I’ve always believed cats are alien beings from another planet that have come here to conquer Earth. They would have already accomplished their goal if they had opposable thumbs to hold death guns, and their brains weren’t the size of Skittles—just being an alien being doesn’t necessarily make you smart. The big cats had already called dibs on the jungles, mountains and savannahs, so the house cats were regulated to trying to dominate man.
Cats and I have never gotten along, because they know I’ve discovered their devious plans. I’m sure they would have put together a Cat Delta Force by now and taken me out, but when you can’t hold weapons, it limits your options—I guess someday they could contract it out to the lions or tigers, then I’d be in trouble, but when you’re dealing with the intelligence of a marshmallow, the odds of them ever thinking of that are slim.
My son doesn’t know about the plot. He has a cat—the oblivious fool. Recently his company has been sending him out of town for several days at a time. I took care of his cat while he was gone. I fed it, gave it water and changed the litter box. The first time I went to do it, the cat came around the corner and gave me a look that said:
“Who are you? What are you doing here? Where’s my death gun?”
As soon as I gave it food and water its attitude changed, because I was serving it.
“As it should be, puny Earthling.”
After that the cat met me at the door every time I showed up.
“Can I get you something to drink? Help yourself to whatever’s in the fridge.”
The cat has no loyalty to my son. It tolerates whoever serves it.
My son has since gotten an automatic feeder, automatic waterer and enough litter boxes that they can go a few days without being changed. Occasionally I’ll go down to his place to see if he left anything on when he left. The cat doesn’t show itself. It’s busy in the back room trying to draw up a contract with the lions.
I know many of you cat people are going to tell me how your cat is all excited when you come home and rubs against you and cuddles with you in bed. You’ll say, “My widdle Tabby wubs me.” Maybe you have a point, and by have a point, I of course mean you are a naive moron—and by the way, you sound silly when you use that baby talk, so stop it. Your cat is just glad that no other cat killed you before it got a chance.
My oldest daughter also has a cat. (I swear I tried to raise these kids the best I could, but what are you going to do?—I blame their mother.) For years I thought her cat was some mythical creature like the Phantom of the Opera, Bigfoot or Randy Quaid, because I never saw it. She said it stayed in the basement in the furnace room behind a stack of boxes and only came out at night. One day my daughter decided to prove to me that she really had a cat. She went down in the furnace room to get the cat. The resulting noises sounded like someone trying to put the Kraken back in the cage. There was hissing, screaming, whining and growling plus all the noise the cat made. When she finally came out, my daughter’s clothes were shredded and her hair looked as if she’d just taken a ride in the clothes dryer. In her hand she held a fur ball with a scowl that definitely said, “Wait until I get my death gun perfected.”
She let the cat go and there was a faint blur as the cat streaked back to the furnace room. The cat could die and my daughter wouldn’t know it until a rotting, dead odor filled the basement, and her teenage son’s bedroom is down there, so there’s a good chance they wouldn’t even notice the smell.
I’m thirteen chapters into the sequel for the horror novel I haven’t published yet. It’s strange writing a sequel when nobody has read the first installment. Much of the first part of the book deals with what happens to people when they don’t talk about the most traumatic event to ever happen in their lives for twenty-five years. It’s scary, but there aren’t any cats.