Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tabby vs. Tuxedo: The Battle of the Lap

It’s generally a symbiotic relationship. I love to be encatted, and they frequently oblige - tabby preferring the lap proper and tuxedo the lower leg. In the best case scenario, like when I’m stretched out on the sofa or in a chair with my feet up reading a book, this works out splendidly: the extended lap is shared and they can even snuggle. But if I’m using my laptop as Science intended – on my lap – there’s a situation. There simply isn’t room for both, and a battle can ensue.

So one afternoon last week, I was in a comfortable chair, feet on the ottoman, typing away. Tabby suddenly hopped up, marched into my lap – forcing me to push the laptop onto my shins - assumed the Sphinx position, and commenced purring.

Now, let me interject: tuxedo is a mischief maker. Not intentionally - he’s like the kid who starts a fire trying to see what’ll happen if you put various items in a microwave. He’s inveterately curious, hyper, and unpredictable, and I tend to worry when time goes by and I don’t know what he’s into or up to, especially if he’s in the land of feline delight and danger that is the cellar.

So my mistake was calling for him. Within minutes of his appearance, he spied tabby purring contentedly on my lap, and wanted in. After some thought, he jumped up onto the back of the chair and surveyed the terrain. His usual spot was gone, as I’d moved the laptop onto my shins and my lap was full of husky tabby. He proceeded to fake-innocently climb down my shoulder and pretend to look for space, stepping over tabby in a way he had to know would harsh tabby’s mellow and cause him to delap.

When tabby jumped down, as tuxedo no doubt anticipated, I moved the laptop back into its natural location, at which point tuxedo curled between my shins. But it was no sleep of the innocent. Tabby sat on the floor facing us, squinting annoyedly as only a cranky tabby whose meditative calm has been rudely disturbed can do.

He then stalked, a cat with a purpose, from the room. The look in his eye told me he hadn’t surrendered, but I couldn't anticipate his next move. Seconds later, we were startled as he flung his full 15 pooch-belly pounds against the cellar door, slamming it loudly and knowing we’d both jump at the noise.

Tuxedo scurried while I threw (er, placed gently) the laptop on the coffee table and ran to discover the source of the racket. After my pulse settled, I reclined once again in the chair. Shortly, tabby curled in my lap, leaving tuxedo in the cold.

Postscript: This wasn’t the end. Maneuvers continue.

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