Thursday, February 25, 2016

Trying Not to Practice My Drop-Kicks

The cat is sitting smugly on the back of the recliner. I have pushed him off of it multiple times, especially when I had been sitting in it and his tail kept swishing my nose and his weight on the pillow at my head made my neck hurt. He claims it as his own spot now and only reluctantly leaves when I play the game of leaning back and forth in it so that Seth can no longer keep his balance. That just pisses him off.

Love is a battlefield. Pat Benetar had it right, but not between Mike and I. No. I'm talking about the household cat.

When I first laid eyes on Seth, he was a kitten bounding across the living room floor toward me as if he already knew me. He was cute, but there was a mischievous spark in his eyes.

"That cat is a bad husband from a previous life," I said. After ten years of his 'love' I'm sticking with this explanation.

Have I told you how, in the middle of the night, he'll come silently into the room, jump onto my feet and walk my full length until he gets to my head, whereupon he drags his furry belly across my face in an attempt to get me to pet him?

Have I told you how he sometimes stands in the hallway crying in alarm? This morning was that way. At 4:17am, sleep let go slowly but I came awake in a slurry of anxiety. What was wrong? Why was Seth in the hallway sounding his alarm call?

He does that sometimes when he's bored and the moon is up.

He does that sometimes when coyotes are howling. 

He does that sometimes when he gets a wild hair and wants to play mind games. I read once that in concentration camps, they blared loud music in the night to torture the captives with sleep deprivation.

Seth does it at times when people are up and he thinks I should be apprised of the situation.

"Meow!" These days he stands in the hallway knowing that I'm a crack shot with the squirt bottle in the dark. I know because once I've gotten up, I have actually petted him if I could keep myself from using him for a field goal and many of those times, he was wet. I've learned not to touch him at all when I feel tempted to use him for a field goal. It passes quickly.

"Meow." Field goal, but he's out of reach and I'm still practically paralyzed with my need for sleep. Seth says this the same way Harrison Ford would say it to the older Carrie Fisher off set. You know, more like growling than purring.

"Me Ow." Seth is frustrated by the fact that my feet aren't yet on the cold floor and I'm pretending to ignore him. He can tell by my breathing that I'm awake. He waits for the field goal moment to pass before he jumps only my feet and begins the balancing act of walking the length of my body.

"I'm up, damnit. I'm up." And I twist him off my hip before I get belly fur in my mouth.

Five minutes later, as I stand, bleary-eyed, in the kitchen light, Mike walks in carrying Seth in his arms. I stand there with him for a minute, petting the beast.

"You're up early."

"Uh huh."

"Good morning, honey." Mike leans across the cat and kisses me. Mike is kind in the morning, if not a little too cheerful.

"What time did you get up" I ask him.

"Oh, about 4:15." See what I mean?

Thank you for listening, jb

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