As my most consistent topic of online conversation lately has been cats rather than creme brulees and cacciatore, I thought I could at least explain the latest. If you're looking for love triangles, you'll have to look elsewhere because today we're talking about our commute. And by our, I mean the cat and I.
HoneyCat and I have been together for a little more than three years. She's been an indoor/outdoor (read:garden) cat for two of those years. In the winter, her primary purpose is to make getting out of bed as hard as possible for me. She burrows all the way into the blankets, creating sprawling warm spots that I must pass through to get both legs on the floor. She is sleepy and soft and I am too. I ask her if she wants to go out but I'm really just being a smartass because, lo and behold, it's -10. She looks at me bemused, demands a treat, casually mentions that she'll be working from home today and I get on my way to the office in yesterday's fleece socks, 2 scarves and the Monster jacket that I wear to look most like a black hole.
Come Spring, our commute changes. Suddenly, little miss has *ohsomuchSpringinherstep* at 4:45 in the AM. And she has a breakfast date so I better put some pants on and let her get about her business or she is going to get loud with me, sir. Now, lest you've somehow been deceived, know that I'm not terribly graceful when I'm wide awake and hydrated. At 4:45, I'm walking something like Lucy and talking something like Nell (story for another day). I started noticing she was having her boyfriends meet her downstairs and then returning to the house to have coffee with me before I left, kind've cute. At this point it was still too chilly to leave her out during the day so I bid her adieu by sidestepping her quick little gerbil tail into the fake ficus tree in the living room and sneaking out the front door.
Now that it's warm, however, we have a new pattern emerging. One that makes me look/feel crazier than any assessment you dear readers have already subjected me to personally. Now it's warm and she's single for the moment. And she wants to do everything together. She wants to wrap herself around my shins while I make coffee. Lays on top of whatever I put out to wear for the day. She squeezes into the bathroom while I shower and, frankly, my bathroom is just not big enough for both of us. She ends up sitting in the sink. Not optimal.
The major thing she wants to do together is go to work. As soon as I'm out the door, she sneaks out behind me (or she's been biding her time outside, knowing I would leave soon) and races in front of me toward the front gate. And it goes like this:
Me: Could you not? I know you're trying to beat me to the gate and you're not allowed on the train.
HC: WTF? Don't start with the attitude this early...you're the one right on my heels. You can't even handle it when I read over your shoulder and you're totally on my tail right now.
Me: Read over my shoulder? You mean when you sit on my hands WHILE I'M TYPING? I don't have time for this. Just stay here please.
HC: You're making us late.
Me: You forgot your blackberry.
HC: I fell for that yesterday, try again.
We are now outside the gate and I'm clearly trying to outpace my cat. Neighbors are watching me run away from my cat. I pause. Neighbor's nanny is taking her time buckling the kids into strollers and not-so-subtly cracking up.
Me: GO HOME
HC: I'm rolling around on sun-drench sidewalk (pictured at top). Walk around me.
Me: If I walk around you, you will find a way to be underfoot...you forgot your badge.
HC: I'm significantly more agile than you are and I have a meeting at 9:30 so you're going to need to stop harassing me...I went out of my way not to get fur in your coffee today.
Me: Yeah cause you stuck your FULLY EXTENDED PAW in my water glass last night. If it were still cold enough, I'd make a hat out of you.
HC: *Purring and writhing on sidewalk
Me: (Long overdramatic sigh) Fine.
I rub her belly, scratch her chin and put her back inside the garden. She is momentarily distracted by a bug and I am left to jog to the train before she comes out of bliss mode. Most passerbys seem to think it's charming that my cat does what many dogs do. By day four they'll be telling reporters how it was really so sad that I needed to be committed because I had a lot of fabulous hats and seemed quite friendly.