What could the cats be looking at?
Where are the …?
We found him at the MSPCA, a marvelous little manticore with a sign on the cage that said he played too rough. The sign did not mention that someone had cut his whiskers short. Who exactly was playing rough?
When he was little, he would fly up your back and perch on your shoulders. While I still kept goldfish, he was fascinated by them. As I changed the water and cleaned the tank, he would sit on my shoulders and try to reach the fish. Sometimes he would lounge on top of the fishtank, hoping.
He learned to hunt outside, and he did his job well. He chased the squirrels, caught a few birds, and killed many mice, too many to boast about. Possibly because of his early abuse, he was short-tempered, and it took years before he would let you pet anything but his head. And only a fool would try to sink a hand into his fluffy belly. But as he mellowed, he grew more affectionate, especially in the evenings. Somehow he trained me so that before I was allowed to fall asleep, I had to lie on my back so he could sit on my chest. It was so soothing to feel his breathing against my breathing.
Now our sweet kitty, Mucha (Moo-sha), has the house to herself. He mostly bossed her around, but they have also exchanged a few licks on the head. I’m glad the cats could be nice to each other. I’m glad I have lots of pictures of them to look at. I’m glad he was such a magnificent creature. But mostly, I’m sad. I want my cat back.
It’s really hard to type with a cat leaning on your hand. For one thing, you don’t want to disturb him because he purrs so sweetly. You don’t want to disturb yourself because the softness of his head feels so nice. And you don’t want to risk the wrath of claws.
It’s not like a sleeve you can cut off, either. It would be a bet messy if you tried to do that to your hand, and besides, even if you could without disturbing the cat, you would lose to ability to type.
This makes the whole idea of trying to write on a laptop computer rather futile with a cat around, because in his opinion there’s only one kind of appropriate laptop. So it’s okay that I’m not doing anything, because I have an excuse and he’s sitting on me.
Halloween is coming,
The skunks are getting fat.
The fluffy white globe outside
Is Not Our Cat.
What is about cats? In the last few days, I listened to two mini-podcasts from Podcastle involving cats.
In the days of the Very Long Ago, there was a great Apatosaurus and his tail was very long, oh my best beloved. He would walk through the spiny piney palmy forests and snap his tail, ever so gracefully, ever so loudly, and CRACK, down would fall the trees and he could eat. He would slosh by the edge of the pond and wave his tail, ever so gracefully, ever so sloshily, and WOOSH, up would come the water lilies and he could eat.
I thought I would try an experiment. While I didn’t care for what I wrote in the flash fiction workshop at Boskone, I did feel inspired enough to try again. So here’s a picture I took this morning, after letting it sit in the back of my mind, here’s what came out when I started typing:
I think my fluffy white cat who is our evil overlord wants to pretend he’s a vampire. He’s got the teeth for it. He’s got the sneakiness. And evidently, he’s been reading those vampire novels where the up-to-date modern nosferatu avoids detection by making do with tomato juice.
It seems to take life-threatening weather to keep the cats inside. After all, there is Important Cat Business that Needs to be Attended to. Therefore, they must go out, barefoot or barepawed, sidle along the house, leap between dry spots, and–if pressed–wade through snow belly deep. And just when I’m getting impressed by how little the cold bothers them (hey, fur works!), suddenly, it’s Incredibly Urgent for cats to come in and knead wet paws deep into my lap.
As you have guessed, I have cats. In fact, for most of my adult life, I have had a succession of pairs of cats. As a writer with cats, I really, really don’t want to turn into yet another writer who blathers about her cats. But a recent comment called me out.
You see, I did name a cat Halloweenie.