I love my cats. I’m sure many of you can relate. They just… get me. I’m actually a huge animal lover in general. However, given my current circumstances, they are stuck in Washington with my Mom while I am down here kicking ass and living the broke-ass dream. It saddens me deeply. There are many lonely nights I think of how much better it would be if my two darling kitties were with me. They could knock things over, I could pick them back up. Things would really get done around here.
I also dearly love my brother. At least I used to. Last weekend as I was working one of the longest, hardest days of my life, I received a text from him. “Had to take Angelo (my black cat) to the vet with Mom. He’s not dying.” Not dying is good news. Alas, any trip to the vet alarms me. Angelo is a little overweight so I’m always worried about him/guilty I’m not there to keep him on his 3/4 cup twice daily, Indoor Hairball-Control diet and laser pointer exercise regime. After gathering more information, it turned out Angelo was going deaf in one ear and was going to need a hearing aid.
After my initial gut-wrenching agony for my beloved, “Jello”, I felt thankful my giving, caring big brother would rush to the side of my baby (his nephew, really) to help with taking him to the vet. I always hate that I am not around. Mainly because I don’t think my mom has the biceps necessary to carry his fat ass in the dog-sized pet carrier I have for him. The news was still scary and I did have to excuse myself to go cry in the bathroom at work.
The next day I was so exhausted from work I didn’t wake up til 3pm. I already had a text from my brother, “So do you want to get him the hearing aid or not?” I thought he must really be concerned for the cat and again silently gave thanks for his dedication. I faced this stressful matter head-on and called him up. In a very serious and shaky-sad tone, I explained to him that I wasn’t sure what to do until I researched this problem more. Would the cat eventually learn how to have balance with one working ear? What was the hearing aid exactly? Would my kitty need surgery for a cochlear implant? About halfway through my ponderings, my brother let out a huge laugh. Uncontrollable. He had tricked me. The whole thing had been a joke.
I wasn’t mad. Pretty irritated, sure. I don’t really get mad at my siblings. I don’t give two poops about most things people are upset about. There’s just not enough time, you know? I love them to bits. I mean, they’re all incredibly annoying in their own ways but all of them combined aren’t nearly as annoying as I am so I let things slide. I’m also never around them enough to feel actual anger toward them. So me being angry with them could really make a statement. I started sensing a certain weakness during our conversation… my brother knew he was wrong. He kept saying, “Don’t be mad.” He apologized a bunch. He felt bad, I could smell it from Oakland. There was still some love in his heart somewhere. So I decided to do the only reasonable thing I could think of – exploit it.
I have done my best to ignore my brother this week. Even when I found a “Murder She Wrote” (one of our favorite childhood shows) boxed-set at a thrift store, I still did not text him. I have made sure to tell my mom I’m “really upset” hoping the info circles back to him. I also sent the following text (barely, through my body-shaking laughter) “I got written up at work today for being unprofessional and crying in front of a client. Thanks.” I then received his apology text with more joy than a drunk uncle on Christmas morning. The lesson here is this: if someone pranks you – flip that shit. And to my lovely brother, Jack: I am not mad. You are a dirtbag. And if you ever do this to me again, I’ll hit you so hard you need a hearing aid. Dummy.