El Jefe: A Love Story. (That Isn't So Much About Love As It Is Who Will Establish Dominance And Ultimately Be The Boss) / by LD


When it comes to new roommates, there are really two ways in which the whole thing goes down: Either you're trawling Craigslist for total strangers whose vernacular is limited to speaking in texting parlance and ellipses (I am lo-key..............u would have ur own room...............i only cry at nite.........), or you're already so close with said roommate that you can finish each other's sentences and collectively loathe people for whom the proper way to address another person is with a scantily clad vowel. (Ur not one of those people, obvs.) But I will present a third type of roommate, and this type is of the feline variety - admittedly, a subspecies of Demon that I've yet to experience because I'd said all my Hail Mary's until this point wherein I apparently missed one, and was smote with a new roommate named El Jefe. 

Pear-shaped and orange, he's not entirely unlike my last roommate, except Jess's eyes weren't nearly so buggy and she didn't stare reproachfully at me every time I entered the room, though I suspect she might now because I indirectly inferred that she is both pear-shaped and orange, two attributes which - I assure you - on her, are both delightful and quite fetching. 

El Jefe became part of our lives recently, not by my own volition but I certainly acquiesced to his presence because his master, Kelsey, is Awesome with a capital A, and the thought of dealing with a cantankerous cat seemed far more doable than living with someone whose requirements included that you be "COOL/NORMAL AND SEXY. OR SINGLE MOTHER, IT'S ALL GOOD. SEND ME A PIC AND TELL ME A LIL BIT MORE ABOUT YOURSELVE [sic]." (hous-gavac-1231665883@craigslist.org if you're interested, ladiez.)

Immediately upon his arrival, El Jefe and I set upon the arduous task of establishing dominance within our relationship, a battle not unlike any in which one country invades the other, storms and pillages the townspeople, foists their culture upon said beleaguered losers, and essentially writes history for the next ten-or-so pages of the proverbial textbook, unless you were one of those types who liked to focus entire chapters or books on the subject of a single battle, in which case I guess I'd liken my relationship with El Jefe to The Romans vs. Everyone, but only because I happen to own quite a few pairs of gladiator sandals.

Hey, it is 2009. (And also? That entire paragraph was ONE SENTENCE. ONE! Just one! Hey, Jefe, watch while I dominate grammar and the internets at the same time. Take note, Cat. It's gonna get crazy up in hurre.)

My attempts to show El Jefe who's the boss (in English, natch. Learn the language, Cat.) consist mainly of my petting his head repeatedly until he tries to swat at my hands with his claws. It is at that time that I pull up a Disciplinary Action stored in the vast and imitable archives of my time owning dogs, a D.A. which includes pointing ferociously whilst growling, "NO! NO, EL JEFE! NO!" Thusfar, it's worked about 20.5% of the time, but I'll be damned if that cat doesn't occasionally cower before trying to nip my finger off at the knuckle. 

What's more disturbing than my attempts at establishing dominance with El Jefe are El Jefe's attempts at establishing dominance with me. It took about .5 seconds upon moving in for the Cat to form a terrifyingly powerful affection for my bedroom - a part of the house he is clearly not allowed. The door that was once always open is now always shut, much to his chagrin. Since I live in what used to be a home office, I don't have a proper door in the homeowners' sense, rather, I have a fairly patrician set of French double doors, paned and stacked with glass, offering a stunning view of the living room. It's not uncommon for anything and everything I do in my bedroom to be common knowledge throughout the rest of the house, so that snoring has got to stop. SRSLY. 

However, while I'm used to living life in a fishbowl, I'm not used to anyone in the house caring, or much less paying any heed. And I'm certainly not used to being stare-stalked while I sleep, a practice I've noticed has become a startling routine with El Jefe, who, on more than three occasions this week was the first thing I saw when I woke up in the morning. After a yawn and a stretch, I sat up to the beady, contemptuous glare of a cat plotting my demise (from behind glass, though I've no doubt his claws could dig a hole through that windowpane faster than a bride opening her wedding gifts). I've lobbed the icy staredown right back at him, but El Jefe usually bests my efforts easily by way of sheer creepiness. Seriously? Your way of establishing dominance is to wake up in the morning, walk to my bedroom door, and WATCH ME SLEEP? Well, it's working, Cat. It's working. 

I've no doubt this cat has it in for me, and if I go a few days without publishing a post here you might give me a well-timed phone call and inquire about my whereabouts. There's a good chance I'll be someone's fancy feast for at least a few days. 

To the victor go the spoils, after all.