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August 07, 2002

And I thought Pregnant Women Could Be Demanding

Gracie, our cat, has turned into a large round, black, fuzzy balloon. We were joking that she'd swallowed a cantaloupe, but now! She's gone beyond that.

Cats always have this graceful way of eating where they sort of pose with their tail curled around and their feet in just the right place. Gracie now eats with her back end laying down, which creates a sort of lever effect so that her front end is lifted off the ground. Except this morning when her food was damp. Some of the water from the water bowl must have sloshed in so her normally dry food was slightly damp. There she lay her face next to her food, squalling like she does when it's empty, glaring at everyone who passed with her big green eyes. I told her she had food, but she just squalled louder. Finally I had my 8 year-old get her some more.

She's taken to laying across the floor vent, which means that the room stays extra hot. When anyone tries to get her to move she claws at them. It takes some quick movements to poke her in a safe place and get her up, without getting clawed.

Today I cooked chicken. A few weeks ago she craved fat, and hung around my feet while I cut up the chicken waiting for pieces of the chicken fat. I learned then that her craving would go as quickly as it came. This time I just took a small bit of fat, and she wasn't interest in it, but still paced and stared up at me. I tried the liver, and that she gobbled up. I also learned in past weeks that cats get morning sickness. She gorged herself on cat food then politely hacked the entire mess up on the fireplace hearth.

In the past Gracie would leap up into our laps to be petted, now she lays where she is and meows at us to come over and pet her. Oh, her "pet me" meow is quite distinct from her "feed me" meow. She also has a "QUIT STEPPING ON ME, IDIOT!!" meow, and a "I wanna go play outside" meow. I really think she feels left out of things now that she's not getting around the house as well. When we go someplace like a birthday party, or family get together, we take our digital camera, and when we get back home unload and look at the pictures. Inevitably Gracie, big round Gracie, will leap up on my desk when she sees the entire family gathered around and stand right in front of the screen. We'll give her a few token pats, then push her aside.

Charlie still hasn't figured out why she always mean with him. They used the wrestle all the time, but of course, now she's in no mood for that, and hisses and claws at Charlie when he proposed a tussle. When he finally gets too bored he'll start racing from one end of the house to the other as fast as he can go, usually stopping someplace long enough for whoever's there to look at him, and as soon as he see we're looking at him, tears off like he running from a bear. Once, he tried taking a short cut across a cedar chest loaded with papers and other documents, and wound up creating a snowstorm of scattered pages.

One of Gracie's boyfriends is an all white Tom cat. He actually came into the house last year, thinking it was empty and just sauntered into the bedroom, where I was working on the computer. I took one look at him, and said, "Can I . . . uh . . . help you with something?" He got that deer-in-the-headlights look and took off the way he came in. Anyway, if it turns out that he's the father, then we should have some interesting looking kittens. In any case, if any of them are like Gracie and all black, I'm gonna name it what I wished I'd named Gracie, Snowflake. Maybe if there's an all white one, I can name it Charcoal.


Posted by Jack Lewis at August 7, 2002 04:51 PM