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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I’m told that the French have a proverb to the effect that a cat is always on the wrong side of a closed door.

There is much wisdom in this.

UPDATE:  Sorry about the randomness of the thought above, but I wanted to get it down this morning so as not to forget it.

You see, what I love about this proverb is that it so perfectly captures the feline temperament.  Unlike the expression “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence,” which implies a certain greediness or grasping materialism, it recognizes that for a cat what’s on the other side of the barrier isn’t nearly so important as the fact of the barrier itself.

I’ve been reminded of this almost every morning for the past five months or so due to something of a grudge match that has developed between me and Bella, the eldest of our three cats.

You see, when we redid the mawster bawthroom at Port Swiller Manor last summah, we took out an interior wall and door that enclosed the shower and thunder box, separating them from the vanity and the closet.  As a result, the entire area is wide open and the only thing between it and Robbo’s bedroom is a set of French doors.

Well, without going into detail, ol’ Robbo is an absolute stickler for privacy when he is, ah, enthroned.   So when I get up in the morning, I am always very careful to close said French doors between Self and the still-slumbering Mrs. R.

Bella, because she is a cat, does not like this arrangement.  Previously, she couldn’t penetrate the old sanctum sanctorum because of the ordinary but solid door.  However,  over the past few months, she has discovered and perfected the technique of wedging her paw under the new French door and heaving it open.

Oh-kay, I thought for a while, I don’t mind her in here.  So once Bella was on my side of the border, I simply closed the doors again.

Ah.   Not so simple.  Bella doesn’t like this, either.  No sooner do I sit down again but she’s hurling her considerable weight against the same door to get back out.


Actually, I must confess that it isn’t just the existence of the barrier itself that motivates Bella, although I’m sure that is a substantial part of it.  No, her behavior is also part of her passive-aggressive strategic campaign to make me shuffle downstairs and feed her, which she knows on weekdays I won’t do until I am showered, shaved and dressed.

On weekends, when I don’t get up so early, she will actually sit on the bed and watch me.  As soon as she sees anything approaching Robbo swimming toward consciousness, she will come and place her considerable bulk on my stomach.  If I play possum, which I often attempt, she will sometimes go so far as to smack my face with her paw.  Any direct eye-contact, according to the rules of our little game, is instantly fatal to my pretense.


God damned cats.



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January 2014