pulling the trigger
this fantasy is justified as an appeal to my roommates, who use emotion instead of reason to guide their decisions:
in march lil greasy was feeling neglected due to our household’s collective absence, and expressed his dissatisfaction by leaving a turd in the crease of our brown futon. our neglect was neither intentional nor personal, but try reasoning with a feline and you’ve definitely breached insanity.
i discovered lg’s turd days after it was laid and mistook it for a pragmatic response to a full litter box. (cats are not noble protesters though; they do not believe in anything.) i cleaned up the brown futon and when i went to clean out the litter box i found it empty; despite our busy schedules one of my roommates was responsible enough to clean it.
i kept the brown futon propped up straight so lg couldn’t hide another turd in its crease, but when i arrived home from work one week later i was greeted by the tangy aroma of urine, which i traced back to the circular stains on the brown futon. i pulled off the brown cover of the futon to discover terrible stains of deep brown urine faded in rings against its white cushion. much to my roommate’s glee i was forced to trash it.
thinking that he simply had inexplicable ill will towards that brown futon i forgave lg like a good christian. we needed a new futon anyway, i thought.
the following week i had friends over. they sat on the couch on the wall opposite the brown futon and complained of a sour air lingering above the cushions. i turned red with embarrassment as my friend’s formerly cute faces contorted into wretched masks of displeasure. lg had turned our other couch into a spiteful sponge of urine. before i was perplexed; now i was furious.
one saturday in mid april i found lg lying in pain in the bathtub. bowls of food were placed around him, but he wouldn’t eat and he couldn’t move. his eyes were dark and his fur was matted and if nicole didn’t rush him to the hospital in the morning he would have died.
according to the vet, when some male cats reach a certain age their kidney’s cannot properly process their urine, and their urethra becomes clogged with urine crystals. the vet recommended surgery to “make him a girl” by shortening his urethra and rerouting it to a tiny hole bored above his butthole. it was a very expensive surgery, and an unwelcome contributor to my financial plight. although my roommates saw a correlation between lg’s evil pissing habits and his obstructed urethra the vet did not have a medical answer to explain this correlation.
i did not miss lg for the time he was at the cat hospital, and it wasn’t because i knew i would see him again (though i secretly hoped i wouldn’t); it was because i wasn’t returning home to find my couch in stinky, shredded ruins, my kitchen floor littered with broken mugs of spilled coffee.
when lg finally returned home he was accompanied by a lopsided gait, a cute cone on his head and a bill for $3000. he was coddled during his first days back, but then we returned to our busy lives. lg’s cone came off. i had a party. my homeless friend left my apartment smelling worse than he did when he arrived after spending a night on lg’s couch. i touched the couch and my hand became wet. fury was a new emotion for me. i didn’t know how to deal with it so i bottled it up.
i spent an afternoon dragging that piss soaked couch onto the curb, and due to my hustle and grit i managed to locate two more free couches to replace the ones destroyed by lg-but i was still on edge. replacing the couches did not necessarily mean that lg wouldn’t piss on them again. as i sat on my new tan leather couch i observed lg squat and piss on the new pink victorian style couch across from me. lg had effectively knocked over the metaphorical bottle of fury i kept deep within myself, and i blacked out.
i now return to my house and feel sticky with urine on the walk to my kitchen. lg screams at me for food and then shits on the floor. the litter box is empty on a daily basis. i have reached a boiling point i never knew i had.
the vet’s have cured lg’s physical ailment, which prevented him from pissing, yet my roommates believe that his bratty pissing habits one month prior to his urinary obstruction serves as an explanation for the cause of his obstruction. a cat’s handsomeness does not excuse his behavior.
when i offer a compromise like, let’s keep him in the basement to see if the smell dissipates in his absence i am met with no, he wouldn’t like that.
i do not care what lil greasy would like because he is a cat that does not pay rent. he does not understand punishment, only pain. keeping him in the basement may make our house smell better temporarily, but he will find his way back upstairs and continue to piss because he cannot learn. when he returns from the basement he will cry at my door and i will kick him. my fury will take the form of physical violence. if i scream at him and punch him after i find another turd on the countertop i become the crazy one for trying to intimidate a cat.
i pop xanax bars and drink vodka from the bottle and call nam because if i can’t remember i won’t have to lie when questioned. nam tells me what i already know, to get rid of the cat. “put it in a box, take it to the woods on the outskirts of town and leave it there.” i can’t do this because my roommates will know i am responsible. they know i am a niggardly scoundrel, and that the value of discarding the cat so soon after splitting his surgery cost is antithetical to my principles. but because i make my hatred of the cat public they know that i think the benefit of his elimination is worth eating the cost of his surgery.
i tell nam to make the cat disappear in any way he chooses, just do it slow. my voice is slurred and i don’t sound like myself but nam knows who i am, even though we have not met. he is patient on the phone as i make suggestions for lg’s disappearence, though he already has a plan: allow the cat free entry into the backyard; in our busy lives we will become accustomed to his free roaming privileges and we will not notice when he doesn’t come in at night. we will travel, we will all stay at our respective bf/gf houses, we will work, we will go out and we will not notice the last time we saw the cat because we have been too busy enjoying the sunshine and the fresh smell of our apartment. we will not think about the cat. we will trust him to come back to us through the hole he burrowed next to the air conditioner in the room that leads to the backyard. and he will. sometimes. sometimes he will stay out all night. we trust him though. nam sneaks into my room and borrows my extra set of keys. i am so busy and carefree that i do not notice him working behind the scenes. i forget about the cat. we all do. no one is ever home. i don’t see my roommates for months. nobody notices where anybody else is. we all disappear. i don’t notice. i forget about nam. how do i know him? where have we met before? i wander the streets alone at night. where is my mother? i don’t have anywhere to be but i don’t go home. the streets have become my home and i don’t understand why. i sit silently in a park and listen to the breeze and stare at trees. nam approaches me off the record after nobody notices that the cat has gone missing. i haven’t been home in months. i take more xanax. was there ever a cat? i have never seen nam before. he sits on the bench next to me and receives a kiss on the cheek that he has always desired and somewhere somebody is something i think.