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Banbury Cross

a pillow for lost thoughts...

Post details: Scaredy Cat

Scaredy Cat

I like dogs because they are simple. They all have the same personality type. They are loyal and playful. Cats on the other hand are unfathomably complex, they sport intimidating attitudes and their personalities would perplex a consortium of weathered psychiatrists. It is not a coincidence that Andrew Lloyd Weber based his famous musical on a book about cats, for had he chosen dogs the whole skitty would have been over in less than 15 minutes (including an elaborate overture). There would be no Skimbleshanks, no Mistoffeles, no Grizabella.

I have no chance to ever comprehend cats. Yet somehow I always end up taking care of my friends' feline wonders. Which is strange, because -according to old family albums- my stroller was often guarded by a dog named "Gypsy" so I do owe the dogkind some serious babysitting time. Yet the only payment I was able to offer so far was a brief leash holding service to a mutt named Cobol that belonged to my old roommate Mike (can you guess what was Mike's major?). All my other friends decided to embroider my life with cats, whether it was Huckleberry, Jerry, Pele, or most recently Maddy.

Maddy belongs to my friend Sandy, and resides in a small apartment within an easy walk from my office. Every day I open the door, and Maddy sits on the mat directly behind, anxiously awaiting her rightful owner. When I came in the first day she ran away the moment she realized I am a guy - which puts me clearly in a Non-Sandy category of people. So on my next visit I entered the apartment very slowly, squatted immediately and tried to be as calm as possible. Maddy didn't move either and only gave me that steady John Wayne kinda look, while tickling the trigger of an imaginary colt with her front paw. No doubt she was born and raised in western Texas.

Well, for a while we just sat motionless, trying to stare each other down, but I finally caved in and moved and Maddy ran away into the bedroom and positioned herself deep underneath Sandy's bed. There she stayed for the rest of my visit. I am still not sure whether it was just an expression of her ultimate contempt for me or a manifestation of her superb mathematical skills (finding the exact geometric center of an unlit rectangle is quite a feat). Whatever it was, that scene repeated itself three more times until today she finally left her fortress and came out to kitchen to see whether I am filling her eating bowl properly.

I forgot to mention that my cell phone barks. I couldn't find an acceptable ringtone, so at the end I settled for a sound of some ferocious hound. And by an amazing coincidence, just as Maddy was approaching, Sandy called to see how Maddy was doing. Well, up to the point that my cell started ringing, Maddy was doing just fine. But when her ears caught the vehement barking of my cell, the look on her face hardened: "How come that this two-legged nuisance is making the same sound as the four-legged nuisance?" It was as if the Universe stopped making sense to her. Her upright tail paused for a second and then she turned around it and ran away again to ponder this conundrum in the privacy of her underbed kingdom.

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