Monday Fun Day fact about me: I am pretty darn allergic to cats.
Now I’m not saying that they’ll hospitalize me or anything. But if I haven’t taken strong enough meds when they’re around, my day can get miserable really quickly. And this brings me to Monday Fun Day fact about me #2: I recently moved in with my grandmother. She has FOUR cats.
Betsy is the fluffiest of them all, so I thank the universe daily that she is an antisocial demon. Grey as a storm cloud, she stalks around corners to glare at me from afar. One day when I’m not on guard, I really do think she’ll try to kill me.
Luna is the youngest of the bunch. Brown, black, white and gorgeous, she’s also the friendliest of the feline family. Even though my grandma said none of them are lap cats, Luna seems to like me. So on days when I’m not wearing anything but pajamas (and I’ve taken my pills), she is allowed to hop up and receive pets and scratches. We’re actually becoming pretty good friends.
Smootchie is a bit lame. And by that I mean he’s partially paralyzed in his hind quarters…not that he’s un-cool. He’s actually a pretty groovy black cat. And my googly moogly, he’s fearless. Despite his obvious impairments, he can move pretty fast. But when he doesn’t want to budge, he’s a boulder. Good luck getting him to move. You can make loud noises, stomp right in front of his face, and even charge him. I’ve discovered that Smootchie is a master at giving the “what the hell are you doing, stupid human?” look.
That leaves us with the biggest and most challenging of the kitties: Mitch.
Mitch looks to be about the same size and color as Betsy, but she is only large because of her fluff. Mitchell the grey blob is 100% solid feline fatness. I think it’s part of the reason he feels inclined to challenge you at every step of the way. He tries to make up for his being so very overweight by asserting himself as the dominant figure in the house. Really, he had done a good job. Nobody questions grandma, of course, because she is the bringer of food and the scooper of poop. Mitch has allowed her to live amongst the cats for this very reason.
But then I arrived in the jungle. I bring no food. I scoop no poop. All I have done in my short stay is force the cats out of two rooms. After all, I need somewhere I can breathe freely. So my room and the tiny guest room are both now cat free zones. These boundaries are enforced by closing the doors always. The challenges come when I leave the door open while I’m in the room.
Just today, I sat on my bed working on some job applications. I was pretty involved in my workings, but I noticed some movement out of the corner of my eye. Mitch had appeared in the doorway and was slowly placing his paw inside of the room. He paused only when he noticed that he’d been spotted. Pulling back his paw, Mitch then sat down defiantly in the doorway and locked me into a staring contest.
Side note: this cat has beautiful green eyes. It’s a pity we won’t be friends, because I would very much like to see them closer. Anyway…
Peridot colored eyes stared at me, unblinking. If you haven’t ever tried staring down a cat, it can take a while. Most dogs give up quickly and easily once they see you’re not backing down, but a cat (this cat!) seemed urged on by my persistence.
I made a point not to move a muscle. Legs outstretched and crossed remained so. My computer, hot and getting hotter by the second, stayed right where I left it on my lap. I didn’t even adjust my neck once we began our contest.
Thoughts cropped up: This angle is hurting my neck. My nose itches. I have to fart. Oh my god, my eyes are drying out!
As I was getting close to folding, Mitch made a mistake. He bent to lick his paw, and I saw him blink his eyes. The cheating bastard! Well two can play at that game.
Frantically I batted my eyes, moistening them as best as I could. And then as if we were following a sitcom script, we both shifted back to our original positions, locked once again in a beastly staring battle. Before long, though, Mitch’s lickings began to happen more and more frequently. He was ducking his head (and blinking his eyes) more than I felt I had to in order to survive this thing. Victory was near!
Without really thinking about it, I wiggled my toes. This broke the cat’s concentration, and his panicked gaze shifted to my feet. Mitch’s eyes got so big, I even saw some white beyond the edges of the peridot sea. He shot me a look of terror. He obviously wasn’t expecting me to have back up. Holding our stare, I moved my legs and pushed myself into a more upright position. At this, fear overtook the grey fatness kitty, and he turned to run.
There’s a new king of the jungle, Mitch. Consider this a lesson learned.
Happy Monday Fun Day, everyone.