Wednesday, August 30, 2006

a tale of two cats

I love tuxedo cats, but it is coincidental that we have two of them. One cat, a male named CJ (Cowbert Jr.) was a Christmas gift from my daughter to me three years ago. Cowbert is so name because he has markings like a Jersey heifer, with a beautiful black Batman mask and a black nose. Our little fat female, Rei, is a college orphan. Once again our older daughter gave her to us because she could not keep her pet in a dorm apartment. Rei was the runt of a litter, and she is jet black with really short legs, a short tail that is always snaking a greeting to us and little white gloves on her paws, a white chin and throat, and a fluffy white bikini bottom. Her stomach swings back and forth and practically drags the ground when she runs because she is so short and fat. They are quite the pair.

Cowbert is a girly man cat. He is really easily startled, and his favorite prey is houseflies. He sits by our back window and looks out on the yard at the birds landing on our pool cover to get a drink, meowing in this hilarious tremolo that sounds so utterly pitiful. But he's afraid to go outside, so I'm sure it's all an act. The birds look good, but he would never have it in him to catch one. I don't know. He's been known to jump vertically at least a foot if we drop a dish or laugh too loud.

Our baby cat tends to harbor delusions of grandeur. The birds don't really capture her attention. What does is an adult rabbit that loves my backyard plants. She spied this rabbit, probably twice her size, creeping around the back, and pressed her ears to the window, stiff as a board. She watched until the bunny was out of sight through our fence, no doubt dreaming of rabbit stew like Elmer Fudd. And something tells me if we let her outside, she'd make the attempt. She has no problem perching herself on top of the litter box cover and boxing CJ's ears when he comes out after using it, as if to punish him for using "the ladies' room"! When Rei is tired and wants her favorite chair, if someone is in it, she'll circle the chair and sometimes bat the offender's head from the top cushion if the chair is not vacated when she's ready for her nap.

I love our cats and while they are so funny to observe I have to admit, I do the same things. Either I chase houseflies or I think I want a rabbit, when a bird is the perfect thing. It's easy to get content doing only what a body must do, or imagining something impossible, ignoring the present day opportunities. Sometimes the impossible is right, if you are willing to work for it, but to let it be a distraction with no hope of any attainment wastes all the gifts of today. Fear and overconfidence are two sides of the same coin.


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