We used to have a cat. “Kitty.” That was her name. She was mine for three days before I met my husband. But “my cat” she stayed. Therefore, she was my responsibility.
Kitty had problems. She was skittish. She hated people. And she liked to ruin things.
Mostly anything and everything that we cherished and loved.
We decided we needed to get her declawed (being young, we did not understand how gruesome this was. Please forgive our stupidity). In speaking with a guy I worked with (let’s call him Dan), I mentioned we needed to take Kitty to the vet. We did not have a cat carrier. This being an actual conversation we had. And probably the liveliest one of the day.
He kindly offered up his mother’s cat carrier (’cause he lived with her, of course). And a deal of sorts was struck. In exchange for the use of his cat carrier, I would cook him Pepper Bellies the next week. Yes, this actually happened. And, yes, that is actually what I served him. This being the fanciest thing I knew how to make at the time (I was twenty one. Pregnant. And clueless).
Well, being the procrastinators that my husband and I are, the deadline to return the cat carrier came and went. Dan was frantic. He really needed that cat carrier back. This leads to many questions and images for another day. But, the problem was, we still had not taken the cat to the vet. So, I did what any sane person would do. I returned the cat carrier to Dan…
And I lied.
“Thank you so much for lending this to me, Dan. I really appreciate it. Kitty is having such a hard time of it. She has bandages up to her chest. Your carrier was a lifesaver.” I driveled to him some such nonsense.
And then, after I dumped on him that outrageous lie, I proceeded to invite him over for dinner…The next night.
It was on that night that I realized maybe Dan would notice that not only did Kitty not have bandages all the way up her appendages. But that she did not have any bandages at all. And that she still had a full set of perfectly capable claws.
I thought about bandaging her up, but being that she still had her claws, this seemed like a bad idea…For me.
So, we locked Kitty upstairs in our guest bedroom and waited for Dan to make his appearance. She had her cat box in there and plenty of food and water (in case you were worried).
He arrived and I cooked him up a marvelous batch up Pepper Bellies. I even let him take home the leftovers. I am nothing if not generous. And an atrocious liar.
We sat down in our living room and made conversation. I am sure it was just as entertaining as how this night initially started. As all of our conversations were back then.
Now, what you need to know about our living room, is that it looked right up onto our guest bedroom door.
As we were conversing, Kitty began to bang on the door.
My husband and I looked at each other. We shrugged.
“Don’t worry,” I told Dan. “We wanted her locked up so she wouldn’t hurt her bandages.”
Kitty began to screech at the door.
We ignored it. Dan, at this point, was staring at the guest room door above his head.
Kitty began to claw at the door.
I began to talk louder.
I talked louder.
My husband exited the conversation and just stared at me in a stupor.
“And so DAN, THAT IS WHY PEPPER BELLIES SHOULD BE CALLED PEPPER BELLIES AND NOT FRITO PIE!” I practically screamed.
Dan was no longer paying attention. His gaze was directed to the guest bedroom door. It sounded like a lion was trapped behind it.
The door burst open!
Kitty tore down the stairs. Her claws digging into the carpet. The sound of them echoing throughout the house. She came to a halt in front of us.
Perfectly happy again. Perfectly healthy. Perfectly without bandages. She arched her back, looked Dan in the eye, and began to claw the carpet.
Dan looked at me. I shrugged. We did not say another word.
He left shortly after, taking his pepper bellies and my dignity with him. The door closed. My husband and I turned and looked at each other. We burst out laughing.
Our living room turned into a hyena den.
The lion looked at us in disgust.