There’s an issue with my house, and I’m not sure what to.
There’s a … scourge, if you will.
In a pestilence.
I know, that’s not many. But they get around.
For example, my office is infested with … deskcats.
Two of them, usually. In my way, regardless of what I’m doing.
They like to walk on my keyboard. They enjoy sleeping in front of my monitors. Or worse, standing in front of them. Their hair is everywhere, especially inside my computer.
In fact, their inthewayness is directly proportional to the importance of my activities.
If I’m there, at least one of the cats is as well. I’ve done my best to control the situation- I put a cattrap on my desk: an empty box lid. This usually draws their focus, and has a calming effect as well. It’s almost always occupied, and usually there’s another deskcat lying right beside it, unable to resist its lure.
But it doesn’t help matters that the cats rarely get along, and don’t like to be in this close of proximity. They’re a bit like the two outer hemispheres of the plutonium Demon Core- the closer they get to each other, the more violent, volatile and dangerous the situation becomes.
(Look it up – I’m trying to be educational. Try your local library!)
It’s best when the deskcats sleep, even if they do tend to sprawl. At least Wilfred does (he’s the newest pest, fairly recently joining (invading?) the household.)
Wilfred weighs in at 25 pounds, and is the size of a small toddler. He really has no awareness of his size, or destructive capabilities. Traversing the desk with all the grace of a tank covered in shag carpeting, he delights in making his bed in whatever piles of debris have accumulated on the surface (which, to be honest, tends to be a fairly large and diverse amount.)
As he sleeps, he begins to spread. Like most cats, without continuous concentration he reverts back to his natural, liquatic state- oozing towards the edges of the desk and pushing the contents before him, a flood of stationery items.
(While you’re at the library, ask about homonyms as well, if you missed the previous joke.)
It’s deceptively cute at first, and even more deceptively peaceful.
Eventually, the furry feline flotsam begins to encompass the cattrap containing Jinx, the grouchy retired alley cat of the house; critical mass is reached and claws are exposed; and at least one leaves the desk in explosive fury.
None of which helps me get any work done. And then Jinx attacks my mouse hand as well, because insults also require injuries, apparently.
It’s not just my office. At night, when the lights are off, and I’m trying to sleep, the darkness of my room hides the infestation of bedcats.
Well, bedcat- Jinx tends to be the only pest. He has very strict rules for sharing the bed (which excludes other cats) and has one singular way of letting me know if I’ve broken them: one paw, stretched out, patting me lightly on whatever exposed skin is available … with claws extended.
It’s like someone’s trying to get my attention by tapping me gently with a cactus, and is highly effective. Or maybe more moderately effective than I realize, considering the number of small scratches I mysteriously accumulate.
If I forget to fill the bathroom sink for him before I go to bed, he lets me know. Insistently, with his paw needles. The only way to stop this is to get up and run the water until the sink has reached a level of his liking. He watches to make sure I do it right.
(Yes, he has a full bowl of water, but it’s all the way out in the kitchen and that’s just not convenient enough for him.)
If I sleep too late, he lets me know. Repeatedly. Until I get up.
I haven’t woken up to my alarm in years; he decides when I’ve slept enough. Worse, he’s getting me up earlier and earlier all the time – soon, I’ll be getting out of bed before I’ve ever gotten in.
Maybe that’s his eventual, evil goal … to achieve total domination of the bed and keep it all to himself, as I stand by filling and refilling the bathroom sink.
Neither is the living room a safe haven. Luckily, Jinx has his own basket on a stand that he stays in while we watch TV, but it is when I am most comfortably ensconced in my own chair that the third adorable pest makes her appearance.
Akoya is a daytime burrowing bedcat, shyly hiding from the light by digging under blankets, usually only visible by a singular paw stuck out under the edge, leading back to a tell-tale bump that faintly meows when softly poked.
She enjoys watching TV with the rest of us; however, while Jinx has his basket, Akoya prefers to stand on my chest, demanding attention, shedding the purrs she’s built up during the day, blocking my view. Eventually, she can be convinced to lay down, an orange horizon I look over and across to see my latest shows, like an upside-down sunset.
She’ll stay there as long as I carefully pet her, or until Wilfred decides he wants to share the attention and jumps on my lap, purring like he’s having an asthma attack. This goes over even less well than the desk situation; Akoya is not shy about her antagonism towards Wilfred, usually expressing herself through a literal hissy fit.
Eventually, just like desk or bed, everyone can be cajoled into a sort of acceptance of each other, at least until they don’t, and it starts over again: a never ending Ouroboros buffet of buffoonery.
(You haven’t left the library yet, have you? Good.)
My house has an adorable affliction of furry pestilence, causing havoc and creating messes, leaving dust and hair and hairballs in its wake, waking me with claws and hisses and thirsty demands.
I’m afraid it’s chronic, and most likely not going to go away for however long we remain in the house.
Still … it is nice to have some company in my office, and to hear the soft snores at night, and to be snuggled against during a commercial break …
To be honest … I don’t want it any other way.