Lately Sebastien and I have started looking at condos for sale. Sebastien’s looking at 2 bedrooms and I’m really pushing for anything with a bedroom that’s big enough to fit a queen sized bed, two dressers and a nightstand (a hard request in a city like Manhattan). But none of that really matters because we’re not seriously considering buying anything. Or at least he’s not.
Then one day I received some pleasing news. Sebastien sent me an email with a link to an apartment that he said was a “good deal”. It was in a good part of town and it was spacious. I was ready to call it home.
I suggested we go see it and he said it was too far. “But this could be our new home,” I said, our noses touching as we talked in our 3 foot by 3 foot kitchen while making dinner. “Just think of all of the space.”
“I’m not ready to buy.”
I took a step back, banging into the fridge. “You really need to start changing that to we ” I said. “We’re not ready to buy, our house.” I looked down at our cat, Siegfried, “this is our cat.” Then I thought about it for a second. “This is our cat unless we get divorced and then it becomes my cat,” I said. “Do you see how that works?” Sebastien nodded, but I wasn’t so sure he got it.
Later we sat down on the couch to eat our fish and kale. Siegfried hopped up on the couch next to me, staring at my plate. I told Sebastien that this was what was going to happen if he started feeding him pieces of fish from the table. The same thing happened with my family dog, S.A.M.
S.A.M. was a toy poodle and yes his name is an acronym. It stands for Sir Algernon Musorsky (ask my mom she named him). For whatever reason, S.A.M. was fed better than the children in the house: He got meat, milk, cake, ice cream, beer, coffee, whatever he wanted. And of course his wants quickly turned into demands. So anytime someone was at the kitchen table S.A.M. would stand by on the floor, incessantly barking with that high-pitched poodle bark that shook the coffee mugs hanging on the wall, until he was fed. We got so used to his bark that it became our dinnertime music. And none of us could ever figure out why dinner guests were so annoyed.
Siegfried was turning right before my eyes, raising his paw up to my plate. I kept batting him away, but could sense that it was only a matter of time before I gave in. “I told you not to feed him table scraps,” I said to Sebastien. “Look at the monster you’ve created.”
“No, no,” Sebastien said. “The monster that we’ve created.”
I had to hand it to him, Sebastien was a fast learner.