Tuna the Teenager
If I open the closet door to throw an item into the recycle bin. Tuna pops out of the closet. If I reach into the kitchen drawer for a stamp. Tuna springs from it like a jack in the box. If a door opens. Tuna waltzes through it. It makes no difference which direction he is headed. It is an opportunity to see what is on the other side of that door. Even if he just came from the other side of that door. Until the sun goes down. Once the sun has set Tuna is not interested in swinging doors. Because he is a trouble making teenager. A guy who does not respect his curfew. A cat who likes to howl at the moon. As elderly parents my sweet Sven and I are easily duped by his sweet little conniving face. That cute tiny fake meow of his. He just wants to go out there one more time. Just for a little while. "It is only seven o'clock," Sven will say. "Okay," I will say. And that is why Sven is out there sleeping on the couch. Again. He is waiting for the little liar to come home. Again. But Tuna still isn't back. "What time is it?" I said. "Three o'clock," Sven answered, slipping under the covers. And now nobody can sleep. Except Hunter. Hunter is the king of the jungle. And the world's greatest watch dog. He continues to snore on his bed on the floor at the foot of our bed. And Grandma Meow Meow. She is the cat who lives down there in her assisted living efficiency in our basement. She has specific visiting hours and she only opens her door for her meals on wheels lady, as in me. And Sven. Sven is fast asleep. Okay, so it is me. I can't sleep. Where is that little Tuna? Is he being ripped apart by a pack of coyotes? Did he offend a racoon? Is he being stabbed by the tusk of that wooly mammoth? The one who got Hunter last year? These teenagers don't know what they put their parents through. It is now five thirty am. "Toooooooooooooo-n-ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" I call out the door. And again. Nothing. I look at the garage. Tuna isn't in there. Because I saw him after I returned from the lake yesterday afternoon and my car was already in the garage. He was laying in the driveway and I almost tripped over him in my hurry to go inside to tell Sven about the parade that was going to go past our house. "Sven," I said. "There is going to be a parade." Sven was on the phone. He put up his hand. The hand. I stomped out the door. I closed the hatch back on my fancy car with just the push of a button. I pressed another button and the garage door came down. And then I marched my way to the end of the driveway and stood out there by the mailbox to wait for a parade. Just me and a bunch of fucking little gnats. I couldn't take it. They were trying to get into my nose. I walked back down the gravel driveway to the house. Sven was just coming out the door. "Sorry," he said. "I was making a tee time. Am I too late?" "There are too many bugs," I said. We went for our usual before dinner family walk down the middle of the field and listened to fire trucks and honking horns go by on the highway. Wait a minute. The family walk. Was Tuna with us on the family walk last night? Hmmmmmm. I turned the knob on the side door of the garage and opened it. "Tuna?" Nothing. I knew it. I flipped on the lights anyway. "Shit!" The head of a cat head shot up in the back seat of my Toyota. It scared the bejesus right out of me, if you know what I mean. I carried the sweet little hunk of a devil into the house. I took him right past the snoring guard dog. Tuna curled up between Sven and I where he purred himself to sleep in a ball. And we all slept happily ever after. For a couple hours. And this is the reason I am no longer able to make our bed. You know how teenagers are. They sleep half their days away. And the look they give you when you go to wash the sheets. "What's that Louisa?" Hang on a minute. My sister is yelling something from the other room. "Oh." Louisa says Tuna is not a teenager. He isn't even two. "Well he sure acts like one." And how is the Toyota, you ask? The nicest car I have ever owned. Well. It is fine. Nothing a little soap and water and a vacuum and some black duck tape couldn't handle.