Behave, or else.

Dearest Harley and Chicken, my beloved felines,

OK, cut the crap. Stop trying to maneuver your way into my unpacked suitcase to plant a bomb in the inner pocket. Stop plotting my death. Dead or not, I'm still going to Myrtle Beach for a week.

This is a big deal. The longest I've left you to your own devices was (a very long) four days, and I apologize. You made it very apparent how upset you were by burrowing your way into your 18-pound bag of food, and leaving it all over the kitchen floor. You also found it amusing to dig a hole to China in your litterbox, leaving the remnants of Planet Poop on the floor. Guess what, cats? You won't find China at the bottom of a $4.99 litterbox from PetsMart. When I returned home, you graciously displayed your excitement for my return by vomiting on the floor, Chicken. On the bed, Harley. Under the papasan chair, both of you. Simultaneously. All of you, vomiting everywhere. At once.

This is not the way to behave. Especially this time, since I've recruited help. That's right. Catsitters. Two of them. And you will behave.

Chicken, I know you're antisocial. I know you'd rather sit in a darkened room and brood, while listening to Marilyn Manson, or Yanni, but I advise you to perk up a little. You've discovered there's nowhere to hide in the wooden box of an apartment that we call a home, but trying to squeeze into one of several (small) compartments on my desk will not work. Have you seen your mysteriously misshapen body as of late? You are no longer the spry kitten you once were. You've got yourself some curves, honey. And an unfortunately small head. However, I love you all the same. Point is, casting dirty glances from under the confines of a too-small computer desk compartment will do nothing for your cause. Especially with the catsitters, who are unfamiliar with your attitude. So come out. Meow. Show affection. And save all your pent up world hate for Mama when she returns next week. I hold a special place in my heart for it. Also, all of mankind is not out to get you. Promise.

Oh, Harley. Take your Ritalin. The air? It's not chasing you. The pair of shoes on the floor? Not Satan, himself. Attacking them does nothing but make you look stupid. Also, the longer you reach your paw under the closed bathroom door, trying to reach salvation, the longer the door will remain closed. Guess what? Salvation is only a toilet, an old shower and a leaky sink. In addition, sprawling underfoot the immediate moment someone walks in the door also gets you nowhere, except maybe a trip to the vet because an unsuspecting catsitter stepped on your small chest cavity as you sprawled before her, vying for undivided attention. The world, of which Chicken hates, does not revolve around you. We were not, contrary to popular belief, put on this planet to scratch your belly and watch you eat wayward receipts. I mean, it's cute and all, but no.

So please, my precious ones, be good. Someone will feed you, someone will clean your potty quarters. Someone, by God, may even make a noise in the apartment building, which does not mean you need to take cover under the nearest fragile object or plant. Speaking of which, Gerard and Wilbur are not food. They are not toys. They are not, indeed, your friends. They are plants. Touch them again, and they will eat you. That's right. Eat you.

I trust that upon my return, my home will be in one piece. As will my favorite pets. And my plants. And kitchen floor. Rugs. Shoes. Bed. Oh, crap.

The One Who Feeds You (and don't you forget it)