I know you all think I have it all together--that I have no real issues in my life. It's time I made a confession: I am a shopaholic.
My passion for shopping started with small items. A cat toy here. A jeweled collar there. All of my initial purchases were easily disguised among my other possessions. Everything was fine until the items were getting more expensive and more elaborate. It's harder to hide an exorbitant credit card bill, six cat condos, a modest fleet of sports cars and a gaggle of tuxedo-clad mice who I rent to wait on me hand and foot (I'd buy them, but isn't that unethical?).
I've been in a 13-step program (the extra step is secret and only offered to celebrities--I've already said too much) to address my shopping addiction for several months and had been experiencing great success.
Until last Saturday.
On Saturday, as I was touching up my fur with my tongue, there was a knock on the sliding glass door. I yelled, "DOOR!" so that Brach, or some of the tuxedo-clad mice, knew to answer it.
Another knock. "WILL SOMEONE GET THE DOOR?" I shouted.
Yet another knock. "AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO LIVES HERE?" I yelled as I approached the door.
There, on the sidewalk, stood a tortoise-shell cat with an agenda and the name "Sheldon."
"Can I help you?" I asked.
"Ma'am, are you the lady of the house?" he replied.
"I don't think I'd call myself a 'lady,' but I am the Empress," I replied.
"Ma'am, I am here today to invite you to take advantage of an extraordinary deal! For today only, we are offering you free long distance for your telephone!" Sheldon pitched.
"I use my cell phone, so long distance is included," I responded.
"Well, what about encyclopedias, ma'am? I can hook you up with a fully-partial set of encyclopedias! Today I am offering the most important volumes--C, T & F."
"Why are those most important?" I asked.
"Because you can look up Cats, Treat and Food!" he responded.
I yawned and said, "Uh...I use the internet. Aren't encyclopedias obsolete?"
"Ma'am," Sheldon said as he shuffled through his backpack, "I am sure I have something here that meets your needs."
"Look, I really shouldn't be spending money right now. I still owe my mom $42.38 from the wig debacle."
"HERE WE GO!" exclaimed Sheldon excitedly. "I've got the perfect thing for an Empress!"
I watched intently as his paw emerged from his backpack. In it, he held a diamond collar!
"This collar is a 10-carat, genuinely authentic diamondesque replication of a very valuable collar!" explained Sheldon.
"Holy crap! I'm in!" I exclaimed, reaching for my mother's purse.
"What's going on here?" inquired Brach as he cautiously approached the door.
"I'm buying a diamond collar!" I shouted, rummaging through my mother's purse.
"I'm just about to sell this fine lady a genuinely authentic, diamondesque collar!" replied Sheldon.
"KUKKA--DROP THAT CHECKBOOK! What the heck are you thinking? You can't just buy clothing or accessories from a street vendor--and, if you could, why would you buy a diamondesque collar?" scolded Brach.
"UGH! Quit frock-blocking, Brach!" I hissed.
"If saving you from financial and emotional ruin is considered ruining your fun, then lock me up, because I am guilty as charged!" responded the ultra-responsible, suck-up that is my brother.
I glanced at Sheldon, subtly gestured toward Brach, and whispered, "Come back when the wet blanket is napping."
"Good thing we have your shopaholic sponsor on speed-dial," said Brach, dialing the phone. "Hello, Oprah W.? We've got an issue."
Sheldon left in a huff, disappointed that he did not make a sale. We've seen him a few more times, hanging out at some of the neighbors' houses, trying to sell them items they can not live without. I miss him.
While I think Brach did the right thing by intervening to prevent a sale, I'm still trying to find the number of the tuxedo-clad mice smuggler, from whom I rent my mice, to see if he accepts feline donations. One good deed does not a good brother make!