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I Told You Not to Put the Cat on eBay

A truly lively story.

By Carmen PetraliaPublished 12 months ago 6 min read
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Zeke the Freak

One day, I was sitting in my living room on the phone with my father. I kept hearing scratching over and over again. When I went to check to see what the hell Zeke was up to this time, I was furious. I’m a potter and my roommate’s cat was aggressively scratching at the cardboard protection surrounding the wet clay. So I tried to get him to stop, and of course, he would not. He’s a cat. He does this stuff for attention, too. So eventually, I get him out of there, and I continue my conversation with my dad.

Next thing I know, the menace is in there. He is in the area with the wet clay. When I try to reach him he erratically attempts to dart out and knocks over all the red clay onto the white carpet. I rent. I am an artist. I cannot afford a mistake as such. He then tracks his little, dirty, wet paws throughout the apartment leaving pawprints behind him. At this point I’m livid. I put him in the bedroom for a little while I clean up his mess. La-da-dee, la-da-da.

Then I hear some scratching coming from my room. Then a thud, a hiss and a yowl followed by some wailing. To my dismay, I remember what’s in there with him. Turpentine. And my oil painting. The turpentine was holding the painting from falling forward on its own. With a cat in its vicinity, the prop-up situation is highly inadequate. So, yes, it’s my bad, I know. Then I slowly and fearfully creep in go see what damage has been done this time. And what do I see?

A spilled container of turpentine. A knocked over painting with a hole and scratch marks. But where’s Zeke?

I hear another thud from the closet. Then I feel a soft whoosh behind me. Finally, I see a blur of the f**ked up feline. He’s got the zoomies. Usually when he knocks something over, he’s shy or curious. This time, he was darting around the room like he’s running from a gaggle of fruit flies.

I have a thought; he must be high on turpentine. He’s running around like a madman and I do not know what to do. It’s messy running too. Dizzy-like. This is scary. This is bad. He is going to die. He was stuck in this unventilated room filled with an open, spilled bottle of an extremely toxic chemical for HUMANS. I can’t imagine what this stuff could do to Zeke. And he is not even my cat.

The next few moments were rapid chaos. Nothing I have ever experienced before. At one second, Zeke is zooming around the apartment doing his normal session of zoomies. The next second, he is on TOP OF THE TV. Then he jumps to the ladder hooked up above the television; the ladder is parallel with the ceiling. He somewhat gracefully dives off from almost the height of the ceiling and lands in what could only be described as a moving-vehicle-style tuck n’ roll. Peach (the other cat) and I are dumbfoundedly looking at each other. Neither of us know what to do, and my roommate is working a night shift at the hospital, so I cannot contact her. Nor would I have if I could. She would never talk to me again if I killed her beloved ‘Zay-zay’.

Then, for awhile I don’t see Zeke anymore. It is bone-chillingly silent. Peach and I start looking around the apartment for him with absolutely no luck. When I’m passing through the kitchen, I hear some chattering from above me. I slowly look up and — AH! — there he is.

The dead stare on this cat was terrifying. He proceeded to sit up there in that exact position for the next TWO HOURS straight. At this point, I was at a loss. I had tried to get his attention with his favorite toy and snacks, tried to get him down nicely, but there was no response.

After a few more minutes of silent staring, I went back to the kitchen to check on him. Then he creepily turned towards me and started making this face. The expression was daunting. His eyes were blinking, his mouth was open, yet crooked, and he started chattering, uninterrupted. He opened his mouth one last time.

Puke poured out of him like rain. Right on top of my head. Zeke was projectile vomiting turpentine-smelling chunks of hell. Immediately, I moved and ran to grab some towels for the rest of the mess. He continued throwing up for two more minutes and finally stopped. He hopped down from the cabinets, went up to me and starting brushing up on me like normal.

Now, I was confused, frightened and very broke. So what better idea, but to find a cheap vet on eBay. Or at least someone to take him off my hands while I think. Okay. Obviously, this sounds crazy, but I was in a weird place. I didn’t want it to be my fault and I did not want to bring him to the vet. He puked all of it up and was acting fairly normal at this point. The only person I was talking to was my best friend, Eliza. She strongly advised me not to do what I was about to do. Of course I did not listen, or I wouldn’t be telling this story.

So I put him up on eBay. Someone ended up responding saying they could pick him up, check him out and get him back to me in about three hours. I said okay, great, thank you for saving both of our lives. I paid the stranger $10 for these services. I was feeling pretty savvy for saving that much money and fixing my problem in one impulsive transaction. Ah, what a relief. Until I get a phone call from an unknown number in Wisconsin. I live in Chicago.

Of course I pick up and it’s my stranger savior on the other end. They tell me they made a mistake, they have a flat tire and they need me to bring them a spare. At first, I’m thinking, “no way in hell am I doing that,” until I realize I put myself in this situation, and I have no other choice.

I drive an hour up to the location they sent me with a spare tire for this random eBay person who could definitely have been a murderer. I almost wish they were.

When I bring them the tire, we are in the middle of a rural Wisconsin neighborhood between Chicago and Milwaukee. It’s weird, but I look past it. I expect to see Zeke. He is nowhere to be found. I expect the person to have a flat tire. All the tires look perfectly taut. Now I’m really suspicious. I look over to the house the car is parked in front of when I see some tail wiggling raggedly through the window. The person peers at me endearingly and states that “this is where Zeke will live from now on.” Um. What?

They bring me to the house and when I look inside, there are all these sick cats lying around, lying on stretchers, hooked up to oxygen and more. One of which was Zeke; tucked in a miniature bed in the corner sleeping. The eBay stranger informs me this is a cat hospice house. They knew when they heard the story that this is the only option for Zeke. After seeing him, they thought he was fine, but they doubled down on the fact that him inhaling turpentine means he has a death sentence.

Instantly, I oppose this odd situation and demand for them to give me Zeke. They say no, and tell me he’s going to a better place now, but if I want him back I have to pay them $1,000 in cash. Obviously, I was NOT going to do this. I had to think of a plan, and quick.

Out of instinct, I palmed them in the nose and pushed hard on their jugular notch, disabling them in time for me to snatch Zeke and run. On my way out, they tried to trip me, but somehow they tripped over me instead. I got out of the house with Zeke, and ran to the car as the eBay cuckoo chased me out yelling, “You owe me!! You’re gonna pay for this!” I hopped in the car and sped right to the nearest veterinarian.

The correct physician looked at Zeke and did a quick check after hearing what happened. They determined he was okay after some testing; my heart soared. The vet cut me some slack given the recent events, and I only had to pay $25 for the check-up. They gave me an ultra stern talking to and sent me on my way. Boy, did I learn my lesson.

Never trust a cat named Zeke.

The end.

This is not a true story. However, the characters, setting, and clay situation are real.

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About the Creator

Carmen Petralia

A little lady from Chicago itching to rid herself of the overload of ideas stuck in her brain.

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