Moritz a.k.a. House Lion a.k.a. Old Man
Jonathan: Our house is not our house. It is the domain of our five beasts and we are merely their servants/houseguests. We wake when they wake. We feed them when they ask for it. We clean up their inappropriately placed shits. We are their butlers, their chauffeurs, their scullery maids. We are their bitches. Anyone with pets will immediately understand this.
At our house, we are reminded of this fact on a daily basis when Moritz, our 17 year old sonofabitch feline, begins yowling the song of his people around 5 a.m. It begins with several doctor’s-office-waiting-room volume meows. Just enough to tickle the boundaries of your perfect dream-state wonderland…enough to send ripples through whatever beach scene or mountain valley you’re scampering through…enough to throw off your perfectly aimed shot in your James Bond-esque covert mission to save the world…enough to basically fuck up whatever last bit of enjoyment was left in your REM cycle and painfully start bringing you back to reality and wakefulness.
If you somehow manage to maintain a grasp on your dreams fear not, for the yowling is about to begin in earnest.
The politeness (if that even exists in Moritz’ evil feline brain) does not last long, oh no. After the first few words of his song are sung, he cranks the volume on his kitty amplifier to 11 and begins his attempt to shatter every piece of glass in the neighborhood. These malevolent shrieks pierce the veil of sleep and stab deeply into your brainpan, stirring up a very deep and primal rage. In a split second you go from dead asleep to fully awake and ready to fight this saber-toothed intruder of your Neanderthal cave with your bare hands. Then you realize, shit. It’s only Moritz.
Some days it’s enough to make you actually jump out of bed and chase his furry little ass back down the hallway in the hopes of stealing back a few precious minutes of sleep. Some days this actually works. Most days it does not. This. Happens. Every. Day. Each morning Moritz reminds us that it’s time for us food bitches to wake up and provide him with his much needed sustenance. After all, it’s very taxing work to sleep 18+ hours a day and occasionally lick oneself. Fucker.
Crystal: I do not jump out of bed and chase him. I wake up and feed him, or just ignore him.
Jonathan: How can you ignore that caterwauling?!
Crystal: What can I say? I’m a heavy sleeper. Besides, chasing him isn’t always the best idea remember?
Crystal: Yep. That story.
Crystal: One night when Jonathan decided to chase him, I was in the bedroom sleeping alone (apparently I was snoring and Jonathan couldn’t take it and had moved into the living room) when I heard yelling and running. I awoke suddenly, fearing for my life, and nearly grabbed my pistol to come out shooting. Thankfully I didn’t, as it was just man vs. feline in the hallway, not man vs. psycho killer. Once I’d calmed down and regained my breath I asked Jonathan why he didn’t just wake me up when I was snoring. He said ‘I didn’t want to wake you up just to get you to stop snoring’. Of course not…much better to wake me by yelling and running through the house at 1:30 in the morning.
Jonathan: Yeah…not one of my best ideas.
Crystal: But it IS pretty funny.
Jonathan: True. Now where was I…oh yes. It would seem however, in Moritz’ opinion, that we don’t truly understand our role in the house. It would seem that we are dumb hoomans and that we need further reminding of our status. It would seem that cat food is not enough for Moritz. It would seem that TWO different kinds of cat food are not enough. It would seem that both soft AND hard food is not enough. Nope. This little fuzzy bastard has to remind us that he is also entitled to OUR food whenever he sees fit.
Crystal: And let it be said that he is the ONLY cat to enjoy such privileges. Muffin, Spock and Cinder only get dry niblets. Healthy dry niblets, mind you. We love our pets and refuse to buy cheap food. Cheap food only leads to health problems, especially for cats. So we buy Blue Buffalo grain free cat food. But after Moritz went on a food strike for three days and had us thinking he was headed to the Rainbow Bridge, we read that cats with kidney problems really love Fancy Feast. So we began giving that to him and he gobbled it up like it was Walter and Jesse’s Blue Crystal.
Jonathan: LOVE that show! Nice reference babe!
Crystal: Thank you.
Jonathan: Anyway, it doesn’t matter what meal it is, nor where said meal is being taken. Be it at the dinner table or on the couch, if we are eating, Moritz is in our face. RIGHT in our face. He will approach us silently, and like a ginger furred ninja suddenly materialize out of thin air beside our dinner plates and if we’re not paying attention, that little asshole will steal the food right off our forks! He once grabbed a piece of steak off my plate…a piece of steak that happened to still be attached to the rest of the slab…and proceed to drag it all the way across the dinner table before I could stop him. He also tried to grab an entire chicken drumstick and swallow it whole.
Crystal: His nickname is Slow Paw, because most of the time he raises one of his four-beaned hands and moves it deliberately in the general direction of our food. This is kind of cute, because it makes you lower your defenses and think, “Oh, what a darling old cat. He moves so slowly and decrepitly.” But in the cases of the the steak and the chicken described above, Moritz moved like orange lightning. He may be 17 years old, but where food is concerned, he’s two.
“How can you resist my cuteness?” – Moritz
Jonathan: Some of you may wonder why we allow him around us while we eat. Now as I mentioned before, he’s 17. That’s pretty damned old for a cat and a few months ago we were fairly certain we were about to lose him. The short story is that he was showing signs of kidney disease so we began administering all sorts of remedies like IV fluids, etc. in the hopes of saving his little life, which we did. In fact, his lab tests show him to be completely normal now, which makes us wonder if it was some sort of elaborate scam in order to get himself back to the top spot in the fur hierarchy (presently occupied by Bella).
In any case, in light of his possibly shortened time here on Earth, we vowed to make said time as good as possible for him, and therefore let him get away with a little more…i.e. we didn’t immediately shoo him from our dining area. However, upon learning that he’s basically okay now (aside from being old as shit for a cat) we’ve taken to enforcing a little discipline at meal time. As in, “get off the damn table, Moritz.” And when that doesn’t work we’ve tried locking him in the guest bedroom, where the dry niblets are located.
We tried this the other night, and while he continued to sing his song during dinnertime, he was not on the table and we were rather proud of ourselves for taking this step; until we opened the door to let him out. It was at this point we realized why he’d been meowing so much. There, in the middle of the floor, was a nice fresh turd.
I guess he really did want out of that room…or so we thought. At dinnertime the following evening we decided to put Moritz on lockdown again. No meowing this time. Good sign. Surely it was just a matter of bad timing last night right? Surely he didn’t shit with intent. Surely he wasn’t THAT much of a prick.
Exhibit A: Number Two #2
He most definitely IS that much of a prick.
Needless to say, we have not put him on lockdown since. It’s enough to be woken up each day by his banshee screaming and then to have to pick up his excrement when he uses his bowels to tell us to fuck off for not letting him join us at dinner. For now we’re wielding a squirt bottle at the table, and I hesitate to tell you that it’s working thus far. We don’t think he’s got the balls to shit right in front of us, but we’ve learned over the years not to underestimate his tactical genius and only time will tell what his next Kasparov-like move will be.
Crystal: If he had us snowed about his physical reaction time, what else has he got the wool pulled over our eyes about? It’s scary, really.
Jonathan: I’m afraid he’s most likely seven or so moves ahead of us at this point.
In the end, no matter what he does, we love that little fur bag and this more than anything is the ace up his fuzzy little sleeve.