Tuna, a scrappy pre-teen punk in a suit, moved in with us October 2019.
Grandma Meow Moses, fourteen years Tuna's senior, born at Buckingham Palace with royal blood running through her veins, arrived seven months later.
Both were about to become homeless, unless you consider the Humane Society, a home.
This is where my sweet Sven and I come into the picture.
We had been here in the black hole just outside Harmony Grove since the beginning of time and had lived happily through three decades of three kids, three dogs, three cats, a short spell with a ferret who had not been granted permission to move in, two iguanas and many goldfish including Daryl, Strawberry and their other brother Daryl.
Of course, there were some spats between everybody. But overall, this place was a regular, noisy, peaceful, household.
When Grandma Meow Moses showed up in April of 2020 with all her bags of jewels, gowns and crowns, Sven and I assumed she would slip on in and live out whatever little time she had left, sleeping in the sun streaming through the windows and wiping out our bank account, alongside Tuna and Hunter, our beloved old geezer of a dog. God rest his soul.
Or at least release him from furgatory.
But the assisted living apartment Grandma resides in downstairs next to the laundry room has only one window to the outside, which is on the door. However, Grandma does not care to sit in front of it and enjoy the sunshine like she had at first. Not since, Tuna discovered her on her perch that first summer and tried to break in and wipe that smile off her face.
As you can imagine, a woman of Grandma's stature, delusional or not, does not appreciate playing second fiddle to anyone and especially not to a con artist thug in a cheap tuxedo.
Separate lives under one roof was the only solution we could come up with after many failed attempts at a possible coexistence between a hearing-impaired fuzzy woman with cloudy eyes, a sour disposition and no front nails to be sharpened and a curious tree climbing, ill-mannered punk known for biting off heads of snakes, chasing anything that moves and snapping their necks.
Grandma resides in Suite 1A behind the door at the bottom of the stairs in an assisted living program which includes meals on wheels, an entertainment room, a laundromat, a sauna converted into a private cat sanctuary, and a cleaning lady, all run by a staff consisting of yours truly.
In the meantime, Tuna has taken on what had once been a part time hobby and has turned it into what he calls, his calling.
"I was born to be a secret agent," he said.
To be clear.
Tuna does not understand the difference between Sean Connery, Inspector Clouseau and your everyday peeping Tom.
He is a plain clothes detective in a tuxedo always working on the same case.
That is why his little black and white face is so often seen on the other side of any window in this house that he can manage to peek in.
Tuna calls it surveillance.
I call it rude.
Put it this way, big brother has nothing on Tuna.
A person cannot watch a movie around here, drink a cup of coffee or even write a story at their desk in front of the window, without feeling a pair of googly eyes staring right through them.
Even Grandma can see him through her kaleidoscope cataracts.
Her sight was especially clear that early evening when she woke up from a little snooze on the warm lit ledge just in time to see the silhouette of a large creature hanging from the screen on the door right in front of her.
Since then, she has taken to napping in the bathtub behind the shower curtain.
This however has caused a bit of a hullabaloo.
You see, when Tuna is off duty, he sometimes chooses to curl up in the basket of towels in the same bathroom that Grandma's favorite bathtub is located.
I was jerked away from my jigsaw puzzle the other day right when I was on a roll.
"What the hell is going...," I said bounding down the stairs from the loft.
Since Tuna had been asleep amongst the towels in the basket, I had closed the bathroom door. I then invited Grandma up for a little milk and to do her grandma stuff.
She lopped up her vitamin D and waddled over to her favorite bathtub only to find the door was closed.
And then, right before her eyes, black and white paws with cufflinks came flying out from underneath the crack at the bottom of the door, beckoning a fight.
I cannot repeat what Grandma had to say, because this is a family friendly website, except for all the f-bombs.
Grandma was ready to return to suite 1A to get some rest after all her yelling and spitting and foul language.
The following day Tuna went out on patrol after turning up his nose at actual food and just having a few treats.
I hung the sign in the window, the one that keeps everyone safe and opened the basement door for Grandma.
She came up, drank her milk and regardless of yesterday's scene, marched straight to her favorite bathtub, climbed inside, curled up and fell asleep.
Fifteen minutes later Tuna was spotted on the table on the deck surveilling the dining room.
I closed the bathroom door on Grandma to give her some privacy and let snoop cat inside.
He bolted for the basement stairs to throw himself against the door at the bottom in hopes of scaring a little old lady who cannot hear the racket or to just to keep an eye on the situation.
I really did not care.
She was not even there.
Hours later, I was getting ready to leave the house and I realized that Grandma was still upstairs.
"Did you let Tuna out?" I asked Sven.
"I don't think I did," he said. "Did you?"
"I don't remember letting him out," I said.
I could not leave Sven all alone with Grandma snoozing behind the curtain and Tuna on the loose.
Sven searched the loft and bedroom while I hunted for him on the main floor.
"Nothing," he called down.
"He's not here either," I said.
That is when I wandered down the steps to the basement and found the door to suite 1A still ajar.
"Oh, the cat detective must be down here working on the case," I said.