Pippin, meanwhile, was not a vocal cat to begin with, but he's noticed that Pandora meows and gets fed, so he's trying meowing too. But he is only fed dried kibble twice a day, so meowing at Pandora's other feeding times does him no good. It's so pathetic watching him try, though. I'm reminded of the interaction between Papagena and Severian long ago. Poppy was an almost weightless cat composed principally of fur. When she was happy her legs would get wobbly, and she'd fall over with the gentle plop of an air-filled balloon floating to the ground. Seven saw this and concluded that that's what cats did. He, however, was heavy and solidly built, and he would fall with all the grace of a cow (which he rather resembled: a tiny black cow with trunk-like legs) tipping itself over.
Besides feeding the cats, it's my responsibility to deal with their leavings. I clean two catboxes once a day, and I've gradually found that I even dream about it. How professional catsitters refrain from going quietly insane escapes me. My coping mechanism is to sing to myself from my private repertoire of customized cat songs with extremely primitive lyrics. B. has her own repertoire of songs adapted to the topic of cats, but mine include:
- "Little cat" to the tune of "Lollipop",
- "Cat things" to the tune of the Batman tv show theme, and
- "For She Is a Pussycat" by Gilbert and Sullivan