Pipe Cleaner Cat
Good evening folks, may I join you in a smoke? Though I have owned a few cats in the past, and generally enjoyed their presence, I consider myself a 'dog person', and a 'big dog person' at that. Four years ago, I reread the maxim (often attributed to Mark Twain, but in reality was inspired by a line in his 'Pudd'nhead Wilson'), "A house is not a home without a cat", it struck a chord, and my roommate and I adopted our first rescue feline; a ‘Heinz 57' that we named ‘Brianna'.
Many a cat-owning pipe friend warned me that cats and pipe cleaners mix about as well as six year olds, Zippos and gasoline, and I studiously kept the two apart. Well, until about six months ago.... Briana, was behaving a bit listless and bored so, against my better judgment, I tied a pipe cleaner into a loop and threw it to her. Like all sensible pipe men who own cats, I feared that she would start to steal/spread pipe cleaners, like a latter-day Robin Hood redistributing the smoking accessory wealth to the other (non-existent) pipe smokers under my roof. Heh... I wish. The damned cat brought it back to me, plopping it at my feet! Curiosity peaked, I repeated the act, adding a good deal of distance. She brought it back to me. Yep, she was playing 'fetch'.
At first I was thrilled. I imagined teaching her how to shake hands, roll over, play 'dead', and bring me a beer (maybe an appearance on David Letterman's Stupid Pet Tricks?!)... No, just fetch, and only with the same pipe cleaner. Much like watching Drew Barrymore as a child actress, cute rapidly degenerated to irritation upon increasing exposure. As stupefying as being coerced into flipping a cleaner across a room 72 times, while watching 'Breaking Bad', might be (and if I didn't, she stared at me and mewled until I did), it was bliss compared to having a slobbery cleaner dropped on my face as I slept on a nightly basis. Harlan Ellison once wrote 'I have no mouth, and I must scream'. I might have a mouth, but if screaming in the middle of the night resulted in a wet cleaner being deposited into it....
Due to my reemployment with smokingpipes.com and subsequent relocation, I find myself ensconced in a rental that doesn't allow pets, and so Brianna had to remain with my roommate in Columbia. No more 'fetch' and I can sleep through the night with nary a fear of waking to a fish-scented glob of wire, cotton and drool deposited on my face. Then again, I can't tell you the number of times I have been working from home, and half-expected to feel my buddy curled at my feet under my desk. God help me, I really loved that cat.
Bear Graves: Dogsbody