Bob's in charge of expletive deleted cats by Bob Karolevitz Now it�s Phyllis�s turn to be in the hospital.
The one-day surgery on her hip ended up with complications, so we spent Easter in the health factory.
It�s bad enough having your wife in the hospital, but it�s worse having to take care of her two �indoor� cats while she recuperates.
�Speak nice to them,� she says from her hospital bed. �Call them Baxter and Bailey because they like to hear their names.�
Before it was over, however, I was calling them #!@$%* and $#@!*&.
I did everything for them. I saw that they got their food. I gave them fresh water, and I even cleaned out their litter box like Phyllis advised me.
But were they grateful? Not so you could notice it!
I had watched Phyllis put them to bed lots of times after the 10 o�clock news. She�d say: �Okay, Baxter and Bailey, it�s time for you to go night-night� � and they�d follow her to their sleeping quarters in the printshop like she was the Pied Piper of Hamlin.
So I tried it, too!
However, instead of following me, they fled.
At first I tried sweet talk. �Come Baxter and Bailey,� I would coax � and they promptly hid under beds, chairs and the love seat like I was some kind of monster calling them to their doom.
I finally resorted to #!@$%* and $#@!*% � and they didn�t come either. So I chased them all over the place, when I could find them.
Not being a cat-fancier, I didn�t want them hopping up on my bed during the night, so I wanted them locked away like they always were when Phyllis put them out.
At long last I caught Baxter, the heavy male cat, and hauled him to the printshop. (The scratches will heal, they tell me.)
I never did find Bailey, the little female, because she led me on a merry chase upstairs and down until she disappeared to gosh knows where.
I gave up then. She could stay hidden; see if I cared!
On the ensuing nights I ignored them. No more �Kitty, Kitty� and �Baxter and Bailey� said in a soothing voice to lure them.
I didn�t try to put them out like Phyllis always did � who knows where they slept? At least it wasn�t in my bed.
I reported the cat episodes to my wife as she lay in the hospital sack, and she laughed a lot. (I hope the stitches didn�t come out.)
Anyway, she agreed that I finally did the right thing by letting them roam through the night � and they greeted me in the mornings as though nothing happened.
�See,� Phyllis explained. �That goes to show you that if you�re nice to them, they�ll always mind.�
Well, that may be. However, I�ve got other thoughts. She can call the Baxter and Bailey as much as she wants, but I still think #!@$%* and $#@!*& are far more appropriate.
� 2004 Robert F. Karolevitz