If Paper Towel Rolls Had Necks, This One’s Would Be Broken


a very practical present

Mortie has always been a very good hunter. When his first two attempts at plying Schmoopie and me with gifts did not go as he might have hoped–dropping stunned mice on the bed in the middle of the night leads only to giant hairless apes giving chase and not, as he found out, to accolades and playdates with small mammals–he switched to more human-friendly quarry. A loaf of bread deposited, half-eaten, in front of the TV. A bag of rolls, also half-eaten, left on the kitchen floor (aside: my striped cat is a carb addict.) Three pork spare ribs liberated from my plate as I watched. A giant chunk of turkey hunted directly from the Thanksgiving table. Pumpkin pie centers brutally slain on the kitchen island. Uncountable sticks of butter ferreted from countertops and licked to death.

Lately, though, there hasn’t been a lot of hunting. I’m sure this has much to do with no longer having basement mice, as well as improved security measures for butter and baked goods, but I also surmised that his rotundity and early middle-agedness just made it all seem like too much work. Mort likes to lie on his back and be scritched. He is not so much interested in laboring. For anything.

Until this morning, that is.


I suppose it doesn’t look like much. I mean, it’s a slightly mangled roll of paper towels sitting in a chair. On a scale of one to ten, one being a mouse on the doorstep and ten being that one time in high school that my friend’s cat brought home a dead hamster, paper towels probably rank a solid 4.

But I have no idea where they came from. And it must have been pretty hilariously awkward for an overweight cat to hunt, kill, and then drag that particular prey up onto a folding chair. He probably broke a paw sweat.

I’m not missing any paper towels–the only known roll is still secured to a dispenser on the kitchen counter. And although we are in the throes of painting and I cannot guarantee, with 100% certainty, that an extra roll wasn’t pulled into service for painting clean-up, I have zero recollection of doing so. I also don’t recall seeing it lying around anywhere–and if it had been lying around without my knowledge, my paper-seeking beagle would have long since consumed it in its entirety. On that note, I suppose it is possible that Mort found Calvin’s stash.

The roll was deposited in a camp chair in the living room. And we have camp chairs in the living room not just because we are klassy, but because we threw away the remaining piece of our sofa last night in preparation for delivery of our new sofa tomorrow. So the chair is a recent addition to our luxe living room furnishings, and not anything with which Mort has deep associations. Mort has never even been outside on purpose, let alone on a camping trip.

That particular chair is Schmoopie’s, though, and so I can only draw one reasonable conclusion. Which is that Mort would like Schmoopie to clean the house.

I support it, Mortie. Happy hunting. Maybe you could leave him some of that fancy all-purpose Pledge cleaning spray, tomorrow. It’s under the sink.


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