I’m going to take a break from direct advice about writing and just tell you a story today. This particular story happens to be true, but it’s a fun one none the less.
Macie is the newest addition to our household at one and a half years old. She came to us when her original family decided that she was just too much work, besides their older cat didn’t like her – Oh yeah, Macie is a cat. A very cute gray striped tabby. The only reason she managed to live this long is that she can turn that cute up to 11 when she’s in trouble. There is no end to the kinds of trouble she has managed to get into so far in her short life and frankly I’m amazed that Dawn and Sinbad, our older cats, have fallen for that cute act too, but I guess cute is cute and who wants to be known to hate cute?
Since the very beginning Macie took on the role of “Monster Under the Bed”. Neither of the older cats had wanted that role as the top of the bed was more comfy and gave them better access to the skritchies that they loved so much. So Macie took up residence under the bed. Well, sometimes – she’s a Kitten and that means that she doesn’t stay in one place for more than five minutes at a time. Also being a kitten she had that special teleportation magic that allowed her to run past you in one direction and then jump out from the opposite direction, apparently without passing you again. By this method, she could appear under the bed whenever she was needed.
For weeks I couldn’t get into or out of bed without receiving fresh claw marks on my toes. About three months into her stay, she discovered that the Monster Under the Bed was also in charge of attacking the blanket mice that menaced us in the middle of the night. For those of you who do not know all the joys of living with a young cat, blanket mice are those horribly sneaky creatures that hide under the blankets where a human is sleeping and attack the sleeping human’s toes. That simply isn’t acceptable to a good Monster Under the Bed. Attacking human toes is the sole responsibility of the Monster Under the Bed. Thus began Macie’s nightly hunting rounds and my, and Sweetie’s, habit of adding a couple extra layers of blanket over our feet so that we could sleep through the epic wars between Macie and the blanket mice.
Other than guarding the bed against toes and blanket mice, Macie has also determined that it is her responsibility to approve any change in the house. She is there, on the spot and underfoot to inspect all grocery bads and pizza boxes. She attempts to taste test everything Sweetie or I try to eat or drink. Any box, once it’s contents have been removed, must be checked for any additional items. I, in particular, am never allowed to be in a room alone. If I’m not home, Sweetie gets the honor of her presence.
Recently, Sweetie and I decided to rearrange the office. Macie was determined to help. The two times that I stepped on her tail because I couldn’t see where she was around the box of books I was carrying didn’t deter her from her mission to ensure that we did it right. So it should have come as no surprise that she insisted on testing the shelves we were putting up Friday night, even before we had secured it to the wall. You will not be surprised that when our little monster jumped up to the shelf to test it, she was dumped unceremoniously to the floor. She puffed herself up just as much as her short hair would allow and left the room in a huff.
A few minutes later, she returned – her tail still puffed to twice it’s normal width. She looked at the shelf that we were still attaching to the wall and hissed at it. Not just any hiss either. She’d put everything her little body could muster into that hiss. It was a decisive hiss that told that shelf, in no uncertain terms, that she didn’t appreciate it’s earlier behavior and it should be very careful in the future not to anger her like that again. She then took a moment to lick her tail fur back down to it’s usual sleek appearance and left again.
Some time later, when we had finished securing the shelf to the wall and were ready to start putting the books on it, Macie returned once more to check on our progress. She hesitated for just a moment, staring at the shelf; challenging it to defy her again. Then she jumped onto it and strutted about. “See, I knew you’d see things my way” she seemed to say.
She was none to pleased when we made her move out of the way so that books – yes books, those useless things that take our attention off her – on the shelf.
P.S. that picture you see at the top of this post took both Sweetie and I almost an hour to get her to sit still long enough for the flash to go off. She is still a kitten after all.