Send Me the Bill

I couldn’t stop crying. Intimate crying. The kind you only let a few people in your life see due to unsightly swelling.  The kind that won’t stop and makes others uncomfortable, unless they are cat people.  Fortunately, they all were.

“I think he is done. I think he doesn’t want to do it anymore.  I think he wants to be done now. ” I said between sobs as I approached the desk holding our cat.  Bill writhed and whimpered and took in only hard earned breaths–his bones  visible through his fur coat. All the piss and vinegar that made him the cat from hell, our cat from hell, was drained out of him, a fighter without without a ring, only a blanket.

This melodramatic scene would have been perfect for a Marlee and Me cat spin off.  Especially since my tears were dripping with irony. I hated our cat. Not a malicious hate.  Not like I hate suffering or cruelty. More like I hate the 49ers or warm milk. He was not likeable. He was mean to me, my mother and pretty much everyone else too. He ruined our sleeping arrangements.  He caused me and family bodily harm. He was aloof. He hijacked my computer. And then there was his awful habit of murdering local wildlife.

We weren’t exactly his dream humans either.  He came from a wealthy family.  A family that purchased him intentionally and lavished upon him accordingly.  A family without small children and loud music. A family with an organized garage and clearly labeled bins for everything. A family with cat allergies.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

“You fell for the you look like a nice family”trick? Don’t do it! You don’t even like cats!  This is a bad idea.  I will let you decide, but if you say yes…he is your cat.”

Mike was right. I am not a cat person.  At all.  I have had several downright traumatic experiences with them throughout my life.  Scritty Palitty the Kitty, our first cat, was an arsonist. He knocked a lamp over on my parents bed that led to our home nearly burning down when I was 3 years old.  Scritty survived by hiding under the house.

Mike had a cat when we first started dating that hated me.  Her name was Cora.  She had a negative attitude and made me feel bad about myself.  I think she also made his parents question my integrity.

Then there was Maggie and Tanner.  Before I married Mike, I lived with his lovely sister and my dear friend, Kate.  The aforementioned cats were hers.  Tanner was socially maladjusted. He ate and hid.  Hid and ate.  He was weird, emotional and orange.  It wasn’t right. I was always afraid that one day I would come home to him listening to the Cure.  Maggie had a more interesting personality, but was reckless.  She destroyed several of my most precious belongings including a set of teacups that belonged to my great grandmother. She never apologized.

This tumultuous history made it all the more surprising that I fell victim to flattery that day at the pool, when the wealthy family with cat allergies offered us a kitten named Billy.  Maybe I needed affirmation that day. After all, I was a new mother of four and not exactly swimming in confidence. Maybe I just wanted to know that I was capable of loving an animal.   Maybe I just needed a story to tell…

 

Coming Soon — Part 2 : “Mom, He’s Scary!”

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lucas J. Draeger
    Dec 11, 2014 @ 16:04:06

    Few events are more agonizing to behold than the dying of a pet. I’m not a cat person, either; nor am I a dog person, but that didn’t stop me from buying Carrie a Pug puppy for a wedding present. I wound up falling in love with that little runt. I still get tears when I think about those last moments at the vet…

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  2. opendoorphotos
    Dec 11, 2014 @ 16:29:11

    I Can’t Wait for Round two! Bill was a passionate lad! You are such an amazing writer!!! Love you so!

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

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  3. Anonymous
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 00:29:08

    Love it!

    Like

    Reply

  4. Anonymous
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 03:31:36

    i not-so-secretely hate our cats

    Like

    Reply

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