The black feline, temporarily abandoned by his vacationing owners, greets me with a pained grunt of resignation as I enter the dark room cheerily and make a show of being the friendly visitor. “Meow meow!” I say. His response is something akin to a disappointed, human sigh. “Oh. You. Yes, yes, come in then.” He turns and heads off into the kitchen. “Why do they keep sending you? You might as well know: I don’t particularly like you, but I need the food. That’s right, up there, on the kitchen table. Just open it up, scoop it out, and back away, nice and easy. No sudden moves. Now the dry food. Good, good. You’re a good boy. You’re gonna get out of this alive. Alright, I’m gonna eat, see, and you’re gonna go down in the basement, nice and slow like a good boy, and you’re gonna clean the poop out of my litter box.”
This inner monologue of his (or is it really mine?) continues while he chows down. I return before he’s done and try to strike up a small conversation. He ignores me, this urban cat-artiste, this dark and brooding feline. Before leaving, I offer a few brief words of advice, some mottos that a cat, alone in a house with nothing to do but ponder the meaning of life, might find useful. “If someone tries to come in through the window,” I say, “he probably isn’t legit so go for the eyes.” This is my passive-aggressive way of suggesting that my entering through the front door, with my own key, is proof that I’m a friend. My words are met with a blasé air of indifference. If he had a cat cigarette he’d light it and blow the smoke in my face. “Go, go,” he seems to be saying. “My people will be back tomorrow.”
Sorry, Frank, but I’m afraid it will be me again.
Frank: The Unauthorized Photo