Know your role

Know your role

Hey Cat,

Writing you this letter to reflect upon us because I think we’ve been together for eight years.

And come to think of it, we’ve been through a lot of shit- Hell, I even used to clean yours.

That was back when I rescued you from the farm- your mother, too old and inbred to care, had left you to fend for yourself. And so I, keen on kitty love, scooped you up and adopted you into our twenty foot camper home.

We used to sleep together, you and I, your body nuzzled up at my chin, stretching across my neck like a vibrating minke scarf, your brushed fur warming my welcome neck. You were my heat source, aside from the one fire hazard of a space heater, and I, your devoted companion.

We drove you and your two siblings back from Ontario that winter, in a small crate on my lap, the three of you mew’ing and clawing at me for all of the two days’ drive.

But I thought you were worth it.

And so we rehoused your sister and Justin and I found a comfy bachelor pad in Halifax’s north end, for us, your brother, and for you. And we were one big happy family.

You’d shit beside your litter tray and you’d only eat the fresh food poured within the hour and you’d only drink water out of cups, but I called that cute.

You’d sneak out into the alleyways of Creighton Street from between our feet and you’d claw the shit out of our only chair and you’d nap on our keyboard, and still, we loved you.

You’d vomit every time we had to take you to the vet, but we took you still, along with extra towels, because we were into those yearly check-ups to confirm that yes, you still had cat acne, and yes, they still recommended the $100 steroid treatments to cure you of your stress flare-ups.

Yeah, you kneaded the shit out of our squishy bellies and your cat herpes was still raging, too, preventing you from ever opening your eyes fully. So I’d take warm facecloths and wipe your crusty black blobs off your eyeballs.

We put up with all your shit. Then I got pregnant.

My cousin, mom of one at the time, told me to basically bid adieu to you- saying that once I had the baby, you’d be old news. She said I’d start forgetting to feed you, and I’d choose to make you an outdoor cat. She said I’d loathe you for meowing at inopportune times when the baby just went down for a nap and that I’d start locking you out of my room altogether.

She said life as you knew it would be over.

Holy hell was she right.

Maybe things started going sour in my third trimester when you snarted between Justin and I’s faces that fateful night (read sneezed in Justin’s face, wet farted in mine).

Maybe it was your incessant need to be complimented and played with when I had a manmade teat leech hanging off my breast 22 hours a day, or your desire to claw her delicate dangling newborn feet as she’d just fallen asleep in the mechanical baby cage swing.

Maybe it was your desire to rub your eye gunk on her unsuspecting baby cheeks or lick my dripped breastmilk from my shirt with your chin acne mouth.

Whatever it was, you became an outdoor cat right some quick. And in the past five years, the only time you’ve slept in my room was when a windstorm blew my front door in and I hadn’t noticed.

Your role as family pet has evolved, we shall say. You are so not the baby anymore- you are barn cat, and you hunt for food when we forget to feed you, or when the chickens get to it first.

But it’s November now and the mice are migrating, so I’ve opened my door to you once more.

But check yourself before you get too comfortable on that comfy-ass chair- you know I’ll be flinging your body towards our cupboards when they get to talking because you’ve got a job to do. Show some gratitude by not driving me insane, would ya, because I did dish out the money to get the worms out of your asshole and the fleas out of your ears. In return for your rodent services, Merry Christmas- your body won’t turn into a frost-bitten herpes ridden no-eyed monster.

And no, we aren’t filling you a stocking.

Because lets be real- you know neither of us are boss around here, anymore. The real bosses pull at our legs and scream in our faces and make both of us run to the opposite end of the house in retreat.

But we love them just the same, you and I, and so I do thank you for that. I do appreciate your continued lowest possible standards, thank you very much.

And when April 1st hits again, don’t act like you don’t know what’s coming. Like in years past, the mice will migrate back to the barn, and so will you- your scratchy bale nest will be calling. Like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson always said, “Know your role and shut your mouth” and we’ll all get along just fine.

I originally took you from what I thought was harsh farm life and into the cushy, cozy apartment life.

Karma can be a bitch- and I guess, so can I.

Signed, your saviour




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