Having written A Berkshire Tale with a kitten, ZuZu, as the main character (ZuZu is my own little tabby I rescued from under a barn.), I’ve found whenever I write a post with a feline tag, cat lovers tune in. They are a loyal audience. So, today I’m writing just for them.
Often, people who know me and who read A Berkshire Tale solemnly advise that I should write about “the other cat”. They seem to feel I’m favoring one furry child, ZuZu, over the other, Roxie. They apparently are concerned about her self-esteem. They worry she might develop an inferiority complex once the book hits the best-seller list.
Now,Roxie is a bit quirky in a perverted sort of way. She spent the first few weeks with us atop the refrigerator, swatting wildly at me when I climbed the step-stool to pet her head and coming down to eat at night only when the coast was clear. We’ve always had a love/hate relationship. She loves me when I’m sharing my meals with her; when I give her treats; and when I brush her silky, gray coat. She hates me the rest of the time, expressing her disdain in a barrage of disapproving caterwauling, especially when I cough or sneeze in her presence or kiss Charley. She’s a very jealous feline where he is concerned.
At bedtime, she can’t wait until I’m comfortably situated with my iPad propped against my knees. She jumps up, sniffs at the current book or golf magazine Charley is reading, lets him pet her head and then plops down beside me waiting impatiently for the show to begin. Roxie adores YouTube videos of other cats. Her very favorite is Maru.
She purrs anxiously when Maru gets into predicaments that no respectable cat would ever get into. She quiets down as soon as Maru eventually manages to escape. She gently touches the screen stroking Maru’s pudgy, serious, little face. When I try to turn off the iPad to go to sleep, she usually bites me. Sometimes she bites me just because the spirit moves her and I am near at hand. Roxie could watch cat videos well into the early morning hours.
Lately she’s taken to lying in wait until I’m heading outside with my hands full. As soon as she sees me re-filling the hummingbird feeder, she disappears until I open the door. Then she comes from out of nowhere and escapes. We invariably engage in a lively game of tag (I’m always It) for an hour or so until I’m on the verge of a stroke and she’s exhausted, panting and prostrate in one of the gardens.We live across from a wildlife sanctuary. There are fox, red-tailed hawks, owls, and a fisher cat in the woods around our vernal pool. They would just love to make her their entree of the week. I’ve mentioned to my concerned friends that this could possibly make a gripping tale, ending tragically with Roxie being carried off in the talons of some wild bird. They are appalled. But, I explain that if she keeps escaping, this very well could become the concluding chapter to an extremely short biography. She doesn’t realize how vulnerable she is as she flits around the yard, looking over her shoulder to make sure I’m still in the game. I’ll admit there are times when I think I should just give up and go inside for a nap. I rationalize that ZuZu would love to be an only child. I never do. Charley would be heartbroken if Roxie wasn’t there to meet him with a favorite toy every time he comes through the door. They are a mutual admiration society.
She enjoys coming into the glassed-in shower stall to observe me washing my hair although she’s not very appreciative when I try to lather behind her ears with the loofah. If I close her out, she perches on the cabinet and peers angrily in at me ala Norman Bates. I never turn my back on her and usually clear off a bit of the steam on the glass so I can be sure of where she is at all times. Last night I closed the door of the stall and left her in there mesmerized by the drips from the shower head. Charley was not amused when he found her looking out at him brushing his teeth before bedtime. “What were you thinking?” he asked as he carried her to bed in his arms. “She likes it in there,” I murmured, shrugging as I edited my blog page. She rubbed her jaw against my lap top, nudged it around, then proceeded to chew on the corner, apparently disgruntled to find I was writing yet another blog post even though I explained that this one was about her. She flopped down next to me with a heavy sigh and tried to type in “Maru” on the screen. I lifted her paw from the keys and then she bit me.