My Kitty the Drunk

Last Sunday, feeling that the weekend was getting away from us and trying to avoid that from happening, Burke and I harnessed the dog and went out for a walk. That walk ended up in (aka was aimed at) a pub. Pretty soon we were sipping pivos and chatting and having a grand ole time. Occasionally, I’d glimpse my watch and grumble about the inexorably slow march forward of time and let out a whimper.

Each day of the week brings with it a specific feel towards drinking. Friday and Saturday almost invite it. Thursday is easy enough to sway to a drink (it’s almost Friday, after all). Wednesday and Tuesday are fun on occasion, if only for the novelty of it, and especially if it occurs during sunlight hours. Oh I got drunk on a Tuesday. But Sunday is always a tricky day on which to decide for beers. Sundays are days for laundry and a lounge on the couch or a walk in the park. They’re for getting in bed early and reading until you doze off. But should one decision be made or should one little occurrence occur, then Sunday can just as easily be spent sipping pivos and arguing against that nasty old time bandit, who kidnaps your free time so easily and leaves you on Monday morning walking into work with a confused look on your face and a note in the back of your head to read up on how time moves faster as we age.

And so, after going out drinking, we went in drinking too. When I woke up Monday morning mouth filled with cotton, brain tinged with a drop of regret, I was greeted with the clear signs of afterparty. Two bottles of wine, glasses, an empty bag of chips. The shell of late night Oreos and pretzels. A vague memory of hitting the shop across the street. Billy Joel frozen on the screen within YouTube. Wikipedia on my computer screen, no doubt settling some late night bet (yes, Ty Burrell owns a pub in Utah). And what else did I see? A ghost. Before I needed confirmation, the ghost meowed at me.

It was time to face facts: someone in my house has a drinking problem. And that someone is my cat.

It’s not unheard of. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that animals around the globe thoroughly enjoy alcohol. Tree shrews have a noted enjoyment of alcohol. Each autumn moose in Sweden get shitty on fermenting apples. Macaques drink alcohol whenever they can get their hands on it. And the Bohemian waxwing eats berries specifically from the Rowan tree because it gives them a buzz. Evidence not only suggests that animals like alcohol, since they get it from fruit in nature that naturally ferments itself, it’s likely they’ve been getting tipsy for about 20 million years longer than we have. They’re seasoned veterans.

My cat is one of them. Though she doesn’t wait around for fruit to become fermented, she only needs to wait until I crack something open late at night and then pass out before I finish it. I have awoken to her dabbing a paw into the puddles at the bottom of pint glasses, brandy snifters, and wine orbs. At other times I wake up after a night out on the armchair or on the floor and the cat is sniffing my breath and licking her lips. Or if I can’t sleep and I pour myself a tumbler of bourbon to nudge me towards nighty nights, guess who is standing on the table waiting and thumping her tail against the cutting board? Yep. Cat. What a lush.

But it could be worse. The moose in Sweden totally overdo it on fermented apples and for the exasperated Swede the autumn is a time of lifting drunk moose out of trees and pulling them off their crushed porches. The Bohemian waxwing gets so drunk that a number of them immediately fly into buildings and this is not an unusual way for them to perish. Plus, they’re not Bohemian for nothing. The macaque is a notorious drunk, sometimes they’ll do it all day. The ones who live alone (I guess in captivity) drink much more than the others. The ones who have had a long day (for a monkey I guess this means a day of learning sign language and not being able to fling your feces) drink much more. The macaque might be our closest relative when it comes to booze.  

If anything alcohol makes my cat more pleasant. She meows less and she gets all sappy. She rubs her face against me and purrs, the drunken feline version of ‘I love you man’. Then she curls up in the scarf box and sleeps peacefully for hours. But boy is she in a mood if you reach for a scarf before she’s ready to get up.

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