As I was watching TV recently, I happened to look down at the floor. When I did, I noticed that we now have an amusement park in our living room.
However, unlike Disney World or Kings Island, our living room amusement park has only one visitor, our cat, Sheldon. You might remember him. He’s the one that nearly hung himself to death when he got tangled in Christmas tree lights in 2014.
Sheldon and his sister, Stella, have never been much interested in real cat toys, though we’ve tried many, from tiny stuffed mice to balls that light up when they roll. Most of these toys have been gathered under a chair in the dining room, where they remain untouched.
However, the approximately two dozen tiny stuffed mice we’ve bought over the last few years are not under the chair in the dining room. In fact, they have all disappeared. Occasionally I’ll find one behind a bedroom door and throw it back in the living room. But it quickly vanishes again.
Recently we rearranged some furniture, and I found four stuffed mice under a recliner. I took them into the living room and said, “Hey, Sheldon, look what I found.” I then dropped them on the floor and watched as he quickly batted them under the couch, one by one.
I have better ways to spend my time than running a yardstick under the couch 10 times a day, so I left the mice where Sheldon put them.
“No more toys,” I said. Over in the corner sat the ever stoic Stella, giving me a look that seemed to say, “Why did you ever bring that idiot home?”
Then one day I was folding laundry while watching a ball game on TV. When I looked up, Sheldon was sitting in the empty laundry basket, looking like he’d just won the lottery. I chuckled as he jumped out, then back in, then back out, then back in. He was having such a good time, I left the laundry basket in the living room, where it’s been ever since.
This past Christmas, after we were done opening presents, there was a large gift bag on the floor.
As I bent down to pick it up, I noticed a furry gray tail sticking out the top. Sheldon had found his man cave. So we left it in the living room beside the laundry basket.
Within a couple of weeks, Sheldon had chewed a hole in the bottom of the bag large enough for Stella to reach in and beat him about the head and shoulders. We got tired of picking up tiny pieces of paper, so we renovated, and we’re now on gift bag No. 2.
A few days ago, I spotted several empty cardboard boxes at work, waiting to be recycled. I took one home, duct taped the lid shut, then cut a small square out of the top. I sat it on the living room floor, and within 30 seconds Sheldon was inside, already trying to chew a hole in the cardboard.
So now we have Sheldon World amusement park occupying most of our living room floor. As I said, Sheldon is the only visitor. Every time he sees Stella get within a couple of feet of the laundry basket, the gift bag or the cardboard box, he chases her out of the room, then lies down in front of Sheldon World to keep her away.
Maybe instead of naming it Sheldon World, we should take a cue from the Little Rascals and call it He-Man Woman Haters Club World. No girlz allowed!