Unhappy Dido Burns
Listen: I don’t want this to become a blog about cats, nor do I want to beat you over the head with overwrought literary metaphors.
Oh who the hell am I kidding? I love overwrought literary metaphors — how often do I get a chance to work in references to The Aeneid? And cats are good for traffic, apparently. So suck it up, people. Cats are big news around here lately. I don’t like it any more than you do, BELIEVE ME.
So what we decided, after Mr. Right-Click (aka Aeneas) went ahead and decided to found Kitty Rome, was that I would set about building my own version of Cat Carthage, and then we would see which one the cats liked better, and that would be the one that stayed in our bedroom. This was an emergency situation, so I realized that I would have to get started on a solution immediately. I think you know where this story is going.
That’s right: the San Fernando Valley.
I had kind of a vague idea of what I was going to do. It involved building a staircase and dyeing sisal rope and, eventually, fashioning some kind of perch high upon the wall on which the cats could sit. I planned to situate all of this stuff behind the door in the bedroom so that I didn’t have to look at it as often, even though it is decidedly better looking than the hideous monstrosity that Mr. Right-Click had ordered from KittyMansions.com.
Initially, things were looking pretty good. I added a second flight of steps, and the cats were taking to the Carthage structure pretty well. It looked like perhaps we could forget about the whole Rome nightmare after all, even before it had arrived. I still had several things left to do on my plans for Carthage, but if they liked it this much already, then I didn’t have much to worry about, it seemed.
Then Kitty Rome arrived. In pieces. In three separate boxes. And one thing you should know about Mr. Right-Click is that he doesn’t put shit together. I’m not really sure if it’s because he cannot put shit together or if it’s because he just won’t put shit together. I just know he doesn’t do it. So basically, Kitty Rome sat around for a few days, and there was some “handyman” who was supposed to come to put it together, but said handyman never showed up because apparently, even though we are in the midst of a recession and everyone needs money, handymen and handywomen are just too busy these days to come to my house and construct cat empires.
So after a few days of stubbornly walking past the pile of cat stuff that wasn’t mine piled on the ground, I did what all obsessive compulsive people do, when faced with a pile of crap on their bedroom floor that they know they aren’t allowed to throw away: I started constructing the goddamn thing myself. Yes: I participated in my own destruction, and felt I was powerless to avoid doing so. What is worse is that the bastard cats sat and watched me from their hideous trailer park cat perches the whole time, and if they could have eaten grapes and had serfs fanning them, I’m sure they would have, but I was busy building for them, so they napped on and off instead.
It seems like now would be as good a time to underscore that, much as you should never trust a ho, you should never trust a cat. If you want a loyal friend, get a dog. A cat will cut you just to see what your blood tastes like. I’m not exaggerating for effect: Edie actually did this to me, last night, as I was putting together this godawful thing for her. Right in the middle of it, she reached over and clawed me and then licked her lips. Here’s the scratch:
And here’s her smug face afterwards:
This is what my bedroom wall looks like now:
Even Mr. Right-Click — Catneas himself — said, last night, as we were going to sleep, “Wow, that thing looks . . . bad.”
But let me assure you: this is not over. If I have to douse Cat Carthage in some kind of kitty crack to get them to take to it, make no mistake: I’m not above that. These damn cats will get their “enrichment” from Ikea and like it! Not over, I say!