I was peacefully working away on the computer this morning, when Tuffy-Cat marched into the office, sat down next to my chair, and glared up at me.
“MEOW!” she declared.
If you own – or rather, are in service to – a cat, you’ll know what an effect such an evident feline reprimand can have.
I had no idea what I’d done wrong, but something was evidently raising her hackles. Perhaps the food situation in the kitchen was unsatisfactory. I disengaged my mind from the computer, got up, and dutifully followed her to the kitchen, as she trotted along, leading the way.
Food bowl – hm… yes, clearly there weren’t enough korreltjies left in the bowl, so that had to be topped up pronto. Miss T wound herself around my legs in joyful anticipation.
When I plonked down the food bowl, though, she looked pointedly at the water dish, and then back up at me. The water level must’ve been a little low for her liking, even though hubby had filled it up at breakfast time.
I obediently filled it up close to the brim.
She was clearly thirsty, because she shoved her nose into the water while I was still filling it up.
My job apparently done, I returned to the computer. Would I be allowed to work in peace now?
I could hear the creak of the one wonky floorboard in the passage as Tuffy-Cat marched into the office once more.
The weight of her tread indicated that she meant business.
She sat down and – I swear – glared at me. I know we tend to anthropomorphise (or whatever) our pets’ facial expressions, but seriously, this was a GLARE. If there had been any flicker of doubt in my mind, she eliminated it with a stern “Meow!”
I ignored her.
Eesh… not a good approach.
She went and sat underneath Richard’s office chair, reached up lazily with one claw, and dug it into the edge of the seat… then plucked it out, and dug it in once more… pretending to pull herself up with one paw, while glancing back at me out of the side of her eyes.
I was trying to ignore her, but clawing the furniture is a no-no, and she knows it will get a reaction.
“Tuffy! Stop it!”
She flattened her ears and pointedly turned her back to me – evidently sulking – then dug a claw into the edge of the seat again defiantly. I wanted to laugh. But you don’t laugh at an upset cat.
I picked her up and placed her on Richard’s chair, hoping that she might settle down now. She promptly climbed up onto the desk and marched past the printer and onto my keyboard, blocking my view of the screen and winding her tail in my face, all the while trying to climb onto my lap.
Although I love it when she snuggles on my lap when we’re watching a DVD on the sofa, it’s really uncomfortable when she does this when I’m trying to work… because her claws are seriously pointy, and she likes to dig them in when I become fidgety. “Keep still, I’m trying to sleep here,” she seems to say.
Just then, the cellphone rang.
I answered, and tried to shift Tuffy out of the way, as the person on the other end wanted me to see whether I had taken any photographs of a particular person at Saturday’s event. Miss Tuffy regarded this as a game – who would get control of the mouse and the keyboard first?!
When I unceremoniously lifted her off the desk and lowered her onto the carpet, she was visibly miffed, and emitted a couple of meows that I’m sure could be heard on the other end of the phone!
While I was still trying to sound calm and focused, she reached up with one paw, and patted me firmly on the leg. “Next time, it’s the claws,” she seemed to hint.
At last, the penny dropped. She didn’t want my lap, she wanted my chair!
So, of course, like a well-trained cat-mommy, I gave her my chair and took Richard’s chair instead. And at last, Miss Tuffy is content. And she has confirmed, once again, that she is in charge of this household. But really, when you look this adorable when you sleep, how can anyone possibly protest?