A Roscoe Story

Being a cat owner has its highs and lows. My cat Roscoe, as I’ve mentioned before, isn’t the brightest crayon in the box. So I was moderately excited when my roommate told me Roscoe had learned a new trick. Surprised, too. Learning’s not really his thing.

My cat is a beggar and my roommate is a softie; the combination is trouble. My roommate likes a certain smoked bleu cheese on his morning eggs. Roscoe, as luck would have it, also happens to like a certain smoked bleu cheese. So he hollers at Jamie every morning until Jamie hooks him up with a little piece of cheese. (Incidentally, you should hear the two meow at each other. They’ve got a Laurel and Hardy thing.)

Jamie’s a picky guy, so he puts his bleu cheese in the same plastic container all the time. Roscoe’s new trick is that he now recognizes the sound of the cheese container opening. We know he knows because he immediately appears whenever the cheese is opened now, without fail. I want to hate this, because it’s undignified for Roscoe to be begging. But I have to love it, because it shows at least a glimmer of intelligence in Roscoe’s pea brain.

His new-found brilliance has its limits. I’ve just now discovered an unintended side effect of his new training. Jamie, picky Jamie, recently updated the storage for our game of Axis and Allies. Can it in the peanut gallery; I know we’re nerds. The game has a bunch of little soldier pieces that need to be separated by country, and wedge-of-cheese-sized plastic containers are perfect to hold those pieces.

I was just now setting up the board, which meant opening the containers. Roscoe comes zooming in, meowing his fool head off. He searches for cheese. Meow? He puts his paws up on the table and peers over. No signs of cheese. Meow? He hops down and turns to me, bewildered. MEOW? He sniffs the plastic container I’m holding. I tell him I don’t have any cheese. He’s not convinced. The meows get more frantic. MEOW WHERE’S THE MOTHERFUCKING CHEESE? He bites my ankle. That doesn’t make cheese appear either.

Impasse. Roscoe demands cheese. I have no cheese.

The end.

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