Earlier this year, one of my parents’ two cats was diagnosed with lung cancer and soon passed. Our sleek grey boy left behind his litter-mate, a chunky 12-year-old orange tabby. After a decade of feline companionship and sibling rivalry, the lone cat seemed like he could use a friend. My parents talked about eventually getting another cat. Eventually arrived all too soon, just a month or so later.
First came the smell from the guest bedroom. Strange invaders. He couldn’t see them, but he knew they were there. He stared inquisitively at the door, eyes bulging. At the sound of high-pitched mewing, he ran and took cover under the bed.
Soon, the two tiny immigrants with long fur and seal-point coloring were presented. Cowering in the back of a large cage, the unwelcome aliens were spotted and immediately greeted with guttural growls and hissing. But they did not leave. They simply retreated back behind the door, where their pathetic mews grew louder each day.
Next the human taunted, parading the strange creatures around on leases while proclaiming, “It’s okay, soon you will all be friends!” He had no intention of replacing his brother with those things. He hissed, batted at them with his clawless paws, and let them know that they were not welcome. Yet, the curious little critters army-crawled toward him to get a better look at the native species.
Two months out, the little vermin are still locked behind the door, planning their escape. And their dissatisfied older brother sits just beyond the threshold plotting their demise.