Friday, June 21, 2013

A Cat's Life

"Where's Jackson?" Mr. Wonderful said pausing the TV show he was watching.
"Sleeping," I said sitting on the sofa. 
"What'd he do all day?"
"Sleep."
"What'll he do tonight?"
"Sleep."
"Why do we have a cat?"


I had to confess, Mr. Wonderful raised some excellent points about the creature that lived in our house. I couldn't call Jackson a "pet" because a pet implied that you showered attention on that thing and that thing reciprocated you with love and affection. Even though we showered him with chicken, beef and more brushing than a Vidal Sassoon hair salon he still preferred sleeping. So Jackson wasn't a pet but a snoring fur ball that left unlimited cat hair--everywhere--in his wake. 

Jackson was sleeping at the time but I only knew that because I saw him sleeping on my favorite piece of furniture and thought--more hair on my armchair! But maybe I had this all wrong. Perhaps Jackson slept when we were around because he felt safe in our presence? Or perhaps he only slept when we were around because he thought we should sleep more? Or perhaps--just perhaps--he slept so much because when we were away this cat did play. A lot.

Imagine: Mr. Wonderful and I get breakfast, get into our cars and get to work and the moment we lock the front door, Jackson awakes. He starts his day with stretches and kibbles then scampers into the sunshine through the doggie dog. He surveys the backyard to make sure it's squirrel free then climbs up and over the fence trotting to Harold's driveway to oversee our 86 year-old neighbor washing his car. Jackson heads to the park where he meets up with a couple neighborhood kitties with whom he wrestles, rolling around on the grass. 

A sleek black cat walks by and she and Jackson sniff each other's butts. Before any more canoodling with the prettiest female on the block, he needs lunch so he races to the local deli for a pastrami on rye, which he washes down with an espresso and some light reading of War and Peace.


Returning to The House he finds the squirrel one dirty paw away from stealing fruit from the apricot tree. Jackson chases the varmint up and over the fence, across the Valley and into the Hollywood Hills. In the shadow of the Hollywood sign, Jackson pins the squirrel to the ground where the squirrel calls out "uncle" in squirrel-ese and swears never to bother our fruit or the Valley again. Jackson enlists the local coyote to serve as a witness to the squirrel's promises. 

As the squirrel hops off into the distance, Jackson meets up with the sleek black female who shows him the joys of Koreatown: a kimchi dinner, a massage and lots of feline canoodling, AKA butt sniffing. After 20 seconds of pleasure, an exhausted Jackson races home, sliding through the doggie door and collapsing on my favorite armchair just as I unlock the front door to see him sleeping again. What a busy life our cat has--

"What?" Mr. Wonderful said.
"It could happen," I said with a lilt in my voice.
"Our cat? Has a life? Impossible," he said returning to his TV show. 

Maybe Mr. Wonderful is right about the feline. So the question remains: Why do we have a  cat?