My perfect friend Sam, sent me the following two emails regarding the proper care for her cats while she is out of town–
Dearest Cat Care-taker,
Welcome to the wonderful world of taking care of cats! We all hope you have a magnificent time with our little meow-faces. I know they will have a magnificent time with you!
First things first, you’ll notice that there are two meow-faces. The soft, orange one is called Ginger, but I have renamed him Pancake, Pork Chop, and Rojan in the past. Joe says I shouldn’t do this because it is confusing, but I do it anyway because Ginger is a cat and doesn’t know shit. You can call him what you want.
The second meow-face is a gray curmudgeon. His name is Hans, but sometimes I call him Hansie or the classic Hans Victor. Joe doesn’t mind these names for Hans since they are versions of the name we gave him, which is different from his original name, Mew. You could call Hans Mew if you really wanted to, but it’s a stupid name for a cat so I advise against it.
IMPORTANT: Sometimes the cats will sleep on our gray couch which has orange blankets on it. It is important to say the color of the sleeping cat and the color on which he is sleeping in the following format: “Gray cat sleeps on orange, orange cat sleeps on gray”, or vice versa.
If Hans meows at you like he’s trying to tell you something, stop and listen to what he has to say. It could be something really important, or just observational humor.
WARNING: The cats do not know any tricks. Please do not attempt to make them sit, stay, roll over, or shake. They will look at you with their weird cat eyes and attempt to steal your soul with them.
If you happen to be opening a can of beans in the kitchen, Ginger will come up to you and demand that you “give me the fish” (his words). The best thing to do in this scenario is to finish opening the can, then offer it to Ginger. He will be slightly disappointed, then crawl into a grocery bag or soda box.
When offering citrus fruit to Ginger, be prepared for his violent tendencies to surface.
Hans loves the following things: poultry, the hallway carpet, pigeons and crows, string, Joe’s sock box, sitting on keys and mail, sitting on bathroom toiletries, chewing his feet, and poetry.
Ginger loves his blue scrunchie.
Welp, that should be everything you need to know! Let us know if you have any questions!
OMG! I forgot to tell you how to keep my cats alive! Silly me.
1. Food is in the coat closet just to your left when you enter our apartment. If you open the closet, you’ll see a cabinet thing that you can open to find the food inside. There is a scoop right above the cabinet you can use to scoop out the food. Each cat gets one scoop!
2. Ginger’s bowl is in the bathroom, Hans’s bowl is in the kitchen. They probably don’t need to be separated any more, but this way of doing it is left over from Ginger’s kitten days when he’d eat everything in sight. ANYWAY, that’s where their bowls are.
3. Cats like to eat at 6 am! But you can come over whenever you feel like it in the morning to give them some scoops and love. They’re used to eating at 5 in the evening, but seriously whenever you get around to it is fine. Basically they eat twice a day. Your choice as to when.
4. There are litter boxes, but they’ll be cleaned before we leave, so they shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Check/clean them if you want. Scooper and paper bags are in the closet off of Joe’s office. Dumpster is behind the building.
We are leaving tomorrow night and then coming back on Sunday, so really we just need you to feed them on Saturday and Sunday morning-ish. Super basic cat time!
There are toys about, but of course if you’re coming over to feed them, they’ll probably be more interested in that part instead of playing with you. But if you hang out a little, they might come around for a pet or play. Who knows. They’re cats!
That should be it! We’ll have to get you keys sometime tomorrow. It’ll be easy. We’ll figure it out!
Samantha Veldhouse is a writer and actor working in Minneapolis. Originally from Finley, ND, her high school graduation consisted of 15 people. She loves cats. She probably has one of those weird brain parasites that mice give cats, that cats give to people and make people do their cat-bidding. Playing make-believe postman as a child, her brother would “live” in the tree house, and she would come by with the mail (i.e. rocks) and “deliver” said “mail” by throwing rocks at her brother. They get along better now. Find Sam and blog at In the Veldhouse: Blog and Sam, documenting life.