"What's that sound!?" Aimee exclaimed, awakening our hero from a deep slumber.
"Hm, probably a rat," he said, rolling over to go back to sleep.
"Michael! A rat!? You have to get it!"
"How does one get a rat that's chewing through the garbage bag we put on the balcony?" Michael wondered. He thought that only the summer brought unwanted guests to dine on the garbage on the balcony: cockroaches, flies, cicadas, and other insects.
"You have to do something!"
"Mmm," he grumbled, rolling out of bed. Better end this before it gets worse, he thought to himself. And check on that rat.
"Ooo, it's a big black rat," he said, peering through the drapes. "We're in trouble now."
"Relax - I'm kidding. It's a cat." He made for bed but was halted mid-step by another shriek.
"We have to feed it!" a suddenly animated Aimee cried. His pleas for sanity went unheard amidst the rattling of dishes.
"What?" she said with a bowl in one hand, the open fridge door in the other.
"I said we can't feed a stray cat right at our door. You don't feed strays or they keep coming back. That's probably a proverb."
"But it's hungry!"
"But it's probably not unhealthy. It was able to climb up to the second floor..."
"Michael, we have to."
"Fine," he said. "But this cat is your responsibility now. I'm not getting up every night when it comes back." Michael laid back in bed and thought about the days ahead when he would be pushing his girlfriend out of bed in the middle of the night to feed a mewling cat. He thought about commenting on the similarities those experiences would have to raising a child together - but thought better of it.
Yes, we had a cat visit us the other night. No, I did not want to feed it. No, I am not heartless; feeding strays from your doorstep is just a bad idea. We've fed a couple of stray cats since we've lived here, but they've been away from our apartment. I relented when we shook hands and made the agreement that Aimee would get up to feed/shoo away the cat when it returns.
But it didn't come back. We got up in the morning and checked on the bowl full of milk and it was still a bowl full of milk. It either disliked milk or, more likely, overheard me badmouthing it and decided to make me look like a prick and not come back, because cats are assholes.
However, vindication was mine as I was writing this entry. Not one or two paragraphs in we heard a cry signaling the coming of the Apocalypse; if cats could talk, had they heard that sound they would have turned to each other and asked, "Do we really sound like that? We should apologize to humans everywhere."
We went to the window and nervously looked outside, not wanting to anger the harbinger of doom. Staring back at us was a huge white and gray cat. Yes, a different cat. Not only has Aimee fed a stray from our doorstep, but that stray has gone and told its friends about our place. And those friends have sent their largest, loudest, most-upset-that-Aimee-put-out-milk-instead-of-fois-gras buddy to mewl for more.