Friday possesses a Master's degree in wreaking havoc, most cats do. Yet its not just the destruction he causes with his paws that makes him noteworthy. It's his unnerving habit of destroying the things you most want to protect and his uncanny ability to reason and problem solve that make living with him akin to living with a master criminal.
Friday's kitten-hood was spent at my parent's home. In those days, my younger sister's room was full of cat tantalizing objects. There was a semi-inflated helium balloon with a long string that dangled to the floor, a large bed with plenty of cat hiding places but best of all was her inflatable chair.
Yes, an inflatable chair. Possibly one of the dumbest inventions ever inflicted on society. The makers of inflatable chairs, being oblivious to tried and true methods of furniture making, offer a product that is a) unattractive in both color and style, b) uncomfortable to sit in and c) ridiculously overpriced. Despite these shortcomings my sister liked it. In fact, she liked it so much she bought an inflatable throw pillow to go with it.
The throw pillow, which matched neither chair nor room, was silver-gray. It had a big cut out circle in the center of it allowing a view to the innermost workings of inflatable throw pillows. To add some character, the manufacturers filled the center with little Styrofoam balls that when exposed to static electricity tended to wiggle as though alive. Friday can hardly be blamed for his abject fascination with the pillow. It's really no surprise that he pounced it, puncturing the cheap, I mean, fragile, plastic with his claws and sending the pillow to an early death and an ignominious trash can burial.
After the pillow casualty my sister began keeping her bedroom door closed. She forgave Friday the pillow, but she wasn't about to lose her chair. I, too, checked her door once she told me I'd be expected to replace the chair should my cat pop it. I thought the chair a waste of money on the best of days, but it was her money. I had no intention of spending my own money on a replacement.
But Friday is no ordinary cat. No mere bedroom door can stand in the way of his evil genius. We never were quite sure if he managed to open the door himself that day or if he had someone on the inside assist him (Dad?). Either way, my sister returned home to find her door open and her chair a sad puddle of green plastic in the corner.
“FRIDAY,” her fury was palpable. My blood ran cold as I thought of the money I was going to have to shell out for another plastic chair. “Friday,” she barely got his name his name out as she was overcome with laughter. I paused. This wasn't exactly the response I'd expected. I looked in the door. My sister stood holding the deflated chair laughing too hard to explain what was so funny. She held it under my nose. There on the back were three little plastic plugs over the air valves like you would find on a pool float. All three were unplugged. All three had cat teeth marks. Nowhere on the chair itself was there so much as a tear or puncture. Friday had simply unplugged the valves and let the air out of the chair.
How did he know deflating the chair would be such a great joke? Please, if you know the answer, don't tell me. I'd rather not know. That evil genius sleeps right next to my head too often for me to be comfortable with any answer to that question. To this day he gets very excited whenever my sister visits. He thinks of her as the “cool” aunt or maybe he just remembers that she was the victim of the best joke he's ever played – so far. There's always tomorrow...