The Rise of The B Monster

Somewhere in the middle of my dream there’s the click of my bedroom door opening.   I wake with a start.

She’s in. Again.

I was having an Alyssa Milano dream and it’s not what you think. Whenever this gorgeous woman appears in my dreams we engage in activities that would bore Al Gore. We have painted my bedroom and eaten ham sandwiches by the Vltava. In this dream, she has rented Rise of the Planet of the Apes and we drink prune juice. I am, apparently, a geriatric dreamer.

I peer over my covers and see the tip of her gray-striped tail and hear the light clicking of her nails on the floor. I remain frozen like a boat wreck survivor watching a shark fin slip about and feeling it nudge against the rubber of my floating device.

She leaps onto one of my bureaus and drops something that lands with a clunk and then she’s gone.

At least it’s a drop off and not a pick up, I think, and then I go back to Alyssa and our movie.

I adopted my cat Běla, aka The B Monster, about two years ago. She was shy at first, hiding under the couch and peeping at my ankles as I held out toys and sardines for her perusal. As she grew, her peeps became meows; or chirps when she was really pleased with herself. She soon developed a taste for bologna and any appendage which got too close. She began a daily patrol of the flat, stalking silently and pulling open ajar doors with her paw. Eventually she learned to open closed doors by jumping up and hanging off the long handles.

Now, as she is a bit older, I try to show her signs of trust. I Let her out on the porch without guidance or leave a ham sandwich unguarded on the kitchen counter. Inevitably, she proves untrustworthy and I bite into a sandwich laced with gray fur or answer the door to an angry neighbor handing me a cat with rose petals in her mouth.

In my hours away, she excels in the art of guerilla warfare. If I have displeased her by locking her out of a room or staying out too late, she steals something. She has hidden lairs which she fills with my things – socks, gloves, pens, keys and nail clippers.

If I bribe her with her favorite delicacy (bologna) or let her sit on my shoulder while I write then I am rewarded with the return of a belonging. Sometimes I wake in the morning to find socks that had been MIA for three months piled on my bed. They are always covered in fur and whatever else lines the dark walls of her hidden lair, but the gesture is understood.

It’s never a good feeling to get outsmarted by your pet. Especially if that pet has a brain the size of a walnut and uses her tongue as toilet paper.

On the morning following The B Monster’s interruption of my Alyssa dream, I see that she has returned my nail clippers. When I hear the click of her claws on the floor I realize why she has done this.

She wants me to clip her nails!

Běla has always reacted to this activity with the same demeanor as would a Hun with prolapsed hemorrhoids, so I grab the clippers and move towards her with a slice of bologna and a palliative smile. She seems calm as she accepts my offer of processed meat, which she accepts, brings to her bowl and then goes to one of my shoes. She puts her paws into my shoe and I kneel down with the clippers. Then I see it.

There is bread stuffed in my shoe.

I drop the clippers and go to the kitchen. Sure enough, on the counter, is an open bag of bread. The B Monster has opened my bread and stuffed it into my shoe. But, why?

This question is answered when I return to my shoe and find that The B Monster and my nail clippers are gone. I hear her chirps of derisive laughter from somewhere, but repair to my room to regroup and plan a counter attack.

By returning the clippers, she was testing my loyalty – Can I be trusted to have the clippers and not clip her nails?

The answer is no.

She took the bologna too.

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