American Reporter Correspondent
St. Simons Island, Ga.
March 4, 2008
A CONVERSATION WITH MY CAT
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Normally, when the cat starts his evening rant of meowing continuously until he makes his point, I just take it as long as I can, pick him up, and put him in the garage for the night. He doesn't want to go, but the meowing stops and I don't care if he likes it or not.
Tonight was different. Tonight I really have had it. I had already looked up what I could find on cats who meow incessantly so I knew they either wanted food or loving. When I first read it, I had to admit I had been a little slow in the loving department. All the other cats we had through the years were with us when the children provided the love andcompanionship. Now it was up to me. So, each morning when I let him in from the garage I offer a cursory, "Good Morning, Pearl."
Right off, Pearl knew I wasn't sincere. I stroked the top of his head and he shrugged me away. (In case you're wondering, I named him Pearl before I knew "she" was a "he.") At least I knew that after an all-night stay in the garage with just a little kibble and some water, he'd be hungry.
He meowed until I changed the water, filled the bowl with Fancy Feast's special blend of kibble, opened a Fancy Feast Gourmet blend of salmon and white fish, and place it before him. He only samples it until my coffee is poured, then he runs ahead of me into my home office and settles in to wait for me.
So, I determined, he wanted company. After a few minutes at my computer, he ambles over to my leg and firmly head butts my thigh. "Ouch," I say. Well he got my attention and then he started meowing. I don't know what he wants so I simply give in and go back to the kitchen and stand against the counter sipping my coffee while Pearl relaxes into eating his gourmet meal. Perhaps I'm supposed to stand guard while he eats - in case some predator comes by to pounce upon him.
Pearl is an inside cat. We did not de-claw him so he has his way with scratching the furniture. We've sprayed the products that are supposed to keep animals off furniture but it doesn't work with Pearl.
It's not that we don't want to give Pearl the freedom to roam and hunt the way all our other cats did, but Pearl is a beautiful, long haired, snow-white, blue-eyed example of feline perfection. If he were to go out, the other cats would scratch his eyes out and the sand burrs would cling to his coat.
We've had him for 11 years now, raised from a saucy little kitten to a huge cat who will not stop meowing to get his way. Tonight, however, I laid down the law. There he was head-butting my thigh as I typed. I saved my copy, got up and Pearl followed. He didn't follow me sheepishly, wondering what I was up to; no, he marched deliberately, victoriously, until I sat down in a straight-backed chair and turned on the television set. His head turned side to side, his eyes searched mine for some clue as to what was going on and then, giving up, he meowed.
I ignored; he meowed. I flipped channels; he meowed. He jumped up to the coffee table and tried to get on my lap. I gave him a loving gesture stroking his head and then ignored him. He meowed and meowed and meowed.
I was thinking back to times when my errant children tried to get the upper hand with me. I faced them down and slapped the palm of my left hand with the back of my right hand and said forcefully, "I am the mother. God made me the mother of you and you must never forget it. I am the mother! Do as I say."
It was no different with Pearl. I spoke firmly as I said: "Listen up: this is the word of God." I looked my cat in the eye, close up, eyeball-to-eyeball and read the words from an index card prepared for this heart-to-heart conversation. "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Then, with my finger pointed at the snow-white example of God's perfect handiwork sitting aloof before me - but not able to stare me down - I said, "That means you. I have dominion over you, you errant, determined, finicky feline; I am the boss, you are the pet."
"Moi?" I'm sure he "said" before his second meow.
"Oui, vous. I can speak your language. And dominion over means 'power over.' Get it?"
"Moi? No, no, no, no. Meow, meow."
"Oui, oui, oui, oui. C'mere, you're going into the garage."
"Because I said so."
Visit longtime AR Correspondent Constance Daley at her Website.