"Do you miss me?" I probed the Object over the phone from my hotel room in Atlanta last week, trying to guilt him into his feelings.
"Um, I guess so. You've only been gone a few days." Dammit. He never falls for the bait. I guess I should be glad he's not a complete sucker. Of course, the question was slightly ingenuous, meant to imply that I couldn't bear another moment without him. And yet, as I spoke, I was rolling around my 6048 square inches of king size bed- a plushy paradise that was mine, mine, all MINE DAMMIT! No sharing with overindulged kitties and oversized boys who claim more than their share of bedspace by whining they don't fit into it otherwise. And oh, how I relished the freedom to yank the covers and nestle them around me however I saw fit.
"You know what I miss?" The Object "Having you around to take care of the cat."
Ugh, not this stupid business again. Kitty and the Object have an adversarial relationship that tends to lay dormant until the middle of the night or when I leave town, whichever is more obnoxious. The Object has never lived with a pet, and kitty has never lived with a big, smelly boy. (His words, not mine. And considering he's 17 pounds of animal that shits in a box, um, kettle? Pot? Who's black?) Anyhoo, when I left for Uganda at the beginning of November, I abandoned the two of them to figure out how to deal with each other, hoping, not unlike Condi, for some sort of magical peace agreement. Apparently the entire time I was gone, the two of them sat on opposite ends of the house, warily staring at each other and plotting how to convince me the other needed to go when I got home. As a result, kitty developed a charming habit of ripping the hell out of the woolly area rug in the middle of the night, while the Object developed an anxiety disorder worrying about it. Midway through the trip, my friend Meghan emailed me, pleading me to come home soon. "The Object sent me an email involving an elaborate fantasy of him and the kitty getting drunk together. Come home soon before he totally loses his mind...."
The whole business manifested its ugly badness in full when I came home from Uganda jetlagged out of my mind. While I tried my damndest to stay awake past 8, I apparently had brought some form of the SARS home with me and found myself surrendering to a losing battle. And so began the nights of routinely and reliably being woken at least three times.
The first wakage was performed by the Object, who would come to bed several hours after me and wake me up to announce that he was going to sleep. He would then begin a lengthy process of forcing me (literally, taking my limbs and pushing them into proper positioning) to assume the position he had determined will afford him maximum snugglage, regardless of whether or not I wanted it. Past ten p.m., he loves me for the living pillow that I am; my thoughts and/or comfort are completely irrelevant. The second wakage would be performed by Kitty, scratching the fuck out of something or pouncing on our faces, meowing pitifully and begging to play nocturnal animal games. Honestly, he's not terribly difficult to ignore, roll over, and fall promptly back to sleep. But then a third waking would occur, this time by the Object, nudging me back out of sound sleep to discuss the options we have in getting the cat not to scratch the fuck out of stuff or pounce on the bed, which would invariably lead to me buying the latest miracle pet cure on the internet at 3:30 in the morning. By the time I left for a work trip to Atlanta last week, I was broke, exhausted, and more than happy to let the two of them duke it out, mano a gato. I even left some guns of the squirt variety out for dueling purposes.
In Atlanta, one of my single coworkers announced that she wished she could have at least had some company to take full advantage (nudge nudge wink wink y'know what I mean) of the plushy hotel beds, I thought she'd had just a little too much to drink. But apparently, I've been overlooking one obvious solution this entire time- probably due to my blinkered vegetarian existence:
And so, problem solved. And yeah, I'm so ridiculously glad to be home, overcrowded bed, hostile flatmates and all.