By HARTLEY BARNES
“How is it possible, to look directly at someone and make him or her feel like they don’t exist, you do that to me. There is nothing warm about your stare— it is disrespectful.
We need to talk about your nonchalant fastidious attitude. Do you get my drift? Do not walk away from me. I am not going to allow you to ignore me—anymore. You can shimmy out of here and hide in one of those odd places you like sleep, I will find you.
There seems to be some misconception, about who is the head of this family. We all have attitudes. Yours puzzle me, for instance, I call to you, you keep walking, or you stop, lie down and start licking your fur, and do not acknowledge my presence. I know you hear me calling you. Do you have a monopoly on indifference? You prance around without a sense of purpose. When you pass me, I can feel you challenging me to say something, and you do it with such swagger, waving your tail as if you are royalty.
You define independence, yet, I cater to you, with your arrogance. You do not socialize, unless it is in your best interest, on your terms. For example, when you are in the mood for a back rubbed. You come and play footsie with me, get what you want, then you mosey off as if you are on tuna fish hill, and no thank you. How about when you fertilized my potted plant, right after I cleaned your litter box. You knew I would be upset, you decided to pacify me with a trophy, and you caught a mouse, you played with it until it died and then you presented it to me. I was born at night; it was not last night. Do you believe I fell for that?
Are you upset with me because I had you castrated? I know what you are missing. However, it is for your peace of mind and my sanity. I am not trying to be facetious; one of us had to make a sacrifice. Ok, I know you did not have a choice, but the noises you make, the crazy noises you make, like a baby crying, when you get the urge, were driving me nuts. Then you would leave for days. When you return, emaciated, strut in as nothing happen, and you go to sleep with a smile on your face. How am I supposed to feel?
Do you ever sleep in the same place twice, you do not like water, and so, why would you nap in the bathtub and worse yet, in the washing machine! I should be like you, pretend you are invisible, and turn the machine on.
Show me some respect if you want to continue living here. The idea that you can do what you want will no longer fly. Many alleys in our neighborhood would love to accommodate you. So, think about the rats that you will have to eat instead of the gourmet food I supply you with, and the dogs that will see you as food.
I have one more thing to say. Where are you going? I am still talking to you– come back here! I said come back –“
Oh no, you did not! You must have smelled the catnip again!
Hartley Barnes is a veteran who has served in three wars, Viet Nam, Desert Storm, and Iraqi Freedom. Retired from the Army in 2006, and went to worked in Iraq, and Afghanistan as a civilian contractor for six years. He is now home and writing. His focuses are creative and playwriting. He can be reached at:firstname.lastname@example.org