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Wednesday, March 17, 2010


tarbaby watches

Cat entanglements is what is going on. A cat, TarBaby earlier, Caterpillar most recently, clawing my leg for attention, I want. I've fed TarBaby several times today. He licks the food I put before him and likes it a lot. When he's done licking it, he's done. He'll eat a little bit, then leave all the rest. He was wanting me to feed him when his bowl is full. Caterpillar wants me to let her out, let her in, hold her. Let TarBaby out. It's something about this time of day. They leave me alone all day long, and when I sit here to start writing to you, here they come, tugging on my pants with claws, I want. Every evening, day after day, at this time of day I pick up TarBaby's bowl and show it to him, it's full of catfood. There is catfood everywhere. I come back here and sit down flustered. I sit down and Caterpillar tugs. She wants. I picked her up. That's what she wanted. Now she's between my arms on the desk as I work the keyboard. I understand a lot of people with cats do this. It's cat nature that when one of the giants sits still for a few minutes it's time to pile on. I wouldn't have it any other way. When TarBaby comes back in I'll give him some fresh catfood lickins before he turns in for the night.

It must be supper time in their own timing. It's only TarBaby and Caterpillar. If I start writing this in the daytime or the night, here they come, I want. I pick Caterpillar up, and before I can put her down I have to unhook 3, 4 or 5 claws from my shirt. She tries to unhook herself by pulling. It doesn't work, so I take a claw between finger and thumb and have to pull against her pulling. She hisses and tugs until it's free. My shirts and sweaters have little threads sticking out all over from Caterpillar's or Tapo's claws. Both of them snag their claws when they walk on cloth. Caterpillar's signal to want in the house is plucking the screen on the door. She always gets hung. She used to get hung up so bad she couldn't get unhooked. I'd have to go outside and lift her enough so her weight is not tugging on the hooked claws. Caterpillar doesn't have much of a mind for figuring things out. It makes her mad when I pull her claws off the screen and she hisses at me and sometimes makes like she wants to bite me, but doesn't. She doesn't get it when I explain to her that without an assist she'd be hung there a very long time. It can't be because it hurts her, because I only hold the claw itself. It's her impatience with being handled. She forgets she called for help.

TarBaby is still outside. He may stay out all night. Caterpillar has gone to her personal place. Tapo is on her orange pillow cleaning herself. She's been at this for awhile. She keeps herself immaculate. They all do. The wall has an opening near the ceiling where a stove pipe passed through. A mouse that lives in the attic uses that open space in travels from one place to another. Tapo is staring at the space. Caterpillar was awhile ago. They all keep an eye on that space for the chance to see the mouse. When they catch one, another one replaces it. Keeps the cats happy. Candy bars that run on little feet. Once, I had the communal bowl of dry food not far from that wall. Because of location, the mouse could creep up to it and get away without getting caught. I moved the bowl to the middle of the room. The mouse never came back. It went to dine on some catfood in the night and got itself dined on. I have to confess to a twinge of guilt for the premeditation, setting up the mouse to feed a cat, but that's the nature of the wild. It's the nature of civilization too, we just do it in different ways. Death is a dream. Advance the mouse to the next lifetime where it will have nightmares of cats. Only a dream.

Caterpillar passed through on her way to the bathroom, a nighttime hunting ground. The hole in the floor in the corner behind the tub apparatus is the mouse entrance. A cat lying near and perfectly still is alerted by the skitter of mouse toenails on the floor behind the apparatus. When it crosses the floor, that's it, cat shit. Minnie Mouse out looking for something to feed her babies. This is Motel Hell for mice. The blinking sign says VACANCY, come on in and get free cable on the tv. They never return to tell. Living in the country it is essential to have at least one cat. For the mice. Much better than any store bought mouse trap. And there's nothing to deal with later. My cats eat everything. Not all cats do. Some cats like to leave it out so you can see they're taking care of you. I feel like a dog is essential living in the country too, to keep varmints away from the house. I like having Martha and Jolene here for this reason. Dogs for varmints outside, cats for varmints inside. Gotcha covered. Varmint busters. A dog abandons the self-preservation instinct when it comes to protecting its human. A dog's role as its master's protector is that much stronger than it's self-preservation instinct, which is about as strong in everything as any instinct. Dying for the master must be a dog's highest virtue among dogs. If dogs made movies, protecting their masters would be a major theme in their samurai films.

The cats are all settled now. TarBaby found a spot he's never hunkered down in before, so he's happy. A new place to hunker. He mystifies me. He's thin because his metabolism is going kind of hyper requiring him to eat a lot, but he also doesn't feel well eating. I saw the same in Jr. Food just did not appeal any more. He's hungry a lot and wants something fresh every time. I understand him. Sometimes it gets to me after putting out for the dogs every morning what TarBaby didn't eat the day before. I thought I found something when I picked up some little cans called Petite Cuisine, something like that, "people food for cats." He went at it ravenously. It has a lot of liquid. That's what he likes. The soup. He eats a little of whatever it is and goes on. He has a sneeze too as a result of this whatever it is that has his metabolism going like it is. The vet didn't cure him, but they brought him back to life. Whatever it was is still with him, but it never manifests as any more than occasional sneezing and being hungry all the time, but only satisfied with soup. At least he's getting that. I try different kinds of catfood to see what he might like. None of it. He likes it juicy and wet. He licks it dry and he's done.

When I take into account his health, he is not the least bit unreasonable. I'm the one that's unreasonable. Like when I'm sitting here like right now writing and his claws sink into my leg to tell me he wants me to feed him when the bowl is full of catfood. A little bit ago I'd been kept at by Caterpillar, kept at by TarBaby who jumps up like he wants me to pet him and ducks when I reach to touch him. When he sunk his claws I barked like a dog, WHAT!!! He put feet on floor and positioned himself for quick exit if need be, ears pointed back to hear what's coming next. Then I feel bad for shouting at him, because I never have. I get exasperated when his bowl has plenty of food in it and he wants me to open a can that costs a dollar and a quarter so he can lick the soup. After Caterpillar had been tugging at me for the last couple hours wanting something. When I'm in my sensible mind, it's not a problem, but I'm not always in that mind. It seems so unreal for TarBaby to be unwell, I have to remind myself when I lose sight of it.

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