Prior to my landlord coming over this morning, an occasion that has happened approximately three times since my husband started renting from her 13 years ago, we decided to pretend we do not have a cat.

My husband got up first and reported to me he put the litter container “in the closet that you can’t open without everything falling out.” The bag of food he put under the bathroom sink. I then got up and emptied the water bowl and placed it and the full bowl of food in the bathroom cupboard. The litter box conveniently fit under the couch. I then got out the vacuum, attached the hose, and sucked up any evidence of stray litter and known accumulation of cat hair.

My landlord arrived on time, at 9 a.m. Approximately two minutes later she was making a kissy noise in the direction of the cat, whom I had forgotten to hide.