That’s a Shame

Every night, at bedtime, I gather Seven into my arms, and we wander towards Younger sprawled on the sofa.

“Tell the brother ‘good night,’ ” I instruct both of them.

“Night,” Younger obediently replies.

Seven doesn’t actually speak, as he is a cat, but he tolerates me lowering him towards Younger and he allows Younger swiping a hand over his black fur. Then the two of us disappear up the stairs and into the bedroom, where, once I make it into bed, Seven sprawls across my chest, just beneath my chin, and dares my husband to protest.

But in the mornings, recently,  Seven has veered from our routine and has decided not to follow me into the bathroom to calmly — or not so calmly — wait until I finish my shower before I release him from the house. Now, once I hit the bathroom door, he focuses on my husband.

Instead, he pounces on my husband’s feet. Mom is up. Time to get up. My husband then scoots across the bed in a bid for a few more minutes of sleep, but undeterred Seven paws at my husband’s face and hair. Mom is up. Time to get up. Come on, come on. Time to get up. Mom is up.  He will then add claws to his urging.  Come on, come on. Mom is up.

And usually about two minutes after I have stumbled from the bed, I hear my husband’s grumpy footsteps as he staggers towards the door to award Seven’s behavior with early release.

Which is probably why Seven veered from our morning routine. Because my husband is the easier mark.

Then Monday morning . . .

I stumbled out of bed a little early for a quick trip to the bathroom. Apparently, Seven mistook my visit for my usual morning stay. When I hobbled back through the bedroom door, I discovered the outline of the black cat bouncing determinedly and incessantly on my husband — Mom is up. Time to get up. Come on, come on. Time to get up.

But then, hearing my footsteps, Seven suddenly stopped in mid-bounce, his head swinging towards me as I crossed the room to fall back into the bed.

Oh. Mom is not up.  He jumped from my husband’s back onto my stomach where he immediately sprawled into his usual position. Never mind. We’re going to sleep some more.

And so we did.

My husband does not find Seven nearly as entertaining as I do.

That’s a shame.

Except it isn’t.


Pharaoh King

For those who don’t know, a few months ago, we rescued two black cats. We named one Seven — a Seinfeld tribute — and one Thirteen — a tongue-in-cheek concession to the superstition of black cats being unlucky.

And, well, because Younger wanted to name them in numbers, because, you know, math.

“Mom,” Younger said the other day as he descended the stairs. “Both the cats were lying outside my door, like sphinxes, waiting for me. So either I’m the next Pharaoh king or they smell something in my room that I don’t.”

Well, as far as I know, I’m not an Egyptian princess and he’s not the next Pharaoh King, so . . .

But wait.

Maybe I am a princess . . .


What I think our animals think when I clean the house:

Dusty  (our border collie): She’s using the evil forces again. I shall remain in the bubble of safety surrounding the stairs. I will not even look upon evil, so that it might not catch me in a weak moment.

George  (our lab mix who spent five years in an animal shelter): She cannot hear me over the caterwauling of the blue machine, so I must follow her to let her know I am still in existence. And when she stops, I must halt, also, unknowingly behind her. I am not sure why she does that flip backwards over me. I think she must enjoy it, but now I, too, should find the safety of the stairs.

Seven and Thirteen (our two rescued black cats): What is this loud noise? I must see. Too close. Back up, back up. What is this pet that spews liquid onto the floor? I shall catch it as it moves, back and forth, back and forth. Leap. Now. Sticky paws. Sticky paws. High step, high step. What is she doing with the pile of clothes I have been napping upon? No, she must not have that washcloth. I must first render it un-living. I must, I must. Ah, okay. She can have the washcloth. But not the sock. Not this sock. It is mine. Mine, I say. Mine, mine, mine. Why is she fussing over the animal I brought for her? I did render it un-living. Why has she not sit down and cuddled me? I shall climb her like a tree. Ah, yes, claws work good. We’re going outside now? I shall find her another animal.