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Henry the Cat and Kat the Cat
Renting a Room in Rat City: 11/28/16
Henry is a handsome cat, about 10 pounds, white and brown with black marks of distinction.
Henry sits gruffly at the base of the stairs, waiting patiently for that day when I might feed him, water him or let him out the door.
To Henry I say, “Only one human slave to a cat, Henry. Wait for yours to come home.”
Henry’s initial purpose was to keep rats out, as Kat the gray cat had grown old and no longer threw rat bodies in the gutter. She was a good mouser as well.
Henry once tried to rub against me in the kitchen and I started at him, causing him to recoil. Kat the cat then pounced at him in her fury, showing me that Henry had been picking on her, that her retirement was more forced than supposed. I was Kat’s god of death, never doing her a favor, but nevertheless the one she followed out into the night when I head out to work, the one she brought dead birds, squirrels and rabbits to—the one Henry now follows out into the night.
Then, right after a brawl between the cats ended by the intercession of their giant primate slave, Henry decided to take up residence outside my door, curling up on the canvas gym bag at the foot of the door, at the top of the stairs and bottom of the attic-way. When I opened the door on the first cold day of the year and looked down to see his hairy self shedding on my boxing glove bag, I hissed at him and he slunk off sulking up into the attic.
Realizing it was a cozy spot for a cat, I placed a fencing mask and bundle of sticks upon it to make it uncomfortable.
A few days later, after working and bedding down out of town for the weekend, I came into my room to discover that mice had entered and had a party, ripping up my napkins for bedding, pooping on my windowsills and 14-inch wide dining table, peeing on the table cloth—an ostentatious wash cloth, really.
War was declared.
Bait was set.
Glue-boards were laid.
Traps were set.
Mice died.
But as I left the room with one invader stuck to a glue board, there was Henry, standing in the hallway, blinking at me quixotically, and I continued our months’ long dialogue, “What did you do, Henry, take out a mice-wanted ad and sell tickets to my room?”
Henry sat back and blinked golden-eyed up at me, as if I should have expected nothing less.
“I guess I deserve it, you feline prick. But if a rat gets up in here—it’s your ass!”
Henry, stood, turned and walked away with a cocky twitch of his tail.
If I Were King: This Guy Would Handle the Details
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