Wednesday, September 18, 2002
On Fussy Cats and the Vagaries of Household Staffing

Cats with white socks on their paws can sometimes be very fussy. Perhaps it is all of that vainglorious, obsessive grooming that's required to keep those paws so pristinely, April-Fresh-Downey white. Although it is quite charming when one sock on the hind leg goes up much higher than the others -- as if this otherwise extremely fussy cat had absentmindedly put on three anklets and one knee sock on the back, or perhaps was having a bit of a Laundry Debacle and had inadvertently run out of anklets. (One should probably not anthropomorphize one's own Laundry Dysfunctions (see below) onto one's cat, however.) A
Fussy Cat must maintain an ongoing list of various household functions which meet with his disapproval and over which he can can regularly express his disdain, thus continually reaffirming his own, superior standards over the rather slipshod, Philistine operations of the Household Staff. Some of the more egregiously barbaric practices on this list include:

(1) Household Staff's insistence on operating an ear-splitting, dubious-looking device referred to as "the vacuum cleaner," which dangerously sucks up portions of the universe, including one's fur(!), into a Star-Trekian worm-hole of sorts;

(2) Household Staff's insistence on operating a similarly ear-splitting, albeit smaller, dubious-looking device referred to as "the blow dryer," which conversely blows out obnoxious gusts of hot air(!);

(Note: A fussy cat believes that all this hot air is not only indicative of Household Staff's verbal style, but is also quite oxymoronic -- why not, he rationalizes, simply do away with sucking in air AND blowing out air, as they undoubtedly cancel each other out? Surely, household operations would be more more peaceful and refined?)

(3) Household Staff's obtuse inability to realize that if one can see even the faintest glimmer of the bottom of the cat food dish, the remainder of the food in the bowl has obviously been rendered SUSPECT(!) and therefore inedible;

(4) Household Staff's wrong-headed insistence on unceremoniously dumping fussy cats off the laptop keyboard when it is clearly designed as a low-grade warming device for cats to snooze upon;

(5) Household Staff's selfish refusal to share ice cream, even when a fussy cat has placed an insistent paw upon the hand holding the spoon and attempted to divert the course of the spoon away from Household Staff's mouth and toward his own tongue, therefore clearly indicating a desire to partake of said ice cream;

(6) Household Staff's selfish habit of eating all of the ice cream (as if Household Staff needs to be eating any more ice cream anyways) and then rudely offering a fussy cat only the last few licks left in the bowl which, really, is pretty much the ice cream equivalent of Beer Backwash;

(7) Household Staff's refusal to prepare Green Peppers cooked Al Dente as a regular menu item, even though Household Staff knows that this is a major food staple crucial to the emotional health and well being of fussy cats; and finally

(8) Household Staff's revolting practice of actually having the temerity to sneeze in the presence of a fussy cat and, furthermore, allowing other cats in the house to sneeze in his presence.

A fussy cat must have a scathing Sound of Disapproval to make when the above infractions occur so that the appropriate register of Distaste, Disdain, and Disgruntlement can be subsequently conveyed. This Sound of Disapproval works most efffectively when it is rendered as a kind of a Disgruntled Grunt in simultaneous combination with a Chastising Chatter, with a concluding top-end note of Plaintive Squeak. It should also be noted that a fussy cat considers it terribly rude that Household Staff laughs out loud when the Sound of Disapproval has been made over someone sneezing (perhaps the gravest infraction of all), but then the fussy cat belatedly realizes, while casting about in an aggravated manner for the culprit, that the source of the sneezing was himself!

P.S. This blog entry is dedicated to J. and E., whose Household Staffing Duties are much more rigorous than mine.
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 4:09 PM |
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