the magic of christmas, or something.

Katsu showed up at my parents’ house around 11:30pm on Christmas Eve after a 12-hour workday (something involving server crashes or SQL or whatever, I have no idea), bearing a new PC and a festively dressed Jake.


Festive Jake: check.

Festive Jake’s Yuletide litterbox: not so much.

(Festive Jake + long car ride + parents house) – litterbox = bad news.

As I contemplated the degree of havoc the cat could wreak on the oriental rugs, my baby sister and her boyfriend came in from the rain to announce, with equal measures of regret and annoyance, that his VW wouldn’t start. The subsequent family tasks were delineated largely by gender roles – my mom and I began scouring the house for a litterbox replacement, while my husband and my dad set to work on the car.

“Didn’t we have a disposable litter thing down here?” I asked, peering through the stairs at my mother, who was rummaging around near our canned goods.

“I think you brought it to John’s house last year. Oh, here! What about this turkey roaster?”

“Mom, seriously, I could just go to the 24-hour CVS and buy a litter pan. you don’t want Jake pissing in your turkey roaster.”

“Don’t be ridiculous – it’s almost midnight! you’re not going to CVS. I can just buy another turkey roaster. They’re cheap after the holidays”


Meanwhile, outside, the men had discovered that the gas cap on the VW didn’t close properly, thus allowing water to seep into the tank. “He should just take my car, and drive that home,” I suggested. Instead, the boys decided it would be a good idea to try and roll the VW (which still wouldn’t start) up the driveway (which is a steep hill). I went inside to use the bathroom, where I discovered that our washing machine had leaked an entire load’s worth of water onto the floor. I was suddenly overcome with the need for a nicotine infusion.

“I’m going to CVS.” I announced, to nobody in particular, and grabbed my keys.

On the way out to my car, my dad produced a can of dry gas from the back of the garage, Katsu switched his fuel cap with the faulty one as a test, the VW started, and everyone seemed pleased with themselves.

“So you gave him your gas cap to drive home?” I asked.

“Well, no, I took it back. But I stuck a rag in there, so he’ll be OK.”

“You stuck a rag in his gas tank.”


“So he’ll be fine.”

“Yeah!!” Katsu smiled, quite pleased with himself.

The idea struck me as even MORE ridiculous than using a turkey roaster as a feline latrine. Everyone, it seemed, was on crack, including the washing machine and possibly my cat, who may or may not have used the time of confusion to take a leak behind our Christmas tree.

With all due haste, I dispensed Katsumi to remove Festive Jake the Urinating Machine from my parents’ home and managed to persuade my sister’s boyfriend to leave his rag-stuffed tank in the garage and use the Focus to drive back to Ashland or wherever. The whole family was feeling a bit edgy after such an eventful midnight, so we took the edge off with a little pinot noir and some late-night / early-morning Christmas-present-opening.

Then everyone went to bed and my baby sister and I snuck out back for a cigarette.

It’s always good to come home 🙂

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