Things I know about permakitten Grace after being totally housebound the last two days. 1. She drags her three toys with her all over the house like a kid with her favorite stuffed animals. 2. She is deathly afraid of the sound of opening seltzer bottles. Carbonation is rather scary, I guess. 3. The reiki certification class that I took her to paid off. (The instructor said we could bring our pets.) She’s been doing paws-on healing all day by laying her tiny tiger limbs solemnly upon my inflamed back, reikitty style, and could teach Rademenes a thing or two. 4. Whenever she’s not attending to her invalid roomie, she’s stationed by the window, snooping on our neighbors who are snooping on everyone else. God, she’s such a Rosman girl.
I love everyone who works at my local library branch so much that I’m constantly repressing the urge to hug them. (I started a film club that meets there bimonthly; come next Saturday!) Ditto for my sixtysomething dry-cleaner, who tenderly reinforces the buttons on my coats while her husband glowers from his corner. Ditto for the espresso jerks and Muppet critics at my local coffee shop, who wake me up as much as those Americanos do. Ditto for the sweetly serious Fairway cashiers, who slip me so many coupons that I can afford tulips and freesia with my fish and kale. Ditto for the gas attendant who calls me Amish Lady because I do my errands in floor-length polka-dotted nightgowns that I consider too pretty to only wear at home.
This afternoon I have been spring cleaning—laundering everything (even the curtains), changing my duvet cover, emptying out drawers and cupboards and the refrigerator, scrubbing out the microwave and the oven, organizing my closets. I even toted to Housing Works great bags of clothes I’ll never wear again, either because I’m no longer so willowy or because of stains and holes I’d been ignoring. Crisp and clean, that’s Spring 2015. It’s such a neat little poem that it rhymes, a fact I’m admiring with permakitten Grace as we watch the world waltz by our window and I sip a fancy drink with many juices. No sugar, thank you; just so much love.
Permakitten Grace and I are in a fight. I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t stem from extreme cabin fever–as I type this the sky is issuing a white cold substance that I no longer deign to name–but I do think I am wrong and she is right. It comes down to this: I pay for our home and food, clean up her excretion, provide her with toys and scratches. In return she is very beautiful and sweet, if occasionally standoffish. But this extreme cold has driven a few mice into our building, and the one job you can expect any feline to do is kill mice. Heck, they’re supposed to enjoy this activity. My once-tough street kitty has become so soft that she assumes these eldritch interlopers have been invited for her explicit delight, though. The other night I even caught her cradling one as if it were another catnip stuffed animal I’d bought for her entertainment: When I walked in the room, the rodent casually stepped out of her paws and walked away while she watched contentedly. Uh, no.
I sat her down. “Look, in our house, all Rosman girls work. You can’t just play with the mice. One way or another, you have to get rid of them. That’s what kitties do.”
My talk fell on deaf ears. The next night I woke to scratching noises in my office and found the two of them happily scampering after each other in a circle. Continue Reading →