Thursday, July 26, 2012

My cat grooms me to death

My summer vacation has only about a week and a half left. I know someone out there reading this who gets one or two weeks per year for vacation doesn't know what I'm bellyaching about. But remember, my salary reflects a 9-month schedule. If you want to live for a year on a 9-month salary you are welcome to try.

If we get the time off we don't get the high powered salary. If we get the high-powered salary, it means we have no time. No time for family, hobbies, study, church, recreation, volunteering, or whatever because the demands of a high-paying job sacrifices personal time.

At this stage of my life, I'll take the time. So I mourn the coming close of summer vacation, but within a week of starting school I'll be back in the swing of the routine and joyfully helping the kids I serve. Of course, that won't stop me from looking up on the school calendar when is the first three-day weekend...

My cat Bert has taken to grooming me at night. I discovered on the internet that cats often knead their owners as a sign of affection and an indicator of their level of relaxation in your presence. Cats who lick their owners are rare ones who are very affectionate toward them. Their grooming me means he has a high level of trust and I'm seen as a solid part of the pack. Strangely, most cats who groom their owners usually do this only at night. My cat holds to the pattern. But it hurts, kinda, because their tongues are like sandpaper. Plus, it's just icky! Have you SEEN where they groom themselves?? But the cat websites say that we should remember that it is a high sign of affection, so I don't boot him off the bed when he does it. I let him give me a kiss or two, I pet him back for a stroke or two, and then I put a pillow on my face until he goes away. He leaves, thankfully before I suffocate, but then he's back in an hour. It used to be once per night but now it is almost every hour or two. This isn't a problem during summer when I can sleep late, but as of August 6 I have to get up at 6 sharp. I'll have to figure out what to do about the grooming cat.

I've often commented that I enjoy the wildlife around here. Although I'm only a mile from town, my town has a population of 300 I think. It's rural here. I can hear the cows and roosters and dogs and cats and howls of coyotes and owl hoots and horses...I've even seen possums and armadillos and buffalo and emus. But last night something was on my doorstoop late. I had a throw rug in my hand to shake out, and as I opened the front door I saw something gray on the gravel next to the step. I had the rug in front of me which obscured my vision, but something was there for a good couple of seconds. It didn't leave. Startled, I kicked the wrought iron post rail and said SCAT! It turned and scuttled away. I still didn't see it clearly but what I did see had a long, skinny, hairless tail. I think that it was a hairless Sphynx. Yeah, that's it. Anyway it was weird lookin'.

I have to say, I've REALLY enjoyed not being around people this summer. Cats are much better. Even the weird ones stalking my stoop.


Sara G said...

Our cat loves to groom us, especially my husband's short hair or our necks, any time. He's been this way for many years and yes the tongue hurts. I was shocked the first few times I saw him do the licking. We just pet him and then make him lay down somewhere else. My other cat, miss her, would lick my hands at different times.
Enjoy your last of summer! Sure went by quickly. We are getting things ready for our daughter, 4th grade here she comes.

Elizabeth Prata said...

Hi Sara G! Our animals do love us and we love them, for sure. I agree, summer went by in a flash! I hope your daughter has a good return to school. 4th grade, where does the time go?