Augusten Said

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Flooftivus

Flooftivus (floofinition) – annual secular holiday that housepets established to celebrate living with people. The holiday, observed over a nine-day period, is structured to include auspicious routines. These include days dedicated to vomiting, washing and grooming, napping, gorging, dashing around the dwelling, shedding hair, hiding, shredding objects, and being needy. The holiday culminates with a visit by Santa Paws, and the giving of gifts.

In use: “Although he loved his pets, he dreaded Floofivus. The Day of Vomiting was not fun, but The Giving of Gifts struck him as worse.”

 

Floofowing

Floofowing (floofinition) – methodology used by housepets to follow or shadow people or other housepets, often to spy on them.

In use: “Movement from one area of the house to another always set up a floofowing. Sometimes the cats and dogs worked in teams, but it often seemed like one had the duty for a given period, and then was relieved by another.”

The Real Time

Well, they’ve done it, they’ve changed their clocks, setting the time back an hour, “Falling back,” as they like to say in America.

It’s an easy task that he does before going to bed. He has five clocks to change. It’s amazing that the house has five clocks. One is mechanical and battery operated. The rest, on the thermostat, bedroom clock-radio, microwave, and stove, are electronic. Strange that they must be changed manually, but there you go. He confirms, while doing his task, that the guest room clock radio is unplugged. That’s to save energy. He smiles at that.

The household has four televisions. It’s a ridiculous number for a couple who spends a few hours with the TV at night, and always watch together. But there’s been a progression, so the older flat screen digital televisions find homes in the master and guest bedrooms. Neither room had a television before. Each television has time built into its systems. Software manages falling back for him. Same with the Fitbits, computers, tablets, VCR, and phones, but not the cars.

Time is everywhere. For days after going through the change, he thinks, “What is the real time? It’s actually really seven now.” He thinks about how this change affects the daylight, and the temperatures he endures, which affects how he dresses, and his daily plans. He likes the light arriving earlier but he misses the late day light.

He wonders, in the end, what the real time is. His body isn’t certain. One thing he notes: the cats admirably adjusted to the change.

The Cat Food

He was in Walmart, a store that he detests and avoids, but here he was, because he was being supportive. While there, WTH, the thinking goes, look at the cat food offerings and prices to update his mental database of such things. This is mostly because the little cat is ill. Always a picky eater, his disease has exacerbated this, so cans are opened for the little feline to pick his way through. Some are more successful than others, but his usual favorites have been soundly rejected. New flavors are required.

So he’s in the aisle, examining prices and offerings beside a couple who are about fifteen years older than him (he thinks), making them in their late seventies. The woman says, “Chicken and waffle cat food.”

Before thinking can be processed, his mouth is engaged. “No way. Really? You have to be making that up.”

She points out the package and he examines it. The three agree, it’s an absurd idea. None of them are buying it,

They talk, of course, about their cats’ eating habits, and how all are picky eaters. The man relates a tale about one cat.

The man loves the shrimp he buys at Costco. So does the cat, who gets aggressive about it, trying to steal it out of his hand and off his plate when he’s eating. He gives the cat some, of course, because he’s a human, and the cat is in charge. Yes, clearly. We all know this.

But, here is the punch line. The cat won’t touch any cat food with shrimp in it.

“Figures,” the man says, walking away. “Cats, right?”

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