Jeff and I have been house-sitting for my Mom for the past week while she's been in Block Island. The pros are: cable, dishwasher, laundry, and general sense that we are much more well off than we are. The cons are my mom's two cats, one of whom is spastic and the other of whom shits all over the place. Look, they're nice cats. I just don't like cats. I'm an asshole. Anyway, the important part to remember for the following story is that their names are Dinah (spaz) and Callie (shitter).
Yesterday was the last day of our occupancy, so Jeff and I spent the better part of the morning cleaning. Then, during a lull while we waited for the laundry to finish its spin cycle, we got stoned. And then I decided to make my mom a welcome home banner. I got to work, taping two pieces of notebook paper together. I wrote WELCOME HOME MOM! in black Sharpie. I wrote a message from me and Jeff on one side, and then started to write a message from the cats on the other. "We missed you!" I scrawled, in my approximation of cat penmanship. "Love, Fifi--"
Jeff was looking over my shoulder. "Fifi's dead." he said.
He was right: Fifi had been a beloved cat from the late '80s until 2005, when her declining health forced my mom to put her to sleep. In my altered state, I had unwittingly reincarnated her. My banner almost finished, I tried to troubleshoot.
"Well, Fifi probably still misses my mom." I offered.
"Yeah, but it's creepy to write a message from a dead cat," Jeff reasoned.
"What if I write 'the ghost of Fifi'?"
"That's even creepier."
"Maybe this is Fifi's way of contacting us, through my Sharpie."
"Um, no, I think you're high."
Finally I decided to start over, because, I reasoned, a message from a dead pet is probably not the best way to welcome someone home after a long journey.