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Our Damn Cats: I'm Filing a Complaint

Why on earth do we put up with this?

Stacey Eskelin at Cappuccino describes her cats.
Olive: Pudgy with ballerina legs

(The following article isn’t satire, but it is meant to be humorous, lighthearted, and ironic, so don’t @ me!)

First, let it be said that I love critters. Pretty much all critters, particularly mammals. And, if I’m to be honest, especially mammals that are needy, dependent, worthless, no-self-respect-having, smush-faced, orange, and fat. In other words, a baby that will never grow up, talk back, hide its dishes under the bed, lie to me about where it was last night, smoke weed, go to college, or leave me. Ever.

Is that so much to ask?

My human children are grown. I have issues with that. All the self-control and restraint I muster to keep my damn mouth shut so they can live their own lives and make their own mistakes comes at a frightful cost. I also hate that there’s no one around to give me credit for it. There should be a parade. Or cake. Maybe a sainthood.

Stacey Eskelin at Cappuccino describing life with cats.
From left to right: Olive, Lil Kevin, Bunny.

All the mother-love I want to lavish on my kids has no place to go. It gets all clogged up, like an artery. That’s why I keep nagging John to get me a French bulldog. Whilst I peacefully slumber, he could wake up super early in all kinds of weather and walk it, getting plenty of exercise on our five flights of stairs.

I think that sort of thing is necessary for the building of character. Not my character, of course. Just everyone else’s.

This is why it’s super depressing that John and I ended up with these two: Bunny and Olive. Do they have smushies? No. Are they orange? No. Do they let me snout-kiss them and snuggle them like babies? Sure, if I didn’t mind being sliced open like a Christmas ham.

Olive is a pill. She’ll lurk on the bed, waiting until you’re fast asleep, and then ever so gently place a murder mitten on your face. And since the claws are never fully retracted, you sit bolt upright screaming because you’re convinced there’s a hairy tarantula in the room and it’s biting you, and then she scurries away.

She and Bunny whine incessantly for food, even though the food bowl is always full. They want the wet kitty pâté that costs more than a college education. Once a week, we schlep to the pet store in Terni and then haul heavy cat litter up those stairs. John calls it the “f*cker store,” as in, “Call me if you need anything, I’m going to the f*cker store.”

On the windows of the f*cker store are all these advertising photos of cats, and not one of those little a**holes is smiling. Somehow, they manage to look tragically disappointed. It’s your fault, of course. You didn’t let them curl up on the fresh pair of black slacks. Or you petted them with just one hand. Or you managed to evade them at the top of the stairs and not go crashing to your death.

Speaking of which ….

When I die, Olive wants to be first in line for the eyeballs. I know this because every time I sneeze, she comes racing into the room, panting and wild-eyed. To the uninitiated, this might seem like concern (Is Mommy sick? Does Mommy have a cold?). But the truth is, Olive’s only making sure she’s first in line for all the choice cuts: fingertips, eyeballs, butt meat. The minute I croak, she’s ready to dig in.

Olive isn’t orange, the way a kitty should be, but at least she tried. Bunny makes no effort. After one night of witnessing Bunny’s shenanigans, my friend Angela Mosley said, “Bunny runs this damn house.” And it’s true. All we do is dash after her, hoping to minimize the destruction.

Stacey Eskelin at Cappuccino describing her life with cats
A day in the life of Bunny. Is she vacuuming? No. Making coffee? No.

Our antique lamp? The cats have killed it five times. Five. We museum puttied the base to the table, and they still find ways to murder the thing. It’s in the middle of a kitty flight pattern, you see. When Olive jets off the couch onto the chair, she’s too fat to avoid the lamp. Down it goes and the table it’s stuck to.

They wait till we’re asleep and then go to town shredding the sofa and chairs. I shave the sides of the furniture with my lady razor just to hide the damage. When I shout at them to stop, all they do is slow blink at me.

Why? Because they’re cats. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, cats are d*cks.

Stacey Eskelin at Cappuccino describing her love for pugs
Here’s a pug that embodies all the laziness and lack of self-respect that I’m looking for in an animal..

The minute we come staggering into the apartment with groceries, Bunny’s right at the door, ready to make a dash for it. She streaks past our legs and darts into the hallway. Instead of tearing down the stairs for the exit, like any right-thinking creetchur, she just stands there like a dumbass. If you lunge for her, she’ll sprint, so you mosey around for a minute and then throw yourself over her like a lineman tackling the quarterback.

Gotta watch those back thumpers on Bunny. They’ll put a seven-inch red claw mark down your forearm. All you’ll think about for the next two days is how those same paws were pushing poo around in a litter box. You’ll Google “cat scratch fever” and know you’re dying.

Olive is eating my hair right now. It’s a thing she does, probably because she’s getting tired of waiting for those eyeballs. She sits in the chair next to me and starts nomming individual strands. Ten minutes ago, she was trying to make it from the corner table to the antique mirror table, only with that heft, she’ll bring the whole thing down and kill herself.

Cats have no sense of danger. What do they care? They have nine lives. You only have one.

Do we love the little weasels? Sadly, yes. But it baffles me. Kitties don’t actually do anything. They shed. There’s a lot of vigorous lying around. They hork up furballs. Sure, they’re cute, but you hate yourself for being susceptible to the cute. You know you’re being taken advantage of.

You’re a sucker.

And they know it.

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