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The Junction

Instructions for Looking After Bergola

Warning! Do not attempt to handle Bergola without the appropriate protective equipment

Photo by Gabriel Garrola at Unsplash

Hey Eric,

Thanks for doing me a solid. My regular sitter is indisposed.

Just a few tips for taking care of Bergola.

Before entering the apartment, please put on the gauntlets hanging by the door.

Don the titanium codpiece.

Unlock the door.

Upon entering the apartment, you may not immediately see Bergola. There is no need to go looking for him. He will find you.

Until that happens, sit down and make yourself comfortable.

But note: Bergola has certain items of furniture he considers to be “his”. Even if he is not currently sitting on them, please do not sit on them, as he will take this to be encroachment onto his territory. Forbidden seating areas include: the couch, the other couch, the leather recliner, the desk chair, the futon, the bed, the kitchen chairs (all of them), the kitchen counter, the footstool, the coffee table, the kitchen table, the bedroom lamp, the top of the fridge, the futon, the top of the microwave and the top of the bedroom door. The only thing Bergola won’t sit on is the $2000 sheepskin I bought him. Feel free to sit on that.

When Bergola makes himself known to you, do not make any sudden movements and (v. important) do not make eye contact with Bergola under any circumstances. Just sit completely still until he has decided what to do with you.

Despite months with a professional trainer, Bergola still struggles with the concept of personal space. If Bergola decides to crawl into your lap, just remind yourself that titanium is the strongest metal known to man. If Bergola starts to suckle on your sweater, do not attempt to detach him until he is done.

On a related note, you’ll find a tube of Polysporin in the medicine cabinet, 12 rolls of gauze and a super-sized box of BandAids.

There are certain places Bergola does not like to be touched: Any part of his head, his neck, his belly, his back, his feet (any part of his legs, actually), his ears, and his tail. He likes (one might say “demands”) to have his left upper canine massaged just above the gumline, but not for more than 0.8 seconds or he gets testy.

On a related note, there is a list of emergency contact numbers taped to the fridge.

Bergola expects to be fed at 12PM precisely. Also 2PM, 4PM, 5:05PM and midnight. Or (you guessed it) he gets testy.

Make sure to prepare Bergola’s food as per the following instructions:

First, fill the kitchen sink with warm water.

Dinner is in individually sealed opaque bags in the chest freezer labelled “Terrestrial” Supply Store.

Take out *one* bag and place it in the sink.

After a few moments, the food will begin thrashing in the bag. Please make sure the food’s antennae do not become kinked as Bergola is averse to bent textures.

When the food starts emitting high-pitched screams, it is time to open the bag. Use the scimitar hanging over the sink.

At this point, Bergola will probably be on the counter.

Release the food from the bag. (At this point, you may want to take cover inside the fridge. I’ve left a Rubik’s cube in there to help you pass the time).

Give it about 20 minutes, or at least till the screaming stops.

There’s a high-pressure hose attachment for the kitchen sink. You can use it to sluice the blood and intestines off the walls and ceiling, as needed.

There’s a paint scraper under the sink. You’ll need that to scrape Bergola’s poop off the ceiling. I’ve been working with a trainer for weeks, but for some reason the only place Bergola feels comfortable relieving himself is upside down on the kitchen ceiling.

7PM is Bergola’s rutting hour. Please ensure that all doors and windows are locked and that the washing machine is empty. Remove anything from the fridge that may contain bones, including the baking soda. For your own protection, seal yourself in the lead-lined kennel in the bedroom closet.

If things seem to be getting out of hand, press the red button inside the kennel and it’ll open the safety chute in the floor that will drop you into the panic room. The panic room contains a seismograph. Do not leave the panic room until the Richter scale goes down to at least a 2. If the scale goes up to 8 or higher, call the Armed Forces using the red telephone on the wall. They’ll know what to do.

Thanks again and there’s beer in the fridge. Help yourself.

Have a great weekend,





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Sarah Totton

Sarah Totton

Sarah Totton writes comedy and snorgles small mammals. She once gave a reading on a flatbed truck at a garden center to an audience of three ferns.

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