My mother is off on a weeklong cruise to wherever the hell, and has asked me to not only stay at her house but also take care of her cat, a 21-year-old black Siamese named Midnight. She was a kitten when I was 14, so small that she could lay flat in the palm of my hand. No longer. She is old, cranky, arthritic, and waiting to get into cat heaven now.
I have been keeping a diary of our adventures together in order to keep my sanity, and it has become quite the writing exercise.
Day 1: I spent so much time taking care of the cat, aka The Rodent, this AM that I rushed to get myself ready for work. Result? I was ten minutes late to the office because of traffic (it's only rain people!) and forgot my lunch. I am going to change the cat's name to George Bush so I can blame it for everything and take responsibility for nothing.
Day 2: I thought lighting a fire in the fire place, in front of which the cat likes to lay and is thus quiet, would keep her quiet after a loud meowing spree--she howls like a banshee. But she is ignoring the fire. She is still howling. I think the only way to shut her up would be to throw her into the fire, but that would upset my mother, so we will not do this. We will endure.
Day 3: The rodent is in front of the fire and quiet. There is peace in this house. Once I put the fire out, though, there will be no peace. Woe is me.
Day 4: This morning the cat was outside my door and promptly began meowing for breakfast as soon as my alarm went off. I almost tripped on the rodent because she insists on walking between my feet as I head for her food dish. One of these days, I'll indeed trip over her, bang my head, fall into a coma, and she will starve to death.
Day 5: All the rodent does is follow me around the house and howl until I light the fireplace, and then she lies in front of it and is silent. It's a gas fireplace, so my mother's gas bill will be high. That's what she gets for making me stay with the rodent.
Day 6: Today, like I did back in the day, I placed the rodent on the back of the couch. When she was young she would walk along the edge and jump off. Now she can barely balance. Wow, she is old. I picked her up so she wouldn't fall and she howled at me. I would have howled too.
Day 7: I’m fighting the sniffles so I wasn't in the mood to deal with the rodent’s pissing and moaning about her breakfast. So I dropped a bunch of her food on the plastic plate she used yesterday. She continued to moan and wail and would not eat. I grabbed a clean plate, transferred the food, and then she started eating. She is a spoiled little rodent. I guess I can’t blame her, though. I wouldn't want to eat off a dirty plate, either.