Note: This is a continuation of yesterday’s Glass Destruction. It is imperative that you read that first before proceeding. (Go on. I’ll wait.)
It wasn’t until I was taking a cat nap sometime late Sunday afternoon that I finally found out why the large chunk of broken glass was still under the bed. Especially since I would have sworn on your life (yes, yours) that I’d been meticulous when retrieving the pieces.
So I was curled up in bed, imitating a fetus, pretending the red flannel sheets were placenta (it’s all about the props!), Shana molded to the space created by knees pulled up close to my chest. I was just waking up, half groggy, half soggy (thanks to the amniotic fluid!), and as I placed my hand on the lush fur of Shana’s belly, I realized something was wrong.
It wasn’t lush fur, but plush fur. The kind that belongs to one of my two stuffed moose/meese. And while it was comforting in an artificial way (sort of like eating the plastic grapes from your grandmother’s fake fruit bowl), it wasn’t the same as Shana. It was odd that she would leave me during a cat nap, especially since I’d vowed to start calling our joint naps “cat naps” after she petitioned me to do so several months earlier.
But I figured she had her reasons, and I was quick to forgive her. After all, our nap was going on six hours already, and I know she had a paper to write and other things to accomplish on her “Dumb Things I Gotta Do” list. I turned on the bedside lamp and reached for her list out of curiosity, a trait not exclusive to her species. I started to sit up in bed to see what she had planned.
And it was then that I learned that while that trait may kill the cat, such killing is not solely within their province. Because at just that moment, Shana pounced on my lap with a ferocity I’d never witnessed in the three and a half years I’ve known her. This wasn’t the pouncing of a cat obsessed with hands hidden under a blanket pretending to be an elusive mouse. It wasn’t the pouncing of a cat intent on perfecting her deep muscle massage technique. No, it was the pouncing of cat with only one thing on her mind: to kill me.
I am no stranger to her attempts to cause me harm. It started as it does with all cats, with the traditional clawing and biting techniques, which she quickly mastered. She moved on to a more passive method. It worked with insects, but when she tried it on me, it did slay me, although not in the way she wished. Then she resumed a more active role and took to scampering under my feet everywhere I walked, in an attempt to effectuate a neck-snapping fall. When I confronted her and told her I knew what she was up to, she denied it and mewed plaintively. She even approximated a purr. I thought maybe I had been wrong all along.
But when I found a blueprint of her scheme, which was as intricate as the drawings of “better mousetraps”* and as well-designed as the Honda “Cog” commercial that recently took the advertising world by storm, I realized that my original suspicion was correct, and she was, indeed, trying to kill me. The trick was to make it look like an accident.
Sunday afternoon, however, was no accident. Because as she pounced on me, I saw she had one paw behind her back, and when I tried to sit up completely and engage her in sprightly cat play, she brought that paw around with lightning speed. The light from the bedside lamp glinted off something attached to her paw, and I realized it was a large chunk of broken glass! A different piece from the one I had discovered on Saturday! It was expertly secured to her paw by all of the ponytail elastics I thought I had lost. She raised her forearm above her head and lunged for my neck.
“I’m going to KILL mew!” she said.
“Excuse me?” I said.
“I’m going to KILL mew!” she said, narrowing her eyes.
“What? What’s wrong with you?” I said. “Get away from me!” I tried to push her away, but she wasn’t budging.
“I’m going to KILL mew,” she said with all the calmness of Hannibal Lechter.
“Why? Why?” I said.
“Do I need a reason?” she said. “I’m a cat.”
And just then, the rustle of a plastic bag from the direction of the kitchen distracted her. She turned her head toward the sound, and just like that POOF! she was off my neck, off the bed, and out of the room in a flash, hobbling on the three legs unencumbered by her weapon. All for a pinch of bonito flakes.
I thought this behavior was particular to Shana, but when a dedicated reader sent me the following note, I realized it is more common than I thought:
your glass story reminds me of the mystery glass pieces in the corner of my kitchen, tucked away by the sink. when i moved in, there were chunks of glass there, which i disposed of. i regularly sweep under the radiator there too. but about once a month, i find the cats playing there with large chunks of glass, that mysteriously appear there.
P.S. Order bonito flakes here. A small price to pay for your life.
* Can anyone tell me the name of the man who drew all of those far-fetched schemes of “better mousetrap” sorts of contraptions? I’m pulling out my hair trying to remember what it is, and it’s ruining my coif.
Update, 1:04 p.m.: Many thanks to the DOG, and to conscientious readers Mike Z. and Julie, for telling me the name of the man is Rube Goldberg!