How do you know when you’re delirious? Are there tell-tale signs? Because I think there’s some cause for alarm here. I may finally have toppled over the edge. Yup. One teeter too many. And I tottered. At least I think so. You tell me.
I’ve got two cats. Silly me. You know that already. From reading my blog.
Well, they’re both very different from each other. Not surprising, really. They didn’t even know each other before they came to live with me. Why would they be alike? That’s a misconception people have about cats, you know. But it’s a topic for another day.
So. One of my cats, Sundance, talks to himself all the time. You know. He mutters under his breath. Except it’s quite loud. And, depending on his mood or level of frustration it can get quite high-pitched. The tone changes from a rather soft mutter, to a rather shrill shriek.
Sort of like fingernails scratching against metal or glass. Only louder. And more annoying.
The madder he is, the louder it gets. And he usually starts racing around the apartment like a mad fool, at the same time. Crashing into everything in his path. On purpose. The more bumps and thumps and bangs the better.
Occasionally it sounds like he’s being tortured. Like he’s fighting for his very life. There’s a desperate quality to it. You’d think I wouldn’t fall for it anymore, but I always do. No matter where I am, or what I’m doing, I panic. Freeze. Then run around like a crazy person, looking for him.
Screaming, “Sundance, Sundance, where are you? What’s wrong?” Wondering if maybe he’s gotten caught in my shredder or something. He’s not happy if he’s not getting into trouble, so it could be anything.
Anyway, I always find him sitting somewhere, like in the sink, or on the counter, casually grooming himself, looking at me as if to say, “What’s with you? Gotta problem? Chill. Take a pill.” Nonchalant as all get out.
That’s when he pulls out the big guns. When he’s REALLY pissed off at me. Usually because I’ve been ignoring him. You know, putting groceries away before they spoil, or trying to earn a living doing some client work, instead of patting him, which he can’t get enough of.
Bartlett, on the other hand, talks to me. I don’t mean he just purrs or meows occasionally. I mean, he has ‘conversations’ with me. Always has. Since the first day I brought him home. He’ll be laying beside me on the bed. Or he’ll be on a chair near where I’m sitting watching TV or working. I’ll be doing my thing; and he’ll be doing his. And suddenly, he’ll get up and walk over to me. He’ll nod his head in my direction. And say something.
Sort of like, “Hey, you ok?”
Because he always looks at me, expectantly, I always answer him. Or at least I say something back to him. And usually that satisfies him.
Your finger is just poised over the ‘escape’ key right now, isn’t it? You’ve got the receiver in your hands already, don’t you? You’re calling 911, aren’t you? I can just feel you inching away from me slowly. Backing away. Very, very slowly. Hoping you can make a clean break for it, before I really lose it. “This one thinks she speaks CAT”, you’re saying to yourselves. Whispering, actually. Right?
Yes, yes, I know. You’re thinking “Maybe blogging every day is too much for her. Maybe she should have stuck to once a week. Poor thing. She’s finally snapped.”
Yep, I can tell.
Would it make you feel any better if I told you these brief exchanges usually satisfy him? Once I’ve answered, and he knows I’m fine, he goes back to wherever it is, he was lounging. And goes back to whatever it is he was doing. Grooming, dozing, watching TV, destroying the upholstery, snacking, trying to unnerve Sundance by staring at him. Whatever.
Except for yesterday. Yesterday was different.
It was shortly after I came back to bed after publishing my post, that the conversation started. But a brief response from me wasn’t enough this time. No. Not by a long shot. He clearly had a lot on his mind. Because he kept it up until I got out bed about a half hour later. He was still going strong as I prepared their breakfast (Sundance’s and Bartlett’s). And mine. I kid you not. When I tried to shut it down and read the newspaper, he became indignant. Raised his little voice and kept right on yapping.
Fully expecting me to respond. And whenever I didn’t, he raised his voice again. Seriously. No word of a lie. I was running out of things to say.
First of all, I’m never really on my game first thing in the morning. I like a little peace and quiet as I’m trying to adjust to the day. And then, you know, even though I love my pets to death, how much can you discuss with a cat? Especially when you’re making it up as you go along. Because, you know, we don’t REALLY know what they’re saying. Do we?
Usually I can tell if he’s pissed off. Frustrated. Sad. Alarmed. Confused, even. Just from the tone of his voice and the expression on his face. Of course his expression changes, depending on his mood. Come on, don’t you ever look at your cats? Or your dogs?
But I still haven’t been able to figure out exactly what he’s saying. I suppose that’s a good thing.