I’ve been creating monsters.
So, when was the last time you sat down to type in front of a mirror?
Maybe the better question is when was the first time?
“Tonight,” is my answer to both.
Why am I sitting facing full-length mirror doors, computing on a folding table, in my studio?
I make myself laugh at the lengths I go to in order to get the results I want, only to realize that the results weren’t exactly what I wanted. “Be careful what you wish for,” doesn’t apply, here. There aren’t many things I wish for. If I want it, I do my best to make it happen. Sometime it does, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it does, but it doesn’t work, at all.
Miss Freddie and I have a 12 year history. She had no real history before that. At three months old, she walked in through an open door, and claimed her spot. I’ve done that before. I’ve seen where I want to be, so I go there. Sometimes with risks (Nashville); sometimes without (New York.)
I can’t blame Freddie’s standoffishness on any sort of terrible background or misunderstood previous life. She just isn’t… cuddly. Amendment: wasn’t cuddly. Well, she’s not really cuddly now. The point I am heading toward is this: within the last few months, Fred has become notice-me pushy. She squeezes herself into a spot on the couch directly in contact with me, flops over and silently commands, “Rub my butt.” I didn’t start this practice, but since I’ve inherited it, I reluctantly participate. Scratching her butt makes me uncomfortable. I do it because I hope someday she might trust me enough to let me pick her up.
One of those hopefully never-to-be-repeated polar vortex evenings, I was relaxing with my not-so-mindless computer games. When Freddie arrived on the desk and flopped, I ignored her. I was busy crushing candies, and there was a time limit. She immediately got up, and flopped again, closer this time. I told her, “not right now,” not really believing she has a clue about delayed gratification or time continuums. She raised up again, and this time head-butted my arm hard enough to dislodge it from the mouse, thereby ending my bid for the next level. I bent over to grab the flown mouse, and when I sat back up, Freddie was there: between me and my computer.
I laughed because it was a unique and cute sneak attack. I decided to let her stay there, scootched her butt a bit to the left, and played over her. It was enjoyable having her there. It occurred to me that squished up against me, with both arms around her, we were actually cuddling and I was pretty much one step closer “holding” her in my arms.
Harley Blu is a cuddler. He just doesn’t seem to have the common-sense gene most cats possess. I’m referring to the innate feline knowledge that humans are not always going to easily step over them, especially in the dark. He’s just missing it, so I side step, over-step and leap, often nearly stumble. He did catch on Ms. Freddie’s computer moves, though.
Neither one appreciates it when I try to type around them. Blu mistakenly thought he could convince me to stop writing by firmly using his teeth on my hand. We disagreed on the would-be outcome of that particular move. I won, for sure.
The moment I am in the office, and the computer start-up sound rings out, Blu flies in out of nowhere and assumes the blocking position, unless of course, Freddie has gotten there first. She usually does. I head upstairs after dinner and most times she sprints right by me and lands in her spot.
I’ve created monsters.
I cannot work on my computer at my computer desk without kitty-ference. Truthfully, I don’t really want to brush either of them away, especially after it’s taken Miss Fred so long to be interaction demonstrative. I don’t want to discourage Blu, either. That is, after all, the reason I have cats; to cuddle.
Well, actually, the reason I have Fred is because she walked into my life. The reason I have Blu is because he was (lovingly) thrust into my life.
I peek up at my cross-legged, blue-glow reflection, catch my own eye, and think, “This would be a cute picture to compliment this week’s knabble.” I click, check the photo for appeal, and unexpectedly discover a monster… staring up at me. I don’t know how long she’s been there. I can’t tell if her squinty eyes are expressing displeasure or calculating the jump factor. I can’t help but shrug and snort.
The reason I am sitting at a folding table in front of full-length mirror doors, computing in my studio, is because I got what I wanted. Not on my own terms. At this point in my life, I have accepted these three truths: Nothing will ever be on my terms, I’ve caved to the preferences of two critters, and GOD has blessed me with an ever-ironic sense of humor. #imakemyselflaugh
Quote for the week:
“Over the years, confusing fragments, lost corners of stories, have a clearer meaning when seen in a new light, a different place.” Michael Ondaatje
Enjoy this week’s discovery links:
How to Covert Your Reclusive Cat to a Cuddly Lap Kitty: http://www.petplace.com/cats/how-to-convert-your-reclusive-cat-to-a-cuddly-lap-kitty/page1.aspx
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Folding Table: http://www.metmuseum.org/collections/search-the-collections/207378
More quotes from The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje : http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/15238056-the-cat-s-table
February 11, 2014