Cromwell, in a more sedate moment
Please, don't tell the ASPCA, but my cat, Cromwell, is a drug addict.
We often joke, in fact, around Stately Baby Daddy Manor about how our cats could get hooked on catnip, even though it's perfectly legal. We picture our cats kind of becoming the catnip equivelent of crack whores, panhandling for change, little sores around their cat mouths, promising to do the vilest things for a little taste of the green stuff.
It had been a joke, of course, until we found out what real addiction was like.
Oh, the signs and symptoms had been there all along. We'd buy a bag of organic dry food, pour out half of it in the ever-feeder -- just so the cats could have a little snack during the day -- and, poof!, it would be gone in just a few hours.
"That's crazy!" we'd say. "They must really like this stuff!"
Then we'd pour in the rest of the bag and it was also gone just as fast.
Then when all the dry food was gone we'd notice something unsettling: the cats would start to act, and there is no other word for it, twitchy. Kind of like Sinatra in The Man With The Golden Arm, they'd mope around, jumping out of their furs, whining. Then they'd get strangely energetic, running around, mewing, it was all wrong, all kinds of wrong.
Of course we'd feed them the wet stuff too, but suddenly that wasn't doing it anymore. And all our cat loving friends and various crazy cat ladies we also know, would cluck their tongues as we enabled our drug, I mean carb, addicted cats.
"You know, cats don't need the carbs in the dry food," they'd say. "Do they eat carbs in the wild? No!"
"But the cats like it!" we'd answer. But maybe they didn't exactly LIKE it, more like they had no choice. They were having carb-fits, they were hooked, and it might be for life.
And, as these things go, the dark side got darker.
It's been a busy few weeks, as usual around here. Stella, once again, stopped sleeping for several days in a row, perhaps more to remind herself how it feels than out of any actual need to stay awake. So this made us extra grouchy, and forgetful.
Lo and behold we ran out of the dry. And we just kind of forgot about it. The cats were well fed, after all, and that's all that mattered, right? No, it's not.
Cromwell, in particular, started to act kind of weird. He would stand in front of Stella's door and mew, trying to wake her up. He'd look at her like he wanted to shoot her when she crawled after him, which she now does all the time. He didn't sit on our laps like he normally does, and he took to beating the snot out of Talisker on a regular basis. Talisker, the goof, loved the attention, so at least that wasn't a problem.
But then, yes, it got darker. Two days ago I was on the phone with Randi during my lunch break at work. She was home, and she described a chilling scene.
Stella, you see, crawled after Crommy again, and this time she irritated him so much it looked like he was going to take a swipe at her. Cats, at least our cats, have claws, so that's obviously no good.
And then the Brooklyn Baby Momma's voice got strangely fearful.
"Oh my god, Cromwell looks like he's going to attack me!"
She then preceeded to tell me how he was gathering up his haunches, and following that he sprang across the room right at Randi, only to vear away at the very last moment. Too close!
"I'm afraid he might do it again!" she said.
"Well get off the phone with me and take care of Cromwell!" I said.
She hung up on me, and that's all I heard for a little while. When I called back in 10 minutes things were more calm, but only superficially.
"God, he hasn't had dry food for days, right?" I asked. No, he hadn't. We resolved to right that ASAP. After all Cromwell might be a drug addict, but we made him that way. So it's our job to keep him happy. Thus we became The Pushermen.
And dry food was bought, and consumed by our cat. He's been much happier since, in fact he seems like he's back to being his old self. His old, carb-addicted, self. But then again, I'm hooked on carbs too. I know how he feels. He feels fat.
Okay, maybe he doesn't feel fat. There's no way for me to know. He's sleeping right next to me in what had been Stella's stroller, but what in reality has become just the latest in our infinite series of cat beds. We have our bed, of course, that's a cat bed. As is the sofa, Stella's crib -- when they can get away with it -- our pack and play and now the stroller. We have no actual cat bed though. But he sleeps the sleep of the contented for now. And until we once again run out of Friskies.