Monday, July 31, 2006

Marley The Smoking Cat

Have you ever spent most of your day on the phone with a good friend? It’s sort of a warm and fuzzy feeling, as you chat about everything in your lives. These marathon conversations reveal new things about your closest friend, and all too often they uncover much about you as well. I enjoy these marathon chats, if only because they remind me that someone in the world finds me interesting enough to spend ten hours talking to me. Unfortunately, these days are not productive vacuuming days; which is most unfortunate considering my carpet looks as though it is wearing a fur coat at the moment.

The fur for this particular coat comes directly from my Maine Coon, Marley. Marley is a wonderful companion, loving friend, and a first class shedder. Actually, Marley doesn’t shed so much as he gives birth to little Mini Marley Minions. I am quite sure these tiny little cats that are scattered so innocently about the house are, in actuality, laying in wait for Marley to give the command…at which point they will rise up and kill us all…or make us their slaves…or something equally horrific and frightening. This belief did not simply appear in my head one day, it has been carefully cultivated over the years, fed by the fact that the very instant I vacuum, Marley stalks by, shudders his little black body and releases thousands of these Mini Marley Minions, or Triple M’s, everywhere in the house. Marley does not like to be without his supporting army of vicious fluff balls, it distresses him deeply.

My cat is actually quite bizarre. He loves cigarettes, eats Coffee Crisps, and sleeps on my pillow. Unlike most cats, he comes immediately when his name is called, and adores being picked up and cuddled. Except when he doesn’t…at which point he. will. cut. you. I dislike Marley’s love of Coffee Crisps most passionately. The instant I open one (they happen to be my very favorite food in the entire world) Marley appears instantly at my side, having teleported his tiny furry self from wherever he happened to be in the house when the crinkle of the wrapper was first heard. Once there, he will look at me longingly and stand up on his hind legs, begging patiently for three whole seconds. If the Coffee Crisp is not shared with him inside of these three whole seconds, Marley will reach out with his paw and attempt to spear the chocolate bar with his claws. If your hand happens to be in the way of this attempt, so much the better; you may consider it your punishment for withholding the Coffee Crisp from His Majesty.

The smoking is much the same really, though he does do this a little more on the sly. Unguarded ashtrays in the house are a source of longing desire, and if one is not careful, they will find cigarette butts all over the house, and Marley in the corner looking rather stoned. See…oh God, how do I explain this?? He sucks on the cigarette butts. Marley knows better, mind you, than to suck on all the butts he manages to ascertain at once; carefully stashing the ‘un-sucked’ butts round the house for later highs. I think this is due to the fact he once did suck them all at once and found himself with a terrible case of the runs for his trouble. Now, for all of you that are now itching to write me nasty letters about how I am a terribly irresponsible pet owner, (not to mention person) for allowing my cat access to cigarette butts, I have a few things to offer in my defense. First of all, I did not, at any time, pin the cat down and force him to suck on a butt. (Wow…that sounds terribly wrong, doesn’t it?) He steals them, sucks on them, and stashes them. Read HE does this…NOT ‘WE’ do this. Secondly, as soon as I realized that Marley was sucking my cigarette butts, I started emptying all my ashtrays the very second I was done with them. Unfortunately, though I take these precautions, I am, as of this writing, unable to locate all of Marley’s previous ‘stashes’, which I find as annoying as you all find horrifying. Thirdly, this is a disgusting habit of his, however I am assured by my veterinarian that it is NOT life threatening. Fourthly, yes, I smoke…and my lungs and I thank you to leave us to it. Not only is this my life, but these new baboon lungs work quite nicely, thank you, and I don’t need any sanctimonious “you should quit” talk. Frankly, I strongly believe that all high and mighty non-smoking do gooders with firm intentions to make all us smokers move to Siberia to have a puff should all jump naked into a swimming pool full of wolverines. I’m not going to get my wish, and I don’t see why in the hell you should get yours.

That last line reminds me that I intended, some time ago, to do a “Smoking Rant.” I’ll have to get onto that soon…it’s time.

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