My Two Servants

By Oscar Cheever

The Author

My delivery to my present servants was facilitated by a previous pair, with whom I found little pleasure.  My arrival was a terrifying event as the servants stumbled over one another to hold me and bestow comfort.  Each tried to hold me, sweeping me from the grasp of my previous attendants, groping me, and seeking to wrest me from the grasp of the other.  Well-meaning perhaps, but nonetheless annoying, the servants have difficulty in assuming their role as obsequious providers.

As soon as my feet hit the floor I embarked upon a swift investigation of the premises, quickly seeking refuge under a bed.  I held my position there for about an hour as the new servants poked at me with sticks and attempted to blind me with a hand-held illuminating device.  Realizing that they would inevitably prevail, I made a spirited run from my shelter and evaded them for another hour or so with my speed and stealth.  Although tenacious in their pursuit, the servants proved to be slow and clumsy, actually posing little threat to my flight.  Solitude, however, would not be mine, for they were relentless in their efforts to contain my freedom.

I have found this to be a common trait in the servants I have known, this being my fourth set of providers.  Given my experience one might think that I could find a way to “go it alone,” but they just won’t let me.  Sometimes I’ll slip outside for a little fresh air, but I am quickly scooped up and returned to the safety of the inner sanctums.  It is just as well, I suppose, because there is a big dog next door that lives behind a fence, and he could pose a serious threat to my well-being.  While I applaud the servants for their zeal, this level of protection is quite burdensome.  Just as a President must deal with his Secret Service protectors, I must deal with my protectors as well.

Demeanor is a defining characteristic of the servants.  The male is rather quiet and distant, while the female is noisy and ever-present.  Gone for a long period each day, my male servant apparently tends to others of my kind, but I don’t mind his divided devotion.  The female tends to get on my nerves with her shrill shrieking and meddlesome tendencies.

A large bed has been provided for me by the servants, large enough, in fact, that they can sleep nearby me on the vast bed.  This affords me the utmost in care, so I don’t mind sharing.  At night, for my own amusement I frequently attack their feet beneath the covers and play a little game with them.  They seem to enjoy our play, but they always want to quit before I do.  Being respectful of their limitations, I eventually give them their leave, and we all go to sleep.

Each morning the male servant arises early.  I join him in the bathroom to see that he doesn’t remain there too long.  He then checks to see that my food and water are sufficient for my daily needs.  After that he prepares a beverage of hot, brackish water that looks and smells awful.  It is not uncommon for him to consume two or more cups of the foul brew.  It is during this period that I have the male massage my neck, which he does quite skillfully.  He then returns to their bathroom where I follow along to observe his routine.  After dousing himself with water and dressing, he leaves for the day, perhaps to perform similar duties elsewhere.  Although I feel somewhat slighted by his daily absence, one must admire a servant who holds down two jobs.

As the female continues sleeping, I return to my bed for a nap.  It is apparent that she enjoys this period, because she purrs quite loudly.  It is only when she sleeps in the bed that this purring occurs.  I am annoyed by the loud, guttural purring, and in order to make her stop making these noises, I often press my claws into her breast or bite her leg.  She usually rises after that engagement, and assumes her role of servitude.

After stirring around in the kitchen, the female then places herself on the couch in slothful repose.  While observing other servants on the loud device against the wall, she babbles incessantly on a small device that seems to connect her mouth and ear.  It sounds as if there might be servant sounds emitting from the device as she shrieks and gurgles into it.  Much of the day is spent this way, so I take advantage by sleeping on her abdomen.  That pretty well sums up the extent of service I get from her each day.

The female takes a lot of breaks, drinking a colored liquid from a stemmed vessel.  Periodically she repairs to the back porch to continue drinking the fluid while forcing smoke into her lungs from a small white cylinder.  Though I find these habits repugnant, I must tolerate the small vices of my servant to assure her future loyalty.

It is apparent that the breaks cause mood changes in the female.  During and after the first couple of breaks, she becomes quieter and moves confidently about.  Then, as the number of breaks increases, her report becomes louder and more irritating, and her movements become clumsy and unpredictable.  Though I have no way of telling her so, I think she should limit the number of breaks she takes during the day.

Trends have emerged from their noisy banter that produce recognizable patterns.  Apparently I am identified as an “oscar” or a “cat.”  The female seems to respond to the sounds “mary  lynn" and “baby.”  The male’s pattern is more complex with sounds like “ned”, “turd”, and “nedro” (listed in order of their frequency of usage).  The “baby” sound seems to apply to either one of them interchangeably, so I surmise that they may be of the genus Baby. 

Another sound, “shit”, is used frequently, but I am unable to associate the sound with any specific object or act. 

Sadly, the servants are unable to understand any of my verbal orders, making it necessary for me to stare them down when I need something.  Often I just scream until they come to me, and then they just look at me stupidly.  Patience, however, is a one of my assets, so I can keep my cool, and they get to keep their jobs.

Certain qualities possessed by the servants are worthy of note.  Their ability to walk about elegantly in an upright position is their most distinguishing quality.  Only servants seem to do this.  The sounds that they make are annoying, but I am powerless to control their noise-making.  However, those sounds seem to add meaning to their interactions, so I am the ultimate beneficiary of their carryings-on.

Although they may be able to walk upright for long periods, the servants are otherwise severely handicapped.  Their claws are short and dull to the extent that the use of their paws is limited to clutching actions.  The servants are inept hunters, unable to catch birds, mice, bats, squirrels, and the like.  It is unclear how they might defend themselves from harmful beings.

Given the difficulty in finding good help, I suppose that my situation is perhaps slightly better than adequate.  My servants keep me fed, and the female tends to my necessary box periodically.  When she fails to perform on schedule, I simply leave notice on the floor that the box is full.

The residence that they have provided as a part of their service is interesting, but smaller than others I have visited.  The yard is nice, but in their over-protectiveness, I am not allowed outside.  All in all, I enjoy the controlled climate and the furnishings they provide me.

I was quite fond of the matching ottomans that bore a fancy tassel on each corner.   The quality of these units must be quite high, indeed, because it took weeks to strip away those silly adornments.

The female brought me a couple of new rugs the other day that were particularly to my liking.  They are fairly small, and perfect for clawing workouts.  They should be completely unraveled in a week or so.  I can’t wait to see what the next ones look like.