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The Way Our Civilization Will Be Destroyed
The internet relies on them for laughs. The human race loves them as they hate them. They are demons that sit on your lap, stare deep into your eyes and plot your destruction. They’re cats.
Bonzai was the first pet I had ever had. He was like a bonus package that came with my parents, minus the bonus part. My mom got him even before she met my dad, and he stayed with us until he passed away when I was three. He was aptly named because of his love to hide and wait until someone came along. Then he would jump on his victim in a surprise attack, much like the japanese suicide bombers who would shout “Bonzai” when jumping out of a plane. Though by the time I came along, he wasn’t doing much jumping. He was a grumpy, old cat and all he ever did was hide under my parents bed.
‘Back in my day,’ You could hear him saying. ‘There were no such thing as children, and they were taught the manners to not pull people’s tails!’
His favorite person, and the only one he liked was my mom. But the person he hated the most was my dad, who felt pretty much the same way. When my dad came into the picture of my mom’s life, he kicked Bonzai out of my mom’s bed, where he formerly ruled. Bonzai didn’t like that very much. So he responded in turn
‘Why is my pillow wet?’ My dad asked. ‘It smells funny too. It smells like... BONZAI!’
A few days later he also discovered the second part of Bonzai’s present on his favorite sweatshirt. Their relationship didn’t get much better after that.
When I was eleven years old, my family got our second cat, Luna. She loved to let you pet her, purring merrily, before springing her trap of claws and teeth upon your hand. It was amazing the way she could switch from a sweet kitty angel into a raging fiend of fur. Her favorite trick was to climb under the tiny hole between the oven in the floor and freak us all out. She demonstrated this marvelous ploy when we first brought her home. At first she was running around happily until poof, she disappeared. We all huddled around the oven picturing her roasting alive and not able to get out. My dad finally pulled loose the board, and there she was, fine as ever, and I could swear she was delighted at the look of horror on our faces.
One of her other fascinating tricks was bringing “presents” of mice into the house. Most of the time they would be dead, but I will never forget that one morning when we all were innocently sleeping in our beds, only to be woken by the squeaks of a mouse from the basement. We heard every event in that epic battle between mouse and cat, until finally, Luna came out victorious, and the squeaks ominously went away and were silenced for evermore.
Last year we got our second cat, Schooner. The absolute opposite of Luna, he loves to cuddle and will stop at nothing until you absolutely know he loves you. His favorite way to show his love is to suffocate you by crawling on your face while your happily dreaming away. I would move him, but he would just crawl right back.
‘Oh you don’t really mean that,’ he would say.
‘I’ll slowly make my way up her side, so at first she won’t notice. But then, I’ll press myself against her face so that my fur goes right into her mouth, instant bath for me. And finally, I’l place my head right next to her ear and purr as loud as I can so she can’t go to sleep and will pay attention to me.’ Thus was his “marvelous” plan, to take over all the hours of my night.
But nothing will ever compare to my friend Sophia’s cat, Cha Cha. A demon sent to rid humans of all happiness and joy, Sophie used to come to school and say,
‘You’ll never guess what Cha Cha did.’ In the morning he would go into Sophie’s moms room to get fed. If she wouldn’t get up, plop... plop... plop. He would knock thing after thing off their dressers until she did.
‘You dare not feed me!?’ He would say. Terrorizer of their dog Honey and all of Sophia’s friends, no one dared touch him when they came over. I remember when my friend Caroline and I slept over at Sophie’s house and in the wee hours in the morning, Cha Cha snuck into Caroline’s sleeping bag. She didn’t dare move lest the demon attack and was stuck sitting up for hours until he moved on. One time, when I was innocently sitting in Sophia’s room he came in and started towards me, hunting for a fresh kill.
‘Hey, look there’s a big one,’ he said.
I tried backing away slowly, but he kept coming forward, until he had chased me up two flights of stairs. A cat chasing me!? I had defeated the mighty, old Bonzai who was sung about in legends as the grumpiest cat there was. I can defeat this mere mortal! I started forward back down the stairs.
‘Attack!’ He cried.
It took a bit for my injuries and battle scars to go away, but eventually they disappeared, but my fear of Cha Cha is a scar that has never quite healed over.