Note For The Cat Sitter
The fact that you are reading this note indicates that you have safely made it through the deactivated front door and are now standing before the kitchen table reading this note. While I realize that other activities most certainly exist to occupy your valuable night, you must also be assured that you will be rewarded, richly, for your good deed and will come away from this (hardly) grueling task with a smile in your heart and a bounce in your soul. I have often said, dear neighbor, that Li-Len Gong and Helen St. Marie are more than mere felines. Whether you have heard me utter said truth through these paper-thin walls is really not up for discussion, as I have stated as much, and that is that. These immaculate creatures are now in your hands. Li-Len and Helen, as you read this note, undoubtedly stand somewhere in this very apartment, mouths agape, stomachs devoid of all contents, separated between here and eternity only by YOU. You are the gatekeeper, dear friend. Please keep that in mind as you accomplish the following 10 points of instruction, in ORDER! and with PRECISION! and with GRACE!
#1. Li-Len and Helen are not animals. Treat them with the respect that you would care to be treated if you, too, happened to be left inside of an apartment with your owner away for unavoidable business. True, Li-Len and Helen are cats. Are cats animals? Yes. Are Li-Len and Helen cats? Yes . . . but wouldn’t that make them animals? Didn’t I just say otherwise? Understand that syllogism, and life will begin to make more sense.
#2. Miss Li-Len Gong has absolutely every right to think of herself as no less than a direct descendent of the very same feline who proudly perched atop Queen Sheba’s golden throne many, many centuries ago in a wondrous land whose magical name I somehow fail to recall. She comes from royalty and should be treated as such. Do not make eye-contact with Li-Len until she has with you. Do not talk to Li-Len until she has with you. When asked a question, speak slowly and deliberately, ending every sentence with “Yummy” or “Mother” or “Li-Len Gong, my life.”
#3. Helen is not a direct descendent of royalty, and yet has a tendency to think of herself as vastly superior to every other form of walking, swimming, flying, or sloshing species of life-form. Respect this trait, and you and Helen shall get along splendidly. Fail to respect this and you will most likely die.
#4. Li-Len Gong is not shy, but rather, selective. Li-Len is not violent, but rather, canny. Li-Len does not provide gifts on the shoes of strangers as a matter of discourse, but rather for the unmitigated pleasure of the unadulterated act. Li-Len has a tendency to escape beneath gas-powered, scorchingly hot radiators. Get down on your hands and knees, neighbor, and search! Per condo-board law, I have taken the liberty of providing you with rubber gloves, paper towels, Band-Aids, and a tube of Neosporin in a locked emergency box in the kitchen corner.
#5. Helen has a most wicked and delicious sense of humor and will not be degraded with explanations or stock-answers. When reading aloud from the 36 volumes of Garfield newspaper-funnies in the living room library (in chronological order!), you shall amuse Helen to no end if you were to do so in a silly, high-pitched (almost lilting) voice, with just the proper amount of inflection as to make Helen shake with delight. Are you familiar with the voice of the faux televised Garfield? Do not imitate this voice, as it sends Helen into the most extreme fits of violence imaginable on this very earth.
#6. You are the hunted and Li-Len is the hunter. Reach into the cupboard (after straightening the photo of Li-Len dressed as a 19th century Dodge City harlot; the fish-net stockings fashioned out of foil wrapping paper was an idea that came to me in my sleep) and slap your hands around the Saranwrapped log of pseudo-beef jerky. Unwrap jerky. Drop down on all fours. Place jerky between lips. Swing jerky to and fro. Emit short, sharp gasps. Watch as Miss Gong enters the room and quickly sizes up the situation. Eyes alert, claws at the ready, she will make her way towards you, ready to pounce and kill and maim for that piece of dried hide. This is the point of no return. Do not so much as move! The hunter shall take what she needs, no more than is absolutely necessary to survive, and then retreat insouciantly back into the primordial beyond. (Upon her disappearance, you will make your way up to a standing position, grab a supplied mop and proceed to clean the urine left behind in her wake.)
#7. Repeat above, for it is now Helen’s turn to stalk. Again, urine will need to be eliminated with supplied mop.
#8. Dinner has been served, this is true, and the time has at last arrived for the continuation of the Helen/Li-Len species. Into the freezer you shall go, prudently selecting the appropriately marked vials of feline sperm. Must I describe, in great detail, what comes next? All right, then, I shall. On second thought, I shall not. As I write this, both Helen and Li-Len stare curiously over my shoulder. To go into great detail would not only embarrass them, but also me. Rather, I shall now describe, in coded general terms, what you can come to expect at this point: Rubber blanket. Turkey baster. Helen on hind quarters. First task completed. Rubber blanket. Turkey baster. Li-Len on hind quarters. Second task completed. It is that simple, dear friend. That and the legal document to be signed (for your protection, not mine!) in the instance that something goes terribly, horribly, eugenically awry.
#9a. My goodness, how can this be? Has the clock just struck 3:00 a.m.? Sleepiness descends upon you in clichéd waves, and yet Li-Len and Helen are so very thirsty from the chase. As you are undoubtedly aware, ever since the cosmetic surgery to flatten and enlarge her teats, dear Li-Len has refused to drink, lick, gulp, or even so much as ignore all milk-substances not labeled as a “Soy Product” or a “Byproduct of a Bean Very Similar to Soy.” Similarly, Helen (ever since the tummy-tuck that ridded excise baggage to provide for a more hour-glass-shaped figure) has refused to quench her gargantuan thirst with anything less than Fresca soda, freshly opened, no exceptions. Which leads me directly into the next set of instructions:
#9b. Lie on couch, outline has been provided for you in chalk. Lick fake nipples attached to wet-nurse breasts to prove that they are not for show. Wait patiently. Again, lick fake nipples. Show a bit more patience. Here they come. So very thirsty. There we go, sweethearts, Fresca and soy milk.
#10. Dawn approaches and I am soon to return from my overnight jaunt. The fact that Helen and Miss Gong have not yet each been placed upon their Queen Sheba replica thrones, you beneath them, a desperate air looming above your quivering and rocking torso, eyelids closed in orgiastic veneration, to be able to merely be in their presence!, to be able to utter: “Helen & Li-Len, thank you for the opportunity to prep you for the upcoming feline beauty pageant; the jazzy interpretive dance to the ‘Rum Tum Tugger’ shall almost certainly make you co-winners!”, the fact that this has not yet occurred, upsets me greatly. This is not a game, but rather life and death. Congratulations, neighbor. You shall never again be the same and for that you should be most thankful. You’re welcome.
Yours in Helen St. Marie & Miss Gong, Apartment #23