T H E N I N E L I V E S
O F C H E S T E R T H E C A T
Marci and I bring home a kitten we’ve adopted from the shelter. We cannot agree on a name; Marci likes “Mr. Sniffles,” I want “Conan the Catbarian.” Distracted during the heat of discourse, I accidentally sit on the poor thing. It squeaks a muffled little deathsqueak, as crushed kittens will. We decide on “Chester.”
After a dinner party where Marci overindulged in white Zinfandel, she is feeling especially randy. We engage in heavy foreplay in our kitchen. Rolling around on the linoleum, we thump into the wooden pantry beneath the sink, the vibrations of which cause a colander to leap off its hook and plummet into the Mr. Coffee, which, in turn, tumbles onto the wooden block that sheathes the Ginsu knives. This chain of reactions send that really, really weird knife – the one oddly notched and curved, for scaling fish, I believe – sailing through the air. It lands in poor little Chester.
My in-laws arrive unexpectedly with luggage and intentions of staying 10 days. Marci’s mother brings her infamous Tuna Surprise and berates me for being a poor provider and having generally poor physical hygiene. I politely excuse myself to the backyard to privately rid myself of furious rage, and I punt Chester about 40 yards down the street. He lands in a puddle and shakes violently. Eventually, the shaking stops… Poor Chester, and shame on me and my uncontrollable fits of rage.
Chester is stomped to a bloody, painful death in a mosh pit during a Pearl Jam concert. The poor bastard loved “Ten” more than his furry little body could handle. Rock on, little cat, rock on.
Chester sinks into a terrible depression. He listlessly crawls about the house, sitting for hours in front of the TV, barely chasing mice. He overdoses on prescription painkillers washed down with Jack Daniels, has his stomach pumped, and recovers. He claims it was a cry for help. Three weeks later, we eventually discover Chester lying face up in a tepid bathtub in the guest bathroom, his furry wrists slit. He'd been there for several days. We don't go in there that often. His suicide note read: “I hate you and your Jerry Vale albums.”
Chester is shot to death in a drive-by shooting on La Brea. The police have no official suspects, but many industry insiders place blame upon Chester’s longtime rival, Suge Knight.
Chester is bitten by a vampire and roams the earth as the walking dead until he is done in for good by a stake through the heart, wielded by Van Helsing the vampire hunter.
April, 2003 – Present.
Chester has taken to a ritual of bringing home hookers and doing blow until 5 a.m. This goes on for three months until Marci finally demands that Chester stop it or get the hell out of our house. Chester breaks down and begs for forgiveness. Marci and I, of course, forgive him for his misdeeds and help him settle into a rehab clinic. He now lives peacefully in Chicago and tours the country warning children of the dangers of drugs. He is engaged to supermodel Letitia Casta.
RIGHT THIS WAY...