess.
He treats this place up the stairs behind the door like it’s full of money and I’m a bank robber. The few times I have gained access, he has whisked me out of there and slammed the door shut like I couldn’t be trusted. So the temptation was too great yesterday when I saw an opening. I got up, stretched (you gotta stretch), checked to make sure the boarder wasn’t looking, pulled the door open just enough for me to squeeze through, and darted up the stairs.
I have to admit that I had a time! There was junk everywhere. I climbed over things, into things, and around things. I knocked over things that needed to be knocked over. I checked for mice. I got so carried away that I lost track of time.
I realized I needed to go down the stairs and remind the boarder that I needed a good supply of food and treats and clean water and the right temperature in the house before he left for “work” (not sure what that is either). And then I discovered the door at the bottom of the stairs was closed tight. The boarder had lacked the basic intelligence to realize that a cracked door means there’s a cat on the other side. I mewed for a while and scratched and clawed, but finally resigned myself to the fact that the nincompoop had locked me in the attic. And had left for “work.”
Suffice it to say it was a boring day. I had to stay in a single room instead of the normal seven or eight that I usually sleep in throughout the day. And there was no food or water, of course. The worst part was the denial of access to facilities. I won’t even go there. Inhuman.
To make it worse, yesterday was Wednesday, something he calls “Brickside Night” where he meets his “pals”: Kelly, Tweets, Spike, Duke, Tony, Ernie (sounds like a great group to hang with, right?) after work. Enough rocks in the heads of that bunch to build a patio.)
Apparently they just stand around and have a few beers and bet on sports and argue about sports and reminisce about when they used to play sports. I never said the boarder was a rocket scientist. A fascinating date he would not be, ladies.
Finally, the boarder gets home, I hear him, and I start rattling the door. He lets me out. The first thing I did after I gave him a good talking to was run and jump into my litter box. Part of me wishes I hadn’t been so thoughtful.
And as if that event wasn’t traumatic enough, today he comes home early from work, throws a beach towel over me, stuffs me in a crate, and then loads the crate in the back of his car. The next thing I know, I’m in a room on a cold metal table with a couple of ladies I don’t even know who are whacking away on my nails. Then back in the crate and in the back of the car. Reversing the process. Or so I thought.
But no! To add insult to injury, the boarder stops the car when he pulls into the garage and I hear him talking to somebody. It couldn’t have been more than a two-minute conversation, if that. But the boarder has the attention span of a lemming, and he goes on in the house with me locked in the crate, in the car, in an unheated garage. I guess he finally remembered me because he comes out, says he’s sorry, carries me into the house, let’s me out of the crate, and gives me a treat.
One stinking treat. I think I deserved at least two.
Evans “Buddy” King is a proud native of Christiansburg, CHS Class of 1971. He resides in Clarksburg, W.Va., where he has practiced law with the firm of Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC, since 1980. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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