Unknown Stranger

There was manly knock at the door of my apartment, I tied up my pink bathrobe; I did what my brother told me once to do when I hear a knock at door, I pumped my chest and used my man’s voice: who’s there? No one answered and no one could be seen through the peek hole, I opened the door only to see a cat mew and enter my door, I stepped out to see a man enter a car, I called him out, but he burned the asphalt as he rushed out of the apartment complex. Its 20 miles an hour, you jerk! I returned to my apartment and saw the cat comfortably seated in my chair. I told him: I don’t like cats and you have to be invited and wait to be seated, you better not have touched my plate.

I looked at the mixed rice and fish and I knew without a doubt that he had taken some, and there goes my dinner. Where are you from? I asked.

The cat licked himself and got comfortable in my chair,  I thought about kicking it out, but my chair was soiled now and will need it a thorough cleaning before I use it again. And like I always do, I got myself some strawberry ice cream and turned on the TV to watch some garbage reality TV shows while I gave the cat the evil eye once in awhile, but he was ignoring me peacefully.
After three days of him taking roots in my place, coming and going whenever he wanted, eating my food, urinating and defecating, I had to devise a strategy to kick him out of my place, I would pay the first guy to live with me before I turn into the cat lady.
I went to the closest shelter to look for the meanest, fiercest, cat hating dog they could have and I knew better than to phrase my request as such. On my way there, I speed dialed my best friend Amy who after having a good laugh at my misfortunes tried to dissuade to get a dangerous dog: ” no worries, my dear, I have seen how a good dosage of sleeping pills in his food will knock him out if it comes to that, otherwise, I claim you as my representative if anything was to happen for me, you will come collect my belongings and give them to charity, don’t let my brother tell you otherwise, I don’t want his dirty hands on them, you understand?” “Yes ma’am, I have 911 on speed dial just for you, and I will stop by tomorrow to see if you still alive and I don’t want your father to come looking for me with his monstrous gun”. I laughed and promised that he won’t. “Are you sure?” I reassured her that I will leave a note blaming myself just in case.

I missed the shelter so I hung up and tried to be a responsible driver. Despite the repeated warnings and unasked for concerns expressed by the lady; I got me what I wanted: a little pit bull that I called Jaw because of his willingness to show off his impressive and salivating smile. I had been stealing worried glimpses at him the whole time I drove back home, but the image of the cat spread out on favorite chair gave me the courage of David to confront Goliath. When I arrived at my house, I showed him triumphantly Jaw who was barking and couldn’t wait to get out of his cage, “you are about to get the biggest scare of your life, I have been trying to be nice and let you go easily, but no, you can’t take a hint so here we go!” I opened the cage, and the most amazing stare down happened between the two: the cat rose from the chair like a Chinese imperial dragon while Jaw was letting out a threatening growl, I was waiting for them to go at it at any moment. I checked my watch and realized that 10 minutes has gone by and they were still staring each other down.  It was time for me to go meet with my editor about my next novel. I told them to not destroy the place while I was gone and promised Jaw a gift if he took care of the other one. When I returned from another frustrating meeting, I expected the aftermath of a battlefield, but I had in front a recreation of the Garden of Eden with the lamb peacefully lying next to the lion. The blipblipblip cat had hypnotized Jaw into submission and turned him into his protector.

I raised the white flag and decided to take out my frustration in creating a story on how a cat has taken over the world, and before I knew it, a collection of short stories was produced and I finally had a taste of success. Amy stopped by and laughed at me when she saw my new family. She called the cat “Dolce Vita” and was glad that she wouldn’t have to deal with my dad or my brother.

I had come to look forward to seeing my two buddies. When my life was going along smoothly, I returned home with his favorite tuna only to find out that he had taken off and a sad looking Jaw silently cried his absence. Dolce Vita has left me the same way he came: No hello or goodbye. After two days, I resolved to get out to get some fresh air: so I went to the park with Jaw.

Who knew that on that day I was to meet the love of my life who happened to be allergic to cats? Sometimes I wonder if I’m being followed…

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5 thoughts on “Unknown Stranger

  1. I love cats… I know the point of this story is not necessarily cat loving, but I really like the cat element! haha!

  2. Ok this one tickled me to bits! Joe, this short story is similar to the writing styles of Donald Barthelme (see some of his short stories here: http://www.eskimo.com/~jessamyn/barth/) and Alain Mabanckou from Congo Republic (especially his novel Broken Glass). I have a piece by Mabanckou and I’d be glad to share it with you. I’m sure you’ll love it.

    • Thanks for introducing me to Donald Barthelme ( last name sounds like a Bible name) and I would love to get my hands on that piece whenever you can. He has been already to the mountain peak to which I am trying to go, but soon and very soon, I shall get there too!!

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