I have this cat.
His name is Ferocious Fred. He’s kind of an Internet celebrity, since he was rescued from this summer’s deadly heat and drought by my good friend Carrie Mess, better known as Dairy Carrie. He lived in Wisconsin. Carrie and her husband Pat fostered him, and when they came to Kansas City in August for the AgChat Foundation conference, Freddy took his first (and probably only) flight.
Now I have this cat. He’s a teenage cat. And he’s a pain in my behind.
The most adorable, sweet, adorable, lovable, snuggable, fluffy, adorable pain in my behind. Did I mention how adorable he is?
Allow me to regale you, friends.
I looked at the ceiling, wondering what time it was based on the light softly illuminating my room through my closed mini-blinds. It wasn’t time to wake up yet. The softness of the light and it’s unnatural blue tinge told me that it was the florescent light from the parking lot glowing onto my blinds. Yet, here I was, wide awake. I rolled over and found my phone, which often goes by the name of “Alarm Clock” in those wee hours of the morning.
“Seriously?” The illuminated screen of my smartphone told me that my alarm would be going off in less than an hour. I knew that if I rolled over and went to sleep now I’d probably sleep through my alarm, so I gently awoke the cat and dog comfortably sleeping on me and I tossed off the covers.
At the end of my morning routine, I had time to spare. A lot of time to spare. No one else would be in the office for at least an hour, which was still an hour earlier than I usually arrived. Seeing what was laid out on my table, I decided to engage in a quick project. I’d stumbled across bunches of wheat for flower arrangements at the grocery store while visiting Manhattan over the weekend. I grabbed the bud vase I had also picked up over the weekend, and set to work making the most fabulously-girly, borderline-gaudy ag-themed decor I could.
It was simple. I essentially put the wheat in the bud vase and filled the vase with rhinestones and glitter. Checking my watch, I realized it was about time to hit the road to work. I had an after-hours event for a professional organization that evening, so I’d only be able to swing by the apartment briefly before I went to that. One last once-over of the apartment, I put the vase far from the edge of the table, and I bid my pets farewell.
Shortly after five, I jiggled my key in my sometimes-difficult lock, opening the door to the sound of Rory’s tail hitting the wall. She knew the sound of my keys. The first thing I saw was my tiny honey-colored dog spinning in circles, excited that I was home. Then, I saw it.
The glitter and rhinestones.
The glitter and rhinestones, everywhere.
The glitter and rhinestones, everywhere, as well as bits of half-eaten wheat.
I scratched my head, trying to figure the order of events. Knowing the teamwork dynamic of my pets, I assumed that Fred had gotten on the table, knocked over the vase, rolled it to the edge, and knocked some of the wheat to the floor so my glutton of a Dachshund could feast upon the kernels. While most of the wheat was spared, I noticed something disturbing about the glitter.
Where the glitter lay thickest on the table and the chairs, there seems to be “bite marks” in the piles. And Fred, my adorable and sweet and difficult teenage male cat, had glitter all over his mouth, and down his front.
There was no doubt: Ferocious Fred had eaten impressive amounts of glitter. Knowing full well that that glitter would be resurfacing soon, I put my pain-in-the-behind cat in the bathroom with a large bowl of fresh water and shut Rory into the bedroom. With a flurry of exclamations of my favorite sayings, such as, “My life is absurd,” I left for my after-hours event and decided that glitter and rhinestones could wait.
I got home. My assumptions were correct. Ferocious Fred had enjoyed large quantities of glitter, and his litter box had more sparkle than an 8-year-old girl’s glitter fairy birthday party. With the same enthusiasm which Fred offers me every time he sees me, he rubbed my legs and purred loudly. He seemed quite pleased, actually. As if ingesting glitter did, in fact, make this day quite the joyous affair. Sitting on the edge of the bathtub, I scratched behind his ear and said, “Ferocious Fred, your name should be Fabulous Fred.”
Leaving my glitter-munching cat in the bathroom, I decided the time was nigh for my vacuum cleaner’s maiden voyage. I’m sure there was some choice language used as I struggling to get the tiny sucking machine to pulled up the last of the glitter, embedded like cheerful reminders of my cat’s infractions in the very fiber of the carpet.
With the bulk of the mess cleaned up, I released the cat and dog, gave a heavy sigh, and sunk onto the couch. Both of them were on the couch with me within seconds, showering me with the unconditional affection that seems to make these sort of absurd pet-related crises so worthwhile.
If this is a glimpse of what parenthood is like, I thought to myself, then perhaps it’s best that I don’t want to even consider kids for a few years. Then, in a brief moment that should terrify any future kids that I may be destined to have someday, I swore to myself I’d take pictures the next time around.