The Baby Cat Chronicles

ImageIt’s Sunday morning in my household. Things are typically prosaic. My people have the television on and a guy named Fareed Zakaria waxes politically eloquent. I’m not sure why they continue to watch these programs, for the male of the family gets quite exercised about “what Zakaria is missing in the debate.” The female, that person with whom Sophie (the other household cat) attaches herself in the most embarrassing manner, seems barely awake enough to care. My personal human is still sleeping, for she is a college student and it is summer and she doesn’t have to work today. Her need for long spells of sleep make her more like a cat than the rest of them, and that’s one reason I relate best to her.

My personal human coos, baby talks and stalks me for hugs and special moments. I tolerate her affections. I would slash and quarter the others should they think to do the same. I do make exceptions for “the treatment,” or butt pats. For this I’ll swallow pride, back up to whoever is brave enough to play master and supplicant, and rowl in ecstasy with my ears back. I should be embarrassed, I concede. But it is a pleasure I take, and given the indignities I endure in this home, I think it only fair to indulge in some delight when offered. But make no mistake. I’ll take this only so long. These interactions are on my terms and my terms alone. I’ve heard them say I sound like someone named Linda Blair in a film called the Exorcist. I don’t know of this Linda Blair. She must have been a beautiful tabby like me.

These people also say that my personality ranges from Zach Galifianakis’ character Alan in the Hangover to Jabba the Hut. Again, I’m a cat and have no experience with American cinema. I trust these are extraordinary characters with keen instincts and observation skills. Perhaps they, too, have piercing green eyes.

I have had a rather stress-ridden week. A black cat invaded my yard while I was out taking some sun in the cat mint the other day. This, of course, breeches all decorum. I screeched and yowled and fluffed my tail, but to no avail. By the end of the interchange, I found myself covered in urine. I ran to the sliding door, unsure just how uncivilized this cat might get. My person let me in. When my special person checked me for wounds she said, “Eeewww, she’s covered in cat pee!” Of course, I knew what that meant immediately and took cover behind a chair. These people are quite squeamish about urine, and I feared they’d attempt to bathe me.

I was, of course, correct in my assumptions. The female of the house was relentless in my pursuit and quick with a towel. She caught me and wrapped me up so I couldn’t slash her with my claws. They took me to the bathroom and started the shower. Now, when one has no natural defense available, one must resort to the only weapon left. So I urinated on the bathroom rug. Not a little, but a lot. Nevertheless, it took two of them to wrestle me onto the shower floor, hold me against my will, and scrub me from shoulder to tail tip with something called Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Body Wash. When they were done with this torture, they towel dried and let me go find a place to hide and regroup. My personal human eventually coaxed me back into the family’s mainstream with food and affection. I am truly a forgiving soul, a model of both absolution and humility.

There has been much activity in the household as of late. Strange people are coming and going, people called realtors leading perfect strangers through the house, commenting on the lovely kitchen and view, the tile in the bathrooms, the potential problem of having two bedrooms instead of three. Before these people come, my people leap into a frenzy of cleaning, no fingerprints left on the stainless steel appliances, no animal hair left anywhere on the floor, and God forbid any deposit should be left in my cat box.

I hear my people talk about why this is happening. Word is we are moving, and a part of that process will be a plane ride. I will be placed in a cat carrier and will ride below a seat in the cabin with them. In another cat carrier will be that kiss-ass, Sophie. And in the cargo hold will ride the dog. My humans are working with the rules of the airline that allow for only one pet in the cargo hold per flight, and that is reserved for the dog since she’s bigger. My humans are quite worried about my behavior on that day; they worry I will urinate (as I usually do) when I am pushed to the limit.

The female of the household seems to constantly ruminate on the dark possibilities of moving day. “First,” she says, “the doggie downers have to be given well ahead of time for Flick to calm down enough. But they’ll wear off during the flight, and she’ll be panicked.” She continues as she shakes her head, “Sophie will be okay as long as she’s with me, but Baby Cat. We’ll have to get her through TSA. What if she goes ape shit then?” She sighs. “And when we’re on the plane, if she pees, there we’ll be. Cat pee for everyone seated around us. Even if we clean up the cage and pad below her, she’ll still smell like cat pee. I just don’t know how we can take that cat on board!”

The male of the household says, “We’ll just give her downers and hope for the best.”

The female responds, “We’d better have some downers for everyone sitting around us. They’re going to need them more than the damn cat.”

Oh how little faith they have in me. My plan, of course, is to not pee in my cage, but to do so during the TSA full body scanner process. And that, my dear readers, is what is known as poetic justice.