Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tigre and the Fish

There once was a cat named Tigre; a little orphaned kitty who roamed the parking lot of Cokesbury Apartments looking for a place to rest his paws. Tuckered out from his daily travels one day, he rested his fuzz butt on the roof a local's car to sunbathe.

What he did not know was that this car belonged to none other than, Karley, my roommate and lover of all cats. Clearly, he had found a new home in the loving household of the Beta Babes 521 apartment. Sweet Karley fell instantly for his furry face followed quickly by my two other precious roommates, Esther and Stacie. I, however, remained a bit skeptical of our new found feline friend.

See, Tigre was just a kitten who happened to wander onto our doorstep one day and Karley, being the cat person that she is, instantly took a shine to the creature. For me, I took some time to warm up to him. We had no idea where he spent his days and just what his kitty paws had been prancing on all the live long day. Perhaps it was because I've grown to be more of a dog person in my old age or perhaps because I was concerned about a flea infestation. Either way, I was weary of Tigre and just how house trained he was. So for a duration of time he would visit our balcony only, mewing and hoping for a bit of attention...

...of which the girls selflessly gave...

He stayed outside until the complex community rounded behind Karley to raise money for Tigre's shots. Apparently the little buddy had made the rounds to all sorts of people and everyone had a different name for him. My favorite was "What's Up."

Don't let the face fool you, he's loving every bit of this attention.

Turned out that Tigre was an exceptional cat, flea free, too, who we all loved and took care of for several months on end. He was practically perfect in every way...with the exception of one tiny unfortunate event.

April 1st, 2008, a most tragic day for our special Beta Babes apartment. It began with poor Esther, who fainted in class and broke off her front tooth. Again. Just the previous spring she'd fainted in a vet's office while visiting her childhood pet, Duke. Anyway, something went a miss and my dear sweet friend passed out in class that morning and tried to catch herself by the skin of her teeth. Literally.

After an unexpected trip the emergency room, Esther called me, told me she fainted and needed a ride. Well, Esther is known to be a bit of a jokster from time to time and I thought it was just another April Fools prank. It took a cell phone picture to set me straight (which I've been sworn to never show for fear of a brutal death at the hands of my friend.).

Oh my. She WASN'T kidding. Boy, did I feel like a rotten friend. I did find her a ride though and vowed to treat her to a whole pan of any cookie she wanted...after, you know, her tooth was reattached...

Esther returned sometime that afternoon, tooth Vaselined on, to our home in disarray. Stacie, our fourth roommate, had discovered she was being eaten by little bed bugs at night. I know, gag with me here. Poor thing had bites all over back. After complaining to our complex about the *ahem* little issue, they came "rushing" over to cart off our mattresses and reassign us to a temporary home. In other words, ordered us to pack up everything cloth in our apartment, wash it and then MOVE it all into another complex for an unspecified amount of time all before they bug bombed our home. Oh but at least they paid for the laundry.

Think about it folks. Four girls living in one apartment for a whole year and they're asking us to wash all of our clothes. Four girls. Living there for several months already...oh the massive amounts of laundry we did....Several hours worth and we ran out of the detergent they gave us...for crying out loud.

So Esther returns from the hospital with Stacie in the midst of our apartment being torn apart, just fit to be tied over the little bugs that have now thrown us out of our home. Karley and I gave in and started packing our things for our temporary stay, a process that took a lot longer than anticipated. Esther, completely out of sorts decided that the day has called for a little get away. Our old roommate, Marisa, called her up and offered to get her mind of things by taking her out, of which Esther happily accepted.

My Favorite left while the rest of the girls continued to load, wash and unload our lives over the course of the evening. Unfortunately, none of us bothered to really pay attention to Tigre, who had been rather confused with our incessant moving around. They say animals can tell when their people are leaving...I guess Tigre's senses were on high alert.

After a time I was the only one floating back and forth between the laundry room and the apartment. One particular trek up the stairs, I noticed something smelled rather off. I entered our apartment, sniffing to beat the band. Took a look around, saw nothing out of the ordinary but then again our whole apartment was in shambles. I called out, no one answered--I guess I was smelling something from outside since our door was open. But after a time my nostrils were really bothering me. I couldn't even pinpoint the smell, I'm not exactly a blood hound here, but golly moses, it was awful!

I gave in to my curiosity and followed the trail which curiously seemed to grow stronger as I got closer to Esther and Stacie's wing. Then I began to narrow down the stench to just Esther's room...I pushed open her door finding her room in just a disastrous state as the rest of the place. Clothes thrown everywhere, drapes pulled off, the bed unmade, the fish bowl tumped over...

Wait a second...

The fish bowl tumped over? Esther had this fish, Monsieur Bleu, that she got from her big in Gamma Phi Beta--and yes, it was none other than a beta fish. Get it? GPhiBeta....beta fish...ahahaha! OK Then. Moving along...

So I'm looking at this bowl and following the trail of water...followed by scattered pebbles...and trees...and bowl...but no fish. Then to my left, I see a flicker of a tail. Not just any tail...the tail of Tigre who, by the way, was perfectly posed with his paws crossed. And I swear to goodness that he looked right at me, flicked his tail once more and then licked his little kitty lips.

Holy No no no no. No way.

Slowly I began put two and two together: the missing fish and the fat, happy, lip-licking kitty next to fish's empty bowl. Someone had an unapproved midnight snack it seemed.

Well, I begin to giggle. The day has just been like this. Horrible. Awful for everyone in this house and now I have to call my best friend and tell her our other best friend's cat just ate her fish.

Must have cracked because I died laughing. Couldn't contain the hysteria any longer--I just rolled on the floor with the biggest guffaws you've ever heard. Have you ever?

Then, in between hiccups of laughter, I decided THAT would be an appropriate time to call Esther and tell her the splendid news. However, instead of telling her, I left a message. I left her a message with me giggling all the way through:

"Hhhiiii, Esther...*snicker snicker* I uh...hee hee hee...I have some...pbbbtt haha...AHEM..Excuse me. I have some! I'm sorry, it's not funny but it is. Anyway, um...Tigre...he uh...hahaha...he ate Monsieur Bleu...I'm so sorry. I love you."

Yup, I'm almost positive I ended it with an "I love you." After I mercilessly snickered and giggled while delivering her some of the sad news of her dead fish, I was sure to remind her heartless friend still indeed loved her. Good grief.

The thing is that this whole day was topped off with this priceless scene--I felt like my life had been placed in a sitcom for the day because honestly, how often do so many mishaps happen over the course of a day?

A few hours later, Esther returns and I've already broken the news to Stacie and Karley. Tried my best to clean up the mess in her room, it was the least I could do after leaving her such a crushing message. A couple of friends felt bad about our situation and came by with pizza and ice cream except they picked up a carton of Ben and Jerry's "Phish Food." I think that kinda twisted the knife a bit...

Esther was not amused when she walked in the door. Not to mention that Tigre hung around to admire his handiwork in her doorway. He's just such a doll though. How can you resist that cute kitty face?

I rest my case. Has Esther ever forgiven our sweet Tigre? The world may never know.

And Monsieur Bleu, we think of you often. You lived a good fishy life and from what I can tell you tasted pretty delicious so kudos to Esther for feeding you well. Overall though, we survived the day and with a bit of laughter have all gotten a kick out of it since--I'm telling you, you can't make that stuff up. As for Tigre, he spent his last few days with us and is now living on a farm somewhere in Kansas.

No really. Karley found him a home and he's roaming around happily in search of more beta fish. We miss you much!

And just to prove that a picture is worth a thousand words (and laughs), here ya go:

**Note the incognito kitty hidden amongst the laundry in the bottom left corner...oh how slick he was...and no, I did not pose him--he was WAITING for the camera...

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