Silence Is the Loudest Meow

What follows is a rewritten version of a piece that first appeared almost a year ago: “Hard Out Here for a Cat.”

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More than once she has given public lectures about the number of chores that occupy a cat’s day. Perhaps you have attended. She tells me that they are very well-attended. (She is seen above with her second-best human, me.)
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Nice Haircut

Years of haircuts experienced on the hair-bearing side taught me the wrong lesson: that I could do it for/to myself and save money.

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Among the many things that are better left to professionals—piloting a jet, performing almost any surgery, copy editing—cutting hair always should be included. I did not know this until the day I learned it.

Cutting hair looks so easy. The professionals talk to you and even chat amongst themselves while they are doing it, for crying out loud. (Some will even use the word “amongst” while talking: “Your dark hairs are here, amongst the gray ones.”) How do they do that? If you interrupt me while I am merrily typing away, I will pretty much stop typing and begin to glare at you until you decide to ask someone else whatever it is you came to ask me. And how do you know where I live anyway?

One of my barbers back in the early 2000s was a World War II Navy vet who loved to tell stories from his war years while he was wielding his scissors around my scalp. (He was of the old school: No clippers for his customers. “Why give them a cut that they can give themselves?” he would ask-declare. Little did he know how well I knew that lesson. See below.)
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Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of Wherever I Left My Glasses

One recent morning, I became a grown-up: I attempted to remove glasses from my face that were already in my fist.

For those of you who are lifelong glasses-wearers (it is almost 40 years for me), you know that there are several distinct methods of removing eyeglasses—and, even better, there are several non-verbal messages that can be communicated in the manner of their removal.

Off the top of my head, which is not where I keep my glasses, there is “Two-handed and Thoughtful,” “One-handed and from the Right and Peeved” (I usually accidentally fling my glasses to the floor or across my desk with that one), and “One-handed and from the Left and Trying to (Honestly) Get to the Heart of Things.” There are some others. Putting them on in front of people usually communicates this: “Enough Fun, Everyone. It’s Time to Get Back to Work.”

It can be like semaphore, but not at all and with glasses.
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