Friday, September 19, 2014

Life with Pets: Extracurriculars - A One-Act Play

It is early evening in the Three-Juju apartment. Both of the humans have been home from long work days and lazily sit on the couch: THREE holds the Xbox controller firmly and grimaces at the player somewhere in the world that is competing in online Magic: The Gathering 2014 with him, and JUJU attempts to complete a word puzzle while BITSY tries to sit in her lap. ZOLA sleeps under the coffee table, snoring loudly, and BINA stares out the window (still). KITKAT sits on the fake leather chair next to the window, cleaning herself calmly.

JUJU: Bitsy, seriously. Go bother Three. He doesn't need his lap.
BITSY: But I want your lap. 
THREE: (to the television) Did you even read the card? It clearly states that you can't block my creature. 
BINA: Is that a bird? It is a bird. I want it. (chitters)

Kitkat looks up at Bina curiously. She isn't nearly as interested in the Kitty TV as Bina is on a daily basis, but her huntress instincts occasionally get the best of her (only they are mostly used in the stalking and pursuing of Bitsy). She hops up on the window sill, but Bina boops her on the nose.

BINA: This is my spot. 
KITKAT: I am bigger than you.
BINA: I am faster than you, and my claws are sharper.
JUJU: This is true, Kitkat. She'll rip you to shreds.

Bitsy bats at the page Juju is currently on, and Juju swats lightly at her head. The little cat narrows her eyes but simply jumps on the back of the couch and perches right above Juju's shoulders. 

KITKAT: But preeeeeyyyyyy!!!
JUJU: Your risk, Kitty.

In a huff, Kitkat returns to her previous position on the chair cushion, her tail swishing in irritation. With one last glare, she hops down and busies herself with a hair tie that has somehow appeared in the middle of the floor. 

KITKAT: This is better, anyway.
THREE: (to the television) Dammit, it's my partner and the other team against me. Why do I ever play two-headed giant?  
JUJU: I've often asked myself the same question. 
THREE: This is fun for me. 
JUJU: Obviously.

Having grown tired of the window, Bina makes her way over to the couch and proceeds to climb onto Juju's lap, covering the puzzle book with her fuzzy body.

BITSY: Hey!
JUJU: Bina! Come on. 
BINA: I want to cuddle. 
KITKAT: HAIR. TIE. IS. THE. BEST. THING. EVER.
ZOLA: (poking her head out from underneath the table) Is someone getting pets?
THREE: (to the television) Oh, for fuck's sake, exile the guy who keeps getting bigger!!! What are you even doing? I should offer to give this guy lessons on how to play Magic.

Juju picks up Bina and sets the cat in between her and Three, although Bina does not seem satisfied with the arrangement. She leaps over to the coffee table and sits on top of some magazines, lifting her back leg and licking the fur on its underside. Bitsy stretches out with her front paw and sinks one of her tiny daggers into Juju's shoulder.

JUJU: Ow! Dammit, Bitsy. You know what? That's your new name.
BITSY: It isn't already? 
THREE: Ugh, you know what? There's no way this game can be won now. 

He resigns the game and hands the controller to Juju.

THREE: Do you want to pick out something to watch? I promise we won't have to watch 2001. Or anything depressing. (pause) Or a documentary about something depressing. 
JUJU: Movie or TV show?
THREE: You decide. 
JUJU: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?
THREE: Uhhhhh, please no? 
JUJU: You said I could choose.
THREE: I know. But maybe you could pick something that both of us would enjoy?
JUJU: Sigh. (pause) Oh! How about that show about mass grave sites?? We can snark on how they try to make up stories about the dead people and pass them off as fact!
THREE: Make it so. I'm gonna go change into some sweatpants. 

Three stands and heads toward the bed-closet, but Bitsy sees an opportunity to practice her pouncing skills. As she lunges toward Three, she realizes that Kitkat has her in her sights, and she panics, thrusting herself upward and onto Three's shoulders. 

THREE: Augh!! Shit!! You have very sharp feet, Bitsy!
BITSY: I got scared. 
KITKAT: I wasn't going to attack you, anyway. Hair ties are much more fun than you. 
BITSY: You lie! ... Wait. Continue as you were. 
ZOLA: (pulling herself out from under the table) Where are you going?? Is Bitsy going to get attention? Wait for me! 
BINA: Oooooh, food is this way! I am hungry? Thirsty? 
THREE: All I want to do is put on sweatpants. None of you are getting what you want. Bitsy, get off of me. Here's the counter. 

Bitsy daintily drops to the kitchen counter and turns her head snootily toward Kitkat, who merely blinks her eyes and jumps onto the coffee table. Juju scrolls through Netflix, trying to find the ridiculous National Geographic channel series, and Three returns from the bed-closet, clad in his beloved sweatpants and followed dutifully by Bina and Zola. He makes a detour into the kitchen to grab a big glass of diet soda and sets it on the coffee table, before coming to flop onto the couch and kiss Juju on the cheek.

THREE: Find it yet?
JUJU: My to-watch list is ridiculously long. And I think I might have skipped over it?

Bina, the ever persistent (even when you aren't quite sure as to what she wants), jumps back up into Juju's lap and paws at the controller, knocking it out of Juju's hand. 

JUJU: Really, Bina?
BINA: I want something. 
JUJU: What?
BINA: I'm not sure and/or you should already know this.

Three retrieves the controller and, somehow, manages to find the show he's looking for in a matter of seconds. Zola ambles to the couch and wedges her head between Three's legs, hoping for ... something. 

THREE: Zola, what do you need?
ZOLA: Couch sit, please. 
THREE: Sigh. Come on. 
ZOLA: Yay!!

With much aplomb, Zola lands squarely on Three's crotch, a rather curious talent the dog has managed to perfect in the four years he's known Zola. Without shouting to the heavens, Three simply looks toward the ceiling and bites his lower lip, humming a little ohm-chant to himself. Zola is unaware that she has caused any distress and chooses to add insult to injury by landing a sloppy kiss on his face. 

BINA: Is he okay?
JUJU: I think? Husfriend, you okay?
THREE: Honestly, I shouldn't even be surprised when this happens. 
ZOLA: (tongue wagging in the air) COUCH SIT IS AWESOME.

Once he recovers, Three sits back and puts his arm around Juju's shoulder, and they both prepare to take in another episode of ancient warriors who die and intrigue archaeologists. However, Kitkat has other ideas, and she effortlessly jumps on the entertainment console, placing herself squarely in front of the television screen. 

JUJU: Kitkat! Come oooooon. 
KITKAT: This seems like a good place. 
THREE: I'll get her down. 

Sensing her inevitable ousting from her spot, Kitkat opts to preempt Three picking her up, so she scampers back into the kitchen. Meanwhile, Bitsy's curiosity at the plastic cup on the coffee table has overcome her fear at being chased by Tyrannical Not-Friend/Kitkat, and she masterfully leaps to the coffee table and sniffs the contents of the cup. Normally, Juju would have caught onto Bitsy, but she is distracted by Zola, who has decided to try and take Three's spot on the couch. 

JUJU: Zola, come back over here. Three sits there, and you know that he's going to make you move.
ZOLA: I have no idea what you're talking about. We can share! I am just a ball of consciousness with no mass! I also have no idea what I'm talking about. 
BITSY: (pushing the cup) What is this?
THREE: Bitsy! No!

With Three in mid-stride, the tiny kitty bats at the cup until it comes to the very edge of the coffee table and falls to the carpet-covered floor. She doesn't follow it down - only sits above it, on the table, and stares at it in confusion/ambivalence. Zola cranes her neck to see if what had crashed to the floor was something she could eat. Kitkat investigates the ruined soda on the floor, and when she looks up at Bitsy, both cats hiss menacingly at each other. Again, Three raises his eyes to the ceiling and sighs heavily. 

JUJU: (shrugs) This is our life, sweet pea. 

The End. 
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