Apartment Hierarchy

My apartment currently holds a very singular, very distinct hierarchy.

Think of it, if you will, as a tiny ecosystem where I am both deity and participant. And where there is a careful negotiation of space. A delicate balance, as it were.

The hierarchy goes as follows:

1) Me
2) The cat
3) The Blu-ray player

Obviously, I find myself at the top of the list for a few reasons. The first is that I am the sole breadwinner in this little entanglement; no matter how many times I politely ask my cat to get a job, she just continues to lick her butthole then stretch out like an accordion. I’m the one who keeps the lights on, who ensures that there is food (of both the cat and human kind) stocked. I allow my kingdom to prosper as a benevolent ruler should. I dictate which doors remain open/closed, as well as how many lights should be turned on.

For a nominal fee a month, I live in relative peace. My three-room apartment is my sanctuary, my storage space. It is where my collection of well-thumbed, time-worn paperbacks about UFOs remains. It is where my washed socks comingle with my shirts, and where my dishes remain.

Second on the list is the cat. My right-hand person in all apartment matters. Errant piece of paper on the living room table? She’s (literally) on it. There’s an ant marching? She will closely inspect it, using her snout as an advance scout. She’ll let me know if there are people at the door by either running towards or away from it, depending on how she feels. When I am gone, she gets to be in charge of the apartment’s official gun, which is in fact just a piece of cardboard with the word POW written on it. She gets select food scraps depending on my mood. She is also a heat lamp of sorts when I am reading in the evening, and her discarded fur could in theory be packed together to create some kind of cat-powered duvet, should I ever reach that point. She still refuses to answer correspondences I forward to her, however, and that’s also why she’s listed as the second most-important figure. She also harbours low-level revolutionary tendencies, as indicated by the time I found her sitting and listening to ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King‘ while biting at the corners of a picture of me that had fallen from a pile of recently-viewed photos resting on a living room credenza.

At the bottom of the list is my Blu-ray player. It feeds into my cinephile tendencies and requires little more than some electricity and some batteries for the remote. It allows me to view gloriously trashy cinema alongside the greats. I pair up Slime City with Sunset Boulevard, The Human Centipede 3 with Giant. I’ll sometimes do one of Jess Franco’s strangely surreal horror flicks alongside Seven Samurai. And the Blu-ray player spins them all effortlessly. It doesn’t ask much of me, but its existence is nearly singular, too. I can’t ask the Blu-ray to talk to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or call for pizza. I can’t ask it to summarize what kinds of alternate facts exist for particular current affairs. It can’t even remember my name properly.

The reason that the player ranks below my cat is that my cat is able to (accidentally) control the player’s behaviour through judiciously stepping on the remote while trying to reach some nook of my apartment. The cat does not give one whole fuck about the Blu-Ray player, except when it ejects a disc. Then she’ll eyeball it as if it were someone ringing the doorbell and give it the sneer it deserves.