Sunday, September 10, 2006
Cat-astrophe in the making?
You're probably wondering why two people in their mid-40s with demanding careers and two older children would think they should add a baby.
Especially when they can't seem to handle a cat.
Meet Cyrus. He's supposed to be our pet, but he thinks he's in charge.
For one thing, he sees our home as his own personal playground. Nothing is off limits; every apparent obstacle is merely a challenge.
He's not bound by convention. If he wants something (for example, the wristwatch my husband bought me on our honeymoon), he takes it. If he's ready for breakfast, he wakes us up by walking across Lance's clock radio and hitting the exact button that turns on the music. If I'm doing something that displeases him, he tells me about it. Loudly. Sometimes in the middle of the night when I thought I was minding my own business by sleeping.
Yet Lance and I are certain that we are the ones paying the bills.
We pamper this cat way too much. For example, when he came to live with us I ordered him a beautiful set of food and water bowls that match our dishes. The food bowl has the word "empty" on the bottom of it, just in case we don't notice he is in need of food. The water dish, as you can see, is quite lovely.
So what does he do when he's thirsty?
You'll notice he's sitting on my newspaper, too -- almost directly on top of my Sudoku puzzle. And don't think that pencil was on the countertop long: One of his favorite games is to swat it onto the floor. I pick it up, I turn my back, he knocks it down. I pick it up again, I start reading a story in the Tribune, he swats the pencil off the counter again . . .
Maybe this is getting me ready for the days when I'll spend hours retrieving things Rachel has dropped from her high chair. After all, we're supposed to be using this "extra time" to prepare for full-time parenthood, aren't we?
Meanwhile, I know one thing: Despite all the annoyances, we adore that cat.
He has a beautiful purr -- his entire body vibrates, and you hear these little high-pitched harmonies in it. We're familiar with his purr because he launches into it right when we're getting ready to discipline him for knocking things off the nightstand into the trash can or for walking across the computer keyboard as one of us is typing. Just look at those beautiful green eyes . . . how can you be angry at a purring kitty?
Cyrus is keeping us entertained as we wait for our little one. And he's preparing us for parenthood in another way -- just as his purr calms our anger, one day the smell of a freshly bathed baby and the sound of her laughter will make all of the work and the wait and the worry worthwhile.
More than worthwhile, I suspect. I hope to be telling you all about it one day soon.