It is imperative, however, that I share this information with my human mom. Often I am already laying on her face, but if not, I am sure to get right up in it to express my plight of near starvation.
Of course my little brother, Steve, feels the need to join in with these tactics. I do not have the heart to tell him his efforts are not any more needed than those of the obnoxious noisemaker. I have been successfully performing this ritual for longer than the little guy has been alive.
Once I have gotten mom out of bed, I fall in behind what she calls “the animal parade”: me, mom, Steve and our dog, Sandy, heading downstairs. I like to go last in hopes that no one actually associates me with them.
When we get downstairs, I must inspect the food placed in my bowl before eating it to ensure it is in fact my food. Afterward, I will spend some time contemplating where I will sleep first. Steve typically chooses the hockey bag, but I have many other places to consider — the back of the couch, the bed, the guest bed, downstairs in the middle of the room in the dark, the piece of paper that has fallen on the floor — or perhaps my throne of pillows stacked in front of the portal that leads to the outside.
Steve is so immature, he often runs full speed into the portal, and does not even bother to follow proper procedure afterward. Everyone knows that following such an embarrassing incident, you should clean yourself for at least two hours to give any witnesses of the unfortunate event enough time to forget and move on. Instead, Steve simply bounces off and continues to chase his pretend prey or the faux mice Santa always puts in our stockings. Occasionally I play with these — but, of course, when no one is looking. I prefer to spend my between-nap times practicing my repertoire of expressions in the mirror — disdain, apathy and pathetic are my specialties.
Sandy travels through the portal quite often, but Steve and I are only able to on occasion. I know that if I am considering doing this, I must go quickly — any hesitation will result in the portal closing and a missed opportunity. When I do get through, I enjoy chewing the fresh grass, much to my mom’s dismay.
Steve is completely oblivious to the proximity of the catnip bush where I spend most of my time. Mom has to carry him over to it — otherwise, he would have no idea. He is too busy chasing bugs and over-reacting to imaginary foes. Have I mentioned his immaturity?
I do remember when Sandy and I were younger, though, and we participated in such juvenile behavior as well — wrestling and having a good chase. However, we now partake in more adult activities such as smelling each other’s hind quarters and seeing who can beg for food better. Sometimes we make a game of who gets to stretch out on the chaise lounge. I, of course, always win.
And now it is time for a nap. I am feeling like shaking things up a bit, so I decide to lay on the computer keyboard, which is conveniently placed on the island. This is typically off-limits, but that is seldom enforced and, besides, no one is home, so why not?
After a while, I move to the couch, and I am in luck — someone has left a garment to lay on and, even better, it appears to be black — my favorite.
In the afternoon, I sit on my throne and peer out the portal. There is much to see. Bugs who seem immune to my efforts of capture, miniature squirrels who taunt me, birds, blowing leaves — it’s all very fascinating. So much so that I become exhausted just watching, and surrender to another nap.
Eventually, my family returns home from wherever it is they all go and I can finally eat again. Sometimes, I am too weak from famine to move right away, but usually I am at my bowl waiting patiently for my mom to come through the door.
After dinner, I routinely go from lap to lap to receive petting and kissy sounds. Unfortunately, Steve and Sandy enjoy this, as well, so it can get kind of competitive. Luckily, though, my favorite is laying on my dad’s outstretched legs. Sandy is too big for this — and Steve, well, he’s too busy to ever snuggle for very long — he has many faux mice to catch, after all.
When it is time to go to sleep, I have already assumed the position at the foot of the bed waiting for mom to get in so that I can promptly make my way up to lay on top of her.
It has been a long and busy day and I am exhausted. I am hoping tomorrow is the day the dreadful noise is not there in the morning. I can hear Steve chasing something in the hallway and Sandy chasing something in her dreams. I am a happy cat and can’t help but purr as I, too, fall asleep. It’s important I get my rest since I know that tomorrow will be yet another busy day for yours truly — as it always is.
— By Tribune community columnist Kelly Kalis’ cat, Hobbes.