Sean Beckwith: Living with a 30-pound hair ball
November 7, 2017
It's offseason (still) and you know what that means. … Seriously, tell me what that means. I'm not sure anymore. I'm out of ideas of how to tell you people how to spend your free time. At this point, you probably should go back to work.
There's nothing left to binge watch on Netflix. You're looking at your credit card the same way you look at fast-food restaurants; it's so quick and easy that you could do this all the time, but afterward you feel gross, empty or both and are stuck wondering how an impulse decision could have such lasting effects. Or, even worse, you could've pulled cat-sitting duty because both roommates opted to leave town at the same time and the world hates you.
I'm not going to get into the dynamics of a grown, single man owning a cat or the minutiae of what gets you kicked out of the Ron Swanson club — the ratio of Lagavulin you have to drink to the number of cats you own is like three bottles a week for every one cat — but I will say I can't wait until it's over.
I'm a fan of animals — pets are fun — but I've never owned a dog or cat. The main reasons for that are I don't have a backyard, and I refuse to deal with a kitty litter box — which, as it turns out, so does my roommate's cat. I'm not sure why this spawn of Satan looks at the kitty litter, looks at the carpet right next to the kitty litter, and thinks, "You know what, screw it. Let's piss off Sean for the sixth consecutive day."
If you were wondering, the cat's name is Ocelot, but no one calls her that but her owner. It's like naming a Chihuahua "Labrador." She has a different moniker around the house. It's Fats or Gordo Gato or Jumbo Cat, pretty much anything that gets at the fact that she weighs like 30 pounds. It's the only cat I've ever been around that begs like a dog. Anytime her owner cuts a vegetable, she's in the kitchen crying for a handout. I also am blown away that A) a cat likes greens and B) a cat that likes greens can still be such a lard cake.
I'm very much out on having Fats dictate when I wake up. It's either leave my door cracked so she can sleep on my bed until I wake up or shut it and have her mewing for kibble at 6 a.m. Seeing as I've accepted cat hair as part of my DNA, I took the former, which comes with the added bonuses of rolling over onto the cat, having the cat sleep between my legs or the cat trying to sleep on my chest. I don't even cuddle with lady friends, much less let this 40-pound behemoth pin me on my back like she's Thor's hammer.
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Mostly I just don't want to be responsible for her. It's cool having her around when I don't have to deal with her well-being. I like to say "Good morning, Fats," throw toys at her, make fun of her for not being coordinated, enjoy some company while playing video games, those kinds of things.
Should I be mad that this house doesn't have a five-second rule because as soon as a scrap of food hits the ground it's covered in cat hair? Probably not, because eating off the floor is unsanitary in any situation.
Should I care that I can conjure handfuls of cat hair by casually wiping the couch cushions? Actually, yes, I do. Yo, the lint roller and Febreeze method may be cool for taking your cousin on a date, but the furniture requires using the brush attachment on the vacuum and breaking a sweat.
As of this writing, I have two hours left of catering to the Fats. It's only reinforcing how much I enjoy not having a living being rely on me for survival. I don't want my roommate texting me, "Yo, your s—bag cat had better not even try to use the litter box" while I'm on vacation.
I may come off as a martyr for having to deal with Uber Fats for a week, and I'm absolutely doing it to guilt trip my roommate for a yet-to-be-determined kickback, but she's not that bad. You could even say I don't hate her.
Sean Beckwith is a copy editor at The Aspen Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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