Saturday, March 2, 2019

in the company of cats

I was getting ready to leave just before dinnertime - why, I'll let you know a little later - and everything I did, from dressing to teeth-brushing to gathering pocket detritus, was accompanied by the feeding chorus from the opera about cats.

This is expected. It doesn't matter how early or late in the morning they were fed (which happens when a human gets up), they're always ready for it by 4:30 pm, at least an hour early. I'm usually working in my office, where I keep the door closed now to keep Tybalt from wandering in, climbing all over the desk (including the keyboard), or jumping on the back of my chair to lick my hair.

However, the door doesn't latch, and unless I prop up a folding chair against it, which I sometimes do, Maia, the older and bigger cat, is strong enough to get it open. So typically at a certain time of the afternoon I hear the door (which I can't see from the desk) creaking and groaning, and then in marches Maia, followed by Tybalt. "All right, this is a raid. We demand your cat food."

At other times of day, if Maia comes in alone, it means what her presence in my room has always meant, an expectation of ministrations of adoration mostly in the form of scritching her head. This occurs on the bed over in the main bedroom, so I lead or follow her over there, but now I shut and latch the door lest Tybalt interrupt the proceedings. When Maia is done receiving her due, she jumps off the bed and leaves, so now I must hasten over and open the door for her. I do not want her to feel trapped in there; she can always leave when she wants to.

Playing with cat toys is more vexing. Tybalt is big on this, but Maia watches from a distance. She wants some too. The problem is, if I waggle the toy at her while Tybalt's attention is apparently distracted, she'll respond, but after a few seconds Tybalt will dash in from where he'd been wiggling his butt across the room, and knock Maia over in his pursuit of the toy. This often spawns a hiss-fest or actual cuffing.

And to think that some people only have to deal with Kim Jong-un.

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