Mr. Kitty wanders up and down the hall, calling out for me repeatedly. I answer,
“I’m in here, you goofball,” where I was when he left a minute ago.
“I shouldn’t have eaten that gas station sushi!” he meows at me, moaning until he finds me in my usual spot, the far end of the couch, with the laptop warming my lap. I’ve been here all along, for hours sometimes, yet he still makes his rounds, apparently slowly going blind. Or maybe losing his little furry mind.
“What do you want?” I ask him, he doesn’t answer now, just squints at me in ecstasy as I scratch behind his ears, then says,
“Next time can we have McDonald’s slime? I’ll settle for their fake chicken.”
I reach behind me, open the front window, letting in the fresh crisp air from winter. I reach over to turn off the fake fireplace heater, and inhale a cool rush. Take a sip of my coffee, light a smoke, and back to writing once more. He stares at me, hoping for affection, patiently assuming I want to love him, and I’ll give in any time now, not able to resist his cute little green eyes imploring me for attention.
He mouths, “Mack, mack.” It’s barely a sound that means,
“Please! Please! I’m so cute, you know you love me, Mommy! Don’t you want me on your lap?”
I attempt a compromise. Scratch, Scratch, now go play. He tries once more, with the adorable kiss mouth to mouth, knowing I will cave. But I kiss him back in goodbye, wipe my mouth off before I sneeze, and push him to the side, off my keyboard before he deletes my poem.
Romeo is nestled behind me in a small crater of couch cushion, slowly sinking into my neck, slowly but surely hiding under my long hair. Every so often I feel a slight pull, as he drags his sandpaper tongue down a strand, he doesn’t like the fact that my scent is everywhere. He would clean each strand of hair if I let him, marking me as his possession. But strangely, I like the smell of my shampoo better.
“You should go back to the hair style you had in the eighties, nice big hair,” he says in my ear.
Twinkie sits in front of the window, watching, licking his paw. Looks at me becoming a statue on the couch, frozen in time, and says,
“Our litter box smells like a construction site porta-potty, could you get off your lazy ass and clean it?” He’s not usually so judgemental, but I know where he’s headed. He waits for my answer before jumping out the window to take care of his business in my flower beds, his way of making his point.
Suddenly I hear the crunch of gravel, and in an instant he turns and leaps, flying across the couch, sliding under the dining room table and skidding to a stop in front of the long empty box I leave out for them to play in at the end of the table. Takes one quick second to determine his immediate danger, and darts into the box for safety.
Knock, knock, knock on the door, the mail lady has a certified letter, but it’s not for me, so I send her packing. Then back to the couch to write some more. SweetHeart curls up next to me, watching me write, then starts pushing against my arm repeatedly with her bowed head. I watch her little bald spot she got a few nights ago, her little white pantaloons a flying, that shows clearly on her black head. She bumps and bumps, and says,
“I really shouldn’t drink before getting a tattoo… play that hip hop song again.” Bump, bump, bump.
The quiet settles in, Twinkie peeks out from his box, looking for someone to play with. Mr. Kitty creeps along its side now, then pounces on Twinkie from his own blind spot, they wrestle a moment; then stop suddenly to preform self massage, lick, lick, lick.
Slowly but surely all 4 are surrounding me on the couch. They are like heavy pillows, draped across my legs and arms, making it hard for me to type. Twinkster Boo curls up next to his sister SweetHeart, the beginning of the mosh kitpit. Yawn, yawn and the 4th nap of the day starts,
“Could it get any more boring,” Romeo meows, as his turns to drape his arms across Twinkie?
They claim to always be bored, except when the guy who mows the yard comes by or the 4 strays who slink around by day come by looking to get laid each night howling like banshees from hell. The huge terrifying trash truck only comes once a week, thank God, or they’d never come out from under the kitchen cabinets. The neighborhood kids Rollerblade by, or play ball in the street sometimes, but not very often and rarely enter the yard, where the gang patrols periodically.
They protect their turf on a nightly basis, not just from the howlers, but from the raccoons who think they’re Applebees Buffet. They wont tolerate any possums either, no matter how scary their fangs are. Twinkie puffs up into a giant menacing Tazmanian Devil,
“Come and get it!” while SweetTart begins a gnarly snarl. Three or four to one are good odds; the yard is kept safe from the invading hoards. Just not the hoards of horny neighbors, who apparently are welcome at some point in the evening, possibly after drinks and tattoo’s.
Romeo keeps watch on the roof most nights. He can jump about 5 feet straight up, and usually finds the highest spot he can to survey his yard. He’ll run from one end of the roof to the other, repeatedly, and then sit above the front windows and cry like he doesn’t know how to get down. Don’t let him fool ya, he can leap down just as easily as up…he just likes to annoy me. He even uses his sad little voice,
“I’m scared Mommy!” but I know better. I’m not in the mood, I just yell, “Jump, you moron!” and he does. I think he always wanted to be in theatre, he’s a drama queen.
“Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou,” proves it instantly, because when he hasn’t come home for the night, I call this out my window, and within seconds he comes flying through the window.
Sometimes when I see two or three Eagles circling above, or Turkey Vultures, I call them all inside yelling,
“Momma’s got Tuna!”
They come running, blasting through the window, knocking over the lamp and anything I mistakenly left on the little table. I think, if I ever had a fire in my home, and had to get them to come to me quickly, I could easily just yell, ‘Momma’s got tuna’, and they’d come running. Fire completely ignored, hair sizzling in flames, ceiling caving in and they’d still come running. I try to always back it up with actual tuna, but any can food will do. Tuna means anything wet and yummy and all they really hear is,