IT WAS ALL a dream. I used to read Mother Earth magazine. Now Paulie Walnuts and Miss Cleb are milkin cream. He hates when the little goat sleeps over, though. He can't stand immature forms of any species; he calls them 'larval rats' or LRs for short.
When the Bird Lady and her Tall Jew came for dinner, they noticed he had put on some weight. After they left I found him in the closet, weeping softly, and I was like, Come on. I thought we were done with that closet shit a long time ago. He won't come out. He's unfit to be seen, &tc. I yank him out by a hind leg and squeeze him into his rubber punishment suit in the hopes we can celebrate his paunch. Instead he takes one look in the mirror and puts a paw gun to his temple.
We talk. He says he really wants to pursue a healthy lifestyle and I try to encourage him. He spends the next forty-eight hours on nothing but legumes and cucumber water proving he means it. Then he crashes, gorges, collapses in a pile of self-loathing.
I prescribe us a night at Easy. We tuck our jeans into our heel boots and he brushes his teeth with a bottle of Jack and we go. He can't but be happy when it's midnight and his fur is drenched in sweat and "Five On It" is playing. I know he won't actually dial any of the numbers he gets. He just craves some talismanic reassurance of his fuckability. For such a handsome cat, he can be most insecure.
The next day he's like, Fuck the club. He'd rather count a million bucks. I explain to him yet again why we couldn't score that inheritance. He says integrity is fine, but a Gucci collar is infinitely better. Also he's through with dieting. Has decided to be a Jabba the Hutt-style rap Dionysus. I ask him how that worked out for Biggie and Pun. He says he's still not a player but I'm still a hater.
I'm sterilizing milk jars and he asks how's Mr. Snuffleupagus. (He means the TS.) I tell him to fuck off because my imaginary friends could kick his virtual friends asses. He swishes off to IM his remote homie Seymour, and soon is cracking up over what they've dubbed 'humanure': shit that only humans think is funny. (Seymour's humom taught him portmanteaus and this is the thanks she gets.)
He's got this diva persona, but he's actually sensitive. He knows when my Pain is bad. He thinks it was imprudent of me to strike out on my own when I can't, like, carry shit. But he doesn't say it out loud. If he said it out loud I could point out his rhetorical error, the implication I should have stayed with Crim so the latter could carry shit. I assure him that the bonus-bling hooptie is on the way and, as soon as it starts and I remember how to drive stick, I'm up for ease of groceries and he's up for a puke-erific ride culminating in a rabies shot. He can't wait.
And actually, he does understand. He's like, Freedom isn't free. We get to reminiscing on his Log Cabin Republican days.
In literal terms, we are making cheese. (Chevre cleanse, twenty days, key to health.) Also practicing our thug love duets. He sucks at memorizing lyrics, so he always gets to be Ashanti. If we're feeling weak we do pushups to "Drop the World." Naturally he gets to be Wayne and I have to be Em. After that he's fired up and wants to stay out all night 'hunting,' which in his case should rightfully be called 'hunching in a vigilant pose by the coop.' It's seemingly meek Carmela who actually earns her barn cat keep.
He says he's finally figured out why I like rap so much. Because it's pretty words and it's about struggle. He says even when it's about money-cars-clothes-hoes it's really about struggle. I tell him that's pretty insightful. For a cat. He gives me the middle claw.
He likes seeing me at my writing desk, but he can't quite be supportive. He feels obliged to step on the keyboard and point out that writing is not going to provide the bottle-popping lifestyle he's looking for. I tell him I know that but I have to do it anyway. He understands. Write it or die trying. I ask if he'd care for some goat's milk squirted straight from the udder.