You Oughta Know

Dear workaholic Owner who took me in as a feral stray and made my life so comfortable that I decided to stay on as a fat house cat,

Thank God you are home. Seriously.

I realize you need a break every now and then. And I hope you enjoyed it. But, who the hell was the chick you sent to ply me with food and water for three days?

You oughta know she is a little crazy. You oughta know she is pretty much certifiable.

The first day she came over, it was really late. Later than late. She even admitted that to me–that she was late. I will give her credit for being honest and talking to me like I could understand what she was saying. Ha ha–I did! She said something about watching football, a couple of glasses of wine, a really fun walk earlier that morning, stopping by the restaurant after football and wine to get ready for the next morning, and how I was the last thing on her mind. But she said she was sorry. I think she was.

I had gathered all my toys in the front room for her to see, but she only seemed intrigued with your old bow tie. “He wore this?” she asked me, dangling it over my nose to make me jump at it. Which I did, of course, because that’s what I do. I told her it wasn’t even yours, that it was just some cat toy, but she didn’t understand me, and only kept laughing as she tried to make me chase it. “Yeah, let’s make him wear this his first day back,” she giggled.

Then she answered her cell phone, talking to her “Wonderful Friend” for 15 minutes! Great. Entertaining me was over, and instead she yammered on and on about the stuff you asked her to do while you were gone, how maybe she couldn’t do it all, or at least do it all right. And how she was still not in the best of places (what the hell does that mean, by the way–what place, and aren’t they all the best?), but she was determined to be okay, and–well, she didn’t shut up about it. I got the sense, however, that her Wonderful Friend was indeed wonderful and actually listened to this crazy gal.

She was quiet after that phone call. She dumped fresh water into my one bowl, shook the still-full food bowl to make me think she had put fresh Iams in there (you know I don’t eat when you leave me), scratched my head behind my ears and said, “Later, cat. But not as late as I was today. Hopefully, I won’t forget!”

Nice. You sure know how to pick my caretakers.

Surprise, surprise–she actually came back the next day, a little before dusk. “Hey cat,” she smiled, patting my belly as I rolled around on the carpet doing my kitten imitation. I had been so sure she would forget about me, but life is full of surprises, right? She played kitty games with me, asked where I had hidden the bow tie (you can thank me for that, later), and was generally quite nice to me.

She did say, however, that the whole work thing with you being gone was making her crazy. She said, and I quote, “Why would he put me in charge of banks and money and anything to do with numbers and adding machines? Huh, cat? I know it’s easy for other people. I know in the grand scheme, I’ll be fine with it, and it’s just for a few days, but I kind of feel like I am drowning in office work right now!”

I hope you don’t mind, but I offered her some advice. (Look, she sounded desperate.)

“He knows you are not stupid, okay?” I told her. “You are dependable, you are earnest, and he figured you could handle it just fine.” But you are definitely crazy, I thought to myself.

“I know he thinks I can do all this stuff. I know I make it appear like I can do everything. But…but…I don’t know. Would that I had your life, cat,” she said, patting my back, but she was almost smiling.

She dumped out the bowl of water and refilled it, then looked at the untouched bowl of food. Then we had a stare down. Amazingly, she won, and then she warned me: “Eat some of this by tomorrow, or I tell him you drank water out of the toilets. Do we understand each other?” And then she was gone. A little too soon, if you ask me.

Amazingly, she came back again the next day, this time a little less rushed and seeming a little more calm.

“Hey cat, ” she smiled, and she even picked me up. “What’s up with your kitty life today?” she asked.

Well, I really miss my Owner, duh. I slept, then I messed up the food in the dish and scattered it all over the floor to make you think that I had eaten some of it, and then I slept some more. Actually, the sound of your car door slamming shut woke me up, if you must know. But enough about me. How did reconciling the banks go? All the other accounting you say you are no good at? The private events? The really busy lunch shift? Your continued growth as an insightful human being even as you are in the midst of an extreme personal crisis?

Right, let’s stick to talking about those banks….

“You have it pretty good with your day-to-day lifestyle, right Cat?” she asked me. “You have your immediate needs met, a bunch of cat toys to play with, and a big TV to watch. You live a great drama-free life, I imagine.” Right, I thought. Where was this conversation going? Crazy gal.

And then she did something I never expected. She dumped out all of my old food, poured out all my old water, replenished both with new, turned to me and said, “You have to eat something. For me, okay?”

Um, sure sweetheart.

Which was when she picked me up, snuggling me close as she cooed in my ear, telling me everything would be okay, that you were coming home soon, and how I just needed to eat so you would think she had done okay with one chore, at least.

Because she had, after all these days, forgotten to feed the fish in the backyard pond, rushed outside when she remembered she had forgotten, then locked herself out in the backyard while searching in vain for the fish food, only getting back inside because she had forgotten to lock the front door. She kept muttering to herself something about how much more of an idiot could she be. I told you, she is crazy.

But as she picked me up, she assured me, “You will LOVE this dinner–all new, just for you!” And I figured she was just being her crazy gal self again when she plopped me down at my dish full of food. Instead, she sat down on the floor next to me, and she didn’t move until I began eating. Which I finally felt like doing for the first time in three days, because I didn’t feel quite so alone.

She talked to me some more as I crunched my food, telling me next time you go away, I could visit her apartment, hang out, just for a change of pace.

I ate and ate and ate, and all the while she watched, petting my head now and then. I rubbed against her leg when she got up to leave, and I almost tripped her. She laughed and patted me one more time before she left. And yes, she remembered to lock the front door. I also saw her peek under the blinds of the front window to make sure I had gone back to eating.

She’s still crazy. But she didn’t do half bad while you were gone. You oughta know.






13 responses to “You Oughta Know”

  1. Dennis Avatar

    Nice…but let me get this straight: it’s NOT okay to drink from the toilet bowl? I always forget.

    Any cat stories remind me of that old joke…I gave my cat a bath this morning, and I still can’t get all the hair off my tongue.


    – Dennis

  2. Julie Avatar

    What a great perspective. I used to have two cats. If I was gone for a few days, one of my friends would come over and hang out with his girlfriend, watch movies, etc. Both cats loved him and he took wonderful care of them. I never worried about them.

    Sounds like you took wonderful care of the Cat, too… and you even got him (or her) to eat! That’s a triumph in itself!

  3. Tinker Avatar


  4. upset waitress Avatar

    RG, I can’t believe how adorable this entry is! Did you have time to filter the litter box?

  5. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Dennis–Oh, Dennis, Dennis, Dennis…. 🙂

    Julie–Cat and I definitely bonded.

    Tinker–Thank you.

    Namaste–I don’t know about ‘genius,’ but thank you, too.

    Upset Waitress–Thanks! Happily, I was told not to worry about the litter box. Good thing, given how well I looked after the fish.

  6. upset waitress Avatar

    Careful RG, using the word “Oh” in front of Dennis’ name gets him excited.

  7. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Upset Waitress–Really? What about the smiley face?

  8. Dennis Avatar

    You two are acting like I’m not even here….

  9. upset waitress Avatar

    Your smiley was an invitation to Dennis’ private stash of smiley face props which will be revealed on your blog any day now. =)

  10. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Upset waitress—Cool! Think it will be soon???

  11. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    Dennis–Hee Hee. We know you are there!

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