On the Edge

Regret kittenTURNING POINT

To a kitten, a good day is one with plenty of cat food, fresh water in the water dish, a clean litter box.  Throw in a little playing time with a catnip mouse, and it becomes a perfect day.  My human, Lori, was coming along nicely in her training to make sure I had everything I needed.

So where did the idea of a P-U-P-P-Y come in?  I had been a resident in Lori’s town house for seven weeks, and if I say so myself, everything was well on track.  I was just about to turn five months old – at the end of the week, in fact – when the Rude Surprise occurred.

At first, the Surprise seemed like a Catastrophe.  It occurred on a mild-mannered Monday night in May.  Lori customarily appeared in the early evening, after her work as a veterinarian tech – it’s where she had met me, in fact.   I was lost on a rainy Seattle night in someone’s back yard.  They brought me into the vet – they had DOGS who were as disagreeable as they were noisy – and Lori took to me right way.  I’d been living with her ever since.

This Monday she was late.  I hardly noticed – I was on my thirteenth hour of cat napping. She had been late before.  I wasn’t worried – still abundant of food and water in my bowls.  i figured I could make it last until the morning, if truly necessary.

I heard the terrible dog-yip sounds even before the key turned in the lock and the townhouse door opened.  I could smell the creature before it crossed the threshold.  My fur prickled.  DOG.

As soon as I saw it, I scrambled to the top of the cat tree.  A large, drooly brown puppy.  As if.

I could see I was completely safe at the top of the cat tree.  All evening, Marigold – for some reason, the dog was named after the flower – barked and panted and leaped beneath my carpet-covered oasis – but thankfully, my perch was beyond reach.

A puppy.  Really, Lori?  Really?

Lori didn’t seem to get it.  Marigold, she cooed, over and over, patting the DOG on the head and scratching her behind the ears, you’re so lovable!  Aren’t you cute!  What a good girl!

All evening.  Over and over.  It was more than a decent cat should have to put up with.

At one time during that evening, the phone rang. I don’t speak Human very well yet.  I memorized what Lori said, so I can ask the Burmese cat in the townhouse next door about it tomorrow.  We can talk through the lanai railing – Lori has a little cat door onto the balcony so I can watch the birds and squirrels in the maple trees outside.

Here’s what she said:  Hello?  No, she’s fine.  Well, yes, lots of energy.  And you-know-who doesn’t like her.  Of course!  – you know how it is.  Well, it’s just for the one night.  I’ve got Marigold’s dog bed here, and she’ll be fine.  Gotta go!

Cats have a long memory, especially for sounds.  I had it all memorized and tomorrow I’d ask the Burmese to tell me what it meant.

I’m still keeping an eye on the DOG.  But in the morning she’s going back where she came from.  I’m going to make sure of that.


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