HI, I'M GIZMO.
WHAT I DIDN'T EXPECT WAS JOSHUA. I HAD BEEN
"I'm boooooorrrrrrreeeeeeeddddd," Joshua whined from his spot on the floor where he'd been for less than five minutes.
Cameron turned from the computer and held out his hand for Josh, who rolled to his feet and slid into the open lap with grace and speed, almost like a cat.
"Sweetheart," Cameron began, brushing the ever present loose hair from Joshua's face. "I have to finish this design today. It won't take me near as long if you find something else to do. Isn't there a video you'd like to watch?"
"No," Joshua said, somewhat sullenly.
"You could always get those weeds out of -"
"No way. No matter HOW bored I am, I'm never bored enough to do that."
"How about one of the jigsaw puzzles we have in the closet? You always love those, and if you get one started I WILL be down to help you with it before you know."
"I suppose," Josh said, sliding from
"Why don't you pop some popcorn for us, I'm getting a little hungry."
"All right," Josh replied, walking out of the office and downstairs. He put a bag of popcorn into the microwave and retrieved it three minutes later. He poured about a quarter of it out into a bowl and grabbed a bottle of water to carry up to
"Why aren't you working?" Josh said as he stepped into the room and found Gizmo on
"Gizmo needed a hug,"
"Gizmo needed a hug," Josh mimicked on the way back out after shooting a steaming glare at the aforementioned cat.
Josh went downstairs, just short of sounding like a herd of cattle and pulled a puzzle out of the closet. Working them was a passion he shared with
He turned on MTV and settled down with the popcorn and a can of Coke, dumping the puzzle out on the card table he had set up in front of the TV. The popcorn disappeared faster than puzzle pieces got straightened. Once the popcorn was gone, Josh was able to concentrate more on what he was doing.
The current puzzle was a picture of the waterfront in
Josh finished turning all the pieces over, while collecting the outside ones. He had the frame finished within a half hour of starting on it, minus one piece. Stretching, Joshua got up to see about a refill on his drink.
"Hey, hon. Nice start on the puzzle,"
Josh stretched to give
WAIT RIGHT THERE.
"Nooooooooooooooo!" Josh burst out, stepping towards the table as Gizmo landed in a very undignified heap on the corner of the table. He scattered pieces in all directions when Josh ran towards him, barely making it off the table and up the stairs without getting caught.
"You stupid fucking cat!" Josh screamed, following Gizmo up the stairs and cursing with every step before a voice at the bottom broke through his anger.
"Joshua Edward Cunningham. LEAVE the cat alone and get your butt down here THIS instant."
"But he -"
Joshua shut up and insolently descended the stairs, intending to stop on the first or second so he'd be a little taller than
"Do we use language like that in this house?"
Joshua knew he was sunk, but he couldn't give up that easily. "Schizmo ruined my puzzle! He's not even allowed on the table," he tried, not able to meet
"No, sir," he finally capitulated, knowing that he was only drawing out the torture.
"No, we don't," Cameron agreed. "Gizmo doesn't do those things on purpose.
nor does he quite understand English."
WOULDN'T THEY BE SURPRISED?
"I agree that it's a shame that Gizmo wiped out some of the puzzle, but that's life with cats. It's easily fixed, and no reason to curse."
Joshua stood through the short lecture, looking at his feet, his stance radiating I'm Not Listening To You.
"All right, young man. Into the bathroom, please."
That snapped Josh's head up quick. "It wasn't that bad!"
"Cursing is not acceptable. You well know that, as well as what cursing earns you. Into the bathroom now before you earn yourself a spanking,"
Josh waited a moment, trying to gauge
"I'm glad to hear that, but it doesn't change what you said earlier,"
Josh sank down on the toilet lid and enjoyed swallowing the taste of nothing before
After washing off his hands, he crossed his arms and looked at his lover. "I know you and Gizmo aren't the best of friends.
You've just got to learn restraint. Maybe if you hadn't yelled to begin with, Gizmo might have left your puzzle in one piece. Regardless, you'd better learn to choose better words when you address him if you don't want to buy stock in a soap company. Got it?"
Josh nodded miserably.
"I'll be back in a few minutes. Leave the soap alone if you know what's good for you."
"All right, you can spit,"
Josh was at the sink, spitting furiously a split second later. He took the glass that Cameron held for him and used that to rinse as best he could.
"I think that's enough,"
Josh spit twice more and stood up, wiping his mouth off with a couple of tissues. He would have glared at
"Are we finished with the cursing?"
"Yes, sir," Josh said quietly.
"Good. Get the sink cleaned up and then get started on a salad for dinner."
Josh picked up the soap and washed it off, wrinkling his face in the mirror at the thought of dinner. He saw a reflection in the mirror - a cat shaped reflection. "AAAhhhhh. It's your fault, Schizmo, that I'm tasting soap. I think fair is fair. Hey Gizmo.....didn't mean to yell at you earlier," Josh said, walking over to pet the cat. Gizmo stood up and was rewarded with a wet, soapy hand wrapped around his tail. "Try that Schizmo," Josh said, walking back into the bathroom with no small sense of satisfaction.
Gizmo flicked his tail, knowing it was wet and hating that it felt different. He sat down and wrapped the tail around his feet and took one lick on it before trying to spit it out.
He took one look at Josh, then headed straight for the stairs. He climbed them quickly but carefully, not wanting his tail to hit anything else on the way up. When he got to the office he carefully timed his jump to the desk, flicking his tail quickly across the monitor.
"Gizzie!" Cameron yelled, picking up his cat. "If you hit that computer and I lose my information I'd be just a little upset. Hey, what's on your tail? What have you gotten into?" Cameron wiped the tail and smelled his hand. "Soap. Were you........" Cameron set Gizmo on the floor and headed out the door.
"Joshua......I have a question for you......"
SO I DON'T UNDERSTAND ENGLISH, HMMMM? ONE PIECE OF ADVICE, JOSH? IF YOU CAN'T RUN WITH THE BIG CATS....STAY OUT OF THE CATBOX.
Josh ran into the kitchen and started to take things out of the refrigerator for the salad, hoping that Cam wasn't coming down because
"Josh, Gizmo's tail is wet and soapy. Do you know anything about that?"
"I don't keep track of your cat," Josh said as he pulled out a tomato for the salad.
"Corner, please," Cam replied calmly.
"Corner, now. You'll have plenty of time to work out why you're there. Go on," Cam said, waiting.
Josh sighed and put the tomato on the counter, letting the door swing shut behind him. He KNEW he should have waited for revenge when Cam
JUST A LITTLE LATE THERE, BUD. HAVING A SHORT BUS KIND OF DAY?
Finding the spot where he left off his last detailed inspection, Josh settled down to wait, hopefully for not too long. He would have kicked his foot out backwards if he could have seen Gizmo parading around behind him.
YOU SEE? IF HE'S GOT TO BE IN THE HOUSE, THIS IS THE BEST PLACE. SAFE
Once Gizmo was finished talking to Josh, he turned and walked over to Cam, chirruping a friendly hello.
"Come here, Giz," Cam said as he picked up his cat and headed into the
"I would almost swear you were telling Josh off...." Cam said absently
NATURALLY. SO STOP TALKING
WE'LL LET THE BRAT WAIT IT OUT.