He’s in the shower. Take the bag you packed and run down into the basement and find the cat. Put the cat into the carrier then run back upstairs and say goodbye to your daughters.
“Your dad sucks,” explain.
“Can we come?”
Tell them you don’t have the money.
“You’re taking Herbert?”
Nod. “You want mommy to have something to keep her company don’t you?”
They ask if you could maybe just date.
“I feel like I need to be off the dating scene for a bit,” tell them. “Your dad really soured me on dudes.”
They suggest that you could find a support group or something.
“Look, I want the goddamn cat,” tell them.
They’re crying now. Weird, you’d think if they liked the cat so damn much they would have changed the box once in a while. Wait. Wait, tell them that!
“Funny,” you say. “If you liked Herbert so much, maybe you should have expressed your appreciation by changing his cat box every once in a while.”
“Leave the cat,” your daughter, Laura, says. “Or I’ll run upstairs and tell Daddy you’re going.”
“You wouldn’t,” tell her.
“Herbert stays, or you both do,” Laura says.
You open the carrier and set Herbert free. Then you climb out of your daughters’ window.
You’ve never been prouder of your ten-year-old girl. She’s not going to be pushed around by men like you were. She’s going to get what she wants.
Happy Herbert Day!