DAVID L. BARBER: ‘Flinch, extra pinch,’ means nothing to Stu

The thing about playing Rock, Paper, Scissors with our cat, Stu, is that he puts down Rock.

Always. Every time.

And yet I still lose to him.

Always. Every time.

That’s because Stu cheats.

Always. Every time.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

Not only is Stu a cheater, he’s also stubborn. He pretends not to understand English, which angers me because I know he’s not a foreign feline – he was born and raised right here in the good ole’ Manistee, US of A.

With my wife out of town most of last week, Stu and I sat on the floor near our Christmas tree and played Rock, Paper, Scissors.

And, knowing full well he’d put down Rock – he always does, every time – I put down Paper, which should have beaten him.

But no-o-o-o-o-o-o!

Just as I prepared to pinch his hairy little wrist – my prize for winning – he pulled his bony little arm away and watched me pinch the air.

And he smiled, which ticked me off.

Even when I yelled, “Flinch, extra pinch,” Stu refused to show any decorum, dignity or respect for the game, whatsoever – he still refused to let me pinch him once, let alone twice.

So, we played again. And again Stu put down Rock, and again I put down Paper. And again I won, and again that feisty flea factory pulled his fuzzy gray arm away just as I was reached out to pinch him.

And again, he smiled. And chuckled that low purring chuckle of his that nauseates me so much.

Growing up, I remember playing various games with our pets – fetch, roll-over, catch, obliterate the ball of yarn, eat the cricket and more – but I don’t recall ever having a pet that played by his own rules, as much as Stu does.

And I sure don’t remember ever having had a pet that cheats, like Stu does, either.

After about the fourth or fifth time he pulled his wrist away so I couldn’t pinch it after winning, I told him we’d play something else. So, I started the train that circles the track beneath our Christmas tree.

Wouldn’t you know it, the first time the train made a complete circle, Stu reached out and punched it, knocking it off the track.

He thought that was funny.

I put the train back on its track, started it up again, only to have him knock it off, again. Then he stared at me with his beady little eyes – eyes that are really quite creepy and scary.

I let him drink milk from my bowl one morning, even as I was still eating my Cap’n Crunch cereal, and later that day, I shared a burger with him – I ate the bun, Stu at the meat.

One night we watched “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” together. The next night we watched, quite appropriately, “Home Alone.”

Our last night of movies and fun ‘n games over, Stu went over and sat by the door that leads to the basement and meowed to let me know he wanted fresh water and food put down before the two of us turned in.

So, I did as he asked – he has me trained that well. But while his back was turned to me to me, and as he washed his right front paw that’s shaped like a rock, I carefully wrapped both of his dishes in clear plastic wrap so he wouldn’t be able to eat, or drink. At least not for that night.

I’d have the last laugh. Or so I thought.

The next morning I checked his dishes. Both had large knife-like gashes in the plastic wrap, and the plastic had been peeled away. It was obvious Stu had eaten and drank, to his little heart’s delight.

All of which goes to prove one thing – gosh, I miss my wife when she’s gone.

Always. Every time.

David L. Barber is the retired editor of the Manistee News Advocate. He will be contributing columns weekly for the News Advocate. You can contact him at dlbarber1006@gmail.com.

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Posted by David L. Barber

David L. Barber is the retired editor of the Manistee News Advocate. He contributes columns weekly for the News Advocate. You can contact him at dlbarber1006@gmail.com.

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