Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul, has presided for months over my knitting efforts. One day, before I mailed off a bunch of them, I amused myself by laying the blankets for shelter cats out on the floor. As you can see, green-eyed Don Gato here went all You are getting very sleepy…you will fix me boiled shrimp…you will feed them to me a tasty bite in the culinary march toward global domination at a time… Then it was September and I smelled like lemon and a cover up.
This morning, I woke up and the clock said 7:14, which I didn’t believe. It was dark. I was cozy, and that clock couldn’t be right. Every work day, my alarm rings at 6:05, at which time the cat addresses me by name, “Brrrrrrr?” every morning. There immediately follows a tremendous feline celebration that includes purring and scratching and leaping and stepping all over me and I expect confetti in my eyes. By the time I stumble to the bathroom, preferably without accidently kicking the enthusiastic pussycat, I am usually the subject of memos and reminders.
Larry: You there! Let’s get a move on! Chop chop!
Tata: Um…must scrape teeth…minty fresh…
Larry: Hey! Hey! We’ve got a timetable here.
Tata: …here I come…
I stumble around three corners in my spacious rabbit warren, where from a distance, we both see our destination: the cat bowl. A choir sings!
The cat, meanwhile, loses his cool and riverdances around my feet in an effort to scoot me along faster. I refill his water dish. Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul, has feline leukemia so his water consumption is an important indicator of when things are right or wrong. I don’t exactly know how it works or what it means but the vet always asks. On the other hand, the cat and I like to have some secrets between us. You know how it is.
Then he faces the dish and eyes me over a shoulder. He is waiting patiently but as a great actor he knows patience is dull. It’s a tense moment. I shake the Rubbermaid cannister. I refill the ten or fifteen pellets of missing kitten chow. I shake the cannister again and put it away. Then I pat his haunches, which he takes as an invitation to breakfast. Then I stumble into the living room to exercise every morning. Today, my clock read 7:14 but we lie to one another. You know how it is. It was really 6:44. When I stumbled to the living room because the cable modem would never deceive me it said 6:44. Then I ran around my apartment laughing because I’d slept from midnight to 6:44 without waking up and it was impossible to hold a grudge against me. Still, we had a quick talk.
Tata: You mad charmer, did you shut off the alarm without telling me?
Tata: I can’t take credit for that!
Tata: You can’t? Oh, come now. You did, didn’t you?
Tata: No, really. I simply couldn’t!
Tata: We’re all talking about it! Tell us!
Tata: Okay! I did! We were sleeping and I was utterly inspired!
And then we came to work gleeful.