Friday, April 23, 2004

Pet sounds



I have been awoken from a sound sleep by a ten-pound cat who has launched herself through space and landed on my lower legs. She pokes around for a nice level spot, traipsing over my kidneys en route.



This is the noise of the cat prodding the bed linens for a Mylar puffball she has brought with her. She is in a playful mood.

I flail around in the sheets blindly until I find the puffball. I shove it under my pillow. Problem solved.

It is 4:46 AM.

The cat disappears. I hear a distant noise, maybe in the living room, that reminds me of a soccer game. Then...*WHUMP*. She is back.

*ffff ffff ffff ffff*

This is the sound of the cat with a brand-new, completely different Mylar puffball in her mouth. She's like the world's smallest Darth Vader.




I grab the second puffball, stuff it under my pillow, grab the cat (*MRRAAAAOOOWWWW*) and launch her off the bed. This is a unique night in that I seem to have been woken up completely. Some mornings I wake up and find four or five Mylar puffballs under my pillow, with no recollection of how they got there.

The cat stalks away. I settle back in.



This is the sound of a cat sharpening her claws on a gigantic piece of oriented-strand board (OSB) that's propped up in the foyer. It turns out we are lucky; our cat loves scratching on OSB much better than she enjoys scratching on any of our other possessions. I smile in my half-sleep and turn over.


Wait. That's not OSB. And it sounds a lot closer. What the fuck is it? It had better not be Grandma's furniture, or a certain cat is going to have a lot of explaining to do. I hiss suddenly, hoping to scare the cat out of whatever nook she's in.

She startles out from under the bed and takes off at a sprint. This is a dilemma. Do I waste precious moments of potential sleep agonizing about whether the cat is scratching on the invisible underside of Grandma's furniture?

Irrelevant, because now the dog is awake. She is pacing around and has become what I call "pointy," i.e., despite eons of domestication, months and months of training, and two valedictorian's certificates, her baser instincts are taking over and she is thinking, somewhere deep down, about perhaps hunting the cat. I put her in a down-stay and praise her lavishly for her self-control.

*thap thap thap*

I remove the cat from the windowsill, where she is playing tetherball with the blind pull.

I get up for a glass of water. It's 5:30 AM.

I return to bed and the cat is in my spot.

*ffff ffff ffff ffff*