"No respect! No respect at all, dammit!" I'd stepped outside to welcome a cool New Mexico morning, and my neighbor's cat ran between my legs into my house. Still dark, for the next ten minutes or so, there was a battle between me and a scraggly feline invader. I lost... The damn cat wouldn't leave. By the way, I don't think it's right that my neighbor lied about having her cat "de-clawed"...
As I sat in my easy chair, moping up little scratches on the back of my hands and the side of my face, the cat - a 18 lbs behemoth named "Purrr-dy" - sat on the couch staring at me. I pointed at him, "You're not watching the game with me today." He just stared at me, then gave a silent "meow" and yawned; showing off an impressive set of really sharp teeth while he did so. Purrr-dy had been "saved" by my neighbor from an old barn 10 miles outside of town 8 years ago. A wild cat in every respect, Purrr-dy pretty much owns the block I live on. I mean, he scares everyone. If he's out strolling around, the mail doesn't get delivered, and even low-riding cars booming out heavy-bass RAP turn the volume down when they pass him. The only people who can so much as touch him are kids. They grab him, pet him, and he doesn't bat an eye. If a strange dog happens to be walking too near one of the kids on the block, you'll see Purrr-dy's mangy fur go from a sitting position to a ground-hugging missile directed straight for the intruder. You'll hear a yelp, then watch as a 100 lbs dog flees the scene.
I stared back a Purrr-dy, then sighed. "OK, fine, you can watch the game, but no chicken wings for you!" He gave me an evil look, then made this sort of growl that I'm pretty sure emanated from somewhere south of hell itself. I pulled at my collar, and felt a bit of sweat beading up on my brow so I decided to shift the subject. "So... Are the Rams going to win today?" He stared at me still, but mixed in a lick of his furry lips. I could see he wasn't decided yet on the outcome of today's game between Arizona and St. Louis.
I pointed at him, "If you aren't rooting for the Rams, we're going to have a problem kitty-cat!" I leaned back in my chair as he flashed me his "I'm going to eat you" look. Purrr-dy hates being called "kitty-cat", or kitty, or even cat for that matter. I think somewhere in the old barn where he was found, there must have been a picture of Godzilla, or maybe Mothra? He must have stared at it long and hard as a kitten, and decided on his career path as a monster.
Then I considered "Football-Baby", the cute kid who's parents bundle up in football-esk pajamas and let teeter back and forth on a couch to predict NFL games. Maybe Purr-dy was a New Mexico version of the now famous infant, but without poopy diapers? I pulled up the NFL schedule on my computer, and pointed at each game, then looked at Purr-dy. "Who's going to win: Miami or Detroit?" I heard a fur muffled "Brappa" sound. I' pretty sure Purr-dy farted when I pointed at Detroit - which seems almost logical - so I marked down the Lions as his pick. Next, I pointed at the San Francisco - New Orleans game. Purrr-dy's tail flew off the couch at the Saints' name on the screen. I coughed and tried to wave away the noxious cloud filling the room. My eyes watering, I pointed at the Rams - Cardinals game. Purrr-dy's eyes went wide, and he took a dump on my couch when I touched the Rams name. I staggered to the front door, throwing it open. As I breathed in fresh air, Purr-dy's owner came walking up. Old Mrs. Flannery was smiling. "Can I have my cat back?"
As the smell dissipated behind me, I wondered how long it would take for the furniture store to deliver a new couch. I looked at Mrs. Flannery, and said, "NO!", then slammed the door shut. There was no way I'd let this evil creature out of my sight. He'd predicted a Rams win today in Arizona, or at least I think he did? I turned back to Purrr-dy, who looked rather proud of himself, but had moved to my office chair. "OK, now let's figure out the final score..."