Miss Connie and her husband are on vacation, so their daughter is house- and pet-sitting.
Today, she came over and knocked on my parents door. She’s in her mid-20s chronologically, but her disgust level rivaled that of any fifty-five year old office worker.
“Do you need any meat?” She asked dispiritedly.
“I’m sorry?” My mother replied, thinking she had misheard. This is what happens when you live 30 years with a man who’s in denial about losing his hearing. Asking a question in their house is a dicey proposition. “Do I need any what?”
“Meat,” she sighed. “Mom’s cat unplugged the freezer and everything is thawing out and I don’t want it to go bad.”
“We don’t need any meat,” Mom said, “but I’ll be glad to put some of your stuff in our freezer until yours gets back running.”
“Have you tried Mr Glenn?” Mom asked as we crossed the street. Everyone knows that since Mrs Glenn passed on, Mr Glenn’s diet is very much dictated by Bruce the husky.
“I did,” she sighed. “But him and Bruce were going to Bojangles to get chicken biscuits and then Mr Glenn is getting a pedicure.”
Mom tripped over the sidewalk; Connie’s daughter pretended not to notice.
“He does that all the time,” she went on. “I think he likes having someone to talk to besides his daughter and Bruce. But he said if we had anything left he’d try to help out when he got back.”
“Did you try Mario? He’s next door today.”
“I know,” she said. “I tried to chase the cat in front of his lawnmower.”
Having done some work in their house, Mario is familiar with the cat. He crosses himself whenever he sees it, despite being Baptist.
“But he said he had to pick up his wife and it would go bad anyway.”
“Where is the cat now?” Mom asked. “Did he stay out?”
(He didn’t. He weighs about 100 pounds and does not know fear. If he’s outside, he’s usually taunting Loki, the neighbor’s dog. All was quiet on that end of the street.)
The daughter threw open the basement door to reveal one fat, satisfied cat, laying on top of the rapidly defrosting freezer and clearly hoping for some venison.
The freezer repairmen are coming tomorrow, because the cat apparently pulled the plug part off the cord. They have previously refused to come in the house if the cat was also inside.