Friday, December 21, 2012

Upside Downside

It's left me pondering, it has.

The computer has been back a whole week. Of course I admit to spending some of my evening hours sitting in front of it playing World of Warcraft, but I also do enjoy being connected to people via a desktop that doesn't need to be turned off or back on when you're trying to access your email. (Looks at her phone.) As the frustration level with that grew, I found myself turning the durned thang off and just being without, just as I was some 20-odd years ago before the Internets were filled with cats.

One of the delightful things to come from a week without a computer was the big black cat's desire to actually commandeer the lap. I would come home, do a chore or two, make myself some supper and then retire to the recliner for an evening of stitching. She would jump up into my lap and settle down, sometimes for 90 minutes, falling asleep. Then, she'd go lie opposite me and fall asleep. This cat snores, too. I've mentioned before how a cat in your lap is a great way to lower your blood pressure and let the stress of worrying about things you can't change melt away with every ear scratch. Although I spent quite a bit of time reminding myself about gratitude, there is no doubt having Pilchard in my lap helped make the week easier to handle.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Mija would, on occasion, jump up and settle down, too. On several occasions, I'd have Mija opposite me while Pilchard was asleep in my lap. They might pick on each other at times, but they do get along, usually.

So this past week of getting the computer back has produced an unexpected result. Pilchard is angry. How do I know? I've been around cats as long as I can remember. I've had a cat in my direct life for almost 27 years. That's a long time. You get to know the tone of a meow, the body language, the subtle messages being sent by how your cat reacts to things. I brought the computer back, set it up and realized it would be a couple of days before I'd be playing World of Warcraft again due to the amount of downloading time required. She was happy last Friday and Saturday. Come Sunday, when I sat down and actually played, she was not.

She came into the office and meowed at me, repeatedly. She would stay just out of reach so I could not reach over and give her a reassuring ear scratch. Her meow was loud and had an edge to it. I would get up to get tea and she'd be sitting under the table in the living room, meowing at me. She would run away if I approached to offer a scratch. I would take my tea back into the office and she'd be behind the recliners, waiting. As I walked past, she'd meow and follow me into the office to sit by the door "commenting" on life or at least complaining that my lap was now elsewhere. She tried to lie down in my lap while I was at the computer but she doesn't like the angle nor the fact that she's sharing my lap with part of the desk. She prefers it when I have my feet up, reclining.

It's been quite the revelation for me. When they both came here, the pattern of the household was that usually, I played WOW in the evenings. My lap was available and I have places to my left and right where they can sit and be within ear scratch distance. It's quite interesting that it took less than a week for Pilchard to become accustomed to me sitting in the living room and having my lap available for use. She's not at all happy it's gone. Mija is more adaptable to this probably because she commandeers the bed and gets to sleep next to me. I didn't think cats were that adaptable. They are such creatures of habit and a change in routine can lead to behavioral problems, like elimination outside of the litter box. I tried to give her extra loves but this past week, she's wanted nothing to do with those.

So, this coming holiday is fraught with disruptions in schedules and patterns. There will be people they don't know coming and going and I expect some deliveries on the doorstep complete with doorbell ringing. Pam came over last night and even though they both know Pam, they scattered and didn't come out of their respective hiding places until she'd been gone for 30 minutes. All I can do is talk in soft tones and hope they get, by my demeanor, that life isn't falling apart. I'm thinking I really do need to set aside one day a week for use of the lap. It seems to mean a great deal.

Who knew?

Beverage:  water


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