A letter from the family cat

This column was originally published June 3, 2012.

Ever since we brought our daughter home from the hospital there has been one household member that has not approved of the new addition. Seeing as though sulking hasn’t worked in communicating his displeasure at the new arrangement, I received the following letter, which was produced after the displeased party jumped up and sat on my head. Coincidentally, this is also how one of my roommates used to communicate with me.

Dear Person That Feeds Me But Never Enough Nor High Enough Quantity But I Tolerate It Because I’m Magnificent Like That SoWhatever,

For the last 22 months I have tolerated the presence of the small, leaking human you brought home from some factory or tree or wherever it is you come from, secretly hoping that it would be returned or set free. I can see now that won’t be happening. This is not acceptable.

Look, I have remained largely silent on the entire matter, save for the occasional hairball of disgust, which is pretty understanding of me all things considered. You’ll no doubt have noticed I have recently started relieving myself just outside of the litter box. Yes, this is my passive-aggressive way of saying that I do not approve of this arrangement. Look at it this way: you produced something smelly and annoying, I’m just doing the same.

Oh, explain this to me, “Master”: you constantly berate me for jumping on counters and licking my personal area loudly in plain view of everyone like I’m putting on a production of “Groin Lickers: The Musical”, but now this Little Hitler commands me to cease doing everything, even when I’m not doing anything except being adorable (as you know, this is my nature and cannot be helped)! It’s getting on my nerves. I mean, if I have to hear “No, kitty!” one more time I might lose it. Look, I’m just STANDING here on the floor breathing. It’s not as if I’m committing identity fraud.

Oh, and tell me how it’s fair that when do something “wrong” you squirt me with water and yet whenever IT does something wrong you just talk to it or place it on a chair? I love to be placed on chairs! Chair sitting is only the best thing ever! You’re rewarding it! It’s never going to learn at this rate. Even though the squirt bottle doesn’t work on me, perhaps it will on it. Just a suggestion.

Anyway, I didn’t have as much of a problem with the little human when it was as mobile as that spider I chewed up and spat back out that you’ll find one of these nights when you’re barefoot. Now, however, it’s running all over the place, often chasing me for no reason. I live in a constant state of fear and have a crippling addiction to Xanax. Never mind where I got it.

You’ll notice I’ve been sulking all day when it’s around. I know you must be thinking, “Where is my beautiful and wonderful cat that I love and adore and wish to worship always?” Well, no. This two-pronged attack has me placing a moratorium on loving me (the first prong, you’ll remember, is the litter box situation. I can’t be bothered keeping my prongs in sequential order.).

Due to my keen observation skills, I’ve noticed that it routinely tells you and the female “no.” Saying “no” is an option around here? Look for me to try that as you search frantically for something I’ll eat, draining you of your last remaining dollars and sense. See what I did there? I challenge it to make clever word play like that.

Finally – get a load of this – when it looks out the window at the birds it seems to want to BEFRIEND them and not strategically catch them in its teeth! It says “Hi, bird!” for goodness sake. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen you attack a bird when you’re outside, so I have to question your usefulness too, which I already have for many other reasons.

Listen, if we are to coexist, the following actions need to be taken immediately:

#1: I am to be off limits to all this grabbing and hugging nonsense. If you cannot control your tiny human, I recommend developing a series of narrow ramps, perches and ledges for me to roam around on, safely out of reach and towering over everything and everyone which is the natural order of things anyway.

#2: Its infernal racket needs to be silenced as it routinely rouses me from at least six of my nine daily naps. If I don’t get at least 20 hours of napping in each day I look absolutely dreadful. If you cannot squelch the rumpus I will continue to sit on your face when YOU try and nap while violently gnawing at my claws. Fair’s fair.

#3: The amount of liquids it produces and spills is astounding. You had me declawed, can you, I don’t know, wring it out or something?

#4: You should buy me presents. I mean, when was the last time you did?

Frankly, I don’t know why you insist on keeping this thing around. All it does is cost money and beg for attention. And that’s MY job.

Don’t forget to feed me,

-His Highness, Lord Cringer the Bold And Mighty And Hungry And Beautiful

Kelly Van De Walle is the senior creative writer for Briscoe14 Communications (www.briscoe14.com). He can be reached at vandkel@hotmail.com or via whipped-cream-on-pancake messages.