Have you seen those clever Direct TV commercials? The ones where a chain of events leads to miserable circumstances (such as waking up in a roadside ditch) as a result of not subscribing to Direct TV?
Well, a similar-ish chain of events led to the New York Giants killing my cat. True story.
Here's how it went down: The night of Super Bowl XLII, February 3, 2008, found me avidly caulking the baseboards of the house we'd moved into a couple of months earlier. I had a caulking gun, a rag, and a bucket of water whose contents were becoming increasingly whiter as my work progressed and evermore greater concentrations of caulk were transferred to it. I had the Patriots-Giants game on the TV, with volume turned to "Very *%#@$%^ Loud". The Patriots had been unbeaten all season, which may have been an omen. It's hard to say. Nobody since the Miami Dolphins team of 1972 had managed a perfect record, which meant the Pats were very bloody good. But something's got to give under these circumstances, and in this case it was something that I loved dearly. My two cats were accompanying me as I worked, chiefly to offer moral support by licking my neck and biting my ankles as I crawled on all fours, trying to make the previous homeowner's diabolical handiwork look decent. The previous owner's DIY skills were akin to those I imagine a drunken walrus might possess, and I diligently applied my near-superhuman manliness to the baseboards, slowly transforming them into sealed and gleaming strips of futuristic wonder. The room thundered with the noise of the crowd at the University of Phoenix Stadium, where Super Bowl XLII was being played. Things were turning weird; despite their awesome winning streak, the Patriots had only managed to score seven points by the end of the third quarter. Thankfully, the Giants had only scored three. Just over a month previous, the two teams had fought out an entertaining 38 to 35 Pats victory in New Jersey, a combined score of 73 points. As we entered the fourth quarter in Arizona it was looking very iffy. That kind of scoreline can go either way, especially with so much at stake, and Patriots fans were looking to their talisman, Quarterback Tom Brady, to pull something miraculous out of his rear end and propel them to glory. The Giants' QB, Eli Manning, had experienced a spirited season of ups and downs. Many questioned his ability to produce the goods. Brady, on the other hand, was the freshly-crowned NFL MVP & NFL Offensive MVP, having thrown some devastating torpedoes through the broken hearts of his opponents all year long. 4,806 yards, 50 touchdowns, and a scant 22 interceptions hung from his belt like the scalps of hapless victims. Manning was rocking a far inferior set of credentials: 1,500 less yards than his counterpart, less than half as many touchdowns, but with a very nice 20 interceptions. The chief reason for this was likely Manning's targets, Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. Burress - who's first name I feel we should criticize in a moment, for its inherent strangeness - was to prove a key figure in the series of unfortunate incidents that were to follow, and which led to my cat first losing one of its legs, and eventually succumbing to the merciless jaws of death.
Anyway, there they were; on the brink, unsure of anything anymore. Suddenly Eli Manning sends his first ever Super Bowl touchdown pass through to David Tyree, and the New York Pretenders had stolen a 10–7 lead! Well...I won't lie to you. That, combined with the increasingly annoying camera shots of Manning's brother Peyton cheering his sibling on from a skybox, caused me to drop my gun and stare, zombie-like, at the TV. I left my caulking post - for which I'll never forgive myself - and my eyes glazed over as Tom Brady began frantically sprayed a blitzkreig to his targets, finally connecting with Randy Moss to make it 14-10 to the Patriots. I was conscious of a strange slopping sound somewhere close by me, but wrongly assumed it was the baseboard heaters, or maybe I'd peed myself. It didn't matter, or so I thought. Only after the now hated Manning had executed the famous helmet pass to David Tyree which continued an 83-yard drive at the end of which "Plaxico" (really?) scored a touchdown with just 35 seconds on the clock. The mysterious liquid lapping sound was now barely audible, as I screamed at the top of my voice, a vicious torrent of obscenities directed at Manning, his brother, "Plaxico" (ridiculous #@$%^&* name) and New York in general. As the Giants celebrated I turned away in disgust, only to see Olive, my dear kitty, glugging away at the bucket of white caulk water. Two words gripped me like clammy shadows: Ethylene Glycol. The same stuff they put in antifreeze. Pretty soon Olive was quaking and acting weird as hell, and I rushed her to the vet's, cursing the Giants, and especially Manning and that preposterously-named oaf Burress.
The vet did all they could to relieve me of many thousands of dollars, as vets are wont to do. On my visits to this money vampire, I scoured the vet's office for evidence of Giants memorabilia, because believe me that would have guaranteed my incarceration for arson at the very least, and probably much worse, because Olive contracted an E. coli infection in her front legs from a saline drip. One leg had to be amputated some time later (at a different vet's) and now my misery was complete, or so I thought. Not even the news that Burress had shot himself in the leg later that year cheered me up. Olive's mental health deteriorated that fateful day when she lost her precious front claws. She didn't groom herself properly. She was unresponsive to our cuddles. And she never watched football on TV again. Finally one day I found her at the bottom of the bulkhead steps, stiff and starey-eyed there in the cold basement. She often sat at the top of those steps, enjoying the sounds of the birds and crickets, and sniffing the soil and rain in the air that came through the cracks in the bulkhead door. She'd probably lost her footing (missing a foot as she was) and fallen to her death there in that lonely place. The Giants had killed my %$^&*$# cat. THE NEW YORK GIANTS KILLED MY CAT. And now is the time for vengeance...You dirty cat-killing bastards!