There’s no other way I can explain it. The cat sounds like it’s popping. In any other case this would be cause for celebration, but this week my landlady threw down all my rent money and bought herself a ticket on a cruise ship, and I’m in charge of watching the cat. And the chickens. And the furnace. One of these takes absolute priority even if all the others should fail.
I actually kinda sorta like this cat, which for me is saying a lot. Cats and I don’t get along. Well, I shouldn’t say that. We actually get along just fine. I despise them, they hate me, and we live our lives in a symbiosis of mutual derision.
However, I would dare say that this cat is different. I feed it. It likes that. It rubs against my legs after I feed it, or before I feed it, or while I’m feeding it. It claws at my chair when I’m sitting at the dining room table. When I scratch at its belly I can make it collapse in a fat heap of cat. It’s never hissed at me, it’s never tried to bite me, and beyond the dining room chairs it’s never clawed at me. And this thing has claws, believe me. I’m totally jealous of them.
This cat and I, we have conversations. When I’m eating (and after I’ve shooed it down from the chair) it’ll go to the door and meow. And meow a lot. Like, totally insistent “if you don’t get up right now I’m going to explode and make a mess of everything” meowing. See this, this is a game we play.
“You don’t need to go outside.”
“You are so bothering me.”
“And you so don’t care.”
“Watch. I’m going to get up and walk towards the door, and you’re just going to walk away.”
“But not until I finish my toast.”
Usually the cat doesn’t want to go outside, and just wants to be a pain in the ass and make noise for no reason. In this way the cat has figured out the nature of human relationships. Sometimes (rarely, but it’s been known to happen) the cat really does want to go outside. Sometimes, I’m not eating and I’m in a bit better humor. This results in an altogether different conversation.
“Do you want to go outside?”
Wanna go outside and eat birds?”
Okay. Go outside eat birds!”
I’m almost embarrassed by how much I talk to this cat, but the nice thing is it doesn’t talk back. Much.