Teeth and Claws

I couldn’t find my phone this morning. I’m not a married-to-my-phone kind of gal but I use it to time the early morning ten minute writing I do. If I don’t do it, I’m an even bigger bitch to the world. We don’t want that. Every night, I turn it off and leave it by the coffee pot. When I wake up, I turn it and the coffee on. When I get out of the shower, I’m ready to go. But, by the time I found it this morning (living room table – wth?), I’d wasted that precious ten minutes and the cats were flinging themselves (literally) against the back door, howling, wanting their breakfast.

Recently, I’ve taken to hiding in my room, coffee in one hand, pen in the other, to write before I let them in because otherwise I’m covered in “playing” cats while trying to write and protect my coffee from flying animals.

This morning, though, I had to be [insert sarcasm face]  flexible, which pissed me off. I have a routine, dammit! It keeps me sane, for gods sake! I let out a large sigh, cursed the universe, let in the cats, fed their sorry asses, and then went back to my room to write.

Naturally, when they were done eating they came to find me. The kitten, belly full, began to attack the others in the middle of the carpet. Pokey, my long-suffering sleek black panther, jumped into an open window to get away from her. She leapt and leapt at him until he hissed. Not taking the hint, she kept at him until he growled, threw a punch, and jumped out of the window, fleeing to another room. The kitten, convinced this was part of the fun, ran after him. He sat in front of Dusty’s closed bedroom door, meowing to be let in. He needed sanctuary and knew he’d find it under her bed in a kitten-free environment.

I am truly feeling Pokey’s pain these days. I’m chased by kittens all day long in the form of needs, requests, expectations of others. They are piling on top of each other, each with their particular teeth and claws, grabbing hold of my sanity in all the most tender places, the most vulnerable spots. I’m ready to quit and run for the hills but I’d take a weekend with no must-dos. I want that under-the-bed hiding place behind the camera bags and chemistry textbooks and middle school diaries full of angst and woe. I want a window sill high enough to keep the predators of my time at bay. I need a wife. A personal assistant. A new car. Money and time to solve the problems their lack has created.

I am reminded of my favorite Steve Martin bit: “You can be a millionaire! First: get a million dollars!”

It’s Friday. It’s been raining forever. If I was the praying kind, I’d be praying that the football game would be cancelled so my sick daughter can come home tonight at a reasonable hour and get some sleep and kitten-free sanctuary before her band competition tomorrow (before she ends up with pneumonia). Instead I will just send a message up to the clouds to keep pouring down on us (soundtrack: Quadrophenia) until that email comes. Our Sunday will be filled with must-dos, the teeth and claws of things that gotta be done. But hopefully there will be some rest in there, too. Some deep, boneless kitten sleep full of loud purring.

Or, at least a damn beer.


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