Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The cat surrendered.

Tweety has been around for around 11 years now. Nick and I adopted her from my mother-in-law when we began cohabiting. For a glorious 5 1/2 years, she ruled the household. We adopted her because she's constitutionally unable to peacefully co-exist with other cats. After a year of terrorizing mother-in-law's two old and ditsy sisters (Remember the Waltons? Remember the elderly sisters who made their papa's recipe for homemade wine? That is the exact personality of those two cats), rehoming Tweety was the best way to make all three cats happy. And Tweety was fabulously, gloriously, regally happy. Then came Jacob. Since then, Tweety has largely pretended that the children don't exist. She avoids them and their belongings. I can almost hear her singing, "I can't see you!" when they are in the room. We taught Jacob to leave her alone. We taught him to always give her an escape route. We established a kid-free zone so that she could jump over a gate for safety. She gets a little peeved that adult laps aren't always available. She perches on the back of my chair and whips me with her tail to express her displeasure. While it's not the ideal life for a queen, we've managed to avoid injury. Then Sunday afternoon, Claire ripped past me calling, "Kitty! Kitty! Pretty kitty!" By the time I cleaned my hands and raced into the living room, Claire had almost succeeded in putting a ponytail on the poor cat. Tweety just stood there and endured it. A little while later, she harfed up her third hairball of the weekend. Because I am smart, I can make the obvious connection between excessive hairball harfing and warm spring weather. It's only taken me 11 years to make the connection. Impressive, no? I found the soft brush and started to brush her. Surprisingly, Jake showed an interest. I showed him how to brush her, explained that purring is a good noise and hissing is a bad noise, and warned him away from the sensitive spots. Tweety endured (enjoyed?) the brushing for five whole minutes. That was FIVE whole minutes. That's longer than she's ever tolerated being less than 5 feet away from a child. So, at long last, surrender. I realize this is going to make my days a lot harder. I'll have to constantly interrupt Claire's attempts at feline beautification. I'll have to watch that Jacob doesn't try to brush her tail. She might actually come back into the bed with us, consigning Nick and I to the very edges of the bed while her 9 pound self stretches across the center. But maybe, just maybe, she'll be content again.


cheribear said...

We have boy cats. They took this whole 'children' thing in stride - they don't love the kids but I swear boy cats are like dogs - they'll take affection wherever they find it, and sometimes its in sticky fingers and rough fur tugging. They sleep on the kids' beds because they like to snuggle against a warm body, and the kids can't pull fur when they're sleeping.

Karen said...

I think deep down that cat loves the kids. She's just finally letting you know it.