Valium Vickie

Saturday, January 09, 2010

I have a dog and two cats, which is the perfect number of pets to have when you live in an apartment with a "No Pets" clause in the lease.
It's really not a problem normally -- unless my landlord shows up unexpectedly. Then, I have to stow all the pets away in crazy hiding places like the dude who hid the Jews at the beginning of "Inglorious Bastards." I've only been caught once -- or at least I think I was caught.
It was a Sunday morning after an all-day drinking event when my landlord, Rick, showed up. He knocked on the door, and my girlfriend went to work stashing the pets safely away. There were no animals in the apartment when Rick walked in, but there was an assortment of our unconscious friends passed out Helter Skelter on couches, chairs and the floor -- two with trash cans next to their foreheads, just in case.
Rick had come over to fix the leaky shower faucet in our bathroom, but he didn't make it there before it got awkward. On the way, one of our cats jumped off the top of our hutch, cleared Rick's head and landed right at his feet. The cat stayed put for a moment or so before scurrying away. After my cat hurdled the landlord's head, in the same apartment that he specifically told us was to be "pet free," I had only one choice: act like nothing happened.
But that wasn't good enough for my girlfriend. She devised an impromptu plan to trick Rick into believing the cat wasn't ours. Here's what she choreographed: While Rick was fixing the faucet, my friend Dan left his spot on top of the couch, walked over to the doorway of the bathroom and started making idle small talk with the landlord. As soon as he said the words, "Well, I gotta get outta here," Liz made her move. Clutching the only cat that Rick knew we had, she rushed over to Dan and announced, "D-o-n'-t f-o-r-g-e-t y-o-u-r c-a-t, D-A-A-N-N-N." She said it in that slow, loud, methodical voice people use when they're talking to a foreigner who doesn't comprehend English too well -- to ensure Rick heard every word. Problem solved.
Dan walked out of the house clutching our cat, Inca, and started heading back to his car -- where he was instructed to wait until Liz drove around in her own car. When Liz pulled up next to Dan's car, he made the drop (i.e., passed Inca back to Liz). Unfortunately, despite even the most careful precautions, unexpected elements can foil any good plan. In this case, Rick remembered that he needed something -- something that was located in his car. On his way, Rick happened to run into Dan, who was passing his cat back to Liz. At this point, Rick knows we have at least on pet, so we might as well go all out. That way, the next time Rick comes by to fix a leaky faucet or replace the garbage disposal, instead of a wayward kitten, maybe he'll run into a ferret or a python or even a goat.