I had been wanting to buy my cats a jungle gym to play and sleep in. I’d searched everywhere but couldn’t find one that was affordable and the right size. Enter Costco. I was shocked to see cat condos and play toys near Costco’s frozen food section. Costco has some weird items for sale.
The following Saturday I met my mom at Costco and we did some shopping. One of the things on my shopping list was the cat jungle gym. We asked a stock man to help lift the item into our shopping cart. It was an awkward fit, but it worked. We made our way over to the cheese aisle where an elderly couple asked if Costco sold pets. I told them no, they don’t sell pets; just pet supplies. As we migrated to the fruits and vegetables, a young couple asked how many cats I had. I told them I had two. The couple said my cats must be spoiled. This is probably true. Another family asked if Costco was selling pets. And, again, I told them no.
I couldn’t get over how people stared at me and my mom and our shopping cart. It’s as if we had a giraffe or a monster in our cart. Before we were half way through with our shopping, about a dozen people stopped to inquire about the jungle gym. It seemed weird to me that people noticed what was in other people’s shopping carts. I never pay attention to this stuff.
As we rounded the corner to the bakery, my mom forgot to get orange juice, so she told me to continue shopping and she’d catch up with me. At this point, a man approached me and asked how many cats I have. He asked if I’d like three more. I told him my two cats were enough. Unlike the other shoppers, this guy was creepy. And he lingered. He told me his three kittens would have to be euthenized if someone didn’t offer to take them. I told him to take the kittens to the Humane Society. He said this was too much trouble. They were just cats, and he is more of a dog person. Besides, he had another plan for the three kitties. He wanted to know if I was curious about his plan. I said that I wasn’t, and that I needed to continue shopping. As I pushed my cart away from him, he quickly caught up with me and blocked my cart so I couldn’t go anywhere.
“What are you doing?” I asked him.
“I want you to take the three kittens.”
“I already told you I’m not interested.”
“If you don’t take them, they will die.”
“You need to take the animals to the Humane Society. Someone will adopt them.”
“I have another plan.”
“Well, that’s great. Please move. You’re blocking me.”
“I’m going to feed the kittens to my pet snake. Snakes love kittens.”
“That’s a cruel thing to do.”
“Like I said, unless you take the kittens, my snake will eat the kittens for dinner.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“To make you feel guilty.”
“Please move out of my way.”
“Kittens will die because of you.”
“I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but it’s not working.”
“I’m trying to scare you.”
“The only thing you’re doing is making yourself look deranged. If you don’t move, I’ll call security.”
“Deranged? That’s right. After all, look at this.”
At this point, he unzipped his jacked and showed me his t-shirt. It said “SINNER.”
“Nice. Your mother must be so proud.”
“Kitten blood, kitten blood, kitten blood.”
Finally, my mom arrived. The man turned to her and said, “Your daughter has something to tell you.”
My mom looked confused. I made eye contact with her and tried my best to emit a secret sign of distress without letting the guy know I was upset. My mom read my signal and grabbed the end of the shopping cart away from the man and started walking away from him. “Come on, honey. I have a few more things on my list.” My mom was very calm but firm. The man remained where we left him.
“What just happened?” my mom asked me.
“I’m not sure. All I know is that we need to stay away from that man. He’s nuts. He said if I don’t take his kittens, he’s going to feed them to his snake.”
“Oh, my. What an asshole.”
“I hate Costco.”
“I know you do, honey, but your cats are going to love their new jungle gym.”