My human calls me Penguina for my alleged resemblance to a penguin. That silly name is not my true name but, never mind. I write this with keyboard assistance from Dee Dee, Sondra’s daughter. We cats have a superior means of communication. But that is another story.
The first clue I had that something was up was when my servant, Sondra, was late coming home from work. Work, hmmm, something I don’t really understand. But she smells so delicious when she comes home. Sometimes, chicken, sometimes, fish. Mmmm. Oh, I’m forgetting where I was. Anyway, we have a system I worked out. Immediately after work she comes home and lets me out. Oh sure, I could use the “litter box” but really? I am much too refined. I prefer to refresh myself in nature. Anyway, that day the sun went down, it got cold, and she still wasn’t home. I do not like being kept waiting. Have I said that before?
Let me establish a few home truths right off the bat to avoid confusions later. Sondra calls me her cat. It is quite the other way around. Make no mistake, I own her.
After dark, Sondra finally rolled into the house. I elegantly and briskly marched outdoors. But, when I finished my toilette, I had to stand at the door and call for her to let me back in! Such rudeness! Such indignity! She ignored my complaints and sat down in my favorite chair. She thinks it’s hers. You humans are under the misperception that you own it all. I jumped up on her lap to be petted in that perfect way I taught her. What was that thing on her petting hand? It was hard and it smelled like medicine. She used her other hand. It does not pet as well. I endured. Hmpff. I wasn’t sure how she was going to do for me with one hand. I could see that I would have to take control here.
Sondra put me down and phoned her daughter, Dee Dee, my co-author. Dee Dee was my first servant. Oh, that is another story. Anyway, she told her daughter she had fallen and broken her wrist, banged her knee, bruised her face, chipped her glasses and ached all over.
Next she went to the bedroom to change into pajamas, which she lived in the next few days. She tried to pull her clothes off with one hand. And get dressed. I took pity on the poor old girl and grabbed an arm of her pajamas and handed it to her. You would have laughed to see the look Sondra gave me. Didn’t I already say we cats are the superior species?
Sondra clearly thinks she rules the roost. Roost, really, why do they call it a roost? We live in a house. No chickens here. Unless Sondra bakes a chicken. Yummm. I love fresh baked chicken when Sondra makes it. She always honors me with a giblet or special piece. Oh dear, I lost my train of thought again. Hmm, which makes me wonder why humans call it a train of thought? Oh well, I will worry about that later.
When the sun goes down, Sondra likes to brew tea to sip with a slice of toast. That evening was different. Did I say Sondra makes her own bread? She has to slice it? With one hand? I had to snicker when the loaf flew off the counter and landed under the table. I still find crumbs to lick up. Why she doesn’t buy sliced bread at the supermarket, like most humans, I don’t know. Sondra claimed she couldn’t open my catfood can or make her usual home-cooked meal. So we had to make do with a little dry food for me and a glass of milk for her. I was so happy when she later called her friend Mary to bring her English muffins and a soft snack for me. I was afraid we might starve, but I guess that we will be fine.
As a rule, before bedtime I jump into Sondra’s lap. Usually she rubs me like a good servant and makes me so calm and relaxed I go to sleep. But since her good hand is useless, now I rub myself all over her and purr until her blood pressure goes down and she forgets her pain.
I can see that our roles will have to change for a while, a little while, just for this emergency. I would say this constitutes such. However, discretion is in order. Please, do not even hint to my fellow cats that I am serving a human. I would never live down the shame.
(Sondra Ashton graduated from Harlem High School in 1963 and left for good. She finds, upon her return, that things are a little different. Keep in touch with her at http://montanatumbleweed.blogspot.com.)