You remember Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul. He remembers you. He has feline leukemia, which has been relatively easy to control with obsessive feeding, observation and acquiescence to his many demands. When he first lived with me he’d prise chicken carcasses from the garbage and gnaw on the bones. Oh, how Paulie Gonzalez and I laughed at his kitty insecurity. After all: we were holding the pussycat hostage and any affection he showed us humans could be chalked up to Stockholm Syndrome.
For a few years, I’ve chased Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul, around various one bedroom apartments, trying to convince him to eat. This is key to keeping the afflicted feline from succumbing to infections and moral sloth. It’s become clear to me the apartment is his. He’s the guy who’s in it all the time, and I just visit to feed, entertain and rub his fur the wrong way. As the person with the opposable thumb, I should put his name on the mailbox. It’s only fair.
Sometimes, Monsieur smells like a rough night in a canning plant. I could bathe him five times a day but not even the neighbors nonplussed by almost constant Route 18 construction noise bouncing off the river would enjoy the amusing ruckus. I’m still moisturizing scratches and welts from the last time. The reason for the unusual fragrance is oral infections and, as Siobhan says, “Cats aren’t clean. They’re covered in cat spit.” So though Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul, is supposed to get a dropperful of kiddie steroids every day, sometimes he’s also supposed to get this utterly vile antibiotic twice daily, too. Last week, this led to holes in my neck and him finding a new hiding place – that scared me silly. I looked everywhere! How many times have you opened a 350 degree oven to find out if you accidentally baked your pet? Well, of course, I hadn’t, but even thinking about it skeeved me completely. An hour later, I discovered he’d made a Batcave out of my bedspread and blankets, which I took as a rebuke of both my cat care technique and slovenly housekeeping. He thinks I’m a total loser and tries to protect me from myself. This morning, he tried to convince me the shower was too dangerous for an idiot like me. There’s water in there, dude!
But just wait. The disease has progressed. The pussycat now drools. We’ve reached the point where Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul, must be medicated with the vile elixir one week on, one week off, then on again, off again, every month. I am not enthusiastic about this regimen, and anticipate a similar reaction from Don Gato.
First, I’ll cut his nails.