Friday, May 07, 2004


My eyes are inflating like emergency life rafts. They get like this whenever I'm around long-haired cats but I can't resist them, especially affectionate ones. I arrived home yesterday just as my family was pulling out on their way to soccer practice. My wife motioned me over and I got in the van. Then she informed me that there was a cat in the house. My family is not used to having animals around the house so when this long-haired tabby wandered into the house they reacted the same way they do every time a bird makes it's way in: Like a tiny, militant country defending itself against invasion. I guess the boys got out their horns and whistles and drums and whatever else they could find and attempted to chase the poor feline (which, it would later become apparent, was incredibly friendly and docile) out the door. All they succeeded in doing was frightening at least seven of it's nine lives out of it and chasing it into the tiny space under the stairs. There it stayed until two hours later when we returned. I led point into the house and called, "Here kitty" and it came right to me. The instant it was in my arms it began to purr luxuriously. But as soon as it saw my family it stopped and struggled to get away. I let it out and assumed it would go home.

Last night I dreamt that we had a cat. In my dream it was crying for food and water but for some reason I wouldn't give it any. I finally did and it became very delighted. I woke up to my alarm and heard a steady mewling from outside. My wife said it had been doing that all night. My eyes were already itching from the night before but, as I said, I couldn't resist. I went outside and there it was, on the front porch, crying for food. There's something so satisfying about a small creature expressing affection, responding to your touch. I have one around but my eyes couldn't take it and my family would probably scare it to death.

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