Sunday, January 27, 2013

A woman's best friend

5:00 In the Morning (A true story that I wrote a few years back)

My cat has decided it’s time to eat
She wants a full meal not just a treat
In my back her head she does shove
Reminding me food is payment for love

I curl in a ball and pretend not to know
She cannot wake me back to sleep I go
Meow she screams as she paws my head
Meow, meow: get your ass out of bed

I wipe away her paw and say:
"The sun’s not up, I will not start my day”
Meow she replies “there’s pink in the sky”
Meow: her belly’s rumbling and time is nigh

“An ounce of patience is worth a pound of brains”
Oh kitty, the truth each proverb contains
Meow she responds with a tear in her eye
Meow my belly cannot wait she does sigh

“I love you baby, please don’t cry
But I’m not getting up till the sun’s high in the sky”
Meow, she nudges me “I love you too
But Meow I love food, what do you want me to do?”

Meow: just get up and put more food in my bowl”
Meow, her cry wrenches my very soul
I give up I say and stumble out of bed
But then fall down the stairs and bump my head

Meow she nudges me, you’re still not there
Meow I’m sorry, but my bowl is still bare
I get up and and towards the kitchen I limp
Meow she purrs: I love my wimp

Oh, and Meow: on the chicken you’d better not skimp
But baby, all I own is some brine shrimp
Meow I’ll survive, just give me the shrimp
But baby, not too much, you’ll become a blimp

Meow: my concern is actually becoming too lean
Meow: Now I don’t want to sound very mean
Meow: but bow down and acknowledge what all have seen
Meow: you’re a servant, now worship your queen

I found my cat a starving little tiny kitten, definitely less than a month old, in the backyard soon after moving to Portland. She desperately needed food, so I fed her, and she hung around. Within a couple of weeks she wanted to come inside, but she had fleas. Unfortunately as she was so young this meant she had to get a flea bath. This obviously was painful because while cats don't like baths in the first place, she had scratches all over her little body. She disappeared for three days after that. When she showed back up, she was with me to stay.*

The first problem was that she had a siamese howl and couldn't handle being alone in the house. She would sit in the middle of the floor and howl for the entire time I was out. My upstairs Haitian housemate who was a stay at home pothead computer programmer and said having cats in the house was against his religion seemed to not appreciate her meowing for hours on end very much. So I began bringing her everywhere, the store, to class (she would sit under my chair). After I moved if I tried to leave her at home, she would follow me to class and wait outside. She has gone camping and hiking and driven down the 101 coast with me. The scariest moment was when she jumped out of the car after just after sunset in Yellowstone when we stopped did a quick in the middle of the woods pit stop.... we could hear the wolves howling in the background. She obligingly jumped back in of her own accord, however, when I opened a can of fancy feast. In honor of that occasion her name was officially changed from "Pumpkin Purr-Bucket" to "Pumpkin Wolf-bait Purrbucket."

Being able to live somewhere that I can have my cat has dictated where I could live and whom I met for the last 10 years of my life, arguably changing my life very considerably. Now as I study and isolate myself leading up to the USMLEs, I have my cat right next to me. She meows if I sit still for too long and don't play with her. She meows if I sleep in, as she needs to play by around 5am. Like today, no chance of sleeping past five, it was kitty play time. I have had people ask me if there is such a thing as kitty adderall. But the little girl downstairs loves playing tag with my cat, as do I. I guess I may have made my cat a little ADHD over the years to be quite honest.... But in the end I have a best friend who has stuck with me through the best of times, the worst of times, and many trips all over the United States.

*Note, she does submit to bathing without scratching or complaining now. It seems to be part of the deal we struck when she came back after those three days. She is willing to be bathed as long as I care for her.

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