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March 20, 2002: Close to you

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Pud. Dupdupdupdupdup...

Why do cats suddenly appear

Pud. Dupdupdupdupdup (skitter skitter)

I wake up slowly, reluctantly, to the sound. It's not hard to place. A flash of black furred tail crosses my peripheral vision and I heard it again.

Pud. Skitter skitter.

Every time, you are near.

I know without looking what it is. I turn my head enough to see that it is just about two in the morning before I roll over and try to block out the noise with my pillow.

Pud dupdupdupdup

I remember reading somewhere that cats were supposed to be aloof. Cats did not seek attention. Cats, this mystery document declared, were solitary animals and really couldn't care less about people. They are the cats and they walk by themselves, all places being alike, or something like that.

Whoever wrote that never met these cats. When I leave the room I feel sometimes like momma duck with her row of baby ducklings trailing close behind. When I sit down, they all gradually wander in, to stay or to drop by for frequent visits, just to make sure I'm still there. I have a constant shadow in the form of Azzie, who cannot stand to be out of sight, to the point that when I go to the bathroom he will cry pitifully right outside the door until I let him in. If we are in the computer room, at least one of us is fending off Allegra from our laps, and the other is reminding Azzie, for the one-billionth time, that we are *not* behind that closed door to the guest room where he stands and cries. If I get up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water, Zuchinni appears out of nowhere and follows me back to bed, beeping insistantly until I pet him.

Just like me, they wish to be.

And that sound I am hearing, at a time of night when no sane person really wants to be awake, is the sound of a super ball being chased around the bedroom while we are trying to sleep. No matter how many times we may do a search and retrieve mission for all the noisy toys and toss them down the stairs before bed, somehow they still manage to carry a few back up. An entire bottom floor of the house to play in, but they'd rather play in the bedroom, where we are. During daylight hours it's rather touching, actually, knowing that they actually enjoy our company so much. During the night, we dream wistfully of those mythical cats who fit the profile - aloof, solitary, silent.

Close to you...

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