Cat Burglar

When I was in high school, it was just me and my dad. He worked nights, so his schedule was opposite mine – but every Saturday we would run our strict routine of grabbing lunch at Tim Hortons, walking around the mall or Walmart like a pack of seniors, and then heading to the grocery store. Once we got back home we’d start dinner and watch endless episodes of Stargate SG-1 until I fell asleep on the shitty, hard as hell loveseat in the living room. This one day, though, we had a little relief from the monotonous routine.

So we’d grabbed the groceries from the car and I was toeing my shoes off in the foyer when I looked up and froze. At the top of the stairs there was this giant, fat cat staring back at me. No, this was not our cat. Our cat was small, black, and was usually sleeping under a bed somewhere. This cat sat like it owned the place — the cat bowl was empty, scraped clean of any delicious brown triangles, and it was surveying its new kingdom with curiosity. Where the hell was our cat? Wasn’t she supposed to, y’know, serve and protect?

As I slowly put down my arm full of groceries, I creeped up toward the stairs. Bad idea – this fat ass suddenly leapt up and flew down the hallway so fast I could see its belly swinging back and forth with the effort.

“What the hell? Dad, are you seeing this?” I looked back to see my dad trying to hold ten bags of groceries and balance a coffee and a cigarette all simultaneously. He grumbled half-heartedly in his struggle. Okay, clearly this was on me.

I made my way up the stairs and down the hall in the direction the little fat-ass went. There were three bedrooms and a bathroom – guess where he was? Yup, under my dad’s bed, in the impossible stretching darkness where I couldn’t reach him. As I walked past the edge of the bed I heard a hiccupping, hissing noise and quickly pulled my feet away, lest they be scratched all to hell in my own home.

Being brilliant, I went back down the hall and grabbed the vacuum, AKA the hideous cat-repelling machine. Pushing it through the bedroom door was enough to send the basketball-sized fluff rocketing out from under the bed, down the hall, down the stairs and into the basement.

“What the fuck was that?” I hear my dad exclaim from the kitchen, finally joining me on the cat-burglar adventure. “Was that the neighbor’s cat?! How did it get in?”

So he’s seen this little monster before – apparently it wandered around outside the neighbor’s house frequently, flopping onto the cement just like our cat did, and skittered around the bushes.

“I dunno, but it ate all of Snicks’ food and just ran into the basement.” Shrugging, we both head down the stairs into the empty, dark basement of which I only travel to when I’m forced to do laundry. It’s not a shitty basement, just empty and echo-y and it’s given me the creeps since I was young; it’s a basement like any other.

With little effort, we found that this fat fluff of a cat has somehow crammed its oversized body behind the washing machine. Its tail was puffed up like a long skinny Pomeranian sticking out from behind the dryer and when we turned on the lights we heard a hiccupping rumble.

“We can’t just leave it here, the neighbors are going to worry about it,” my dad reasoned, the ever-caring cat-lover that he is. So he grabbed the broom handle, intending to use that to shuffle the cat out from behind, instructing me to stand at the stop of the stairs and somehow mush the giant thing out into the open garage to its freedom as it ran by. Things didn’t go the way we planned.

As soon as he introduced the cat to the broom, the fluff starting shrieking like we were flaying it alive. To this day I have never heard an animal make this broken, kind of horrible hiccup-scraping sound again.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” My dad screamed as the cat was so horrified that it started spitting, screeching all the while. I cannot imagine where this cat got the nerve to think spitting would make us welcome him into our home.

Suddenly my dad startled, pulling back the broomstick and stepping back. The cat was stuck behind the washing machine and dryer, only moving back and forth the miniscule amount it could, but in its suffering against the broom it started shitting itself uncontrollably.

“Jesus Christ it’s shitting everywhere!” I broke down, laughing hysterically. The smell hit and it was atrocious, but I still couldn’t stop laughing my ass off. My dad was laughing too, and continued with his attempts at broomstick cat removal. But the shit was piling up behind the washing machine, the sounds were getting louder and more drawn out, and he was worried this thing would have a heart attack.

Stopping, my dad handed me the broomstick, pushed up his sleeves, and tried to grab the cat from its huge behind. Startled, the cat mangled my dad’s hands and arms, anywhere it could reach with a high-pitched howl, but suddenly it was out from its hiding place. Scared half to death, this thing launched itself through the doorway before I could even jump away, running through the open door to the garage.

Stunned, we looked from the door back to my dad’s mangled hands, the floor covered in runny cat shit, and laughed.

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