As I type this, Predator Face is literally bouncing off the walls. I don’t know what has gotten into him, but he is galloping up and down the stairs, racing through the living room, swatting at toys as he scurries by. And yes, occasionally he pauses to jump into the air and pounce against the wall. His tail is fully erect. His pupils are dilated as wide as his eyeballs. And despite what you are imagining, it’s not cute. It’s irritating as Hell because this pecker has been running wild like a caffeinated toddler since 4:30 this morning, and I am fucking exhausted.
It was the sudden, sharp clattering that woke me. The first one sounded like something plastic and hallow smacking against the master bathroom’s stone, tile floor. After a blessed, silent pause (but before I could drift back to sleep), something smaller (but more solid and with the hint of a liquid center) landed and skittered across the tiles.
While lying on my stomach, head facing the bathroom, I mustered the strength to flex my eyelid muscles, straining to lift them open. The highest I could raise them was half way. Once my sight adjusted, I realized the sun had yet to peep over the horizon, and by the glow of the bathroom’s night light, I observed the silhouette of a hairy asshole sitting on the bathroom counter, nudging shit over the edge, seemingly astounded by the concept of gravity.
Before Predator Face could break anything, I poured out of bed, hating myself for letting my husband persuade me into rescuing another cat. Like a zombie, I stumbled into the bathroom. My shuffling feet kicked aside the toiletries pawed onto the floor by the little bastard (a brush, a bottle of eye drops, a half-squeezed tube of toothpaste, lip balm, pomade, and a partridge in a pear tree). With a grunt to express my dissatisfaction, I snatched Predator Face from the counter, carried him to the bedroom door, slid him into the hallway, shut the bedroom door, and staggered back to bed.
As my head plopped against my warm pillow, I began to pray that Mr. Sandman would find me quickly. Unfortunately, the plea for sleep was disrupted by a rhythmic scratching at the bedroom door. It rattled incessantly in its frame, but I refused to answer its call, believing that if I just ignored Predator Face like I ignore all of my other problems in life, he would eventually go away. In desperation, I sandwiched my head between two pillows even though doing so smothered me a little and only muffled the persistent battering by half a decibel or two. But the drumming scratch went on. And on. And on. And on. And like all my other problems, it didn’t go away.
I don’t recall what I grumbled as I kicked out of bed, stomped to the bedroom door, and slung it open, but I am sure I wouldn’t have repeated it in my mother’s presence (and I cuss a lot in front of her). I stomped back to bed without acknowledging the entitled fur turd at my feet. But I didn’t go back to sleep; Predator Face wouldn’t allow it. If the bastard wasn’t walking on me, he was patting at my face with his claws or rubbing his meaty, wet cleft lip against my mouth.
So what’s my point? Other than venting my frustrations in a method that is healthier than drinking and drugs, an idea came to me as I wallowed in my misery and self-pity: poetry.
I have found that writing is a therapeutic method of coping. And it’s not like T. S. Eliot ever wrote about it from the “reluctant cat owner” angle. Of course, writing honestly about cat behavior would have ruined the whimsy of his work as I am adamant in that you can’t truly convey the angst and frustration of cat ownership without prolific use of obscenities and crass language, something his audience and critics would have probably frowned upon.
But maybe his loss is my gain. Maybe this is an opportunity for me to realize a lifelong dream. I’ve always wanted to be a published writer. What if I fill a literary void with a work of poetry from the cat owner’s perspective? Possibly call it Middle-Aged Asshole’s Book of Reluctant Cat Owners.
Do you think any agents or publishing companies would go for a profanity laden body of work about how terrible cats are written by a bitter, middle-aged man? Before you answer, here’s a sample for your consideration:
Cats that are young are fun to keep.
They pounce and run and play and leap.
But every morning I want to weep
Because, god damn it, I miss my sleep.
Okay. Okay. It’s not spectacular. I never said I was Emily fucking Dickinson. Maybe a haiku?
Your shit always stinks.
If you’re not covering it,
Light a fucking match.
I admit this needs work. I see that. But I love this new inspiration. However, I better stop fucking around and get to work. I smell a Pulitzer. Or maybe that’s cat shit. It’s been a while since I scrubbed the floors.