I first got Watson after discovering life in college (but off campus) was filled with the same banal attempts to excite a Friday night with prefabricated excuses to get shitfaced and get head from fat chicks. Having nothing better to do with my 21st birthday than pretend I like microbrews, I surfed Craigslist, only to find a massive orange Maine Coon. For the uninitiated, the Maine Coon is an American crossbreed from the Norwegian Forest Cat and a clogged garbage disposal. Watson spent his first night in our apartment hiding under my roommate’s bed, growling at any attempt to lure him out with string or catnip, only leaving to use the organic recycled litter his owners gave to me. Fully confident I had just adopted a tiny pissed-off lion, it took only a few days before he was exhibiting more expected cat behavior, meaning he watched me surf the internet with the judgmental aura only an animal that instinctively buries its own shit can give. Six months later, he nearly died from bladder blockage, so I dumped several hundred dollars to keep alive an animal that barely liked me, only to get him back with his long beige coat matted to the point he looked like a Pokémon or one of those old fish that actually grows barnacles on itself. I took him to a groomer to get shaved down to a tabby cat length. During this grooming, Watson found his best defense was his immense strength in his declawed front paws combined with the banshee scream that could only remind one of putting Katy Perry into a mulcher without the satisfaction of actually doing so. He’s calmed since I moved in with my girlfriend, other than slap-boxing her other clawed cats.
Driver is my girlfriend’s fat, mildly retarded Beagle (and if you ask other dog owners, the best sort of dog is mildly retarded). He resembles a smoked sausage, can be a very playful watchdog, but sadly has the intelligence level of a rubber glove filled with mayonnaise. He eats out of the litter box. Let me repeat: he eats the shit of other creatures in the house. Other than the impending risk of sepsis and/or blood poisoning, it makes one nauseous to see him licking his chops after walking away from the litter box as if he had just finished a turkey leg at a Phillies game. Somewhere between Eeyore and Yogi Bear, he frequently has the habit of looking either mildly depressed or taxidermied. His glassy eyes stare at a sandwich I’m eating as if it’s telling him a story about how a personified ham and cheese and a happy beagle ran through an autumn forest (the brisk air cooling his panting tongue and rustling the romaine lettuce in such a way as to remind one of home). It’s also important to mention his bladder is on a hair trigger, emptying his bowels if you hold direct eye contact for too long.
If you like your head on your shoulders, you will not mistake Bela (named for the 19th century composer Bela Bartok) for the female name Bella (some necrophiliac tramp). My girlfriend’s Norwegian Forest cat is immense, weighing in at 20 pounds, and is a mixture of white and silver, giving the impression he is not a cat but rather a Patronus or a Luckdragon. Appearing as if he was born out of a sage fire, Bela is 11 years old but is more likely always of this earth, imparting wise advice and the hope to mountaineers and shepherds trapped in Himalayan snow storms brought on by the regrets of a past life. Adding to Bela’s generally mystical mood is the fact that he has sinusitis, forcing him to always make a purring sound at 80 decibels and leaving you with the expectation white smoke will arise from his nostrils. My girlfriend has expressed fear for when he dies (his life expectancy is 20), but I think a more likely result is he will either slowly fade like Marty McFly or petrify himself atop the nearest snowy peak.
Scarlet is a gray domestic shorthair and a bitch. That is all.
Clara is the only animal my girlfriend and I got together after discovering her as a five-week-old kitten under our shed last May. While she has grown into a loving and playful cat, I believe she can best be summed up via a transcript of us giving her a flea bath.
BEN: I was a bit worried about her claws, so I put socks on my arms to stop them from reaching the skin.
MARY: We’ll see if it works. I put the tea tree oil in the shampoo. Got her?
B: Yeah, she’s being cute and nuzzly.
M: Alright, I’ll start the water.
[20 seconds later]
B: JESUS CHRIST! MAKE HER STOP!
M: How are those socks working out for you?
B: SHE’S LIKE SOME CROSSBREED OF A VELOCIRAPTOR AND A PANTHER! THE BLOOD! THE BLOOOOOOOD!
M: Alright, the shampoo has to stay on for five minutes and then we rinse.
B: SHE’S TEARING THROUGH MY SHIRT! SHE WANTS FLESH! THAT WAS MY FAVORITE NIPPLE, YOU TINY BITCH!