This is Oliver.
In case you haven’t noticed, Oliver is a cat. He’s an orange cat. One day–I am sure of this–he’ll be a famous cat just like Garfield, Tigger, Hobbes, and… well… Oliver from the animated Disney film. You’re probably thinking how ridiculous it is that I’m boasting about hanging out with another cat. You’re probably accousing me of becoming a cat whore since Louis is (technically) my Numbero Uno Gato Amigo, but animals like me. Well, the exception is that dog that chowed through my Chinos that one while canvasing, and he drew a little bit of blood. He probably smelled garlic on me; I’m Italian after all, and he probably figured I tasted great.
Oliver is a good little dude, and we’ve been bonding over tea and television. He actually has a lot to say, and it’s amazing what we’ve been learning from each other. We’ve been watching some horror movies, which he could care less for (Freddy Kreuger is a joke after the first movie anyway), but he loves Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Friends, and Seinfeld. The latter four are definitely important when managing a healthy relationship. Sunday night: we indulged in The Walking Dead, which his owner was recording; hopefully, he won’t tell her too many spoilers.
We had a Zombie Rave, which included light sticks and loud music. We dressed up like zombies and painted fake blood on each other. However, Oliver got a little carried away and went for my jugular. Fortunately, I distracted him with treats, which satisfied his hunger and, somehow, thirst for blood.
Kidding aside, we did have conversation about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. The only way to get him to talk was to play Mouse-on-a-String with him. Between catching his breaths asked me if I had any other cats in my life, because he could smell Lou on me. I was honest and upfront about it, and I went into my history with cats. He was impressed that I’m a cat lover, but he was concerned about my well being, specifically if others made fun of me for this.
I thanked Oliver for looking out for me, and told him that people only make fun of me behind my back, which is cool. Some people are honest about poking fun of me, which is even cooler. Oliver gave me a High Paw, and he told me not to sweat the small stuff. I told him that he was correct.
He wondered if there were any other activities we could take part in. A read-a-loud was suggested on my part, but Oliver said that he doesn’t like to sit around in one spot for too long, and if my reading aloud would take place it would have to be while we were playing Mouse-on-a-String. That would be difficult, I explained to him. Often times he would see my fingers flutter, and he would make a break for them, wrapping his paws around my forearm and biting my wrist; he’d realize his mouth was too small, so he’d retract his face. Purring, nuzzling, and cuddling would happen after.
The mistake was the slightest mentioning for an idea of a fort, an idea that Oliver was intrigued by. He still is. Explain the concept of a fort was exciting for the cat, and he put his two cents about construction of rooms. This was where I put a pause on the conversation to explain to him that we do not have adequate blankets and surfaces to drape the blankets over.
Oliver: “What do you mean, there aren’t enough blankets?”
Me: “Well, I don’t think your mom would appreciate my tearing apart her apartment for blankets, and then rearranging her furniture. The rearranging part would take forever, because I would be the only one moving the couches, tables, and chairs.”
Oliver: “I can help.”
Oliver: “Don’t laugh at me.”
Me: “I can’t help it, you silly cat. That’s a ridiculous statement.”
Oliver: “The television is fine where it is.”
Me: “What the hell are you talking about?”
Oliver: “We can drape the blanket over the television so we can have a Cathedral ceiling for our television room.”
Me: “That’s probably not a smart thing, draping and fastening a blanket over a television. Aside, how do you know what Cathedral ceilings are?”
Oliver: “Don’t ever underestimate a cat.”
Me: “Plus, if I am moving the furniture–couches especially–they will scrape the floors, and the noise will create panic in the neighboring apartment and the apartment below. They may call the police on us.”
Oliver: “I told you that I’d help you move things. Don’t rule out my television idea out just yet. All in all, this can work. What is a police?”
Me: “The police are blue-uniformed crime fighters, a group of people who should only be called when this is an emergency. Aside everything, I really don’t think we have enough blankets. I would have to go out and get more, which would be a waste of time since I am on a time schedule. You’re not going to give me gas money anyway. I’m unemployed, and I need to keep my driving down to a minimum.”
Oliver: “We don’t have enough blankets?!? That’s an emergency! Plus, you don’t have money! That’s an emergency!”
Me: “No, no, and no. I have money, but my spending has to be watched. How the hell do you not know who the police are, but you understand what Cathedral ceilings are?”
Oliver: “Enough with the Cathedral ceilings, human. We have construction problems. Your brother works in construction. Can he help us?”
Me: “No, he can’t help us.”
Oliver: “You’re building me this fort.”
Me: “Not today. Not any time soon for that matter.”
Oliver: [Some rant in Feline Language that cannot be understood by humans]
Me: “What does that mean?”
Oliver: “Nothing that will interest you.”
Me: “It does. I don’t understand; ergo, I want to understand.”
Oliver: “My mom won’t buy me Eggos.”
Me: “Ergo. It means therefore. Don’t you dare change the subject.”
Oliver: “Or what? What are you going to do?”
Me: “I’m not going to do anything… Hmm… Except take away your treats!”
Oliver: [Feline Language] “You wouldn’t dare!”
Me: “I would!”
Oliver: “I’ll call the police!”
Oliver: “I’ll take away your treats.”
Me: “Nice try! I already ate the cookies your mom made me!”
Me: “I didn’t eat them all in one setting. That could have been done, but I resisted the temptation and savored them.”
Oliver: “You’re letting yourself go. You need to work out and go running more often.”
Me: “My knee has been sore!”
Oliver: “Excuses! Bah!”
(At this point, I am not sure if this was Oliver or my conscience talking. Either or, they made a great team in crippling my self esteem.)
This is where I broke out the Mouse-on-a-String, which distracted and tired him out. After playtime, we rested on the couch, and he had forgotten about the fort. We began watching episodes of How I Met Your Mother.
Oliver: “I really like this show, human. Thanks for introducing me to it. Mom doesn’t let me watch television.”
Me: “You are welcome, cat. Call me Chris. However, you are full of bologna regarding the television thing.”
Oliver: “If you had a tail, I would pull it.”
Me: “Thanks. That’s so comforting.”
Oliver: “I’m kidding, human. I can see why you like this show. It’s perfect for you.”
Me: “Thanks for understanding. Call me Chris.”
Oliver: “Do you go to bars?”
Oliver: “Do you drink beer?”
Me: “Some are. You have to be picky, and preference varies from person to person.”
Oliver: “Can I try some?”
Me: “Absolutely not.”
Oliver: [Feline Language]
Me: “Sucker. I’m drinking tea, but you can’t have that either.”
Oliver: “By my instincts, you seem to come across like Ted. Do you have relationship issues?”
Me: “Of course. Everyone does.”
Oliver: “Do you have a girlfriend?”
Me: “Not ready.”
Me: “Just haven’t gotten comfortable. I’ve had a couple great catches, but they pushed a little too hard and freaked me out.”
Oliver: “You have an ex?”
Me: “Yes, a few.”
Oliver: “You need to slap yourself in the face several times and chill out.”
Me: “I’ve tried that.”
Me: “Well what?”
Oliver: “My instincts tell me that you’re not ready.”
Me: “Duh. Plus, I am considering getting out of here, because I’m getting anxious about not finding a job in Syracuse and living back with my parents.”
Oliver: “Talk about cock blocking yourself.”
Me: “Despite you making a valid point, there has not been talk of my cock blocking myself.”
Oliver: “How old are you?”
Me: “30 and a half.”
Oliver: “Ouch. Good luck.”
Me: “Go be useful and clean up that water you spilled in the bathroom.”
Oliver: “Go tear me off some paper towels, because I am incapable of doing so.”
Me: “Says the cat that thought he could build a fort with Cathedral ceilings.”
Oliver: “Says the cat sitter who is my bitch.”
Me: “Oh, is that so? Bringing out the big guns?”
Oliver: “I pooped earlier. You might want to take care of that.”
I play with words and invisible objects.
A mind, a pen and a piece paper have the best relationship ever.
"Remember this--if you shut your mouth, you have your choice."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald