In Which the Cat Does Some Plotting

Trip Start Sep 13, 2010
Trip End Dec 20, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Sunday, September 12, 2010

So we have this stray cat for the summer.  He’s a tiny brown tabby, probably about 19 in cat years and I named him Matimeo, although I shouldn’t have done that because naming things is how you get attached to them.  Try it.  Name anything, even inanimate objects, just you see what happens.
 Pronounce his name like you speak Spanish.  My father never gets this part right.  It may or may not be a Redwall reference, anyway.

 Matimeo is very cute and very playful, but often very badly behaved.  My mother always complains about his manners.  He jumps on tables, eats anything he can find, and isn’t nice to children.  He also hides is dark covered places and then ATTACKS you as you walk by.  It’s not that he doesn’t like you.  In fact, he craves your human companionship.  But he’s skittish and street-crazy and he doesn’t know what to do with his desires, so he lashes out at you digging his teeth and claws into your ankle instead of letting you love him properly, then acts all hurt and betrayed when you scream and spray him with water in the face.  He’s also 19-yeas-old, and I’ve found that most 19-year-old male humans are like this, too.

 The root of all his problems is that he was never loved enough as a baby.  First he was taken away from his mommy too early, then his owner abandoned him after he stopped being a minuet little kitten. Then he had to fend for himself in my alleyway for a while, living the hard life (don’t ask me how I know all this, it’s too complicated).  The result of this dark past is that sometimes, when he’s not having your shins for lunch, Matimeo will let you pet him and scratch him under the chin.  But he’s often fed up with this very quickly (teenagers become uncomfortable with too overt a display of affection, you know) and either bites you or deserts you to play with a shoe.  He used to purr, but he doesn’t much anymore.  He just can’t seem to forget the street-life, I guess. 

 As I’m packing, my suitcases are everywhere and needless to say, Matimeo gets involved.  He has now spent inordinate amounts of time in each of my suitcases, my drawers, my sweater bags and just about any where else he can find to make the process more difficult.
And this is what I think is happening: he knows I’m leaving.  Animals are smart like that.  Because obviously he can’t take me out for coffee and express to me his feelings.  This is his way of stopping me from deserting him.

 It makes me feel better to know the cat will miss me.  If my parents got in my suitcases like this however, there would probably be a blow-up.  But if the CAT, who for so long has found delight in snubbing me does this, by subtly draping his long body across my pile of socks, or hiding in my boot box, I can take the hint and feel good about myself.

 This morning I woke up with Matimeo on my chest.  Mind you, I usually wake up because Matimeo has snuck into my room, stalked my sleeping form (probably pretending that I am a pigeon or something), and pounced on my foot, claws extended in complete attack mode, to which I scream and lunge for the spray bottle.  Matimeo wildly dashes from surface to surface, knocking over picture frames and books, and finally beating me to the door without even getting one spirtz of water on his lovely coat.  GOOD MORNING.

 But this morning he was actually laying on my chest, I mean, almost like cuddling.  I didn’t even want to breathe, I was afraid I’d scare him off.  But he was doing something else, too.  He was pushing his claws, “kneading” my soft, plush blanket (they call this “making buiscuts” in Scotland.  I don’t know what they call it in Ireland.) and… basically making out with it.  I don’t know what else to call it.  He was definitely biting the material, but also kind of sucking and nuzzling and – get this – purring.  So I sat there and let him hook up with my blanket and pet him on the head, actually getting to kind of hold him.  I pretended that him being on my chest was another way, perhaps the last desperate way, of him keeping me here in Chicago – more specifically, here in my bed.  And it worked for a while.  I certainly didn’t get up.  I can’t explain the snogging bit with my blanket, except that perhaps he thought that my blanket was his mommy’s tummy and he was searching for a teat. 

 In reality, he probably didn’t even know I was there.  He was too engrossed with the blanket.  But it felt like cuddling.  And it kind of felt like a good bye.

I’m projecting, I know.  But I like it anyway.  
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Kat on

Looks like everything's going on cue! I'm so looking forward to your TravelBlog. Good ole' Matimeo (I do have the book!) reminds me so much of my little devil, Camille. I don't know if you remember him. They look very much alike, both have the dickens in them; although, Cammy was much fatter. (He never really got over what I call "refugee syndrome".
Love you lots. Kat xoxo

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