Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Exploits of Ms. Rouxmeanas Mohern

My cat’s full name is Rouxmeanas Mohern and she is out to ruin my life.  Let me explain.  One humid night during the summer between my Second and Third years of college, my stepdad found Rouxmeanas stashed behind the rear tire of my mom’s car in our driveway.  After he brought her in the house, she quickly took refuge in my room.  I’ve been stuck with her ever since.  It didn’t take long for us to discover that she was a unique cat.  A cat with such a crazy personality deserves a crazy name, right?  Well, that’s how things ended up.  Johnny Depp is my favorite actor and in the movie Chocolat he plays a gypsy named Roux.  So, even though she’s a female feline and not a long-haired, guitar-playing man, that’s what I wanted to name her.  My eight-year-old sister had her own opinion.  She wanted to name the cat “Meana” because she’s mean, and, according to my sister, adding an “a” onto the end of the name clearly makes it feminine.  Eventually we compromised, putting both names together to make “Rouxmeana”.  I took Rouxmeanas back to college with me, and my roommate and I decided to pluralize her name because, for some reason, we thought it sounded better.  Rouxmeanas was born.  Her name had gotten so ridiculous by this point that we just wanted to keep it going.  We decided that she needed a last name, too.  Thus, we combined our last names and came up with Mohern.
The first problem with Rouxmeanas is that we have opposite schedules.  She likes to sleep all day; on my pillow, on the couch, under the coffee table.  Anywhere, really, as long as she is in my visual vicinity.  Even when she’s under my bed she allows a limb to protrude, ensuring its visibility; the tip of her tail, a paw, an ear.  I think she does this to taunt me.  While I’m at class, cleaning the apartment, cooking dinner, slaving over a research paper, or cramming for a test, Rouxmeanas is undoubtedly catching some Zs.  I recently began noticing that Rouxmeanas’ breathing was accompanied by a raspy noise while she was sleeping.  At first I was concerned because I thought she might have a sinus defect or a kitty cold.  But that heavy breathing soon morphed into full-blown snoring, which I’m now sure is all just a part of her plan to rub her laid-back life in my face.
Roux begins her day around 10:30 P.M.  She wants me to pet her, she wants to feast on copious amounts of Meow Mix or Whiskas, and most of all, she wants to play.  She bolts around the apartment as if it’s her own personal jungle.  She gets a running start and jumps onto my desk chair, using her sharp talons to stealthily scale her way to the top, all the while thrashing her head about in every direction and biting the air, never taking a bright yellow eye off of me while I sit petrified on my bed.  I haven’t seen a scene like this since Jurassic Park.  Once she’s championed her way to the top she jumps from my chair to my dresser, where she finds some prize (one of my earrings, a nail file, a hair tie) to bring back down to the ground with her.  She runs laps around the living room, jumping from coffee table to couch to windowsill to other couch to floor.  And repeat.  She’ll sneak up behind me while I’m lying on the couch watching a movie and start biting my head or eating my hair.  All of this would be tolerable if it wasn’t for her “Desiré’s Trying to Sleep Right Now” routine.

Numerous times, I’ve awoken around 4 A.M. to Rouxmeanas gnawing on my leg through the covers like I would a bucket of KFC chicken.  Her front paws pin my leg down and hold it steady while she tries to take a bite.  Needless to say, I was highly disturbed the first time I awoke to find that I was the snack of choice for Cannibalistic Rouxmeanas.  But now I just kick her off and turn over.  As if in retaliation, she decides to play with her favorite toy: a plastic ball that has a bell inside of it.  I don’t know whose idea it was to buy her this ball; perhaps my mother, who gives her all kinds of cat toys in her Christmas stocking that are designed to make the pet owner go certifiably insane.  But I do blame myself for being too weak to take it away from her.  She swats the ball so that it goes flying across the apartment, ricocheting off of walls.  Meanwhile she tramples around after it like a pack of hyenas.  The sound of that bell ringing and smacking every hard surface ensures that I won’t be falling back asleep any time soon.
Eventually, Roux carries the ball onto my bed.  She lies next to me and bats it between her paws as if practicing her dribbling.  Every now and then the ball smacks me in the face.  Yet, I never have the heart to take it away from her.  For some reason, in my zombie stupor, her having fun seems just as important as my getting sleep.  So I compromise and grab my headphones from my nightstand and plug up my ears.  No music, just something to serve as a barrier between the ringing bell and my sound receptors.  I’ve often wondered if Roux’s energy fits are abnormal.  I imagine that the few precious hours of sleep I get without her interruption are due to the fact that she has snuck downstairs to the neighboring cat’s apartment to score some catnip.

When I give in and actually choose to play with her, she means business.  If I swirl my finger in the air in front of her she will catch it, and then it’s game over.  She will scratch and bite whatever she’s taken captive.  Consequently, I now have scars all over my hands and arms, and I constantly have fresh wounds.  I can’t count how many times my friends have asked me if I fell in a bush or the amount of terrified glances I get from strangers who think I cut myself.

The second problem with Rouxmeanas is that she jeopardizes my relationships with just about anyone.  The Fall semester of my Third Year in Undergrad I pledged a co-ed service fraternity.  My pledge class decided to get a pledge class T-Shirt specially made.  Two days after I received my shirt I went home for Christmas break.  I never unpack and often live out of bags whenever I travel.  One afternoon I came home from the mall to find that Rouxmeanas had managed to unzip my duffel bag, pull out my specialty pledge class Tshirt, drag it to her litter box, and poop on it.  She pooped on the shirt in such a way that it was not salvageable.  I couldn’t believe it.  How was I going to go back and face my pledge class and tell them that I wasn’t going to be participating in any unity involving clothing?  How was I going to look the girl who spent time designing and ordering this shirt in the eye and tell her that her hard work was covered in cat poop?  It was poop terrorism!  However, the following summer I engaged in some Rouxmeanas’ poop terrorism of my own.
I was living in my college apartment and had a couple of friends over to watch a movie.  As if on cue, just as my guests arrived, Rouxmeanas decided to stink up the place.  It was so bad that my friends were screaming in disgust, begging me to do something about it.  All I could do was gag.  So I sealed her cat litter in a plastic grocery store bag and ran out the back door onto our tiny wooden fire escape.  Usually there was a huge dumpster right beneath our balcony so we would always throw our trash over the banister.  In keeping with tradition, I chucked the bag of poop over the railing in a frenzy, expecting it to land in the dumpster with ease.  But when I looked down, there was no dumpster.  Instead, there were individual rolling trashcans with lids lined up against the building.  The bag of poop missed those trashcans altogether and instead landed on my neighbor’s windowsill who lives two floors below me!  I panicked.  The windowsill was too high off the ground for me to reach and too far below my own window.  To make matters worse, we’re not allowed to have pets in our building, so what if my neighbors thought it was my poop, instead of cat poop?  I was trying to envision what I would say to them, if ever confronted.  Oh sorry guys, my toilet was broken.  I was doomed.

Rouxmeanas knows that the heart of any modern person lies in their computer.  That’s why, when she’s not using me as a scratching post or using her poop as a weapon, she uses my MacBook Pro as a means of sabotage.  During my Spring Semester of my Third year, I was trying to land an internship in the arts field.  I was emailing back and forth with the Director of a local arts organization about setting up an interview.  After the Director asked me what days and times would be good to meet, I hit the reply button and went to pour a cup of coffee before writing my response.  I returned from the kitchen to find Rouxmeanas sprawled out across my laptop, settling in against the warmth of the keyboard in preparation for one of her naps.  I stared at the computer screen in horror.  My stomach was doing flips, my heart was threatening to beat right out of my chest, and my hands started to shake.  “NOOOO!” I screamed at Roux, who didn’t bother to open her eyes.  Roux had somehow managed to draft and send my email for me.  She had sent the director an email from me that simply said p.  That was all. p.  What kind of response does that warrant?

Dear Desiré, When is a good time for you to come in for an interview?
P sounds perfect! See you then!

I had to fix this somehow.  The way I saw it, I had one of three options.  Either send her a real email acting as if p had never been sent, send her a real email and tell her the truth (that my psycho-pet has it in for me), or send her a real email blaming myself (in which case I may come off as incompetent and unworthy of an internship if I don’t even know how to send an email).  I took my chances and chose the latter.  I apologized and explained that I had accidentally sent the email before I was finished typing.  Then the challenge became starting a sentence with the letter p.  What could I have possibly been typing to her before that required p?  I had to be consistent here and cover all of my tracks.  But all I could think of were phrases like puck Rouxmeanas and please take my cat

            I was about to leave for work this morning when I realized that I hadn’t seen Roux at all since I had woken up.  On my way out the door, my heart stopped when I saw four furry paws emerging from beneath the couch.  They weren’t moving.  This is it, I thought, convinced that Roux had died Wicked Witch of the West style.  I closed my eyes and pulled at the paws.  My breath caught in my chest.  It was a stuffed hippopotamus that belonged to my little sister.  I turned around and there was Rouxmeanas, standing in the corner, with a gray stuffed ear hanging out of her mouth.



rachel said...

this was possibly my favorite thing ever. i might have just laughed out loud til i cried a little. it's fine.

baaconnn said...

hahahahaha i hate roux just as much as the next guy but this is hilarious

Dawn said...

awww Rouxmeanas ~ freak of the day!
this one had me "p"..I mean crying!
by the way..I went to the pet store the other night ~ the toys were on sale:)
signed "Mother"...(thought I was mom?)

Nick said...

LFrouxmeanaS... gotta love that cat. She really is maniacal and plotting. Desire doesn't really tell the whole story. Lets not forget that Roux rubbed off on her and Mr. Ahern as well... See, Roux had this habit of staring at people out of the window facing the street in that good, old apartment.. and Patrick and Desire slowly but surely began to mirror Roux's behavior. It always made me laugh inside when one of them would be staring out of the window at the same time as Roux. =)

ps. DYING at the thought of the poopy windowsill night! That night was so funny!

Eileen said...

okay I am now going to have to write a post about how psychotic and freaking adorable my kitty is. He used to drop fluff balls on my face in the middle of the night and bat them off my nose in attempts to get my to play fetch with him....at 4am. I love my kitty. He is sitting next to me now...sleeping so that as soon as I try to, he'll be ready to play.