After three months he knew the cat hated him but it came as quite a shock to find out the dog felt the same.
Jack inherited both from his brother who had decided to forego his responsibilities and travel the world for a year.
When both animals arrived it was a cold day, but neither seemed keen to enter the hallway. The cat sauntered in first, looking down at everything and gaining high ground on the first tall thing she found, which was the front-room sofa. She’d stared at Jack whilst digging her claws into the fabric. Her name was simply ‘Cat’.
The dog however, bounced in and Jack was sure he even wiped his paws on the doormat; it had rained a bit that day and it was very considerate. The dog then licked his hand, wagged it’s tail and before the evening, even fell asleep at his feet. The dog was called Felix, but Jack renamed him ‘Polite’, just for while his brother travelled.
But, after three months, Polite was not living up to his namesake. He’d made it his mission to eat all the toilet roll right before Jack needed to go. He’d chewed the legs on the bed so much that the frame might give way. He’d chewed through the phone line.
Right now he was growling in the kitchen, eating the cooked chicken that needless to say, wasn’t his. Polite had control of a four metre radius including the doorway, so Jack couldn’t leave the kitchen. Polite was forcing him to watch. Cat lay on top of the fridge smirking.
Jack sat back in his chair, mouth open. There were nine months left before his brother returned. Maybe he could find a place to rent, leave this one to the animals. Was that what they wanted? Did they have wild friends waiting to squat in his basement?
Polite had gotten to the bare bones of the chicken; he lifted up a wing with his mouth and walked over to Jack, dropping it at his feet.
“Thank you”, Jack found himself saying.
“Eat it”, said the eyes of Polite.
“I can’t eat that you know”, Jack replied, as the dog stared him down.
Half an hour later, Polite fell asleep, and bored, Cat had wandered off outside. Jack took the one chance he might have to leave. He packed a small bag with a change of clothes and some sheets of toilet paper he’d hidden in his nightshirt. He’d look up flats in the newspaper listings.
Opening the front door, slowly turning the handle so as not to make a noise, it occurred to Jack, he hadn’t actually seen his brother in person before he went away. There was just a note left on the front-step, and the two animals.
He heard Polite yawn himself awake, then paws hitting the floorboards.