Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cleo's Perspective

I watch the woman as she goes into the forbidden room. The room where adventure awaits--so many options of things to do! If only I could get in there without her knowledge, I could gnaw to my heart's content on the bristles of the broom. I could explore behind the two large machines where she puts her clothes--one making them wet and the other making them dry. I could climb to the tip top of the wooden ladder, then jump over to the shiny silver tube that connects the loud, dirty machine on the wall to the hole in the opposite wall. That's the machine that the two men looked at earlier today. They said it was broken and they'd replace it tomorrow. I wish they'd never replace it--ever since it's been broken, the living room has been so nice and comfy and hot, not all cold like the bedrooms are. Apparently the similar machine in the room off the hall still works. Drat it, I wish it would break too! Then the whole apartment could be toasty warm and I wouldn't have to freeze if I follow her, no matter where she goes.

But the other machine still works. And she won't let me into the forbidden room. Even now, as she comes out with her arms full of clothes, she nudges me away from the door with her foot before she closes it. She walks off down the hall to the room where she sleeps. I follow her. I am haunted by the thought that if I let her out of my sight, she'll disappear forever. So is my sister, Isis, who trails along with me. I sigh as I pass through the invisible boundary where the functional machine takes over for the broken one, making the air chilly.

The woman dumps the clothes on her bed and starts to fold them one at a time. I jump onto the bed and walk over to sniff the clothes; I want to know exactly what those machines in the forbidden room do to them. But what is this? They're warm! This could be the solution to my problem. I lie down on the warm clothes and snuggle down into them. Oh, perfect, heavenly bliss! I'm warm, the surface underneath me is soft, and I can see her as she laughs down at me. I also see my sister, crouching by the door to another forbidden room--the one filled with shelves, shoes, and dangling pieces of fabric that are oh-so-fun to climb! She's hoping to get in when the woman opens that door, as she always opens it after bringing in clothes from the forbidden room down the hall. But I'm not tempted to join her; she won't get in; she never does, and meanwhile, I'm warm!

The woman continues to pluck clothes from the bed and fold them. She jostles me as she takes some clothing from underneath me. She seems to be picking up the big pieces first. It won't be long now--yes, there she goes. She's picked up a stack of folded shirts and is heading toward the forbidden door where my sister waits. She opens the door--Isis darts in--but the woman is too quick again. She grabs Isis with one hand, still holding the clothes in the other, and Isis is put back outside the forbidden room. I watch as the woman uses wooden hangers to make the clothes dangle temptingly toward the floor, keeping one eye on Isis the whole time. She comes back out of the forbidden room, closes the door, and pets Isis apologetically. Then she repeats the whole process with another stack of clothes and the door to the other forbidden room.

I get bored watching this process. I start to groom myself lazily. She comes back and starts folding the smaller clothes. As she pulls the clothes from around me, I get cold. I see one of the long, narrow tube-clothes that the man uses to keep his feet warm. Maybe it will work for me, too. I grab it with my mouth and place it against my neck and head. Aah, that's better. Nice and warm again--wait, what's she doing? That blasted woman just took that carefully placed piece of fabric away! She can't do that; that's mine! In anger, I bite her hand. Not hard--I don't leave marks or draw blood. It can't really even hurt her; it's just enough to let her know that I'm displeased with her.

But now she's displeased with me. She isn't laughing as she grabs the skin at the back of my neck and pulls me out of what's left of my warm, soft nest. She tosses me unceremoniously to the floor. "No biting!" She sounds angry. I know better than to try to reclaim my nest. She's now folding the clothes that I was lying on. I sit on the floor and watch her balefully as she puts the rest of the clothes in drawers--drawers that she always hauls me out of if I manage to climb in. She's no fair. I'm not allowed to go anywhere exciting or do anything fun.

But I still can't let her out of my sight. Maybe she'll at least--yes, she is! She's going back down the hall, back to the cozily warm part of the apartment. She sits down at the desk and opens the lid to her typing-machine-with-a-screen. Oh, yes, I recognize that! She calls that screen "Blogger." Whenever she makes the machine show that, I know she'll be there for a while. Here we go ... I curl up in my basket, pleasantly situated where the warm rays of the sun would hit it if the woman hadn't stopped opening the curtains when the cold-making machine broke. But I don't need to be in the sun right now; it's warm enough, with that stupid machine broken. Oh, yes, so pleasant! I think I might (*yawn*) just take a little ... zzzz ... zzzz ...


  1. We both so enjoyed this blog - you really need to consider becoming a professional writer. We miss hearing from you more.

  2. Deborah, I popped over to thank you for commenting on my blog, and was delighted to find another American Ex-Pat blog when I arrived. Your writing is wonderful, and I enjoyed this post from your kitty's point of view! How fun!

  3. As a true lover of felines, I applaude your story. I am one of those people who understands cats, and therefore enjoy their independence and genuinely- given love. They are not as needy as dogs (although I do love dogs), and they give their affection as a real gift... as though youve earned it.
    thanks for your story. Do you still live in Egypt?
    Julie (USA)

  4. Julie-Thanks. We do still live in Egypt, with our two kittens (although I guess at almost 2 years old, we can't call them kittens anymore) Cleo and Isis. Cleo is just as adventurous as ever, and Isis quietly asserts her independence at every opportunity.


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