Do you see a pussycat, tuckered out after long day of eating, lounging and splashing in the water dish?
Or do you see a content feline, happy knowing he's got it good: food, water, warmth, a sister who actually likes having him around, and a cushy (if not colourful) snoozing spot?
Me? I see neither.
I see conspiracy. I see vengence. I see barf in my shoes.
This is Zeus, Hagia's littermate/brother and Beanie's adopted brother: just as skittish as his siblings and less open to progress and new ideas than The Vatican and the Flat Earth Society combined.
The vast majority of cats prefer women; this one prefers men. He loves his papa (my Big, Strong Cardapoppy) and thinks the exbf is just plain neat-o. He'll even come out and watch male television presenters (I think Jamie on Mythbusters is a favourite).
Women, on the other hand bring a look of terror onto his little furry face. I swear he thinks the female portion of the humman species are all gorgons.
As far as this tiger cat is concerned, My Dear Little Cardamummy is something to avoid. His walnut-sized brain has been hardwired to avoid direct eye contact with her as he scuttles by, lest she notice him, and launch into Euryale-inspired shrieks of "Here Zeusie Zeusie Zeusie! I have some fishie for you!"
I am treated little better. Often our interactions consist of me sitting on the couch, his striated head craning around a corner to fix a terror-filled stare at me. If I obviously notice him, a temporary parlysis takes hold before he tears off to another room. Funny...I've noticed the same with a few human males.
Our truce is such: he does what he wants (within reason) and I feed him and do the box. I don't cuddle him and he doesn't leave me "presents"...anywhere. I don't complain loudly when I slip in the streams he leaves from his paw-dipping drinking technique. He doesn't sharpen his claws on my dining table leg. It works.
Again...certain parallels abound.
Things were going tickety-boo until a few weeks ago: the water dish needed refilling at three times the normal rate, just as the box needed to be cleaned at three times the normal rate, his hearing became comparable to a stone's, the muscle around his spine diminished, and no more arias. Dr. Bonnie confirmed it was diabetes and a new house agreement would need to be "negotiated": twice-daily insulin jabs: 8am and 8pm.
You try and stick a needle into the ruff of a cat who'd prefer you not share the same postal code.
My first solo attempt took 30 minutes. Hiss. Growl. Spit. Shoulders back. Jump out of the box to behind the furnace. Back away from me and try to escape through the gap to the washing machine. Barricades and flashlights. Leap into the box and then into the other corner, even darker and smaller and more difficult to get to. Grab. Jab. Yelp. A present was found later.
I've taken to giving Hagia a fake jab so he doesn't think he's being picked on. But he's smart and has figured out that there's no way his sister could be happy with a needle stuck in her ruff, so he hid, to watch what happens to her.
I wish I knew this before I tried to fake him out.
Apparently I cannot see a grey tabby, sitting under a clear glass table, positioned behind a table leg that's no more than one inch in diameter. Well, apparently not at eight in the morning.
It didn't take long for him to figure out she got the kitty crunchie reward without being poked by a needle. He was not happy. I found another present.
I told you he was smart.
Based on that, a new and somewhat successful routine was developed:
- Before my morning ablutions I plod my way down the steps to the kitchen.
- I enter the kitchen without acknowledging Zeus. Acknowledging him will have him tear down the basement steps like a bat out of Hell.
- I fumble with the syringe and insulin tube, in hopes that I don't prick myself or break the vial.
- I find my way to the basement TV temple with the unsheathed needle. The nanoseconds needed to flick of the orange cap is enough for him to run out of the box and find a place to hide.
- I set the needle down, get the fake jab, the catnip pouch and two crunchies.
- I pretend to not notice Zeus, the stealth cat, is sitting underneath the clear glass table, behind the one-inch diameter table leg, watching me.
- I rub Hagia's face with the catnip, fake jab her and feed her one crunchie.
- Then I coo at her, and tell her what a good girl she is. At this point, Zeus takes off to his carton behind the fireplace, next to the furnace.
- I swap out the fake jab for the real one.
- I find Zeus, chatter at him while I rub his face with catnip. I fumble for his ruff and I jab him. Sometimes he yelps.
- He then gets his crunchy and an extra catnip rub. If I've done well, he'll let me pet him--if I didn't do well he gives me a resentful "you'll pay for this, my pretty" look.
- I guillotine the sharp, toss the rest of it and then really start my day. If I'm lucky I won't come down the steps to find his writ of protest.
All this for one flipping unit of insulin. It's enough to drive a gal to drink. Well, almost.
I first had this drink earlier this summer at My Dearest Todd's suprise (somethingth) birthday party. Quite honestly, apart from my beloved G&Ts, this is now my favourite way to imbibe in hot weather. Besides, it's another way of getting fresh, seasonal blueberries into me (as if I need an excuse to eat blueberries).
I didn't get the proportions from those lovely barkeeps, so after a bit of experimentation, I've settled on this recipe. The blueberries, I suppose, are optional.
But then again, blueberries make this libation a health drink...as opposed to leaving it a mental health drink.
1 part açai vodka
1 part blue curaçao
1 part white cranberry juice
I'm a quill for hire!