Sometimes I use this blog for therapy. This is one of those times.
You’d think that wrapping presents for my kids would be a sedate, enjoyable experience. And for my wife, it was. She’s expert at all things crafty, and has apparently been wrapping presents professionally since infancy. At least, this was my assumption based on the deftness with which she whipped out perfectly wrapped items of such symmetry and beauty that I fancied I’d stepped into a Currier & Ives painting. She did her wrapping on the bed, by the way, while I muddled along on the floor. Kind of like a cut-rate gift-wrapping sweatshop.
But I was doing reasonably well, I really was. Until I got to an item my wife had purchased for my two-year-old daughter.
Enter FurReal Friends Daisy Cat.
Also known as the Feline Spawn of Satan.
The first problem was the size of the box. It was wide and deep at the bottom and tapered to a point at the top. Now, you might just say, “Hey, Jonathan—that’s called a triangle. What’s the big deal?” Well, let me tell you, Imaginary Peanut Gallery Heckler Jerkwad, it wasn’t at all a perfect triangle. Because there were paws sticking out. That’s right! Near the top, where you’d think you could wrap things into a neat pyramidal point, there were big, fuzzy, eerily realistic paws with unnervingly pink pads staring at me. Taunting me. Presaging for me the horrors that were to come.
So yeah, I erred in the amount of paper I needed. No problem, I figured. Just use another piece of paper, match the stripes, and it’ll look halfway decent. Or as presentable as the other stuff I wrapped (I swear that wasn’t a pun!).
And it looked halfway decent (if “halfway decent” means a nightmarish snarl of lines and creases and holes). Truthfully, it looked like a Brothers Grimm witch interpreted by a German Expressionist filmmaker in the grip of a sinister LSD hallucination. But hey, it was wrapped, right?
Suuuuure, it was wrapped. It was wrapped until the freaking cat came to life like some monster I’d just entombed!
It began by meowing. Like the doomed protagonist of a Poe tale, I stared at the package in horror. Then it actually began pawing at the paper enshrouding it. My mouth dry, I started to back away. Then—and I wish I were making this up—the infernal beast thrust against the paper hard enough to rip the tape open.
I quivered. I grew pale.
Within moments, the cat’s sinister visage was glaring at me from its nest of torn paper. It meowed in accusation. And the paws…the paws! I shall never forget the sight of those hideous paws!
And the worst of it is, this hellish fiend was cast off by my two-year-old daughter. It was as though some finely tuned sense of good and evil in her alerted my daughter to the true nature of the beast under the tree.
And now, the fell feline awaits me somewhere in the house. If I awake tonight with the beast tearing my flesh to ribbons, let this be my final testament. Please protect my wife and children from the creature’s wrath. Let my sacrifice not have been in vain.
With a trembling heart, I descend the stairs to the beast’s lair. Wish me Godspeed…