Monday, March 8, 2010

Not-so Secret Asian Cat

At four a.m. this morning, I was awakened by a steady tap-tap-tapping on my right shoulder. Since I sleep alone, that was a little disconcerting, until I heard the plaintive yowl that accompanied it. I opened one eye and found that yes, my Siamese cat had decided that it was time to inform me of all the injustices in his life at that precise moment.

I did what any sane person would do: I picked him up and heaved him into the floor. He did what any determined feline would do, and immediately leaped back up to resume punching me in the shoulder.

This kind of thing makes me strongly reconsider cat ownership. I am fundamentally a dog person anyway, so the fact that I have not one but three, count 'em, three cats is incredible. Of the three, Frosty is the friendliest and also the most annoyingly clingy. I'd wanted a Siamese cat ever since I was a little girl, due in no small part to That Darn Cat! and Bell, Book, and Candle. There's also the small matter that the breed's eyes are the same color as mine. All of the wrong reasons, of course, and as a dog rescuer I can tell you how truly egregious they are. Nevertheless, Frosty came to me from a rescue a couple of counties away. He's a great cat, except for...

...tap, tap, tap..."MWOW! Meeeeeeeeeeewow!" at 4 a.m. .

He's a smart cat who regularly converses with my mother over the telephone. She came to stay with me a few years ago when I had my tonsils removed, and the cat fell in love with her. They haven't seen each other since, but the minute he realizes she's on the phone, he perches on the bannister and begins his loud lament. I have to put Mom on speakerphone. She says the people she's told about this think she's nuts. I, on the other hand, have witnesses.

The running joke around my house is that his stealth mode is seriously broken. He believes he's invisible, so he'll start across the living room floor toward the stairs, slinking carefully (it's wide open space, so he has zero cover) along the center of the room until one or more Airedales notice. The dogs run behind him as he lopes, like those nature films of cheetahs on the desert plains, to the baby gate separating him from certain doom.

I was just thinking the other night that I am blessed to have a Siamese with a great personality. They have a terrible reputation, although I haven't really met one whose attitude is half as bad as that of my tortoise cat. I'll probably always have at least one Siamese around, but I hope that the next one doesn't decide that the wee small hours of the morning are an appropriate time at which to air grievances.

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