Peanut is a midget cat, or at least, sometimes appears to be when you catch her at the right angle. She has an oddly long torso supported by short, stumpy legs and an itty-bitty head with disproportionally large eyes. Mostly mute, she’s “meowed” approximately four times in her six years of life.
She was found as a stray, a little ball of orange fluff and I took her in, fairly certain “she” was a “boy”. Three years passed without incident until one day I came home and “he” had given birth to three white offspring. One mysteriously vanished. The other two turned out to be females as well so all three were whisked off for a little “day-trip” and we’ve been kitten free ever since.
Peanut has two speeds: Casual-Stroll-Sunday and Bat-Out-of-Hades. Both are equal parts infuriating.
She likes to play this game. She waits until you have found the couch sweet-spot, when the pillows are just right and you’re at the optimal television viewing angle and there’s a full mug of steaming hot coffee in your hands and the remote is within reaching distance along with a pile of books and your laptop is full charged and, barring your house going up in flames, there is nothing on earth that would motivate you to budge an inch for the rest of the evening, she emerges from the corner she’s been snoozing in for the past seven hours. And she heads for the front door.
Scratch scratch scratch scratch. Tiny, sharp claws gently bat against the door, her signal that it’s now time to be let outside. Never mind the fact that the back door to the porch is open and she IS able to use the doggy-door and get to the yard that way. Apparently she’s too good for it because all exits must take place through the front door and the front door only. And that’s fine. She’s getting up there in age and is allowed her preferences. Plus, I appreciate the alert.
I stubbornly refuse to move at first. I think to myself, maybe if I wait long enough, she’ll relent and go out the back door. But she never does. So I carefully set the coffee on the end table and lay the books and computer on the floor, and unwrap myself from my blanket cocoon and walk toward her.
Bat-Out-of-Hades Peanut practically flies to the other side of the room, jumps onto the windowsill and takes a seat, tail twitching; eyes, mocking.
I open the door and in my best bossy voice order her to go out. She just stares for a moment then shifts her gaze out the window, like she’s changed her mind. Sometimes I try to retrieve her and escort her out forcibly. Unfortunately she seems to sense that and darts from my grasp and disappears. But only long enough for me to settle back into the couch sweet-spot. And then, she reappears and resumes the scratch scratch scratch.
I figure it’s an exercise in patience, so I usually wait.
Peanut, go outside.
Out Peanut. Now.
Finally, she relents. Enter Casual-Stroll-Sunday Peanut.
Slowly she descends from her perch. Streeeetch. Yaaaawn. Stretch again. Lick. Inspect paw closely. Yawn once more for good measure. Walk four steps. Stop and repeat.
Few things in life are more infuriating. Political debates on Facebook. Using “ur” for your. They top the list. This cat comes in a close third place.
After a laborious (and seemingly) eternity, she reaches the threshold between house and the great outdoors and undergoes a personality change. Bat-Out-of-Hades returns and she races through the door with alarming speed out onto the deck, as if I was the one holding HER up from going out. My only consolation comes when, unaware that it’s been pouring, she skids across the slick surface and nearly summersaults before hightailing it back inside. Does that make me cruel?
We sometimes repeat this ritual two or three times an evening. Why? Because she sneaks back in through the doggy-door (yes, the same one she refused to use just one hour earlier).
And the scratching starts all over.
She’s lucky she’s a cute little midget cat.