Published in the Rains County Leader on October 31, 2017:
Sunday was National Cat Day. I had no idea there was such a day until one of my Facebook friends posted a picture of her cat in celebration of the holiday. I went to Google to find out what this special day was all about, and I found a website with, among other things, an article giving 20 ways to celebrate. I was disappointed when I realized that at least 10 of the ways involved buying products from the company that sponsors the website and probably the day itself. I decided I’d celebrate in my own way – by writing about the feline I know best – Kitty.
Kitty has gone through a few changes lately. During a recent stop at one of the dollar stores in town, I found a toy I thought she would like. It’s a small stuffed fish attached to a pole by an elastic cord. It’s similar to a toy she had when she was new to the Brendle household. She liked to chase it when one of us bounced it around, but her favorite thing to do was to drag it around the house with the pole trailing behind her. She eventually chewed through the string, but the fish was still her constant companion. At some point, she stuffed it under or inside something where I can’t find it and neither can she, because it hasn’t been seen for months.
In its absence, she has transferred her attention to a stuffed elephant. She would bring it to David several times a day as a token of her affections, and she brought it to me once in a while so I wouldn’t feel completely left out.
When I brought home the new fish toy, I dangled it in front of her, and she played with it like she did when she was a kitten. When she tired of that game, she picked up the fish in her mouth and wandered off with the pole dragging behind her. I haven’t seen much of it since then. I catch a glimpse of it now and then against a wall or under a table, but it’s not her constant companion like the first one was. The odd thing is that she now completely ignores the elephant. Maybe her dwindling attachment to her toys is due to her increasing affection for David. Kitty has always preferred David, but recently she has exhibited some possessiveness along with her preference.
We gave up satellite TV a while back, and a few weeks ago David subscribed to a streaming service that brings our TV reception through the Internet. It’s much less expensive than satellite, and it works well – most of the time. Unfortunately, there are problems with our favorite channel, and when we’re watching our “special” programs, the reception is often intermittent. The provider says they’re “working on it,” but for now, when it happens, we access the program on one of our laptops or David’s tablet where the reception is better. The only problem is that, in order for both of us to see the smaller screen, we have to sit next to each other on the couch. Since we like each other pretty well, that’s not a hardship, but it seems to be a problem for Kitty.
Last week we were watching NCIS, and she stalked over to the couch, sat down at my
feet, and stared at me. I invited her to join us, but she didn’t respond. I repeated the invitation a couple of times until she took a swipe at me with claws extended and stalked away. Sunday night we were watching another program on David’s tablet, and she took up her vigil at my feet again. This time when I invited her up, she accepted. I was working on my columns during commercials, and she investigated my laptop for a few minutes while she allowed me to pet her. When she’d had enough of my attention, she bared her teeth in the direction of my hand and jumped down.
David thinks I’m imagining things when I say she’s jealous, but after she left me, she walked around the coffee table and sat down in front of him. Maybe it’s a woman thing, but I recognized the look in her eyes as she stared at him. She was saying, “How could you? My place is next to you on the couch, and you let HER sit there!” Besides, this is not the only situation in which she’s exhibited her displeasure.
With the cooler weather, I’ve pulled a few jackets out of the back of the closet. The day the temperature dipped into the 30s, I put on a fleece pullover that I’ve had for several years. Apparently some of the old thread had given way allowing the tag to rub against the back of my neck. I didn’t want to mess up my hair by removing the jacket, so I asked David if he could cut it out for me. He was glad to help, but since his eyes aren’t as young as they used to be, he suggested that we go over by the dining room windows so he could see better.
Now, those windows are one of Kitty’s favorite spots to sit and watch the wildlife that frequents our back yard. It’s also close to the dining table where David sits to use his computer, so I’m guessing she considers it one of “their” spots. Regardless of her motivation, she ran over to where we were standing, sat down at our feet, and scolded us for several seconds before leaving in a huff. She is rarely vocal, so her conversation wasn’t just simple small talk.
Although it’s interesting to speculate, what she’s feeling won’t change the way David and I relate to each other. On the other hand, there was a time when we declared that we didn’t want a house cat, and look where we are now. Even though Sunday was National Cat Day, it wasn’t all that different from any other day for us. In the Brendle house, every day is Kitty Day.