Location: In the comfort of my bed, SF Bay Area
6:15 AM: Ryukie woke me with the charms of his purrs. Sweetly he began to nuzzle my arm, beating his head into my body, rubbing against me as the sound of the alarm howled. The somewhat sweet innocence of a fucking cat disappeared along with him as the shrieks from the clock frightened him away. I struggled to put the misery out of the device with just a simple tap of the button. It was time to prepare for the trip to work. The entity that pays me e so help the hapless and fund my future excursions. Retail.
From the foot of my bed, Ryukie and Sumomo waited, their cat eyes glaring at me through the darkness. The hunt of the begging was on. There was only one thing on their mind, Wet food. The glorious concoction of meaty goodness that this human had opened up their tastebuds to. The gateway to all that was perfect and holy in their world. They purred in unison as I extended my legs pushing me from the comforts of springing heaven. My head lifting from my pillows and there I stood in all my glory, these felines basking in front of me.
“Meow!” Sumomo began the same song she does every morning. “Meeeeeoooowwwww!”
Translation: Do not forget to feed us! We need food.
“In a moment.” I groggily reply reaching down to pat her head. Ryukie soon stumbles over, rubbing against my legs.
“Mrrrroooww.” His raspy mewls baritone their way.
Translation: FOOD FOOD FOOD! Hey…food!?
“I need to take a piss first.” I rub his back as he runs off towards his feeding area, hoping I will get the not so subtle hint.
6:25 AM: I meander downstairs to perform the morning ritual as I bow to the sink, brushing my teeth and mumbling about all the little things as I stare at myself in the mirror. Those coaching moments all we humans do in the privacy of our bathrooms. The one place where we all speak directly to ourselves and no matter what we say it sounds brilliant! Most of the best ideas come in the sanctuary of the bathroom. I smile at myself in the mirror. My reflection agreeing with every thought and exposition I can muster.
6:40 AM: Nodding I return to my room, dressing myself. Sumomo meets me, her adoptive feline brother nowhere in sight and without giving a thought I nod to her as she continues her song of delights for me to hurry and get to the wet food. I get out their plates and crack open the can, Sumomo immediately hops in her place purring feverishly, ready for the delight. As I place her plate down I notice Ryukie is nowhere to be seen. I call for him.
There is no “here kitty kitty kitty.” But a simple “Ahem,” they have become accustomed to. No answer. I pace around the house looking in all of his usual haunts and crevices his large torso likes to burrow himself in. Then I find him. Curled up in a ball on the bottom shelf of one of my bookcase.
He stares at me, panting. I reach for him, taking him into my arms as he curls in a fetal position, he mewls in pain. Staring at him, “What’s wrong?” I place him down in front of his food.
“Meeeeer–” He looks at the food, then simply limps away.
Translation: Somethings wrong.
I have to leave for work by seven. I pet Ryukie and try to figure out what is wrong. In a small span of twenty minutes he went from his normal agile self to a sick child who wanted to be left alone.
6:55 AM: Checking his food and water I make the tough decision to leave him. The clock is ticking and it is too late for me to call work. Pushing his wet food closer to him I pet his head and command Sumomo for her to keep an eye on him. She begrudgingly obeys propping herself next to him as she watches me. Then again she more than likely was eyeballing his breakfast.
7 AM: I am out the door. My mind weighing heavily on Ryukie. Domesticated animals within our society are becoming more family oriented. We, as humans, bond with them, raising our pets on a higher scale like most would do for their kin. From the smallest of creatures to the largest each human has attachments. We are built to become attached to a creature that may need us. Unlike leaving a sick child at home, there was nothing else I could do but pursue my adult obligations that lay before me. Ryukie was not in any physical pain or danger that warranted an emergency $1200 trip to the vet. Money that happened to not be in my checking account. The only thing I could do, that I had some sort of control over was texting T2 to let him know.
I’ll check on him as soon as I am off work. The response on my phone was my only hope. He would be home hours before I would arrive. Logically I knew it was something small, however my imagination stormed into something detrimental. Something worse that would loom over Ryukie.
8 AM: My shift began, the day wearing on with each transaction that I completed for each customer that wandered through my doors. My thoughts on Ryukie, unsure of his well being. The idea that something was beyond my control. Then again don’t we all wish we could control, even the smallest of incidents? Between customers I turned my focus to an Edward Abbey book of essays, The Journey Home.
3:30 PM: I was done for the day, awaiting the bus home in the heat of the sun when my cellphone vibrated.
Ryukie ate and is playing with his tail. He seems to be fine. But, I did find a massive hairball. T2 responded over text. A quizzical expression washed over me as I boarded the bus.
4:00 PM: Bursting through the door I rushed in casting my backpack aside to be greeted by the happiest cat in the world. Purrs rapidly flowing faster than the Colorado river, he nuzzles my leg.
“Mroooowww!” He happily recites through his purrs.
Translation: You are gonna feed me now, right?!