“Get Cat”

I know, I know — they look angelic. That’s Lily, on the left, with her paws daintily crossed. Her brother Van Gogh is on the right. Lily’s nickname is “Magpie” because the girl is a thief. It started when she began picking up earrings off my bureau, carrying them in her mouth, and leaving them all over the house. Lily has expensive taste and recently upped her game to cashmere. She adores cashmere and has taken to pulling my sweaters off the hangers, and carrying them off to some place where she can cuddle up in them — occasionally biting holes for good measure. And she’s the good cat.

Van Gogh’s purpose in life seems to be tormenting my husband. The thing is, Van Gogh LOVES Mike. He follows him everywhere. The cat cries if Mike is taking too long to come to bed. And if Mike closes himself in a room — say to have quiet for a Zoom meeting — the cat goes to pieces. It’s almost like a panic attack. Van Gogh either frantically scratches the closed door or he throws his body against it repeatedly. The “get cat” title of this post refers to the constant texts I get when Mike is trying to have a meeting. Van Gogh often ends up sequestered in the bathroom until Mike’s meetings are over.

I am a bit worried about the toll the pandemic is taking on our cat relationships, if not our sanity. On the one hand, the cats provide constant entertainment. On the other, we’ve all been closed in together for too long. Mike now reports, “I’m having a fight with Van Gogh.” Sometimes I hear them arguing. I’m sorry to say that Mike speaks in loud meows to the cat. And then he gets upset because Van Gogh just DOESN’T LISTEN.

Sigh. Is it spring yet?

Journalist/author. Contributor NYT 20+ years. Also WSJ, Time.com, GH, more. Author: Mama’s Boy Myth (Penguin/Avery 2012). Cook. Parent. Queen Latifah fan.

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