Samuel J. Tanner 3 minute read


Dad and his wife Kathy stopped by last week. They were driving from Wisconsin to Florida. My father recently moved to Florida to escape winter. Dad has a Saab convertible. He needed to drive his car to Florida, and he stopped in Pennsylvania on the way home.

They spent two days in our basement. Our cats were none to pleased. Yara and Meow-A-Sauras have been living in the basement.

"You can let them come upstairs whenever you want," Katie keeps telling me.

I'm hesitant. I don't want our new house to be defiled by our beasts. Cat hair on the white carpet in our bedrooms? Scratched window screens in our sunroom? The possibility of Meow-A-Sauras poop? Our creatures are better left in the basement.

It isn't as bad for my cats as it might seem. The basement is spacious, comfortable, and even has a walkout patio. There is plenty of natural sunlight. Also, there is carpet. In fact, the cats have used their beastly claws to begin unraveling the carpet underneath the door. They scratch at the door.

To her credit, Meow-A-Sauras has been using the litterbox since we moved. This was not the case at our townhouse. She would poop outside of the litterbox, and then glare at us in an act of outright defiance.

Yara sleeps behind my guitar, propped in the corner of the room. Yara sleeps underneath my desk. My office is downstairs, next to our Harmon woodburning stove. I've been told this stove could heat my house in the winter. Me? I'm terrified of using it. I don't want to burn my house down. Still, the room will probably be the warmest in the house during the winter. The cats have got it good.

Anyway, my father was their roomate for a couple of days. Dad and Kathy hung out with us, and it was nice to spend time with my father. He is nearly 70, and I enjoy having him around. Solomon and Samson appear to enjoy my father too.

"Grappa Clayt," Solomon said. He sat next to my father in his car, as Dad worked on the radio of his Saab.

"My urn," Samson squeeled. In Samsonese, "my urn" means "my turn."

Dad spent plenty of time in my driveway, screwing with his car.

"It's like paradise out here," he told me. "The air is so fresh."

I nodded.

We went out to dinner on the last night of Dad's visit. We were having a pleasant meal, when Samson became lethargic. Katie picked him up.

"He feels warm," she said.

We left early. Samson was acting strange in the backseat. I stopped at Target, bought a thermometer, and some tylenol. Katie took his temperature in the car.

"It's 104."

"That came out of nowhere," I said.

Katie reminded me about Solomon's seizure two years ago. If a toddler has a sudden fever spike, they run the risk of having a seizure. I became worried, and Katie quickly gave Samson tylenol.

Samson's temperature went down, but he was sick for the next couple of days.

Dad and Kathy left on a Thursday morning. We waved as they pulled out of our driveway.

"Bye Grappa Clayt," Solomon shouted.

"Bye!" Samson squeeled.

It is nice to have a house that can support houseguests, even if these guests have to share a room with our beastly cats.