I’m at home sick today. Normally, art models don’t get sick days. Once a painting is started, you’re kind of in it for the long haul. But apparently exceptions are made for snotty, fevered messes. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror when you’re sneezing or coughing? Yes? Now go try it again, except this time take off all of your clothes, sit perfectly still, then start coughing for a minute and half straight. See if you can get your nose to run a little. If you can get a dozen strangers to intently watch you do this, then you’ve got a pretty good idea of why I was sent home from work. Not pretty.
Sick time at home gives you time to think about things. To even become preoccupied. And as a result, I have something that I need to get off my chest. Something about her.
When I started writing this blog, I made a little promise to myself to not use it as a platform for shit-talking and gossip. But. BUT, there is this certain creature in my life and I swear she was put on Earth to make my life a little more unpleasant than it should be. I go out of my way to be nice to her but still she gives me nothing but grief. I’m at my wit’s end. Maybe it’s the fever talking, but I have just had enough. Enough of this bitch. I know using the word nemesis may be overly dramatic, but I can think of no other fitting description. She seems to take pleasure in my unhappiness and if that’s not adversarial I don’t know what is. And because I would like someday for my writing to reach a broader audience, I decided to change the names of those I might paint in an unflattering light. But you know what? Fuck it, that’s what.
Her name is Oatmeal.
Oatmeal is the apartment walrus who lives with me. She is not my cat. She is no one’s cat, but she most closely associates with my husband and it was he who brought her into my life. The marriage vows did not cover Oatmeal. I consider this a mild form of fraud.
Oatmeal is fat. She is angry all of the time. Maybe she’s angry because she’s fat or maybe she’s fat because she’s angry. I don’t know. I do know that she’s a twat. She hangs out behind the dog while she’s eating, waiting for some seemingly strategized moment when she will bite the dog’s ass and send her running off, giving her the opportunity to pile dog food into her face like a chipmunk, which she will then spit out onto the carpet to enjoy at her own pace. She once chewed through an aluminum pan to get at some pumpkin bread. Oatmeal is passionate about food. She will drink my orange juice if I leave it unattended. And if she’s not in the mood for juice, she will just stick her paw in it and stare at me.
Frequently when having sex, I will open my eyes to see Oatmeal glaring at me from the nightstand. She will then growl very softly. She does not approve.
Lately, Oatmeal has elected herself Mayor of the Hallway. She will sit in the middle of it like a bridge troll refusing to let anyone pass. She does not offer riddles, only bites. The dog is afraid of her when she’s like this. I am too, a little.
Do you know how most cats ask questions? “Mrow? Mow?” when they want something. Oatmeal asks no questions. Her meows are demands and her voice is almost always raised. It sounds like she’s saying “Mnow. Now. NOW!!!” It is almost always food that she wants now. She once said this to me before slapping me squarely in the face. We were having a disagreement over a Haribo fruit gummy. She wanted it.
Oatmeal, like all cats, does purr. But she’s never purring out of contentment, always resignation. She growls while kneading blankets to make herself comfortable; Oatmeal makes anger biscuits. She will sometimes sit on laps, usually Mike’s, but sometimes mine. But if you disturb her rest in any way she will scratch you. Oatmeal never just scratches and leaves. She can’t seem to retract her claws so they just get stuck in the couch, your pants, your silk nightie, your leg. This never ends well.
Oatmeal takes horrible, horrible dumps. Usually while I’m eating breakfast. The smell always finds me no matter what room I’m in. When she’s finished, she will take several victory laps around the apartment, usually knocking something over in the process. You would think that this would help her lose weight but it doesn’t. Her fat belly swings back and forth as she runs. This is actually my favorite thing about Oatmeal. I could watch it all day.
She also runs around me in the mornings when I’m still in bed. Part of her course passes over my bladder and, if she’s lucky, over my chest. She seems to try to step right on my nipples. Breasts are tender things and she knows this. She uses her weight to its most advantage when stepping on tender regions of my body. If this does not get me up to feed her, she will poke my eyelids with her claw. She will always sit on my pillows. I hate it when she puts her cat anus on my pillows. If I do not get up to feed her in a timely fashion, she will eat something in the room. My iPhone. Pages from a book. A plastic bag if she can find one. The plastic bags upset me the most since I think it could probably kill her. I think she knows this. It’s all very dramatic, threatening suicide just to get a can of Friskies seafood delights.
Should I close this with some redeeming qualities of Oatmeal’s? Mike will argue, but I say she has none. She is a thing of evil. I admire him for loving her, but it’s a very sick relationship if you ask me. She uses and abuses those around her with no fear of retribution. She knows that we will feed her and give her soft places to sleep until she becomes an incontinent old crone of a cat. And she knows that we will then clean up her gross cat pee from our sofa and shoes. Like slaves. Isn’t there supposed to be a third anti-Christ already among us? If she ever grows opposable thumbs, we’re all fucked.
There. I feel much better now.