Cat vs. Rat
April 22. Went to the thrift store to buy a new Sunday suit. Afterwards Nestor and I stopped at the Sizzler for dinner. I was going through the tublets of fixin’s for some cucumber slices and I set him down by the three bean salad. He was munching on some when the manager came over and said we had to leave before he called the police.
“But why?” I asked. “I paid for the full salad bar.”
“You can’t come in here and put a rat in the food. It’s unsanitary and illegal. Please get out.”
“Would it be better if I just took him to the table?”
“No. You’re going to have to leave. It’s against the health code to have a rat in the restaurant.”
I was heartbroken, but we left and went to Burger King instead. Nestor’s health: phlegmatic.
May 2. Stopped by Toys R Us after work to buy some toys for Nestor, who came along to pick them out. Security guard took me to the manager’s office after a woman started screaming.
“I understand you just want to buy your, uh, pet something nice,” he said. “But we can’t allow rats in the store.”
“He gets so lonely when I’m at work,” I explained. “I just wanted to buy a nice dolly to keep him company while I’m away.”
“It’s just not normal, having a rat for a pet.”
“But I love him,” I told the manager. “I want him to be happy! You should have seen the look on his little face when I rescued him from my toilet bowl. How could I say no to him?”
“The children are afraid of rats.”
I tried to tell him that he wouldn’t hurt a fly, but they wouldn’t listen. Nestor’s health: frazzled.
May 17. They wouldn’t let us into PetSmart, even though it says ‘Pets Welcome’. I offered to put him on a leash. Nestor’s health: nauseated.
May 29. A beautiful day. Nestor and I went to the park and threw the ball around, I gave him a bath, and took a nap with him resting by my head. I had to move him because of the scabies but it was so cute. Nestor’s health: bladder issues.
June 3. Nestor is my favorite pet ever. I had dogs and fish when I was a boy, but no pet ever gave me the love, joy and sense of fulfillment I get with Nestor. But sometimes it seems like everywhere I got we are met with misunderstandings and prejudice. Today at the beach I was arrested for endangering public safety. Nestor bit a six-year-old boy who had to get rabies shots. I told the police that the boy had been teasing Nestor but they didn’t believe me. I have to pay a $750 fine. Nestor’s health: weedy.
June 17. The judge gave me six months’ probation. The people at PETA were just great, though. They said that I’ve undergone mental agonies and suffering just because I wanted to treat my pet lovingly, just like you would a kitten or a bird. I offered to give a speech at their rally in the park but they said I should really stay home and take care of Nestor. I said it was no problem, that he just fit right in my pocket, but they told me they wouldn’t give me the check if I showed up at the rally. I left Ms. Trophinspheer a lapel ribbon I made myself — it was purple and I made a fake rat head out of buttons and hair — so hopefully she’ll wear it at the rally. Nestor’s health: ill-tempered.
July 6. As is often the way, you always hurt the one you love. Last night in the kitchen I was going over some bills and paperwork while Nestor scuttled around the table chewing on pencils. I was very tense and just as I was going through some of the legal papers he bit me on the finger. I got very angry and shouted at him that all my problems were his fault. He just sat there eating eraser residue, but I could tell he was hurt inside. I cried and begged for his forgiveness. Only time will tell if he can learn to trust me again. Nestor’s health: colic.
July 7. Nestor has forgiven me! I know who man’s best friend really is. This morning the little angel woke me up by crawling on my face and clawing and biting at me with all his might. The little scamp. Eventually I had to make him stop, because there were pellets and droppings everywhere and I didn’t want to get any more infected, but I just know that all is well with me and the little kissy-face. Attached find a photo of us both in the bathroom. Inseparable chums! Nestor’s health: feverish.