I had a visitor staying with me for a couple of days. He was a cat by the name of Rex.
He belongs to a young actress I know who went to Florida to shoot a Dove commercial…unexpectedly.
She called me in a panic because she can’t leave Rex alone. Why? He misses her so much he wrecks their apartment in protest which wasn’t good news for me.
“Angela, if he does that at your place he’ll also do it at mine,” I said sanely.
“You don’t understand, he only does it here because he’s mad at me for leaving. He won’t do it at your house. He’d never take it out on you.”
Cat people can be really nuts, I know since I am one, so I wasn’t buying this so fast. She gave me the name of a friend who normally takes Rex but was out of town if I needed another testimony on his behalf. She was so frantic that I just said, Okay, bring him over… and God help me.
When they showed up I heard a wail coming up the stairs that sounded like a sea lion. Rex was already in the throes of separation anxiety. Terror filled my whole being thinking, oh no, what have I gotten myself into. I had visions of him hanging by one claw from the shower curtain.
When he jumped from the carrier he looked at me as if to say, don’t take this personally but I hate you already. He then ran under the bed not to be seen again until midnight when he decided to take a little stroll. When I felt pressure on the bed I almost had a heart attack forgetting that he was here. This caused him to jump in the air like Wile E. Coyote and run back under the bed.
Okay, I thought, this has gone far enough. I’m an animal person, I’ve charmed sheep for God’s sake, this cat is going to get over this right now.
So I did what any other smart, sane person would do. I climbed under the bed with him… to have a little chat.
I said, “Look Rex, this is not the end of the world so get a grip. She’s coming back (at least she better be). She loves you so much (she had already called 8 times before she was even on the plane). So you have a choice…you can either have a terrible time while you’re here or be smart and play with me cause I’m a lotta fun Rex. So… whaddaya say?”
Nothing, that’s what he said.
I then went into the kitchen and deboned a turkey Angela had brought that did the trick because who came strutting in like a neurotic peacock but him. I have to say what a great looking cat he is. He’s gray and white with paws like a panther. My heart was stolen before you could say, do you prefer white meat or dark?
He let me stroke his back while he ate like a sailor and when he was finished pooped like one. I didn’t need the little scooper he came with…I needed a crane. He then jumped on the bed like every other guy I’ve known and fell asleep.
The next day came and I had to leave not totally convinced he’d behave himself while I was out… so we had another little chat. “Rex, as you can see I live rather modestly and happen to love all that I have so… if you could just not claw, eat or ruin anything, I would very much appreciate it.”
He looked at me like I was the biggest idiot on the planet and started to clean his feet as only cats can do. They spread their toes like a Chinese fan which I have to say has always fascinated me; wish I could.
Well, there was nothing left to do…I had to go. I took a book I knew I’d probably never read again and gave it to him. “Here, chew this if you have an urge.” Again he gave me dirty looks.
When I came back 3 hours later everything seemed fine. He had fallen asleep on the toaster oven that I had cleaned and left on the kitchen table.
Angela came back the next day bringing me a stuffed grapefruit that when you squeeze it it says, welcome to the Sunshine State. Then she and Rex went home locked in romantic bliss.
That night when I went to bed, I missed him.
Hadn’t slept with a man in a while…and you know what?
it was nice.