“You really know how to give Saturday the Jack the Ripper treatment, don’t you?”
I open my mouth to protest but Fat silences me by holding up a paw.
“That was rhetorical. You would know that if there was any intelligence stored behind your retinas.” She licks her raised paw and wipes the saliva across her brow.
I feel strange being angry while wearing nothing but a towel. Fat bombarded me when I exited the washroom post-shower. My hair drips onto the floor, leaving slipping hazards I’ll only notice after it’s too late.
“Saturday is only half-begun, Fat.” I point through the bedroom doorway to the bright daylight streaming in through the window. “Besides,” I nudge her aside with my heel so I can walk past, “It’s my Saturday and I’ll do what I want.”
The sarcasm in Fat’s voice is so dry she sounds tired when she asks, “How can you possibly make today any better?” Her head tilts to the side as she hears Jesse’s voice moving along the building hallway. “Your boyfriend is outside.”
I roll my eyes; there’s really no point in correcting her; she’ll think what she wants. “Once I do my hair and throw a face on, I’m going to go get myself a coffee and read in the sunshine. After that, I’m not really sure. Maybe clean the apartment…”
“And you got up early to prance off to the gym? Honestly, boss. Tut-tut. Weekend fail.” Her paunchy belly sways as she trails me into the bedroom and then out of the bedroom and then we loop through the kitchen into the dining/living room. “Don’t you dare run away from me. This place isn’t big enough for you to give me the slip.”
I stop in the living room beside Fat’s well-loved scratch post. The old lady crease in my forehead deepens. “I’m not trying to get away from you. I can’t find my hairbrush.” My fingers try to comb through my hair, but the knots are too intense. God damn curly hair.
Fat shrugs. “Can’t find a hairbrush, can’t assemble a proper weekend, what’s going on with you?”
“I just need some me time right now, Fat.” I bite the inside of my cheek and my eyes devour every inch of the room while I mentally retrace my steps since I last brushed my hair.
“Are you sad?”
“What? No.” I get on my hands and knees. My face touches down to the carpet as I look under the couch. Not there either.
Fat jumps up on the armrest of the couch, settling into a familiar pile of her previously shed fur. “Did your friends finally figure out that you’re a loser?”
I kneel and rest my hands on my thighs. “Not to my knowledge.”
“You just want to act like a hermit today?”
“That is correct.”
“Please explain yourself. I don’t get it.”
“Don’t use that haughty tone with me. Sometimes I just need a little alone time to recharge my batteries. I deal with people every day – there’s nothing wrong with taking a time out.” The metaphorical light bulb flashes above my head – my hairbrush is in my gym bag. I’m almost too distracted with self-congratulations that it takes me a moment to notice Fat’s whiskers twitching.
The feline’s face puckers slightly as she consorts with her inner dialogue.
“What’s with the face, Fat?”
“Time to yourself. It’s so simple it’s genius. I’m going to have to use that prescription on my other patients.”
My hands push of the ground so I tower over the cat. “You mean Mutt?”
Fat makes a point to turn away from me and direct her gaze to the opposite wall. “As a professional, I can’t discuss my other cases.” She watches me move toward the hallway. “Oh, hey, boss?”
I pause, “yeah?”
“Please send Mutt in to see me. He’s about to have a breakthrough.”