Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Watching the cat watch me

Tuxedo, our surviving house cat, came to us 14 years ago straight from his birth house. He's never known the outdoors or an unkind hand. He was petted and loved on from the moment momma cat would let him be. So why is he so suspicious?

Basically, he watches my every move. Where am I now and what am I doing? Am I moving toward the kitchen? Hasn't it been an hour since he last had his Sheba? It doesn't matter that dry food, Iams Lively Senior, is always available. Why have I gone upstairs? Am I coming down soon? Is he going to have to go watch me up there as well?

Side note: It wouldn't hurt him to haul his twenty-plus pound carcass up the stairs a few times a day. That said, if he's up and I'm going down, but will be right back up, I tell him to stay. Half the time he follows me to the top of the stairs and cast a gimlet eye. I tell you, the cat has trust issues.

His favorite perch in the mornings is the end of the couch by the front door. From this position, he has a view of the downstairs and the opportunity to know when I'm up or down. He'll stay there until lunch time (his perception thereof) and if I've not made sufficient movement toward the Sheba can, he'll climb the stairs and fetch me. Plaintive crying doesn't get him anywhere, but he has a doesn't-hurt-to-ask attitude about this.

During lunch (mine), he begs his way onto the table to help me read the Wall Street Journal. He's not interested in people food. Just the news. If I leave him on the dining table (I know, I know, he shouldn't be there in the first place), he'll cry to be helped down when he wakes from his post-news nap. If I don't get him, he'll plop first into a chair and then thump onto the floor.

The afternoons find us as companions either up or down. If I'm writing, he's sleeping in the chair. If I'm reading, he's at my side. If I'm gone, he's upset.

Dinner is at five or sooner if I make an untoward movement to the kitchen. Afterwards, he fixes himself on the couch in the den and awaits me to join him for our TV watching. He'll cuddle to my side and only move if I insist on combing him.

But nighttime he relishes on his own. Rarely does he come upstairs until four or five in the morning, patiently waiting for the alarm to go off and then to cry until he is allowed to escort me downstairs to his food bowl and the day begins again.

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