April Foolishness, Excerpt from Allison Hawn

As part of April Foolishness, here is an excerpt from humorist Allison Hawn.

Lurking Danger -- 
Excerpt from Allison Hawn Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus

I have mostly had a good relationship with animals throughout my life.  True, I have been chased by a turkey, bitten by a horse and sneezed on by a llama, but by and large the animal kingdom and I have had peaceful relations and very few border wars. 
I’m normally fine snuggling up with an animal, assuming it has fur, has been bathed semi-regularly, doesn’t inflict injury for fun and/or doesn’t attempt to release any form of bodily fluid on my face.  For the most part one could pretty much place me in that forest scene in Snow White, aside from horrid dress and a vibrato wide enough to drive a truck through, and I would be ok. 
This all changed with Lord Byron.  Lord Byron was the cat of a professor who let me, quite frequently, stay in her house while I was working in town over the summer.  I also often pet-sat while she was gone. 
Lord Byron weighed about as much as a pregnant killer whale and was not so much a cat, as a bowling ball with fur, legs and eyes.  This kitty often had problems with not rubbing his belly on the ground when he walked, and often would give up on movement altogether and just flop down to merely roll across the floor.
Lord Byron also had a couple slight mental defects.  One was that he had the worst separation anxiety in the world.  He needed to be the center of the universe at all times, and considering his substantial size, that wasn’t hard. 
He also had the teensy weensy, hardly noticeable, habit of peeing on beds.  He would not urinate indoors anywhere else, just on beds.  Due to this fact he had a shock collar installed to keep him out of the professor’s bedroom, and all other bedroom doors were also closed to him. 
This only multiplied his desire to be around someone when they were locked away out of reach.  Byron would sit outside a closed bedroom door for hours repeating the same routine of yowling in a tone comparable to someone beating a bagpipe next to a microphone that was having constant feedback issues, then scratching at the door, and then there would be silence. 
 The silence was misleading, a calm moment before the terror that Byron’s next actions would always bring.  One would feel relieved that Byron had lost interest, but then one would hear a rhythmic thudding noise. 

The noise would grow, like a train laden with the entire cast of Desperate Housewives, spreading terror on the inhabitants of the room behind the closed door.  Then, suddenly, “BOOM!” The walls would shake as the door sounded like it was about to come off its hinges.  Lord Byron, in all of his kitty might, would get a running start and full on crash into the door like a cannon ball.
 Byron always felt the need to do this at approximately three in the morning.  As a result, I had multiple times in which I woke up believing I was in the middle of the Civil War. 
 Failing to rouse an immediate response from me, Byron would eventually wind down after an hour or so of repeatedly throwing his sizeable bulk against the door.  This, however, was only a short reprieve, for somewhere, out in the rest of the house Byron was perched, waiting, and watching for a person to emerge. 
 In the morning I would blindly stumble from my room to get on with my morning.  This newly awakened state made me easy prey for a needy kitty.  At any time, from anywhere, Byron could spring.  I would suddenly find my ankle bludgeoned from underneath a chair, or the back of my knee smacked from coffee table, he once even attempted to pounce on my face from atop the fridge. 
 For the most part, however, I was able to avoid most of Lord Byron’s more serious attacks.  I deftly dove and ducked to avoid the penalties in our furry game of dodgeball.  Byron, however, was keeping score, and he got his revenge for my avoiding him tenfold. 
 One day, I was performing my normal morning routine of ridding myself of the previous day’s adventures under a pipe driven waterfall.  I was just about to start washing my hair when suddenly the shower curtain moved.  This little movement was my only and last warning.  Suddenly the shower curtain was flung back from the wall and something big and black was sitting in the shower with me. 
 I’m not entirely sure how Byron’s tiny little mind thought this was going to turn out.  I’m relatively sure his thought process was something along the lines of, “I will defeat the evil barrier keeping me from the human, then the human will pet me, and I will win.” 
It was only after Byron jumped into the shower with me did he realize, “Wait, this is wet, I don’t like being wet.”
 There was a moment of shock between both parties, then, a maelstrom of activity only paralleled by a group of kindergarteners being given several shots of espresso and water guns.  There was flailing as Byron’s solution to being wet was to reach higher ground, in this case me. 
 The resulting tussle ended, after about 30 seconds of useless random movements from both parties, as Byron was ejected from the shower like a shot put.  Both kitty and human remained traumatized for days afterwards. 
 The morals that we should gain from these stories:
1. Some animals need medication for their personality disorders.
2. Stay physically fit.  You never know when you have to have the ability to hoist and throw thirty-five pounds of fur, claws and cat food.
 3. Always, always, always, always check the bathroom door to make sure it is closed when you go to take a shower.  Sure, one time it might be just your run of the mill psychopath who decides to invade your private time, but the next time it could be cat with dandruff that is roughly the size of William Shatner’s ego.  

Find Allison Hawn's funny book on Amazon.

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