Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The One About the Cat

They say to make your blog about whatever it is that you can be an expert in. Well, I'm an expert in nothing except being a smartass. But, I like telling stories. Sometimes I'm even unwittingly funny. So, here goes. Bear with me. Nathan and Other Jerks is an ongoing process, and it's under construction. I can't promise it'll get better. But it will. Let's start with...

The One About the Cat

Nathan sat the packages down gently on the counter. “Do you need Reggie to put these up for you, Grandma?” Good ole Nate. He was always looking out.
She pressed her lips into a thin line, giving me a disapproving once over. “No dear. I don’t trust anyone in my kitchen who can’t find their way around on their own.”
I smiled at the old woman sweetly. One day she was going to fall, break a hip, and need therapy. Then she would be at my mercy.

Though I’d tried to hide it, Ernestine must have spotted something sinister in my smile. She narrowed her eyes. But then her entire face brightened. Nate was of course oblivious to the entire little exchange. Ernestine patted her grandson’s cheek affectionately. “It’s been what, seven years since you and this fine young woman started dating. Well,” she paused, pretending to consider. “Seven years ago, Reggie was young. She’s basically an old maid now.”
Nate actually had the audacity to laugh. I thought about punching him in the face but decided not to. There was no need to give Ernestine more ammo against me. I could always punch him in the face later.
“Aw Granny, Reggie’s just as pretty as she was the day that I met her.”
Okay, he slightly redeemed himself with that, but why were they talking about me as if I weren’t standing right there?
Not done trashing me yet, Ernestine made a clicking sound with her tongue. “It takes more than a pretty face to have babies. Don’t settle for someone too old to give you any.”
At that point I wanted to punch his grandmother in the face.
Nate bent down and tenderly kissed Ernestine on the cheek. “If you don’t need anything else, we gotta get going.”
“Well, Nathan, there is one thing.”
“What’s that?”
“You haven’t seen Millie around have you?”
Nate shifted uneasily and I knew something was up. Millie was Ernestine’s twelve-year-old Persian. The cat was prone to kidney infections and constantly pissing all over everything. Once, Millie had peed on the counter and in the coffee pot. But Nate hadn’t found that out until after he’d asked Ernestine why the coffee she’d served him had such an acidic taste.
“No, Granny, I haven’t seen her.”
“She’s been gone since the morning after you spent the night here.” After having a little outpatient procedure, Ernestine had insisted for Nate to stay with her for a couple of days. One of those days just happened to be the anniversary of the seven years Nate and I had shared together.
“I’ll keep an eye out for her as we leave the neighborhood.” Nate scratched his ear as he spoke. And I suddenly knew Millie wasn’t coming back. I meant for the sound to stay on the inside. But somehow a giggle escaped my lips. Nate stared at me. I shrugged my shoulders apologetically, and his glare softened.
Ernestine turned around. She wasn’t so forgiving. “I always thought it fitting that your parents named you after the birthplace of sin.”
I almost told her that her cat was dead and her precious grandson was the one that killed it. But as hard as it was, I kept silent.
“Anyway, we got to get going,” Nate said quickly and kissed Ernestine again. Then he slipped out the door, pulling me behind him.
As soon as we got in the car, I burst out laughing. “Oh my gosh, Nathan, what did you do to her cat?”
Nate’s eyes slid away from mine. “What makes you think I did anything?”
“Because I know you.”
“Fair enough. But let me start by saying that stupid cat peed on me while I was sleeping.”
“That’s disgusting.”
Nate’s forehead creased in anger. “I wake up and my pants are wet. You ever been peed on by a cat?”
I shook my head, biting my lip so that I wouldn’t laugh. I had been peed on by a four-year-old kid and an eighty-year-old man but never by a cat.
“I got up to shower and put on my slippers. I was ready to forgive Millie until my toes smashed into something soft and mushy. Then the smell hit me. I almost threw up. The stupid cat had pooped in both of my slippers.”
“Wow. That’s foul.” I cleared my throat. It really wasn’t a good time to laugh. “So what did you do?”
“I put Millie in a pillowcase. She was clawing and trying to bite me. I think the stupid thing knew what was about to happen. Then I folded her into a trash bag and got in my truck.”
“Nate, I don’t think I want to hear the rest of this.”
He went on like I hadn’t spoken. “I got up to about seventy on Highway 178, and then I threw the bag out the window.”
I gasped. “Was Millie in the bag?”
Nate blinked at me stupidly but said nothing.
“Was she dead?”
“If going out the window didn’t kill her, the tires on my truck did.”
“I ran her over.”
“She POOPED in my shoes Reggie. And I stuck my foot in it!”
“You killed your grandmother’s cat.”
“Have I mentioned the cup of piss I drank that came out of Millie’s butt?”
“The cops are going to come looking for you when they find a bloody pillowcase with a pulverized cat in it.”
Nate shook his head. “I threw it in the lake.”
My mouth fell open. I was dating a psycho and apparently had been for seven years. “You know that serial killers start off by murdering defenseless animals.”
“Granny should have put that cat down years ago. If Millie didn’t take all those pills every day, she’d be dead already.”
“So if our kids wet the bed are you going to put them in trash bags and toss them out the window?”
Nate grinned. “Weren’t you listening to Granny? You’re too old to have kids. Your lady parts have withered up and died.”
I punched him in the shoulder as hard as I could. “You’re a jerk.”

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