My wife is gone for a week or so, and she’s left me alone to take care of things – mainly our two cats and one bird. Every year she goes on a pilgrimage to Orlando to stay with her family in a time share resort around Disney World. Mickey’s home.
I don’t understand the whole Disney phenomenon. Just the idea of staying in a tourist resort area that’s owned and operated by a giant talking rat gives me the heebie-jeebies. I’ve lived in Florida for a while, and my feelings for tourists visiting from up north and hanging out at these places are abysmal at best. Thousands of rotund, pink-skinned, loud-talking vagrants engrossed in staring at swaying palm trees while drinking rum runners poolside, for hours. Yes, hours. The frozen drinks at these places are made with the cheapest alcohol available, some of it distilled illegally inside of rusty, old car radiators, or worse. Then there’s the opposite drinking experience – where the booze contains almost alcohol at all; the “worm” in the bottom of a bottle of mescal is little more than a beat-up gummy candy with teeth marks still in it from the last bar customer.
I forsake all these earthly pleasures for a week of solitude, turning our entire house into a giant man cave. The bird and one of the cats are chicks, so I usually put them out on the porch while Zack (the big cat) and I really ramp things up and party down. We had to start early tonight because tomorrow the time is changing to Daylight Savings Time or some such nonsense. In any case, tomorrow is only 23 hours long, so we have to get that extra hour in tonight, just me and my boy, Zack. We played beer pong for a while, but he has a natural advantage as a cat, having much better reflexes than I do. We played darts, but it was no contest and I was soon bored. Zack could pick a dart up, but he has a hard time hitting the board from such a low angle. I let him sit on a bar stool for a while, but then he kept beating me severely, so that idea ended rather abruptly.
I stopped at the grocery store earlier, stocking up on seafood, wine, and beer. There’s a Dunkin’ Donuts right down the street, so breakfast is covered. Kim didn’t give me instructions before she left on what, exactly, I’m supposed to be feeding the pets, so I’ll be flying by the seat of my pants on that issue. I figure if I let the bird go out into the back yard tonight, she’ll be able to figure out what to eat by dawn. The early bird and all that stuff… As far as the cats go – I think they’re carnivores, so I may put them out back, too. Maybe they’ll bag some really big game. Maybe they’ll eat the damned bird. That would be cool, either way. If not, I think we may have some pot pies in the freezer. They’ll probably like them. I also noticed that they stare at the lava light all the time. Those lit-up melty ball things could be edible. I’ve never actually eaten one, but I bet a cat might find them rather tasty.
It’s getting pretty late now. It may be tomorrow, but I’m not sure. Especially with the whole “springing forward” thing with the clocks. Everything in the wine rack will be an hour older, I think. That’s probably a good thing. Aging and all that. I just noticed I don’t know where the pets are. I can see the refrigerator door from where I’m sitting. I didn’t open it. Where are the damn cats? And the bird? I just saw a couple of shrimp fly over the breakfast bar and land in the middle of the living room. They seem to be covered with… Parsley? No, cat nip! What’s going on here? They better stay away from the beer. That’s human food. What now? There’s the bird right next to me. Her name is Jade. I think. Why is she staring at me like that? And now the cats are here, too. Why don’t cats have eyebrows? My wife leaves me for a week in the company of animals without eyebrows.
I just realized how vicious and dangerous these pets really are. I traded my wife for wild beasts with claws, fangs, and giant beaks that can split walnut shells as easily as biting into a marshmallow. The neighbors on all sides are murderous, screaming mutants with secret agendas that I would never want to consider, at least not while sober. And that’s not going to be happening any time soon. When I loaded up on groceries, I may have forgotten a food group or two – like fruits and vegetables. I may starve. Kim may come home in a week and find my emaciated remains sitting on a dusty couch in front of my laptop, covered in claw marks, and partly eaten. The cats and the bird will be fat and happy, wanting more. This is the type of carnage that may come to pass if I’m not careful. Best to close the bedroom door tonight, keep the lights on, and sleep with one eye open. I can do this. It’s only for a week or so.
It’s not like I can’t take care of myself….
( to be continued )