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March 12, 2005

Squeek has a new "thing."

Each night when I drag my butt to bed with a book ... and let me digress here to say I have to lie on my stomach to read, when I crawl into bed with a book, lest Her Royal Highness Tink install herself on her quadrant of the bed without my legs in the locked and upright position (she makes sure to plant herself somewhere I can't possibly get comfortable, if I don't arrange myself properly, you see).

So, anyway ... I crawl in bed with a book, screw in the industrial-strength earplugs (he snores), prop my book against the headboard, begin reading ... and Squeek shows up within a few minutes to waltz back and forth across the pillow, between the end of my nose and my book. Repeatedly -- usually, five or six times.

Then she usually flops down on the near upper corner of Tony's pillow (with a not-insignificant portion of her ass blocking my book) and closes her eyes.

No, I don't really think she wants any attention. If I reach up to pet her, she bails out that much faster. She just wants to have her thirty seconds or so of prancing about, then to flop down in that somehow consecrated spot for a brief while. Once I turn the light off -- if not before I turn the light off -- she evaporates.

She's also the one who can least tolerate being ignored, though we've yet to come to any deep understanding of precisely what she wants when she solicits attention. Tink usually wants some portion of the standard package -- a few minutes of petting (usually at a time or in a situation that makes Max jealous); for you to close yourself up with her privately in the upstairs bathroom; for you to sit on the bed and let her mount herself like a Manitou on your back or your chest. The only unpredictable think about Tink's soliciation of attention, for that matter, is when it will come.

Gord, for his part, doesn't really give a shit if you pay exclusive attention to him. He likes to sit on your lap, but he's content to have little or no individual attention focused on him when he does. He'll sit there for however long he had in mind to begin with -- five to ten minutes, usually, though he has been known to camp for as long as a half-hour -- and then he'll bail out.

Doodle wants -- at least when she comes to me -- for me to follow her around from window to window, and sometimes to wind up the 'tour' by sitting sideways in the bath tub with my feet hanging over the edge, petting her in the remaining (however limited) part of the open tub, while she purrs loudly and rolls around with her motley feet waving in the air ...

And, well, we all know about the dog. He would sit on my lap 24/7, with only temporary breaks to eat and poop, if he thought I'd let him get away with it.

Squeek will suddenly show up off the port bow of my computer chair, when I'm sitting at my desk. She'll grumble a bit in her pathetic excuse for a voice (remember why we named her that?), and if this doesn't accomplish anything -- and frequently, it doesn't -- she'll stand up with her front paws on the arm of the chair and glare at me. If this escalation doesn't result in any action, she'll flip out her claws and insert them into my triceps. Sometimes, she'll drop her ten pounds against whatever I'm wearing, so she's actually pulling my shirt down off my shoulder with her weight.

What she seems to desire is for me to go upstairs with her and sit cross-legged on the carpet remanant in front of the front door. After that, it's a bit of a poser -- sometimes, that's all she wants, and after that, she wanders off. Sometimes, she wants more, and that's where the mystery enters in. She doesn't really liked to be handled about 90% of the time, she just wants to flounce back and forth while I sit on the cold floor on my butt. She doesn't really seem to want to play. The four of them have, between them, made every single toy I've given them upstairs in the past six months disappear, somehow (even with the new futon, which clears the floor by at least five more inches than the old sofa that we had the garbage folks take away months ago) they've been spirited off into one of the myriad piles of assorted stuph (we still have Christmas gift bags on the floor in the front room). Squeek goes all shirty if the dog, say, or one of the other cats larks on in nonchalantly. If I try to play with her, pretty soon every non-human mammal on the premises shows up, including groundhogs and squirrels, so she has to know by now that's not really a great option.

Actually, I shouldn't say Squeen 'gets shirty' -- that would be inaccurate.

See, Squeek apparently exists in a more or less constant state of mild annoyance all the hours of the day she's not asleep. Kind of like me, if I were honest. Which is to say, as aggravating as it can be, I can hardly say I mind it. She and Tink seem pretty intelligent, as these things go, and they're both attractive and/or entertaining enough to offset their usually barely incipient bitchiness.

Kind of like, as I noted, me.

Posted by Melinda at March 12, 2005 10:48 PM


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