Monday, November 01, 2004

In the meantime, wear shoes around here

Many years ago, I was up late working on a fiction writing project when my big orange tabby, Bosco, wanted to go to bed. He began walking along my bookcase, and, selecting a volume, pulled it out and let it tumble onto the floor. The volume? How to Sell What You Write.

Not long after that, I woke up on my birthday to find a tiny stuffed animal on my pillow, holding a little sign that said "Happy Birthday." I found out later in the day that my cat Betaille had stolen this from my nextdoor neighbor's house—she was a cat burglar any way, but how did she know it was my birthday?

A few days ago, Kaylee, the little Stripe Sister, began trying to tell me something. It started when I noticed she was coming into my office, standing up on the back of the sofa, and picking push-pins out of the bulletin board. She'd then take the push-pin and bat it around the house until it was lost under some piece of furniture.

That particular bulletin board is covered in memorabilia: Handmade cards, favorite snapshots, bookmarks, my tags from MacWorld and Northwest Bookfest--you get the drift. The bulletin board gets assembled slowly over time as a collage (similar to those "mindmaps" drawn by the touchy-feely facilitator-types at the non-profit bureaucracies where I used to work).

So this morning Kaylee is busy taking apart the last three years of my life. She's worked her way more than halfway up the board and can't reach any new push-pins by standing on the back of the sofa. Now she just launches herself onto the bulletin board, hangs there by her claws, and works at the next push-pin with her teeth. When she gets it, she releases the claws, pivots, and bounces down onto the sofa with her prize. Cards and photos are all over the sofa and the floor, where big Stripe Sister Zoe is helping play with the push-pins. Now even Sheba, the deaf white cat, is involved in the push-pin soccer game. (Don't try taking a push-pin away from her!)

I could get the squirt gun and stop Kaylee, but at this point it's fascinating to watch. Clearly, I'll have to build a new bulletin board--after she outgrows her push-pin obsession. In the meantime, we'll be wearing shoes around here.

The bulletin board bandit makes her getaway with another push-pin.

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