Friday, October 11, 2013

Life with Pets: Goodnight, Zeus - A One-Act Play

Nearly three hours after the evening began, our heroes, THREE and JUJU, lie on the floor in a makeshift pillow fort they've made in their living room. Upstairs, where the couple usually sleeps, has been quarantined to allow insecticide to work its magic against little invaders known as fleas. This means that Juju, Three, and their animals (KITKAT, BINA, BITSY, and ZOLA) are all having to share a fairly small area of the house because life is awesome. To make matters worse more interesting, a few days before, a wasp had gotten into the house, and Three had chosen to battle it with his fists, breaking a window in his campaign. Of course, because the couple is poor, they had not yet been able to pay for a repair, so instead, painters tape and several pieces of cardboard had been used to cover up the hole. In other words, the past few weeks has been ... interesting.

Three is asleep after three weeks of his dumb job changing his schedule around, and Juju is watching Star Trek: The Original Series on Netflix. Bina trots up to Juju and meows at her.

BINA: I am hungry?
JUJU: You just ate.
BINA: Pet me?
JUJU: Fine.

Zola, sensing that pets are being administered, lumbers in from the kitchen and pushes Bina away from Juju's hand.

ZOLA: Mommy! Pet me, pet me!
JUJU: Zola, Bina was here first. Lay down.
ZOLA: What is a Bina? I want pets.
BINA: I am hungry? Again?
JUJU: Dammit, I just want to watch "Space Seed" uninterrupted for once, you guys.
ZOLA: Pets!
BINA: Hungry?

Behind them, a war erupts between Bitsy (aka Esther) and Kitkat for no reason because they are cats. And probably because Kitkat is a giant asshole. 

BITSY: You were walking past me!!
KITKAT: You showed fear!!
BITSY: Mommy!! Tyrannical Not-Friend is hitting me!! And so I have pooped on the floor!!

Three jerks his head up, his eyes droopy. 

THREE: Huh?? Whasgoinonnn?
JUJU: Nothing. I've got it. Go back to sleep.

As Juju cleans up the cat shit, Bitsy jumps on her shoulder and glares at Kitkat, who seems unmoved.

KITKAT: I was only asserting my dominance.
JUJU: If there wasn't insecticide upstairs, I would throw you up there right now.
KITKAT: Whatever.

Suddenly, the obviously not-well-constructed covering for the broken window starts moving, and all of the animals, plus Juju, stare at it, completely baffled as to what is going on. Even Kitkat doesn't care as Bitsy inches past her to further investigate. 

JUJU: Ummmm ... Three?
THREE: [snore]
JUJU: Great.

Juju approaches the window with a spray bottle, as it was the only weapon she could think of at the time, but then a little orange and white kitty head pokes through. It is ZEUS, the outdoor cat who has taken a liking to Juju because she a) feeds him and b) lets him sit on her lap when she reads outside.

ZEUS: Hello!
JUJU: Zeus, you can't come in here.
ZEUS: Why not? I figured how to break this barrier, so I should be rewarded thusly.
JUJU: That's not how this works.
ZEUS: I am a cat; therefore I do not care.
JUJU: Fuck my life.

Three raises his head again, even less coherent than before. 

THREE: Zeus is in the house? Ask him for pie.
JUJU: ...
ZEUS: What is pie?
BITSY: I like pie! I stole some yesterday from Mommy's plate!
ZOLA: Friend from outside!!

Bina stands on her hind legs to sniff Zeus but quickly scampers away, hissing. Kitkat does the same, except she has no idea how to respond when Zeus does not either flee or attack her. He, instead, just stares at her. From the entertainment center's surface, Bitsy reaches over and boops Zeus on the head, and he is equally unresponsive. 

KITKAT: Do. Not. Like. I want to go upstairs but cannot. DAMMIT.
BITSY: What is this bodiless kitty head?
JUJU: Zeus, get back outside. I'll bring you out some food to the front porch, okay?
ZEUS: That is acceptable.

Juju tapes the cardboard back on the window and goes to the kitchen to get a cup full of cat food. Once she places the nibblets outside for Zeus, she returns to all four animals sitting in a row. 

JUJU: You guys JUST ate.

Zeus again pokes his head through a hole of his own making.

ZEUS: Can I come in now?
THREE: Goodnight, Zeus.

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