I woke up as I felt Momma stirring next to me. It was early morning the day after the Fat One had brought her home from her emergency surgery. We were lying in our day bed in the Big Room. The Fat One had set up a little recovery area for Momma. He’d spent the night with us, sleeping on his little rollout mattress and two pillows. He was lying facing us next to our bed.
At the sound of Momma’s movement, his eyes opened, and he quickly sat up. “What do you need, Nancy?” he asked her quietly. Momma had rolled on her belly and was trying to stand up. She was still a little shaky.
“Are you thirsty?” the Fat One asked. Momma nodded her head. Very gently, the Fat One scooped her up and sat her in front of the water dish by the wall. He steadied her as she lapped at the water on trembling legs. When she was done, he asked if she needed to use the litter box. She nodded again. Once more, he gently scooped her up and deposited her in the kitten litter box with one low side for easy access.
Momma did her business. When she was done, the Fat One carefully lifted her out, and put her back to bed. Momma lay on her belly. It had a large rectangular white cloth on it that was held in place by stretchy strips of cloth that were wrapped around her middle.
The Fat One got up and went into the kitchen. Soon, I heard him feeding the Beast That Makes Brown Pee. As he puttered about in the kitchen, I asked Momma how she felt.
“All my muscles are sore like I kept them tensed for a whole day and then relaxed.” she replied, “And my belly hurts on the inside!”.
I heard the Fat One go back into the bedroom. It sounded like he was changing clothes.
The Fat One came back into the Big Room with his big mug full of brown pee. He also had the bag of soft, squishy treats he uses to give Momma her daily gabapentin pill for her newropthy. In his hand were three pill bottles. He sat down on his mattress and placed all he’d carried in front of him. He’d changed into a gray t-shirt, a black pair of those very soft pants that bunch at the ankles, and black socks.
“Ok, Nancy.” the Fat One said as he opened all three pill bottles and took one pill out of each, “Time for your meds!”. He opened the treat bag and took a treat out.
“First, your gabapentin!” he muttered as he stuck a pill into the soft treat. He offered the treat to Momma. She took it in her mouth and swallowed it. Fair being fair, I demanded a treat, too. The Fat One rolled his eyes, reached into the bag and offered me a treat, which I gladly took.
The Fat One took out another treat and stuck a pill in it, “This is your anty by otic!”. He took another pill that was tiny and stuck it in the same treat. “And this little one is for pain.” he explained as he offered it to Momma, “Can you take two pills in one treat?”.
Momma sniffed the treat and then ate it. “What a good girl you are, Nancy!” the Fat One cooed as he gently stroked Momma’s back. I demanded a second treat. “Oh, good grief!” the Fat One griped. But he reached into the bag and took out another treat for me. Which I gladly accepted. Thank you very much.
Next, he reached over and got Momma’s empty food dish. He stood and went out into the kitchen. I heard the sound of two cans of our wet food being opened.
In a bit, he came back in carrying both our food dishes. I eagerly stood up and raced to his side, meowing. I kept meowing as I walked beside him. He sat the two dishes on the rectangular cloth that had Momma’s water dish on it. Wonder of wonders! We were having shrimp and bacon!
Momma stood up. “Do you need a hand, Nancy?” the Fat One asked, concerned. A little shaky, Momma stepped out of the day bed and went to her dish. I was already inhaling mine as Momma bent her head down and began to eat. I noticed the Fat One had only given her half the amount she usually gets.
As if reading my mind, the Fat One explained, “The vet said you might not be hungry for a day or two, Nancy. If you eat all this, I’ll give you more.”.
Momma nibbled at the food and ate about three-quarters of it. Mine was gone in no time at all. But I was good and didn’t try to eat Momma’s. She needed to get her strength up!
When she was done, Momma got back in the daybed and laid down. I took my place behind her and held her while I groomed her head and neck. The Fat One sat down and watched us as he sipped brown pee from his mug. All of the sudden, he went “Oh! I know what you might want!”. He reached over and dug around in the white plastic bag he’d set on the floor last night.
He pulled out Momma’s “necklace” as she calls it. It looks like a collar to me. It’s made of lustrous, white balls that are small in the back but grow bigger towards the front. “Do you want your pearls, Nancy?” he asked.
At the sight of her necklace, Momma’s eyes grew wide, and her mouth opened in a big smile. She stuck her head out towards the Fat One. He carefully placed the necklace over her head and around her neck. “There!” he exclaimed, “Now you have your bling!”.
Momma’s eyes narrowed in delight, and she began to purr loudly. The Fat One stood up and went over to his desk with his mug of brown pee and sat down. He began to work.
The morning passed. At one point, Momma rolled on her belly, frowned, and pronounced, “I feel empty inside!”.
I rolled on my belly too, and replied, “There’s still some food in your dish. The Fat One said he’d give you more if you wanted it!”.
Momma shook her head, and explained, “No. I’m not hungry. I feel like something’s missing inside me. I feel an empty space.”.
I frowned too, trying to understand. How could Momma be missing something inside her?
“I guess the feeling will pass.” Momma mused and lay back down. I joined her.
Declaring “It’s time for a smoke!”, the Fat One stood up and went to the kitchen. Soon I heard him rolling one of his stanky cigars. Normally, I’d rush to the front door and beg to be let out. But I wanted to be with Momma, so I stayed put.
I heard the Fat One go to the front door and open it. “Yikes!” he exclaimed in surprise. A moment later, the General ran into the Big Room. He trotted over to us as we lay in the daybed. “Be good, Sam!” I heard the Fat One call to him from the porch.
“Nigel!” Momma cried in delight, “You came to visit me!”. I stood up and stretched before stepping out of the daybed. The General quickly took my place behind Momma.
Concerned, he asked Momma, “How are you today, my dear?”.
“I feel much better, thank you!” Momma replied, “Even better now that you are here! And look! I have my necklace back. Aren’t I pretty?”.
“You are always lovely to me, dear.” the General purred as he put his legs around Momma and groomed her head and neck.
“You old smoothie!” Momma giggled.
In a while, the Fat One came back in. The General lifted his head and stared at him with concern. “Don’t worry, Sam.” the Fat One reassured him, “I left the front door cracked so you can get out if you want to.”. Hearing this, the General went back to grooming Momma.
I was laying in my sunny spot soaking up the warm rays on my awesome belly as the Fat One went to his chair. He stood there for a moment, thinking. “I want something sweet!” he murmured to himself, “But there’s nothing sweet in the house!”. He thought some more. “Maybe there’s something in the Drawer of Forgotten Treats!” he said and walked out.
I heard him rummaging through a drawer in the kitchen. He came back in with a little clear bag of roundish brown balls. It was tied with a thin, gold ribbon. He sat at his desk and untied the ribbon. “Chocolate covered coffee beans. Maybe these will do the trick.” he said.
The bag made a delightful crinkly noise as he stuck his hand in it. Enticed, I got up, trotted over to his desk and jumped onto it. He’d laid a handful of the roundish brown balls on his desk. He hesitantly put one in his mouth and bit down. It made crunchy noises as he chewed.
“Hey!” he declared in surprise, “These aren’t half-bad!”. I trotted over to inspect them myself, but he pushed me away. “No, Tiddles!” he sternly said, “These have chocolate AND caffeine. Two things you can’t have!”. I scowled at him and snagged the gold ribbon as a consolation prize. “Hey! Put that down!” he cried, but I leapt off the desk with my prize in my mouth.
I trotted back to my sunny spot and pounced and played with the ribbon. Eventually, I rolled on my back with the ribbon between my paws against my chest and went back to sunning as I listened to the crunching sounds of the Fat One eating those forbidden treats.
Not long after, I heard the Fat One tapping his foot constantly on the floor and his fingers on the desk. It was annoying. “Holy cow!” the Fat One blurted out suddenly, “Those chocolate covered coffee beans are strong! I’m so full of nervous energy I can’t sit still or think straight! I need to burn this energy off. But how?” He thought for a bit, then declared, “I know! A dance break! And I know just the song!”. I lay on my back in the sun and tried to ignore him.
“The version by the Peppers?” he muttered to himself, “Naw. Let’s go all the way back to the original!”. A moment later, I heard a single instrument start to play.
“Tiddles! Look at the Fat One!” Momma said in surprise. Still on my back, I tilted my head and looked. In my upside-down view, I saw the Fat One standing facing us while he tapped his foot in time to the instrument. Other instruments joined in. The Fat One used first the front of his feet and then the backs to move sideways while holding his arms in the air and gyrating his upper body.
In shock, I rolled on my belly and stared. Momma and the General were open-mouthed, gawking at the Fat One. The Fat yelled “The Dougie!” and moved his body, legs, and arms back and forth to the music. Hooman females began singing, “Rollercoaster… of love!”.
The Fat One and a male voice said, “Say what?”.
The females answered, “Rollercoaster! Ahh! Ooo! Ooo! Ooo!”. The females kept singing and the Fat One kept dancing. He yelled “The Stanky Leg!” and moved his body like he had something running down his legs as the females kept singing.
“Chicken Noodle Soup! Chicken Noodle Soup!” he called out and changed how his body moved. Momma, the General, and I just stared slack-jawed at what we saw. Was the Fat One having a conniption fit?!
“Pelvic thrust!” he yelled. He stood still with his hands on his hips. Then, with a truly disturbing, lascivious leer, he thrust his loins out and back. Left, center, right. Right, center, left. He started singing along with the other hoomans, but he sang different words. His went:
“My love is like a rollercoaster, babies, babies!
Come and take a ride!”
“My love is like a rollercoaster, babies, babies!
Line up to the right!”
“Gangnam Style!” he cried. He held his left hand up to the middle of his body like he was holding something. His right hand was raised up level with his head and acted like he was twirling something. All the while, his legs moved like he was riding something.
The females kept singing, “Rollercoaster… of love! Rollercoaster! Ahh! Ooo! Ooo! Ooo!”.
The Fat One stood still and ripped his gray t-shirt off. Naked from the waist up, he bellowed, “RIVERDANCE!”. His upper body went stiff, with his arms immovable by his sides. His head stiff as his eyes stared straight ahead. His legs from the knees up were immobile. Below the knees, his feet were a blurry flash as they seemed to move in every direction. He leaped into the air, up and down, over and over. His ample belly flopping out of sync with the rest of his body.
This was the sight that broke the General’s nerve. In terror, he leaped up and out of the daybed. He slunk, his body pressed against the bookcases to keep as far from the Fat One as possible, towards the French doors to the living room.
Parallel to the Fat One, he broke into a run, leaping onto the landing. He slid on the slick wood surface. He tried running out of the room but ran in place for a bit until his claws found purchase in the wood. He rocketed out of the room. I heard the creak of the front door as it was clawed open and he was gone.
Frankly, I was this close to joining him, but I couldn’t leave Momma.
“The Watusi!” the Fat One panted as he began moving in different steps.
“The Batusi!” he panted louder. I could see he was starting to run out of steam as he held two fingers to the side of each eye and slowly pulled them away. The music was beginning to fade.
“Saturday Night Fever!” he said at normal volume. He struck a sideway pose with his right arm up in the air. His index finger pointing up. His left arm was down and out with his finger point down.
The music faded away. The Fat One stood there panting. Sweat rolled down his face and body. Momma and I slowly turned and stared at each other, speechless. The Fat One picked up his t-shirt and put it on. Damp spots started to appear all over it.
The Fat One collapsed in his chair, slumped back, eyes closed. “Oh, yeah.” he managed to say between pants as his t-shirt grew ever damper and sweat dripped from his head to his shoulders, “I’ve still got it!”.
PS Photograph for illustrative purposes only.