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Mullen, Jim

Jim Mullen

The first mistake was opening the refrigerator door. I opened it silently, but it emits a silent sound unknown to science that only cats can hear. From under the bedcovers at the other end of the house. And they do not need to walk or run to the refrigerator to inspect what I'm doing. One second, no cats. Half a second later, three cats. One I've never seen before.

It happens so fast you can't see them coming. They appear like those Klingon ships on "Star Trek." And with the same purpose: Your utter and complete destruction. As you turn away into a previously empty space carrying, say, a carton of eggs, you will feel your foot brush against a furry body that wasn't there a second ago. There is a short, Olympic-worthy acrobatic move to avoid squashing the cat and yet not drop the eggs. The cat judges gave me a 7.2. The eggs gave me a 0.1. True, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet, but when you break them on the kitchen floor, for some reason, no one will eat your omelet.

Why NASA is not looking into Stealth Cat Instantaneous Transport, I have no idea. It must be close to the speed of light, and it runs on kibble. What a money saver that would be. I've heard that one of NASA's probes just passed a frozen mini-planet 4 billion miles from Earth called Ultima Thule. It took the satellite 13 years to get there. Had NASA just opened a refrigerator on Ultima Thule, it would have taken a cat around three seconds to get there. We should be seeding all these distant rocks with refrigerators. A refrigerator is what we should be building on Mars. It would save a fortune in rocket fuel. All we would have to do is figure out how to attach the equipment to a cat.

This gave me something to think about while I cleaned up the eggy mess.

It will be tricky to make another meal without opening the fridge, but I am up to it. After all, I'm a human. I have opposable thumbs, and I have close to a three-digit IQ. Take that, Mensa! I decided on instant oatmeal. What could be simpler? What could be quieter? Open the box and push away the cats that have instantly appeared again on the countertop. All I have to do is add some hot water and stir. Which would be easier if two cats were not now in the sink. They are fighting over who gets to lick the faucet. The third one has his face in the bowl with the dry oatmeal. This time, I do not fall. I do not stumble. I grab the sink sprayer and aim it at them. They disappear again.

Opposable Thumbs 1, Cats 0.

While carrying the steaming-hot bowl of oatmeal to the breakfast table an excruciating, sharp pain makes me scream. A cat is crawling up the back of my leg the way a lineman climbs a telephone pole. The claws that I forgot to trim are long and needle-thin. He is using both the front and back legs. Hot oatmeal is now dripping from the ceiling.

The good news is that my extra pounds are melting away. As a diet, I highly recommend the Multiple-Cat Weight-Reduction Method. You don't have to worry about snacking on leftovers; you won't have any. And you can forget about ever eating seafood again. Actually, NASA should look into putting fresh shrimp on Ultima Thule, too. Just to see if a cat can actually go faster than the speed of light.

Stepping barefoot into cat vomit first thing in the morning will put you off eating breakfast; listening to a cat cough up a hairball for five minutes may be the best appetite suppressor ever devised. It certainly worked at our last dinner party. And it turned out to be our last dinner party. Now everyone seems to have "other plans" whenever I invite them over.

Sheesh. I guess some people just don't like cats.

Contact Jim Mullen at mullen.jim@gmail.com

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