Politics is “the art and science of political governance,” that is, of citizens. Even in their own home. Observe the resident cat.
We have three. This morning our trio’s main spokesman, Nubbins, declared to me in his most able and annoying voice, while I was in the kitchen filling the dishwasher with last night’s dishes, that it had really been too long since I scrambled a raw egg for the three of them. It was true, so I complied. Sure, one high-priced omega-3 brown egg for the furred bunch to keep them glossy, happy and whisker-licking for awhile.
I hadn’t thought about him as a ‘spokesperson’ for the family felines before, although I have distinct opinions about this fellow whom I have been known to refer to in affection as adjectively catzoid, and to (less affectionately) send him off my lap with “Hey! Go! I don’t sit in your lap when you’re eating.”
Would the others get extras if it weren’t for Nubbins? Jetter, the speedy, tortoise-shell gorgeous princess, wouldn’t say a word, just crawl and rub close enough for her big winsome eyes to melt you, at which point you’d pet her and start chatting her up but she’d dart for the door once again ever eager to check in on the yard bird action. Draco, the queen, is super picky and does not even bother to ask for anything; one simply has to keep making the effort to please her, or appease her with a long (and repeated) head-to-tail-tip stroke as she gains your attention from on high – as from your dresser top, the knick-knack- and other delicates-studded buffet top, the porch rails, etc. She’ll accept brother Nubbins’ successful requests for appropriations, but never ask herself.
They are so bossy, so demanding, so absolutely full of themselves, and so among the beautiful people of creatures that one takes them in innocently when they are in their prime (five weeks and fluffy, and 150 percent endearing) in the full belief that you will “take care of them.”
No, as soon as they’re full-grown, able to leap tall bounds, their heart of hearts will lock into an armor of personality that deceives you through ardor. They will tell you when you need to be in bed; will find nasty, smelly ways to inform you that the litter box is definitely not fit for use; will not give a second thought to lingering at the open door to check the weather conditions while you know the 22-degree outside temperature is sucking out the house heat with every breath; will find your lap when you’re upset and look so deeply into your eyes that you will wonder why you could ever possibly dislike or not appreciate them; will make clear that their personal weakness is any of the following – a stack of papers for diving onto or checking claw strength, or an empty or not-empty box, a freshly laundered bedspread that they simply must personally scent for you, or your dark fleece vest so they can divest themselves of loose white hairs.
You come home from hours away – working, shopping, driving a distance and back, a meeting – and they arise from their slumbers awaiting your next gift. Have I never said out loud, although I wanted to, “You guys don’t even know what work is! You don’t know what I do when I leave!”
They rule outrageously. They talk us into working on their behalf. They keep our feet warm under the bedcovers, but they also thoughtlessly wake us at three a.m. when we accidentally left them out and a windstorm brews. They whine for attention and when you say you can’t, they stay close by, and turn their heads away from you as if they’re meditating on an object in the corner.
They govern terribly! And I don’t remember voting. All that I recall is how unbearably cute they were six years ago, and how long it’s been too cold and of too little sun to be able to bask in their presence and still smile.
Linda Bergeron, a freelance correspondent for the Hell’s Canyon Journal, writes poetry, autobiographical sketches, and regional history, and has been published in the Tinker’s Shop, In Context magazine and Rain magazine.
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