Quite some time ago, mine Uncle asked me to stay at his house for a week to feed his cats and keep the house secure. I couldn't say yes fast enough; not only do I get an empty house to myself for 7 days, Uncle will pay me to do it! I pick up the keys one night and return the next day with my personal effects. The cats warm up to me quickly, as the first thing I do after taking off my shoes is feed them.
The large tom is Tennessee Tuxedo, for obvious reasons.
|He eats his kibble with his pinkies up.|
The small, round female is Tugboat. I appreciate the alliteration. Well played, Uncle.
|This is her "loaf of bread" impression.|
I survey my surroundings: a clean, large kitchen, sparingly used by my bachelor Uncle; Netflix available upstairs, a monstrous theater system and all the seasons of Venture Bros. downstairs; an adorable Christmas diorama:
|It's nostalgic! It's nerdy! It's NERDSTALGIC!|
...in the guest bedroom, fluffy blankets, a space heater, and, leaning against the closet facing my bed, a photograph of...an antique clown?
Um. Ok, I can allow Uncle his peculiarities.
He can have whatever art laying about as he pleases.
Right! So, the day-by-day observations of my Adventures in Cat-sitting.
Day 1: Someone ate a rubber band. I found it while playing “Pirate Treasure Hunt” in their litter. Tugboat likes to trundle after the feather-toy-on-a-stick. I'm sure this amuses me more then it does her. Tennessee is aloof, acting like he doesn't even need a sitter. Typical little boy.
Day 2: There are too many light switches…what are they connected to? I test some, but there are more switches than light fixtures that respond. Did the neighbor’s porch light just come on?
When Uncle calls in, I ask--and yes, he did put the clown photo in my room on purpose. I have named him Aloysius and have left him leaning against the closet out of spite.
|But how can I stay mad? HOW CUTE IS THIS BUMBLE?!|
Day 3: 20 minutes fucking with the faucet to take a shower. 10 minutes to google and find the answer on product website. Most non-intuitive faucet ever: crank a lever to run the water, and then pull down this plastic device from the spout. A device which looks part of the spout and gives no indication of being pull-down-able! Cats are, as usual, tearing about the house for no reason.
|Who cares about showers? Rudolph's nose lights up!|
Day 4: Finally gave in and used the thermostat. When there’s a 20 degree difference between your bedroom and the house, something’s gotta change. I found a laser pointer. Tennessee has a vendetta against it; Tugboat is only mildly interested. Typical little girl.
|I'm not chasing after that....little red bug. Ew.|
Day 5: The cats have warmed up to me, finally making the connection between my presence and food. I also bring neat toys into the house, like a box of instant oatmeal packets; which are obviously for the push-it-off-the-counter game. Chubby Tugboat is actually an instigator, not the squirrelly tomcat. She stands really close to Tennessee (I'm not touching you), and when he reacts she smacks him. Then they wrestle until Tennessee runs away and Tugboat chases him around the den.
|These PRECIOUS toys are also push-it-off-the-counter ready.|
Day 6: I start cleaning up and packing up. The cats have accepted me as their own, following me around the house. Tennessee climbs anything to get higher and closer to me. Well, my hands. Because HANDS ARE FOR PETTIN’S.
|Hands are also for making LITTLE RED BUG!|
Day 7: Last day. I brought supplies from home last night for a nice breakfast. Bananas are found on kitchen floor, gouged and pierced with tiny Tennessee teeth. I snuggle with the kitties on my bed, they only love me for the overnight warmth I generate.
|The dispassionate gaze of a creature who will miss me terribly.|
Aloysius is stoic, but I know he's distraught. He's a trooper. In making sure everything is properly secure, I accidentally lock my Uncle out of the house.
|I don't feel guilty at all.|