Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Fight the Power

Consort has opinions about my cat-blogs. Or, rather, he has one opinion; upon coming in to the office and finding me writing, he'll sneak a glance over my shoulder and sigh "Oh. CAT-blog." With the seasoned ear of someone how has spent over a decade and a half parsing Consort-speak, I can tell you what this means:

"Quinn, my presence here in the house prevents you from being the genial pet-hoarder you long to be, but people who often write about their cats are only two steps above cat-ladies whose floors eventually give way from all the soaked-in cat urine. The next step down is sequinned cat-sweatshirts. Please don't make me love a woman sporting an abdominal glitter-kitty."

I answer this unspoken damnation with the dismissive wipe of a tape-roller over my hoodie (this being the "Office tape-roller," as opposed to the several "Closet tape-rollers" and the under-lauded "Car tape-roller"). I'd de-fur my lap while sitting at the computer but, of course, Squeakers is sitting there. Since I sit at the computer on one of those rolling exercise balls in a futile attempt to strengthen my abs and not get what a friend called "Blogger-Butt," you'd think I wouldn't have a lap. Squeakers would beg to differ. There's a thigh and over there is another thigh. Legally, somewhere in between is a lap, even if the legs happen to be a foot apart. If the ball shifting makes me constantly readjust my center of gravity well, that's what claws are for. It's as if we domesticated a box of syringes. I cut her nails, I swear. It's just that when I'm doing something selfish like not opening cans of wet food, Squeakers runs off and gets a mani-pedi where the secret ingredient is lasers; she cuts through me like room-temperature butter.

It's not mean, though. Oh, howdy, it's not mean. Diana likes me, but Squeakers wants us to move to a more tolerant country where we can finally make it legal. For the first year-- in recognition of Consort's allergy to cats and his incredible patience when it comes to my ferocious need for pets-- the rule was NO CATS IN THE BEDROOM EVER. We all understand that meant every time the bedroom door was opened, a feline would fly into the room as if from a giant slingshot, run for the bed, and throw off a cubic yard of fur. Within months Consort, who knows a lost cause when he sees one, amended the rule; they can visit during the day, but the air-purifier runs at all times and no sleeping there at night. Truly, that would have been the end of it, were it not for the fact that when I wake up in the night—either because nature or Daughter calls—I am never awake enough to remember “Say, between me and the place I want to go is a closed door.” The first full face-plow at 3:30 am had a certain graceless charm, if you like swearing and waiting to clot, but by the 8th example of moving force/opposable object, things needed to change. The air-purifier was ratcheted up and the cats slept where they liked. No more bruising occurred and peace reigned.

Well, sort of. The air-purifier is now set at a level where it’s not unlike living on a tarmac. This must have bothered Squeakers delicate feline ears, because she established a new policy; I sleep under the covers, next to my beloved, the one with the perforated upper-thighs. Consort came in one night to the sight of my sitting up reading and next to me Squeakers on her side, a front leg stretched protectively across my abdomen, snoring softly.

“They’ve won, you know,” he said conversationally.

"Of course they haven’t won, I whispered, “they’re pets. We’re still the final vote around here. Now get into bed quickly, because she doesn’t like when the quilt moves and she gets cold.”

I think he mumbled something about a sweatshirt but it was hard to hear over the air-purifier and Squeakers purring.


Blogger Shinny said...

We have to make sure that the blankets and comforter are pulled up over our pillows when we leave the bed in the morning or the cats will have the pillows covered in hair by evening. They are also all overweight, as in two of my three weigh over 20 pounds and are not part tiger, yet every morning they sit at the top of the basement steps meowing pitifully that they are STARVING TO DEATH and must have food NOW WOMAN! Yeah they have won at our house. Glad I am not alone in this. I would be a pet hoarder too if only they didn't poop. ;)

6:07 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Well, I, for one, LOVE your CAT-blogs. My favorite is still the one about Lulabelle and theponytail-holder olympics from Feb 2007. Of course, this is coming from one who has often lost bed-real estate to the combination of my husband and my cat. I'm just happy to know that there's someone out there who understands. :)

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Alissa Grosso said...

As someone who writes the occasional cat blog herself and who is in love with someone whose only real shortcoming is an allergy to cats, I completely and totally appreciated this blog post. I was contemplating getting one of those exercise balls to use as a chair, though I'm not sure if this post has convinced me or made me reconsider.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My cats have an amazing instinct to find the most inconvenient place to be. They shed enough that I could make a new cat from their fur.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Jenn3128 said...

So funny! I wasn't always a cat lady, and I'm not yet wearing a glittery cat on my chest, but my little, black kitty Seven & I spoon each other every night. Poor Hubs is so jealous!

9:45 AM  
Blogger kristin said...


And completely relateable

9:49 AM  
Anonymous mb said...

"Domesticated a box of syringes" just killed me. Only cat people get other cat people.


9:51 AM  
Blogger mkosboth said...

What MB said. My favorite line today.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Little Miss Sunshine State said...

Last week we adopted an 8 week old kitten. If she shreds my knees one more time I may need a transfusion.

So far we haven't let her in the bedroom, but she somehow knows there's a whole other world in there.

11:44 AM  
Blogger AisforRandom said...

not that this is all i'm taking away from it, but this is what i'm taking away from it, I am now calling my "live in boyfriend" consort, because consort is shorter and classier than "live in boyfriend".

12:58 PM  
Anonymous ɹǝƃƃolquǝʞoʇ said...

Smiling all the way through. Thanks!

2:04 PM  
Blogger StevenIre said...

Wait……did you just say an immovable force against an opposable object: a perfectly tenable situation.

1:44 AM  
Blogger CameoRoze said...

Quinn, have you seen this?

You, too, can have cat facts at your fingertips.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of cat blogs, this one was started by my friend in the voice of his new kitten. Each entry is short, and they're fun to read. If you don't mind adding the link, Quinn, here it is:

By the way, kind of off topic, but what brand of air cleaner do you use? Do you like it?

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Pat Christensen said...

I have to sympathize with Consort. I,too, am allergic to cats. And I live in my sister's back bedroom (for reasons of a VERY bad economy and no job in four years now). And last summer, a cat managed to whelp three kittens in the garage...and then vanished. I think she vanished with one of the kittens, the all-black one, because we never saw it again. One of the others, a little grey-and-black one, was out in the driveway, too weak to move and my brother-in-law brought it inside. We tried, we really did, but it died that same night. The next day, his son-in-law and grandsons came over and ransacked the garage 'till they caught the remaining kitten, a virtual twin to the one who died.

That kitten lived. He's a terminally adorable cat, VERY sweet and good-natured, with an enchanting purr and barbed wire on the ends of all four feet.

He's getting better about shredding my knees and thighs and only does it on occasion. Usually, he's quite gentle about climbing on me. And he plays with me without unsheathing a single claw. Usually.

And he adores me, of course. Spends time clawing at my bedroom door, begging me to come out and play with him and pet him and cuddle him and feed him and...rinse and repeat.

But I am allergic to him and he doesn't always understand this. The entire house is his territory with the single exception of my bedroom. He is NOT allowed in my bedroom.

He, of course, does not understand this. MY bedroom has the west-facing windows, where he loves to hide, and my lovely bed, with it's deep, cavernous underside, full of mysterious shadows and even more mysterious dustballs to play with! And when I inadvertantly open the door and leave it open a split second too long, there is a grey-and-black blur at my feet and enough scattered fur to leave me hacking up a lung for hours afterward.

I've discovered that, if I can figure out WHERE under the bed he's hiding, I can shoo him out with a few well-placed spritzes of water. We keep a small spray bottle for just that eventuality. But should I think he's hiding near the head of the bed and he's actually under the foot of the bed, he just sits there and sniggers as I wet down the floor under my bed without affecting him at all.

I amuse this cat greatly, I fear.

He amuses me, too. If only he didn't make my eyes swell shut on occassion, it would be much better on all of us.

However, I do have ONE carp for you. You do NOT own a pet cat. That is ridiculous. That would make you it's owner. DOGS have owners. Cats have servants.

Get it straight.

4:36 PM  

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