Bride Elect: Evolution of a Bridezilla
Chapter Forty-Nine—Briefing the House-Sitter
With all of my family heading out to join us in BC for our wedding, we were without our usual cat—I mean—house-sitter. Our cat did not look nor act his age, however, in cat years he was very nearly old enough to collect government pension. He required careful and specific care. As with most old farts, he liked his routines, and did not take kindly to change. Even when he was younger, he would stand on the furniture and yell at me those times when I rearranged the furniture.
We had a friend graciously agree to house-sit for us while we were away. She was kind and gentle natured, and laughed as we went through the minute details of our cat’s care. At first she thought it was one of those things where she would just drop in and feed him and head back to her place. Palucid jumped in before I could say anything and corrected her. Our boy was fed his dollop of chicken stew twice a day, and could well fail to thrive should he not have a human to ignore for at least 6-12 hours a day.
We only managed to hit the highpoints with her before she had to run home. She took copious notes and assured us that if we wrote any additional information down, that she would read it carefully and follow all instructions to the best of her ability. For her, the most daunting part of house-sitting for us was not the prospect of caring for our indulged furry child, but actually having a whole house to herself.
As for our indulged furry child, he had an inkling things were up. After all, my suitcases were out and slowly getting packed. Also, since June was such a busy month, he didn’t seem to have the same level of adoration that he had become accustomed to. It had been weeks since he and I enjoyed an afternoon nap in the sun. Similarly, it had been a couple of weeks since he and Palucid had the house to themselves to chase each other.
Our boy responded to this without the passive aggression one would come to expect from a cat. Instead, he developed a bit of a Velcro routine. We were not being ignored in the manner to which we had become accustomed! Our boy would follow us around until he had his evening chicken stew, and once he had his fill of the stew he would wait around patiently until one of us went to bed. Once in bed he would snuggle up to his human and purr—loudly. When his second human came to bed, he would leave for a quick snack only to return to wedge himself between his humans.
Mornings were difficult. The cuddle fest was in high gear, and I felt like a class one schmuck for having to get up to get ready for work. Often my boy would graciously relent on the purring once I said “C’mon—it’s time for chicken stew!” Guarding his humans while they slept was hungry work, and a cat needs to eat.
Leaving our boy while we were on holiday was not easy for me. Often I missed my boy terribly after about a week away. I would be concerned about whether or not he was eating, or if he was behaving himself. Our boy had a bit of a….history. The first time I went away our boy slashed and bit his own grandparents out of shear abandonment rage. Later, once, when a house guest, tried cuddling with him he bit her, and then hid under our bed for an hour.
Sure he was a cuddly, mushy, sucky-boo-boo with us, but with anyone else he seemed to be something of a vicious bastard. Even when Palucid first moved in, our boy communicated his distaste for change with his fangs. The only thing that really seems to address this behaviour is reciprocation. However, no cat-sitter we’ve ever had followed through on my prescribed advice: bite back and growl, “DON’T BITE THE BIG CAT—I AM THE BIG CAT!” For some reason, they act like my advice is not serious, and that I am actually joking or something.