I recently cat-sat for some friends. This involved going to their house every other day to refill waters, clean cat puke of the rug, and – since one of the cats never came out of hiding, just sort of smell the air for dead cat. Another friend recently had to leave her aging cat behind for a week and the only instruction she left was “If the cat dies, could you wrap him in plastic and leave him in the freezer? Thank you.”
That’s the great thing about cats vs. dogs. Cats are easy.
For those of you not convinced that our mother is completely, hysterically mad, I give you exhibit A: The actual instructions she wrote for the masochists who’ve volunteered to watch her cat for two weeks. She has written the instructions in the voice of the cat, presumably to avoid sounding like a crazy person. They are very…specific.
Dear Franny and Zooey*,I think it would be nice to share some information about myself since you will become an additional member of my staff in a couple of months. Here are just a few of my favorite rules:
- Please never close the bathroom door completely. If you do, I will beat on it mercilessly until you open it. Then I will plop at your feet and expect a light body massage from your feet. but do not go near my tail end or I will eat your feet. Sometimes I will eat your feet anyway, once I’m done with you. Other times, I will stretch up and expect to be picked up and held while you do your business. Scratching under my chin pleases me during this. My people will be sure to trim my nails so that you don’t experience an accidental lap scratch if I decide to jump off prematurely. Actually, I may just not do that and leave you to do your business in peace. Not sure yet.
- Be sure to have hydrogen peroxide and polysporin on tap for your own fragile skin, just in case you step on my tail by accident and I eat your foot while trying to get away. I don’t know why I am expected to get my tail out of the way.
- Once you think you know what to feed me I will turn up my nose at the offerings. However, if you eat a fried egg for breakfast, I will expect you to save the runny part of the yolk and let me lick it off your plate. I sometimes like to sit in a chair next to you and watch you eat. I like to stare at you while you eat. My vet told my people to give me a raw egg yolk now and then but that’s just crazy.
- Oh, and if you just happen to be cooking shrimp scampi for dinner and have one or two extra raw shrimp, you may cut them up for me and I will eat them. if you don’t, I will cry and make you feel bad. Sometimes my Dad will even defrost and clean a couple, just special for me. I’m not opposed to a half teaspoon of raw hamburger either. And I will try really hard to not throw up.
- My accommodations: My current staff will supply you with several box lids for distribution in your home. I do like one in front of the fireplace and others placed in locations where you hang out so I can continue to stare and observe your activities if I decide to leave my room.
- Sleeping quarters: I have a cozy bed and something called a cat carrier that I like to sleep in. The cat carrier is for after a meal so I can sleep without anyone stepping on me. the cozy bed is for sleeping in at night, unless it is too hot. If it’s hot I like sleeping on paper. Once again, my staff will supply the appropriate papers for my resting purposes.
- I do appreciate a lounging area in a private location, in particular if there is a knock on the door or someone dares to ring the doorbell. A closeted area is often assigned to me for such use. Having water close by is a plus, but it must be filtered. I do not drink tap water – it smells terrible to my sensitive nose.
- So many other things to share with you. Weird drops in my food, arthritis powder, canned wild salmon, random other food items. And just to surprise my staff, I have suddenly decided I will eat a certain brand of cat food. That is, until I barf it up and then can’t eat it again for 6 months. Sometimes I eat, then drink water, then poop and then throw up, then you have to feed me again because I’m hungry. Usually I only do that on a Saturday.
- Play – I am intrigued by stick things that poke out from under a rug or towel and zip back. Sometimes I will actually bat at it but usually I will just let you work really hard at the game. My staff will send a toy or two along for your play time.
- Another thing I like to do to my dad is knead his chest and snortle under his chin. If my mom lays on the floor I will bury my face in her hair, but only if I am in a very good mood, so maybe once a year.So, that’s a little about me, can’t wait for our long play-date so I can learn all about you.. There’s so much more to learn about me, but that’s for later.XXOO Daisy Duke 🐾😸😼😺
When we were kids, I’m pretty sure my mom left shorter notes with regards to our needs when she dropped us off with a new sitter! I could be wrong, though.
The sitter had a solid response, though, so I don’t think they’ll be having mum committed anytime soon:
Thank you Daisy Duke for your note,Your temporary staff has taken note of your needs. We’ll print these and abide by all the instructions. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if we miss a couple of them. A simple hiss or meow (extended claws not necessary) will put us on alert. Just correct us and we’ll make adjustments. We hope we won’t disappoint you on too many of your ‘needs’. We appreciate that your regular staff is ready and able to accommodate you at your beck and call . . . . we will do our best to do the same. Just know that we have your best interest at heart and will care for you much as your regular staff does. Feel free to sleep in, eat, poop, hiss, throw-up at your leisure. Also, please know that this indignity of being boarded off won’t last forever. You’ll be able to take your revenge when your regular staff returns. I think a poop at the bottom of the bed would be appropriate. . .. or whatever other action you deem necessary to express your disgust.Looking forward to your visit. We’re here to serve.