Wednesday

Neurotic Contortions



I like to think of myself as being a kind and compassionate human being.  Someone who cares.  Someone who tries to be helpful and understanding.  But these past few days have found me laughing at Teddie the Cat after he decided to move into the crawlspace beneath the house. An altogether pitiful choice and one I'm sure isn't a call to levity.  But there I go all the same.

About two weeks ago he came home from another of his vicious fights with cuts around one eye that turned into a very nasty abscess.  His eye swelled shut, half of his face doubled in size and he was fevered.  We nursed and held and fed, doing whatever we could to at least make him as comfortable as possible.  The eye finally started to open, the swelling went down, and it looked like, yet again, one of his many lives had come through for him.  What a relief.

As soon as he was able to return to his midnight trysts out he went and after a very short while came back in even worse shape than that from which he had just recovered.  His neck and chest were hugely swollen but we couldn't find a wound.  I was thinking snakebite.  Finally he just disappeared.  We weren't sure if we would be seeing Teddie again.  I wondered if all those proverbial cat lives had been used up.

We finally found him.  Alive, impossibly thin and living under the house.  And suddenly it was as if he didn't know us.  And not only didn't know us but was afraid of us.  We tried to coax him out. Sweet-talked, shook his favorite kibble, sang his favorite tunes but all to no avail.  We had become a menace.

After several days of being sad about this new state of Ted something snapped yesterday and I found myself laughing.  The fact of his choosing to live in the crawlspace with us making merry right over his impossibly fat head struck me as pure satire and now all I can do is laugh about the situation.  If Teddie wants to live in the crawlspace, sneaking out to eat a handful of food now and then out of fear of us, he has moved into an utterly ridiculous world and there's nothing else to do for it except laugh.

And I intend to do just that.  I am going to laugh at Ted's choice of misery.  God knows I've made the same enough times to understand the neurotic contortions we put ourselves through. When he decides to uncontort I'll be here with his favorite blanket, his favorite kibble and ready with that song he's come to love.  Until then, when the sound of laugher drifts down to his new lair, he'll just have to live with it.

Come back Teddie, to the land of love. Kibble and bliss. Sheba.  The lovely Katy. Soft blankets. Waiting laps.  Endless scratchings. None of which can be found in the crawlspace under the house. Uncontort and come on back home.