This was screamed at the cat by the Missus, in reference to him being on the top half of the bed, where the baby sleeps. He’s not allowed near the sleeping perimeter, although unfortunately, we sometimes give him mixed messages about this, and it doesn’t help that we’ve moved the bed three times in a week to accommodate the baby. Immediately, though, this one was pretty clear and he nearly brained himself on the handle of the bassinet trying to beat a hasty retreat.
I feel for the cat. All of this must even more perplexing to him than it is to me, as he doesn’t even speak English, let alone have any notion of why we might be worried. He empathizes with the baby, their paired crying jags evidence to the fact, and we know he means Baby G no harm- it’s just that he’s a strange animal, all said and done. In moments of tenderness, he will affectionately lay with his butt positioned towards you and snuggle right up, ass first. This is his way of saying “I love you” and while endearing in a “he must have been dropped on his head as a kitten” sort of way, it may not go too well with our immobile little simian. Suffocation is a danger, and even more undignified when by cat ass. I have no idea how to explain that to him.
The Missus can have some issues regarding communication as well. She is possessed of a big heart and a vocal demeanor, and so will say almost anything to anyone if she perceives an injustice. Sometimes, though, I’m not sure the message is getting across. For instance, we were driving through downtown SF one morning, dropping her off at work, her driving. She is an avid motorcyclist, but has had to lay that to rest for a spell while we baby it up. Still, she possesses the mind set, and when a cabbie cut off a fellow motorcyclist, hit the accelerator, threaded through traffic in our little Toyota, pulled broadside to the cab, laid on the horn and screamed,
“Motorcyclists are people, too, Asshat!”
Now, bearing in mind that this was a good minute after the incident, and that the cabbie- right or wrong- was being informed of this tidbit by a pair of semi-professionally dressed individuals in a bright blue, fuel-efficient, practical two-door compact, I’m guessing the message was at least perplexing, if not totally lost on him.
To boot, the Missus was some 7 months pregnant at the time, and we are only three weeks in to parenthood now. I get up in the middle of the night, sure, but not as often as those first few, and when I do I merely have to change a diaper, maybe pat the kid down, and I’m back to bed. She has to attach a parasite to feed on one of the most sensitive parts of her body, and it extracts nourishment that it instigates her body to make from – literally- her own blood. The parasite takes its time, too, sometimes vacuuming for up to three hours at a shot. I can recognize that she will be half-insane and sleep deprived, and so I try and take it with a grain of sugar when she gets irritated with the cat and I, while we snooze away. It doesn’t make it easier to explain to the cat, though. I try, nonetheless.
“Alright cat, so you know the anterior ends of our bodies? The parts with the moving gaping holes? You need to stay away from those. You see the mattress? The big, comfy square thing we all like to sleep on? Divide it in half. You can be on the bottom half during the hours of, say 8: 00 pm and 6: 00 am.”
Of course, the cat doesn’t understand clocks and such.
“8 PM is when that little glowing box has to little glowing red mouths stacked on top of each other followed by a pair of beady red eyes, and then two bigger glowing mouths. Got it? OK, and it has to be dark outside. Otherwise it’s the other 8 o’clock. If it’s the ther 8 o’clock, and light outside, you can sleep wherever. 6 AM is like 8 PM, except one of the first mouths in the stack is missing a side. And it can be dark or light, because it’s winter. Winter is when it rains a lot. Raining is when the water falls from the sky. It’s not the same as summer, when the water just hovers in the air. You getting all this?”