I may have to call for back-up.
They've got me square in their beady carnivorous sights and I can see the word FOOD flashing neon in the reflection of their killer-cold eyeballs and if I don't do something soon I'm going to wind up like those dead cat ladies with their tender vittles supped up with a side dish of catnip and a fine chianti.
It's the day before pay day and all through the house, every creature is meowing, except for the mouse – which, I might add, wouldn't be alive at all if the cats were truly starving to death, which they're not.
But The Bowl.
The Bowl is almost empty. It's got about (excuse me while I count) 23 cat crunchies moldering in the bottom of it. Sacré bleu! That is what constitutes Original Sin in this house. According to our cats, the bottom of The Bowl can not, under any circumstances, be visible. It must, at all times, be covered with Whiskas Hairball Control Cat Crunchies.
Ben-Ben is the Guardian of The Bowl. He lets us know immediately when there is any sign of the bottom, meowing in a tone so mournful that one might think his left nut (which has been missing for 13 years) was twisted in the lid of the kitty litter box. He doesn't shut up, either. Not even while he's walking in front of us, at a snail's pace, weaving around our legs like the waffle-chip maker at a tositoes factory. Weaving and meowing, meowing and weaving.
I knew last night that this morning would dawn with a case of the uglies. But we couldn't go buy any Whiskas Hairball Control Cat Crunchies last night because tomorrow is pay-day and we were broker than Ben's unfortunate nuts.
"Ben-Ben is not gonna like this," I said to Dave. "He's gonna drive us bonkers."
"Let him," said Dave, who threw this brave missive over his shoulder as he headed out the front door on his way to work, leaving me alone with two hungry cats and The Bowl.
I think I've faked them out. For now. I filled up the dog's dish and I filled up the water dish, and then I pretended to fill their dish, picking it up and shaking it around, spreading the cat crunchies around to make them look, um, different.
The cats may be cute, and loud, but they're dumb as a bag of rocks.
They sniffed The Bowl, ate a cat crunchie or two, and retired to the chesterfield where they will snore and stretch and groom their embarrassing parts, and wait until I return home with a new bag of Whiskas Hairball Control Cat Crunchies.
I will have to come home with one. If I don't, my life will be over. If it means stealing some blind old man's white cane and setting up in front of the pet store with a tin can, I guess I'll have to do it. Or maybe I'll sell some blood. It doesn't matter how I get it, as long as I get it.
Maybe I'll hold the pet store up at bowl-point. They'll understand my need, they will. They know what cats are capable of. Furry killers, kitties are. Deviant masters of The Bowl.
I will leave now, while they are sleeping, and some how, some way, the cat crunchies shall be mine...