You will never truly fathom the length of an hour until you’re trapped in a carful of cooped cats. I should know. In its first week on the market, our home had five showings, and prior to each weekday appointment, I have single-handedly caged and packed four hateful cats in my car so that we can squat at a nearby Walgreens parking lot while a potential buyer judges our home.
Each trip requires a prep time of at least 15 minutes, 14 to apprehend four uncooperative cats and one to drive to our destination. To comprehend the courage this chore requires, imagine being a police officer shoving an uncuffed, floundering, knife-wielding, ninja-skilled, squealing degenerate into the back of a squad car. A lot of pushing down of necks and shoving of butts is necessary to get a cat in its carrier. Now repeat this three more times. It would be four, but when Reese sees a carrier, she becomes Clawing Tornado Bitch so we were, like, “Fuck it. Don’t even bother trying with her.”
Thankfully, since the first showing, I have discovered a more efficient method of imprisoning multiple cats. To drastically reduce the amount of stress and bloodshed, start with the able-bodied cats in order from smartest to dumbest. Mr. Tiddles, upon seeing Elvis being incarcerated, is quick to bolt. This is why he goes first. The two handicats are pretty oblivious to what’s going on at any given moment, so they go last. The deaf one is first in the handicat queue as it’s pretty easy to catch a blind cat that doesn’t know how to hide.
Have you ever wondered, ‘What does elevator music in Hell sound like?’ If so, cram your car with cats. The wailing cat choir’s distressing discord blaring from your car (and punctuated with each speed bump your cross) will induce acute hysteria in any sane driver. I’m pretty sure that if I drove much farther than two blocks, the unholy melody would have eventually summoned one of Satan’s minions.
When squatting in a Walgreens parking lot for an hour, it is advised to settle into a slot in a far corner, away from others. This will reduce the risk of someone reporting to the police that it sounds like the driver of a gray SUV with the license plate BLOGGER parked in the Walgreens parking lot on Poplar is torturing small children in their back seat. And to be honest, I don’t know which would be more embarrassing: getting caught mutilating small children or getting caught with four distraught cats in your car.
It is the longest hour of my life. Longer than that last hour of school before Christmas vacation. Longer than the hour I waited on the telephone “for the next available Comcast representative.” I became frustrated with how casually each minute passed, proving that time is an asshole. When playing video games or watching a good movie, it greases itself up and quickly slides away, but when I’m suffering through a repeat performance of my untalented cats’ dreadful opera (with Elvis strumming the mesh netting of his carrier window while Zoe enthusiastically rattles her cage door), it advances gradually as if enjoying my misery.
The book I bring doesn’t allow me escape. Instead, I am distracted by pondering the series of life choices that have landed me enclosed in an SUV with four highly irritable cats. But in the midst of my torment, I have a moment of clarity reminding me that when compared to these 60 minute segments, my life with these heathens isn’t so bad. They give me love (such as when Blind Murphy curls next to me in bed at night, purring himself to sleep), laughter when watching them play and knowing they will have a home with us forever, and something to write about (hence the creation of this website). And this helps me hold on until the 59th minute passes when I can take them back home and supply a peace offering of canned tuna.
This is not to say that these hour-long excursions haven’t made me question my lack of religion because I have a felling that when I die, this will be my Hell. And Hell is an eternity.