Silence Is the Loudest Meow

There have been many changes here at Chez Gad in recent weeks: 1. We have never called it Chez Gad, and we have not started to be this cute, so this is not a change. 2. Lists begin with the second point. and 3. Jen and the cat that owns her have moved in and I am now owned by a cat as well, one whom I nicknamed several years ago—without her permission, mind you—”Ángel, el gato de amor.” What follows is a rewritten version of a piece that first appeared almost a year ago: “Hard Out Here for a Cat.”

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.

If sighing was a thing a cat does, she would sigh at my absenteeism, at my ignoring her very popular memoir-lecture, which is entitled, “The Difficult Life of a Cat Named Me. Now It’s My Turn to Meow.” When I point out that this title is a little long for a lecture series, she corrects me. Now I know it is a title of perfect length.

When I suggest that she not only does not do laundry but sometimes contributes to a need to do laundry, she does not sigh, which is how one always knows that if a cat cared enough to sigh, a cat would. Silence is the loudest meow.

But I persist. She does not wash her plates (plural), but she does move them one or two millimeters closer to where she can ignore them when they no longer hold f-, um, things she eats. Any word that begins with “F” brings her running towards one of her plates (plural), and any time an “F” sound is heard and she runs towards one of her plates (plural) only to find it still empty of f-, um, things she eats, laundry will need to be done soon after. Justice for cruel jokes like that one is swiftly delivered on Planet Kitty.

She reminds me that her every day is made up of chores, from waking to waking to waking to waking to waking to waking, all the way till sleep. Things must be counted and the numbers reported to the other creatures she encounters in her daily rounds. Just because the humans ignore these reports, silent sigh—Every. Single. Time.—does not mean she will ever flag in her duties. Each tuna pellet and every salmon snack must be accounted for. And does no one notice that each self-cleaning takes a precise number of licks? Why do the humans interrupt? Don’t they know that every single count in the three-bedroom universe must be re-started at once?

The noisy interruptions are the worst ones. That screaming tube that pushes dust everywhere only creates more work. And more work for kitty only means more silent sighs, and even though cats do not sigh because they do not care enough to sigh, she sighs inside. Silence is the loudest meow.

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