Monday, March 21, 2016

Looking for candidate to be First Cat

Clementine stretched luxuriously as she woke up late Monday morning. She'd had a lovely long sleep, disturbed only by Zeke's comings and goings. He'd been restless last night, which was unusual. Clem wandered into the living room, greeted the yarn lady and then visited the kitchen for a few mouthfuls of crunchy food. She settled onto the hassock and watched the yarn lady rush around finding the various things she needed for wherever she was going. Keys, phone, knitting of course, wallet, various pieces of paper, a book – at that point Clem closed her eyes. It was too painful. Humans needed way too much stuff. They should be more like cats. No accessories required.

Finally she was ready and she called out that she'd be back in a few hours. Clem waited a few moments to make sure she hadn't forgotten anything and then logged into her email. Wow, she had a lot of messages. And oddly enough they all had the subject 'Looking for candidate to be First Cat'. She opened the most recent and saw this:

Looking up at the ceiling, Clementine wondered if perhaps she'd gotten up in the night and posted something that might have resulted in all these emails. They appeared to have come from Craigslist, and yes, she did have a Craigslist account. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Ezekiel quietly slinking toward the hallway. She leapt over the arm of the chair and took off in pursuit of the furry miscreant. Cornered in the hallway by the closed bedroom door, Zeke began talking so fast she could barely understand him. “Well, you wanted to find cats to become candidates for First Cat, and I couldn't sleep last night, so I went on Craigslist and checked to see if we could post an ad there for cats to respond to. I don't have an account, so I used yours, and well, next thing I knew I'd created an ad and posted it. I didn't mean to post it, I was just going to make a draft of it and show it to you in the morning, but it looked so good that after I looked at the preview, I, well, kind of hit the post button.” Zeke bowed his head and braced for the head smack he knew was coming.

Nothing happened. Zeke looked up to find Clementine staring icily at him. “You know I don't like anyone using my accounts, and I don't even want to know how you got my password. But it's done now, and there are dozens of animals out there who've responded to the ad. It will be your job to go through each one and do an initial screening. Set up a database to record the name and contact information for each candidate, and make sure to attach any photos. You probably should also figure out a way to determine how well they meet the criteria you set out, and rate each applicant accordingly. I'll expect a summary with thumbnail photos by tomorrow morning, and every morning for as long as we continue to get responses. Oh, and come up with a standard reply or two for all our potential candidates. Thank you for applying and we'll be collecting information type of thing. There probably should be a second one for non-cats, saying that at this time we're not considering other species.”

Zeke sat there staring at Clementine. He wasn't as dumb as he looked, but he wasn't sure how one would set up a database. He barely knew what one was. But looking at Clem's face, he knew that there was no negotiating this issue. He might be bigger, he might be stronger, but both of them knew who was the top cat in the house, and it wasn't Zeke. He sighed and headed for the computer.

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