This is the story of my cat’s time as a weed dealer.

That summer I told Oliver we wouldn’t be running the air conditioner. I spent the days at a climate-controlled office and he spent his on the cold bathroom floor. A black cat to begin with, he was furious that the apartment was so hot all day. I told him I didn’t give a damn, I paid the bills and running the AC was too much. “The rent’s too damn high.” He told me that I was too high, and to be fair, that was true. Most nights we’d put on our smoking jackets (his was made from a cut open oven mitt) and I’d hit my Volcano vaporizer, and Oliver would smoke his little bubble pipe. I’d glaze over and watch him hit the pipe and try to burst all the bubbles, then repeat this over and over. Eventually we’d put on Downton Abbey and purr.

Well, he got tired of not having a say in the AC situation, so he hit on a plan. Oliver told me over dinner that night: he was going to sell weed.Now, as a rule, anyone can sell weed, really. I’d bought from whites, Asians, Latinos, a professor, a meter maid, blacks, and some other cats, but never a black. I told Oliver this, and his response shocked me: He said he was already statistically predisposed towards criminal behavior as a member of the black community, and that moreover, he was being raised without a mother or father. I insisted that he wasn’t actually black, that I was his father, and that by a human rubric he was about twenty-two. Oliver called me a bigot, told me I wasn’t his real father, and finally threatened to call child protection services. I got high.

The next day, I came home from work to find about a hundred miniature planting pots in our apartment. Oliver was in the Lay-z-boy looking pleased. I asked why the floor was covered in empty pots. He told me to be careful and not knock over his crop of pot. Realizing the source of his confusion, I sat him down for a talk. I stupidly began by saying “You need to be aware of homophones…” Oliver told me he’d never even looked at one of his male friends that way before, and I told him he’d never even met another cat, and he told me he’d seen them on the internet and that he was not sexually attracted to cheeseburgers by any stretch. We both paused, confused, and then I began again, this time explaining that a pot is different from weed. He told me I was an idiot, that of course he knew this, and that’s why he bought pots. I asked if he meant to grow the pot then, and that led to him thinking I was color blind and couldn’t see pots, as there were over a hundred in front of us while we spoke. I explained that he was color blind and that either way it didn’t relate to pots. Oliver told me I was an idiot and asked that I go tell the neighbors we had pot for sale. I was exhausted, so I went and got high.

The next day, before leaving for work, I hid my emergency credit card.

When I returned, the apartment was covered in uprooted dandelions – and other weeds. I lost my temper, which I felt bad about later after Ms. Hobby gave me some fresh cookies and $5 for weeding her garden. Anyway, I said things I shouldn’t have, but then he told me he thought my decorating was bad. I told him his fur wasn’t as silky as he thought. Oliver said he was the only pussy I’d ever gotten, and even then I had to go to the pound. I pointed out that he actually came from my ex-girlfriend. He reminded me how she became my ex. I threatened to neuter him again. He got quiet. I got high.

This became the the first time he ever smoked. We emptied his little bubble pipe and I packed a bowl for him. Then we spent four hours debating whether bubbles were gas or liquid. Things were good again. At the end of it, over Pop-tart and tuna sandwiches, I agreed to help him plant some seeds.

Julian Belvedere of (King Hamburger Pimp and) the Sundance Kid