Today was the longest day ever… Araya and her Parents had only been gone for an hour and OsKar was in the Living Area watching T.V. Know for eating many different things, he hopped up and looked through the fridge to find a good snack. Something he wouldn’t normally touch, but being that this was a bit of a self thrown ‘Going Away Party,’ nothing was off limits. Like this half eaten CherrySwirl Cheesecake, for example. Only 3 of the 6 delicious slices were left, but oh well. It didn’t stand a chance. Or this Steak and Red Skinned Potato Dinner with Asparagus? There one minute, gone the next.
How about this unopened carton of Chocolate Covered, Caramel centered, Vanilla ice cream balls? Putting all of the empty containers in the trash, that was the least he do, he decided that he’d better grab something that he could actually make it back to the couch holding, without eating it right there in front of the fridge. He moved a couple of items, eggs, milk and Hooo, Boy Howdy!
Was that a jar of his most favorite snack of all times?! Why, yes Garcon, it was! He grabbed the huge jar of Dill Pickles and made a dash for the couch. Thankfully, it had been already opened. Those pickle jars could be a little tough to get into, sometimes. Yep, this would be his last day at the BCCC, so why not ‘live-it-up’ a little?! As OsKar sat eating pickles and surfing through the endless sea of T.V. Channels, he finally settled on the Sci-Fi Channel. Couldn’t go wrong with this channel, for sure.
Countless days he’d sat in front of the ‘telly’ watching the Sci-Fi Channel. It would be one of several ‘perks’ that he’ miss. Crunching down the last pickle, OsKar realized that he wanted something crunchy, but not too sweet. Looking through the pantry, he found several boxes of cereal. Yes, he loved pickles, but he really loved cereal. For him, pickles were more of a daytime snack, where he could eat cereal anytime, night or day.
Most of the cereal were those for the ‘Health Conscience,’ but he found where they kept the stash of cereal for Araya. And there they were: ‘Oh’s, the bestest cereal on the planet!’ In his opinion, of course. He recognized the cereal by the picture on the box. He never knew the name of them, only that ever-so-often Araya would sneak a handful of them to her room, inevitably dropping one or two. He’d scoop them up as soon as she fell asleep. The way he figured, it kept her Parents from ever finding out that she ate in her room. But those little circles were so crunchy-good! And he liked the smell of them, too.
With his new snack in tow, he hopped back on the couch and switched to a different channel. As he gobbled his new snack down, he read the ingredients on the side of the box, not that any of that mattered to him. It was just something he noticed humans doing, from time to time, when they were eating something that tasted good to them. Although he acted ‘human,’ he was clearly not. He’d also noticed that sometimes Araya would put the Oh’s into a bowl filled with ‘cow-juice.’ That was her nickname for milk, which he thought was cute, so he called it that, too.
There were a couple of occasions when she would bring ‘cow-juice’ into her room and leave it on her nightstand. He tried it, but didn’t like it too much. Maybe it was a texture thing. Finishing up the box of Oh’s, OsKar started to feel a bit sleepy. Thinking that maybe he should listen to his body, especially in lieu of his ‘Big Night,’ he began to clean up his mess while watching an Andy Griffith Marathon, one of his all-time favorite T.V. shows.
It was something about the black and white show with the good, wholesome humor that registered with OsKar. Deputy Barney Fife always tickled him with his goofiness. He meant well, but always seemed a few cards short of a full deck. And to think, originally, Fife’s character was set up to be played by Andy Griffith himself with ol’ Barney being the serious guy. Another of his favorites was Sanford and Son. That Sanford was as witty as they come and the episodes with big Cal were hilarious… He thought about all of this as he finished cleaning up.
Thankfully, he was a Master Multi-Tasker. He thought about it and looked until he found a box of the gallon sized freezer bags. He pulled out 8 of them and began dispersing various snacks in all but 2 of them. For the final 2 he filled them with an unopened box of Oh’s he’d found on the top shelf in the pantry. Leaving the Living Area the way he’d found it, he headed back to his area in Araya’s room.
Normally, he wouldn’t have time to nap before the Family returned because he make such a mess that it would take him a couple of hours to straighten and clean everything up. This was due to the fact that he normally didn’t clean as he devoured food. Most of the time, the food was from take-out places around the city. This take-out included Shrimp Fried Rice or Pizza or Cheese Steak Sandwiches.
The leftovers either room temp or cold were delicious. They didn’t stand a chance when everyone left the next morning and OsKar the Pet Garbage Disposal showed up on the scene. The only time leftovers were safe were on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. So far during the Summer months everything was good because the Family would either go on vacation or have Day Care set up for Araya.
Through the week nothing edible was safe. OsKar wouldn’t eat all of anything, unless he just couldn’t help himself, but he’d definitely get his fill of as much of everything as he could without causing too much suspicion. On the rare occasion that Araya’s Mom made Homemade Meatballs with Spaghetti or Lasagna, he would clearly overeat. Magnifico! His mouth watered at the thought of it.
Chuckling to himself, he thought that just maybe Araya’s Dad was right. Maybe he was eating up everything around here, but how could he possibly know. OsKar was always careful to be discreet about his antics throughout the day, when the Family was away. All of these thoughts of food swarmed through his mind as he stashed his getaway goods on Araya’s top shelf in her closet. He’d be missing out on a lot of great food once he left.
Most pets would give anything to be in his position. But that would be those that didn’t mind being held hostage as a pet. OsKar had bigger dreams. He figured it must’ve been all of those late night internet surfing episodes. Until that began a few months ago, he had not even considered being anywhere else in the world but here. His views changed quickly. It was now Noon and OsKar, who had eaten 5 times more than he normally ate in a day, was back in his area and snoring, loudly.
Hey, when you’re planning one of the greatest escapes every, it gets to you mentally, if nothing else. He’d eaten so much food, because he wasn’t sure what the future, namely that night when he reached the street, would hold when it came to his next meal. As he saw it, he deserved to eat as much as his body could stand to help sustain him through the evening and that night. Nearly 7 hours had passed before OsKar woke up.
He looked around and noticed it was dark in the room except for a nightlight that Araya had near her bed to help keep away the Boogey-Man. Squinting, OsKar noticed that it was 8:05pm. He also noticed that Araya hadn’t been in the room since her bed was still made. This also meant that everything was going as planned since no one was home yet from their Night Out on the Town. Perfect!
A couple of minutes after waking, OsKar was at the rear window facing the Fire Escape. After nearly a year of planning, he was finally facing the reality of his escape. And not just any escape, but a Successful Escape. The thought and the City View made him nervous, but before he could change his mind, he gave the windows a quick push and they opened out. The smoky warm air from outside rushed in to meet him. He took a deep breath of it and stepped out on to the stairs of the Fire Escape.
So there he was. Outside of the Exquisite Apartment now, standing there looking back in across the kitchen and Living Area. Taking one last glance over it all, he pushed the windows closed, automatically locking himself out on the 7th floor Fire Escape landing. No changing his mind now, no sir. It was either up or down. With up, not really being a choice, he began to descend down the stairs, slowly.
He didn’t forget his bags of snacks for later, so he had to be careful not to fall or drop any of them. Funny, he didn’t realize being on the 7th floor of the BCCC meant that it would take awhile for him to reach the streets below. He now understood the red and white signs on the wall at each floor; “EMERGENCY USE ONLY!” But for him, this was an emergency. His curiosity had gotten the best of him. Thank goodness he wasn’t a cat. As he understood it, curiosity and cats didn’t mix.
A bit of a witty fellow himself, he chuckled at his goofy thought and continued his slow and steady trek. After what seemed like forever, and two or three days, he finally made it to the 1st floor of stairs. It was here that OsKar realized that he would have to jump down from the end of the stairs to reach the pavement below. No problem, but he was still carrying all 8 bags of his ‘Snacks for later.’
Now, feeling hungry, OsKar tore into one of his snack bags and sat there on the stairs to eat. Well hidden in the shadows, from any human eyes, he gobbled down his bag of treats. At some point, he realized that he had no idea what time it was or how long he had been on the Fire Escape. Not having Araya’s Little Mermaid Clock to help him keep track of time was weird, but he knew he still had quite a while before the Sun would come peeking up over the tall city buildings. He’d hoped that Araya would be too exhausted from their night out when the Family made it in, to notice that he was ‘missing.’ This would buy him just the right amount of Escape Time that he needed to be completely successful. When Araya and her Parents got in she was asleep, so they put her in bed with them.