(this is something I wrote back in August of 2021 … a bit of a feeling old moment ya might say)
On my way home tonight I stopped into PetSmart to see if I could find a cat scratcher that wasn’t ridiculously expensive, something I wasn’t all that confident in accomplishing. Though I have managed to trim them on occasion, it’s not the easiest of endeavors to convince Bella to let me clip her nails and they’re getting a little long again as she’s clicking on the hardwood now like she’s taken up tap dancing and rehearsing a new number so I thought a new scratcher would at least help her with some nail maintenance.
I know she wants another one, a stand-up model (I do have a nice large well used wood framed one with cat scratch cardboard inside that sits flat on the floor but it’s not quite the same) as she keeps trying to also use this old one and well, a couple of short naked two by fours nailed together with a carpet top don’t really do the trick. It’s also Bella’s way I think, with the repeated attempts, to say “yo, knucklehead, human, can ya see what I’m tryin’ to do here on a couple of short naked two by fours nailed together with a carpet top?! Are ya catchin’ my fruitless cat scratchin’ drift … numbnuts?!”
She’s right, as this old stand up model doesn’t really have any cat scratchedyness to it anymore as almost all the rope is gone or fallen to the bottom like scratchy rope one legged shorts around its ankle. I only keep it for a couple of reasons. First is a sentimental one. It’s one of my earliest and favorite pictures of Shoes from when he was kitten, one of my bestest of pals who passed away 6 six years ago now, clutching onto it in its newer days to give me a stare and a sniff while we were getting to know each other and second, I keep it on the floor at the end of the bed as it’s kind of become a pretty good lean to assist for old man stand ups. You see I stand UP from my bed as I don’t have a bedframe, just my box spring and mattress on the floor ( got’s to be proactive on possible spots for monsters underneath right?) so the assist can be welcome, but not always necessary, I’m not quite there yet in my oldness thank you, though still welcome on occasion, breathy light grunty exhales sometimes included.
Anyway, as I was looking wide raised eyebrow eyed at price tags of cat seats and cat condo’s that can also serve as scratchers on the big shelves or a few smaller ones in an aisle across from them on the regular shelves a very pretty young woman passed to step into the next aisle for canned cat food, the aisle that has the Wellness Brand by the way, which is pretty good stuff and correspondingly expensive.
I found two possible scratchers but held the thought for the moment, debating 30 bucks versus 40, as the pretty young woman buying some canned food suddenly reminded me that I should do the same, even though this wasn’t my initial intent tonight, before that reminder fell out of the front of my head only to silently slide out the back. You see PetSmart has a few things the girls like that the grocery store doesn’t carry so I then passed her, the pretty young woman, reminder still holding noggin front, on my way a couple of aisles past her to where another less expensive brand is located, but, knowing that she was stocking up on the Wellness, I almost felt guilty and a bad cat dad for going with the cheaper stuff. I was even worried she’d notice, disapprovingly.
After I grabbed a few cans of what, like I said, I can’t find at the grocery store , and a slightly more top shelf version of this one at least to ease my new found bad cat dad guilt, I made my way back to the scratchers aisle to make a decision on that 30 versus 40 bucks but accidentally came up one aisle short (because of course I did) and stepped right into the one that the pretty young woman was standing at the end of, still, though unknowingly, shaming me as she loaded a cardboard flat with the Wellness food, and I almost bumped into her.
“Whoa, shit, sorry, wrong aisle, my bad”
“No problem” she said
It then occurred to me as I stepped around into the cat scratcher aisle that all of this could have looked as if I had done it intentionally. See a pretty young woman pass me when, “suddenly”, it seems I need to walk past HER and then come back again only to “accidentally” step into her aisle and almost bump into her?
Future reference. I never do anything like that intentionally, I REALLY only ever do things like that accidentally, usually too lost in my own thoughts to sidetrack them unnecessarily for that kinda stuff. Plus that whole possible thought’s attention silently sliding out the back of my head thing I mentioned earlier. In general, if I happen to note, wherever I may be, that there’s some younger woman there who, like in this case, is very attractive I also then, almost immediately, note the operative word in this sentence, “younger” and that I’m most probably old enough to be her dad, a dad who would surely kick my ass at any of this whole notion of noting things. So, quick admiration and acknowledgement of pretty and I’m done with the thought. Then it’s just to possibly some accidental awkwardness.
She ended up at the checkout line in front of me and as she was getting ready to leave, bag in hand full of her good cat mom Wellness Brand food and as I was slowly putting my cat scratcher down for the cashier while holding back ever so slightly on the lesser stuff being seen she looked at me and said.
“Have a good night Sir”
“You as well” I replied
Damn … yep, she called me “Sir” to which I had three thoughts.
2. If she did for some reason think I was actually trying to “check her out” or even hit on her and that I was a bit too old for the attempt and should know better the “Sir” was very subtly and very well played, very well played indeed. Bravo lady!
You know I think I might just be leaning a little more heavily on that old Shoes cat scratcher at the end of the bed for the stand ups this evening while pausing the TV or in the middle of the night when I have to pee a million times it seems, sometimes even when I don’t have to but just think that I do.
Me 2: “Well is that right now … is that what you’re thinking … Sir?”
Me 1: “Shut up Me 2 … fucker.”