Every day I work and every day permakitten Grace works as well. For me this entails writing, editing, watching screeners. For Grace this entails standing guard by the window where all the pigeons in the neighborhood like to flock.
All day they stand on the air conditioner projecting from that window, and all day, with narrowed eyes and switching tail, she watches them. Some of the birds are real assholes: They coo while strutting in a circle and flapping their wings. This seems rude even to me, and it makes Gracie apoplectic. Sometimes she gets so mad that she presses her nose against the glass, growls, and flattens her ears. On those occasions the pigeons duck their heads though they rarely leave. Still, the slightest suggestion that they’re cowed satisfies Grace, and she trots back to me, ready for some head-scratching, maybe a treat. I’m no different. A chapter or essay completed and I’m ready for a new lipstick, maybe a tumbler of rye. That’s how we roll in our house: work and reward, work and reward, work and reward. I always say, the Rosman girls earn their keep.
It is a gorgeous fall Saturday but I don’t mind writing all day. I like holding the world slightly at bay as I type by the window, the wind drifting in, gently smoky. It is, however, difficult to finish an essay while Gracie is holding my hand. I’m no complaining, though. It’s hard to resist a cat who likes to hold hands. And she does, she really does. She holds my hand when she is proud of me. She holds my hand when I am sad. She holds my hand when she is afraid of the thunder. She holds my hand just to establish I’m her person. She held my ex’s hand, until she began to sense she needed to emotionally protect me. It always broke my heart when I’d encounter the two of them watching TV and calmly holding paws. It broke my heart more when they stopped.
I honestly think this predilection of hers stems from the reiki certification classes we attended when we were trying to help Max, my now-departed white tiger. It sounds far-fetched but during those sessions she sat on my lap and listened closely. She even has a little reiki diploma now. She’s a reikitty! Imagine the possibilities: She could open a business. She could call it Healing Paws. She mewed indignantly when I typed that last sentence but why not? It’s about time Little Miss started contributing financially to our household. We Rosman Girls aren’t meant to just sit around and look pretty.