Friday, June 13, 2014

The Visit

"They'll be arriving in two hours," I said scrubbing the kitchen table.
"Are you ready?" Mr. Wonderful said lifting his cup and saucer as I wiped the space under it.
"I guess. How about you?"
"Sure. What about the cat?"
"I haven't seen him all morning."


Before visitors arrive I go into overdrive. I clean the house, floors, walls, ceilings, sheets, towels, windows, cars (inside and out) and even wash the leaves of my plants. The Santa Ana Winds always does a number on my outdoor Jade plants lathering them in dust. So before my family came for a muti-day visit, I was so busy cleaning, looking into tourist attractions and Swiffering my garden plants, I hadn't even noticed where my cat was.

I needn't have worried.

While I was uber busy preparing for my family's visit, Jackson was doing what he did before guests arrived: sleeping. Which is very similar to what he usually does when guests are not arriving: sleeping. In fact the only way I know that my cat is content is when he is doing one thing: sleeping. 

But his sleeping soon ended. Before the "Dong" had sounded after the "Ding", Jackson had leapt four feet into the air and scurried into the guest room much like a "Tom and Jerry" Warner Brothers Cartoon--specifically an episode where Jerry is chasing Tom. He even ran on his hind feet to take cover behind the curtains. 

Maybe I should have worried? 

I opened the front door and my family poured inside. After hugs and kisses I showed them around The House. Forget the pool and the DIY work we'd done, they only had one question.  

"Where's Jackson?" they asked with bright eyes and smiles. These animal lovers couldn't wait to hug and pet our feline.
"Maybe he doesn't exist?" someone said. Jackson not exist? I couldn't make up an emotionally fragile, scaredy cat like him. Aha! I'd show them! But would I freak out my cat by bringing strangers to see him? After all he had hidden himself to avoid contact with strangers. Like a cornered wild beast, would he lash out against them? It was a risk I had to take. Besides I had to show them how I had cleaned that room's ceiling, too.

I led them into the guest room and pulling aside the curtain I revealed our tuxedo cat.

"Jackson!" my family said in chorus.
"He exists!" the doubting family member said bending down to pet him. Several hands stroked his fur coat. The cat didn't flinch, he didn't bite and he didn't leap into the air like a cornered beast. He accepted their love and affection because he recognized their fondness for animals. 

Jackson hiding behind the curtain? I needn't have worried. Thankfully.