Monday, May 13, 2019

tiny tyrant

That's what B. called Tybalt when I came back to bed Saturday morning after a couple hours up early. "Did you feed the tiny tyrant?" she asked. Even before I got up, that active young cat was nibbling at our toes, licking our hair, even switching off the CPAP machine, and just causing chaos to our attempts to sleep in.

Tybalt isn't a hostile cat, though: he wants love. It's very frequent, while I'm working here at the computer, for him to squeeze in past the open arms of my office chair and sit next to me in the chair. If only he'd stay there. He's the only cat we've had since we've been together who likes to be picked up, and that's what happens next. He doesn't try to lie on my lap, either. He latches in and goes up my chest. As you can imagine, this feels considerably different depending on whether or not I'm wearing a shirt. What he wants is to sit on my chest, with me holding him up with one hand and petting him with the other. This is fine if I'm reading a long article or listening to music; not so great if I'm trying to write something or take notes.

Tybalt also ventures into places in the kitchen where no cat has gone before, specifically up on the counter, especially when I'm working there on dinner. At first I tended to ignore him, and even work over him, unless he actually threatened to stick his nose in the food (and probably eat it: he's eaten things like spicy potato chips off the floor). But now I'm trying to be more strict, and if he comes up, I scoop a hand under him and drop him back on the floor. Assuming, that is, that my hands aren't covered with something I don't want to get on a cat. Lesson does not usually get through, though in other ways I can see Tybalt modifying his behavior in light of the way things are done around here. But I'm often scooping 15 or 20 cats off the counter in the course of fixing one meal.

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