October 27, 2014


Last Halloween, as you know if you’ve been following this column, we lost the cat.
Well, the cat was actually running in mortal terror of the Toilet Monster, and we haven’t seen him since.
I missed having a cat, so we went to the shelter and picked up another one.  He’s a beautiful, sleek black—the ebony version of Grumpy cat.  I named him Poe, and I love him to pieces.
Or I did until last Thursday.
We were eating dinner, when Poe sauntered into the room.
He looked to his left and immediately stopped sauntering.  His back went up, his tail looked like a bottle brush, and he began hissing like a leaky steam iron.
“What in the hell is wrong with that animal?” Stij asked, distracted from his steak and potatoes.
 I looked where Poe was looking.  “I don’t know, unless he’s taken a sudden murderous dislike to the potted azalea.”
“What’s it ever done to him?”
“Hey, cats take offense at almost anything.  I had one once that had a lawyer on speed-dial.  Did you know that cats are the biggest filers of frivolous lawsuits in the country today?”
Stij got up.  “I’m moving the azalea to the bedroom so I can have my dinner in peace.”
The cat calmed down, and we went back to our supper.
The next thing we knew…."Hissssssss, spit, spit, spit, hisssssssssss!"
He was looking at the glass door to the patio this time.
I got THE LOOK from Stij.  I had to do some fast talking to get him to agree to another cat, and things were going sideways fast.  “He sees his reflection in the door, hon, that’s all.”
“Well, I’m not going to listen to this through the whole meal!  Give him some food—maybe that will shut him up."
The cat, well aware that he was being discussed in disparaging terms, pulled out his cell phone, and raised a claw over the key pad.
“Come on, Poe. How about some nice Fancy Feast?” I said.
He grudgingly put his phone away and followed me to the kitchen, where he hoovered up a bowl of it in record time.  He then reappeared by the dinner table, took one look at the chair leg, and went into overdrive once again—the only difference this time being that he got so upset he threw up his Fancy Feast all over Stij’s new Carhartt work boots.
Before Stij could react with gunplay, I grabbed Poe and shut him in the bathroom.
Dinner proceeded a bit more quietly, if you don’t count the swearing under the breath from across the table.
“I’ve heard that cats can see ghosts.  Do you think we’re haunted?” I asked.
“No, I think we’re plagued.”
“Oh, come on.  Poe’s a cute cat.”
“Have you seen my boot?  I think his barf is eating right through it.”
“He’s a cat, hon.  He’s just being a cat. You can’t expect him to act like a human."
“I’d settle for his acting like a dog…or a stone statue.”
There was a sudden commotion in the bathroom.
We ran back and opened the door to find that Poe had attacked the toilet paper rack and we now had a bathroom that looked like the movie set for White Christmas. The cat was in the toilet, yowling like a banshee.
“Oh, I see you’re giving the Toilet Monster another try this year,” Stij commented.
Once the door was open, Poe sped out, trailing vomit, diarrhea, and toilet water, as well as a bushel of shredded toilet paper behind him.  He chewed his way through the front door, and was gone.
After inspecting the damage and mentally toting up what the repairs would cost, Stij said, “Why don’t you adopt a lion, and really wreck the place?  Our insurance might actually cover that.”
I’m waiting for the dust to settle before I approach Stij about another pet.  I’d kind of like to get a pig…