For the last time, do you want to come in?

Tri-County Vanguard - - OP-ED - Tina Comeau

I’m a cat per­son. I don’t have any­thing against dogs. I’ve just never had one as a pet, whereas when it comes to cats there’s been Nicky, Boots, Greg (not named af­ter my hus­band), Smudge, Casey, Smokey and Coco.

This week marks the three­year an­niver­sary of us find­ing Smokey and Coco, as kit­tens, wan­der­ing around on our prop­erty. The cat who would be­come Smokey ran right to me in sort of a ‘Res­cue me! Res­cue me! I don’t know you hu­man, but I al­ready love you!’ kind of mo­ment.

The cat that would be­come Coco ran off in the woods. It took my son and his friend 45 min­utes to cap­ture her. Per­haps we should have seen this as a pre­cur­sor of things to come. She’ll come to us, but on her own terms.

My cats are in­door-out­door cats.

They are also, like all cats, in­de­ci­sive.

One recent day Smokey was at the pa­tio door. When he wants to come he’ll stand on his hind legs and swat the door with his paws. I opened the door for him. The con­ver­sa­tion went like this. Me: “Do you want to come in?” The cat: No move­ment.

Me: “Do you want to come in? … Do you want to come in? … Do you want to come in? … Do you want to come in?”

The cat: No move­ment. My hus­band: “He doesn’t want to come in!!!”

Me: “Or, maybe he’s just think­ing about it.”

Last Fri­day it was giv­ing a heavy rain­fall warn­ing. I wanted to make sure both cats were in­side be­fore I left for work.

The scene un­folds. I open the pa­tio door and call for Smokey and Coco. Within less than a minute Smokey is in the house. Leav­ing the door open for Coco, and not want­ing Smokey to go back out­side, I put Smokey in the laun­dry room and close the door. I can tell he’s won­der­ing why he’s got­ten the time­out since he didn’t do any­thing wrong. He’s me­ow­ing and scratch­ing at the door. I re­lent and let him out.

As for Coco, there’s no sign of her. And so on it goes with me yelling through a tiny open­ing of the pa­tio door – “Coco! Coco! Coco! Coco! Coco, where are you? Coco, are you hun­gry? Coco! Coco!” Over the next 20 min­utes it feels like I’m set­ting a Guin­ness record for the amount of times a per­son yells the name Coco. Even­tu­ally she ap­pears near the pa­tio door. Not close enough for me to grab, and not close enough for her to de­cide to come in. She walks away.

I go out­side and she’s sit­ting on the bot­tom level of our deck. If there is one thing I know about this cat, if she’s not in the mood to come in­side and I ap­proach her she’ll run off. And so I sit in a chair and try to coax her to me. “Hey Coco! Coco look what I have!” I ac­tu­ally don’t have any­thing, other than pa­tience that is wear­ing thin, but she doesn’t know that. Or maybe she does, since she doesn’t come. I stand up, she runs off.

I go to lower deck level and plunk my­self in an­other chair since I know she’s un­der the deck. Af­ter call­ing out her name an­other 50 times she ap­pears and saun­ters across the deck, again just out of my reach. I’m try­ing to rea­son with her. “You don’t want to stay out­side. It’s go­ing to rain.”

As I’m in­vok­ing logic, she’s sit­ting there lick­ing her butt. When I reach for her, she moves away.

I keep try­ing to coax her to me. I’m now talk­ing in a crazy pet voice, al­though it doesn’t seem to make any dif­fer­ence to her if I talk in my nor­mal voice or if I go five oc­taves above. Just when I think she’s go­ing to walk over to me, she does an about face and takes off. Aha! I have a new plan.

I go back into the house and open the front door. Some­times if she sees the front door open she’ll come in. Against my bet­ter judg­ment I don’t ban­ish Smokey to the laun­dry room.

I look out the front door and see Coco com­ing to­wards it. It’s work­ing! It’s work­ing! I po­si­tion my­self be­hind the door. Once she’s in, I’ll shut the door be­hind her. Here she comes…here she comes…here she comes…wait for it…she’s about to step over the thresh­old… she’s al­most in.

And then – darn it! – out of nowhere comes Smokey who chases her back out­side.

Why am I a cat per­son? Smokey is so pre­dictable within 30 sec­onds he’s back at the pa­tio door wait­ing to come back in.

As for Coco, do they make um­brel­las for cats?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.