How to Bribe a Lazy Cat

The Crankypants family is so busy, nobody really has time for ordinary stuff like cleaning house. We jet around, arriving fashionably late to the red carpet, posing and preening for the paparazzi. Who’s got time for vacuums and toilet bowls?

Well, Cranky Cat has a thing or three to say about that.

Next to his BIG bro, Melchior the VERY Large, Cranky’s the laziest cat on the planet. He spends so much time under the bed, streaming funny cat videos, that he hardly lifts a paw to help out around the Crankypants house.

Miss Crankypants raised three boys and a girl with that same bad attitude. Miss CP once chased her oldest boy around the bathroom, trying to convince the kid that he wouldn’t die if he got acquainted with Scrubbing Bubbles. What Cranky Cat needs is a pair of rubber gloves and a toilet wand to help him learn the value of meaningful work.

But she’ll have to be clever. Cranky Cat is like a lot of young ‘uns these days–careful to be conveniently absent the moment the Chore List gets posted on the fridge. Miss Cranky’s own mother used to leave long, detailed chore lists, written on steno pads, for Teen Cranky and her kid sister to do while Mom was at work. Cranky Cat is just as adept at hiding half-eaten pizza slices under beds as Miss Crankypants ever was.

For one thing, like most cats, Cranky HATES the vacuum. When Miss Cranky hauls out the Hoover, that ungrateful cat bolts in sheer terror. Miss CP actually gets a kick out of watching Bunny Boy (Cranky’s shameful nickname) hop as if his life depends on it. So, hilarity aside, carpet cleaning  is out.

What about scooping the litter box? After all, Cranky Cat and his two accomplices use it regularly. Not once has any of them lifted a finger to clean out that box. Not once. Cranky Cat threatens to leave Miss CP a present in the bathroom if she dares force him to sanitize his sandbox.

Sigh. If you’re a mom, you know this sigh. It’s the sigh of defeat, a sure sign your offspring will be village idiots who never change their socks. This sigh means you’ve given up hoping one of your kids will win a Fullbright. Instead you hope the fruit of your loins will not still be living with you when he’s 35. 

But back to Cranky Cat.

Miss CP remembers how ecstatic she was the first time one of her kids hung up an article of clothing. Instead of draping, tossing, wadding or cramming said article on the floor, bed, chair or stationary bicycle, this child actually mastered that wonder of a modern invention: the clothes hanger. She had to pay said child a dime every time he or she got the hanger on the closet rod! 

So maybe Cranky Cat just needs bribery. Miss Crankypants promises to pay Cranky Cat in tuna treats every time he hangs up his stuff instead of creating a clothing avalanche. Brilliant! Problem solved!

If only Cranky Cat wore actual clothing.

About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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