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October 08, 2001: Catering to the cats

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Picture, if you will, a dining room, sans table (it's a new house - we're still working on that furniture thing), with wood-laminate floors. In the middle of this room sits a medium-sized cardboard box, full of shredded newspaper that was once around a wedding present. This box, sitting there for weeks, has mostly been ignored, until last night.

Last night the box somehow managed to tip over upside down, spilling paper out. And this evening, the sound of crinkling slowly began to fill the air.

Richard and I investigated. It was clear that there would most likely be shredded paper all over the dining room floor fairly soon, and the possibility of it spreading outside that room was rather high. When we walked in, all crinkling stopped, and the current two culprits did their best to act innocent. Sebastian sat amid one pile, looking for all the world like some oddly fuzzy bird in its nest. In the larger pile Azrael lurked, sitting still at first, but then unable to resist rolling over on his side, eyes wide and paws stretched out over his head in Full Cute Mode. Even Zuchinni crept out later to pat gently at the paper, before the rattle of a ball being batted in another room by another cat startled him and he skittered frantically out of sight.

I did try to get pictures of the mess in progress, laying on my belly on the kitchen floor for a long time so that I was at eye level with the mess producers, digital camera pressed to my face. But each time I'd begin to depress the button to capture their latest escapades, the cat being photographed would stop immediately and adopt his or her most mundane expression and pose.

So you'll just have to make do with imagining - a floor the color of deep honey, littered with piles and curls of delicate newspaper shreds.

And a few random cats thrown in, burrowing through it, or curled in the middle of it, eyes closed in perfect feline contemplation, whiskers and ears turned full forward in contentment, purring.

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