Monday, October 4, 2010

The Unbearable Cuteness of Being

If my moon-eyed, seemingly innocent, black cat looked like a 40-year-old, unshaven man, I would throw her out the door in a nanosecond. Fortunately for her, Nature made her tiny with a mew so dainty that it sounds like a squeaky toy, and gifted her with the knowledge of how to tilt her head just so, in order to melt the heart of anyone standing within a 30-foot radius. Consequently, I tolerate strange behaviors from this unbearably cute creature that would be unacceptable from any other living being on the planet.

First, she is selectively paranoid. If I try to pet her, she skitters away in a nervous, sideways sort of walk as if she is convinced that her very life is at stake. That is, until I lie down at the end of the day, dead tired. Then she head butts me and mews incessantly until I pet her for at least 20 minutes. Only then, having exacted her pound of flesh, does she settle down in the crook of my knees and proceed to snore beyond her size.

Second, she is a kleptomaniac. I must be very careful where I leave my papers. For some reason, she has this odd habit of transferring receipts, lottery tickets, tea bags, bread ties or any other small miscellaneous item from one spot to another. She will also take things out of the trash and redistribute them throughout the house, often carrying them from one floor to the next.

Third, she has control issues. One of her favorite toys is a crinkle ball—a small, multicolored ball composed of a shiny material that makes a crunchy sound when she plays with it. Invariably, she bats it under a heavy piece of furniture, and then looks up expectantly at my spouse, whom she has carefully trained to retrieve it. This action generally involves said spouse lying down on the floor and fishing for the ball under a dresser, bed or couch—an undignified process that this fluffy martinet presides over with satisfaction.

She weighs only 6 pounds and is the size of a small loaf of bread. However, when displeased, this perpetual source of shedding hair indignantly faces off with any comparatively towering human, smug in the delusional certainty that she holds the superior position. Why would anyone tolerate such unbalanced behavior?

She is a paranoid, sticky-pawed, control freak with delusions of grandeur—Queen of the jungle, Ruler of the house and Keeper of her humans. And we, God help us, pathetically pander to this purring Svengali, weakening at the sight of a soulful stare or pink-tongued yawn. Such is our lot in life... to serve as her loyal, emoting, mesmerized enablers.

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