For reasons I don’t understand, we own two cats. Their names are Shut Up and Dickhead. I can’t tell them apart, but I’ve never really had to because I always speak to both of them at the same time. As a result, I think of them as one hyphenated cat. Shut Up-Dickhead lives on the lanai, which is Florida-speak for a front porch with delusions of upward mobility.
We have had Shut Up-Dickhead for some 14 years, which is easily 13 years too long. They don’t catch mice and I can’t get them to eat palmetto bugs. Our lanai is screened in, but it is egg-fry hot down here in August, and Judy does not believe that cats can stand the heat. So our lanai has been shrink-wrapped and I put in an air conditioner. Judy scoops poop once a day and the town poop truck comes twice a week to collect the scoopings.
Shut Up-Dickhead is a pain in the ass when we want to go somewhere for more than a few days. They expect to eat and drink regularly and become testy when they do not. When they are hungry or when they think they should be hungry, they make a considerable racket, which is how they got their respective names. Neighbor Dave next door hates noise of any sort, so extended cat howling while we are traveling would only lead to social unrest. Moreover, if you don’t scoop at reasonable intervals, your lanai fills with poop. We are waiting – or at least I am waiting – for Shut Up-Dickhead to die so we can do some extended touring, during which time the lanai will not fill with poop. I know that sounds heartless, but – well – never mind – maybe it is.
I have some uncategorized collectibles that share living arrangements on the lanai with Shut Up-Dickhead, things like Joan Baez records and my old fraternity paddle, things for which I have no further use but with which I cannot bring myself to part. (I put great stock in not ending sentences with prepositions, but sometimes that obsession leads to abominations like that last sentence. Find another blog if off is what that puts you.) To keep the cat fur off my treasures, we have been looking for one of those plushly carpeted Kitty Condos. We have been holding off because I am too damn cheap to spend a three-figure sum on accommodations for a hyphenated cat. Then, just last week, we came upon a recovering derelict on a street corner holding a cardboard sign reading “Kitty Condos – Cheap!” Beside him on the grass was a row of pouffy condos. We stopped. For $99 in carefully counted cash, we jammed a multi-level cat castle into the back seat and sped home. Our lanai now qualifies as multi-unit housing. Although it took a while for Shut Up-Dickhead to part with Joan Baez, they now sit proudly on the condo roof looking out on the world like Yertle the Turtle surveying his domain. Therein lies the problem.
Shut Up-Dickhead used to be boys, but we reorganized them when they were babies. For nearly 14 years they have been content to be sexless, sort of like Gumby with fur. Lately however, one of them – let’s assume it’s Dickhead – has had flashbacks, probably brought on by profligate behavior when he was in college. Anyway – cut to the chase – Dickhead has been mounting his brother. A lot. Personally, I have no issues with whatever two or more consenting adults do in the privacy of their lanai, but this lanai is not private. Mounted on the roof of the condo, they look like the hood ornament on Larry Flint’s Lincoln. They are scandalizing the neighborhood. Most of our neighbors have not been on the roof of the condo since the 1970’s and are unlikely to be amused by Shut Up-Dickhead’s in flagrante antics.
We have reluctantly started lacing Dickhead’s chow with kitty saltpeter. But you have to admire his pluck.