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It's me, Mini, and I speak

by Dianne K


My story:

For years, all I could do was meow, and then, somehow, the spirit of speech took over, and voila, now I can talk, and boy do I have a lot to say. You will note that occasionally I have a slight French accent. You will be also surprised to hear such interesting stories from me, a cat, who doesn't get out too much.

Before I landed here in the office of the editor, where I live with another cat and some other peeps, I was a stray in the philosophy department of the local university. They weren't tres nice to me, a mere cat - no, not a meerkat (you idiot) - I'm a small, black and white tuxedo cat: graceful, patient, somewhat understanding, and lonesome. The PD (philosophy department) wasn't a good place for a cat with my sensibilities, so I wandered over to sociology, not great, but better. After a few seminars, I decided to move on one night when nobody was looking. They sleep at lot in the SD (sociology department). I finally landed in the Computer Lab, where things began to pick up, cat-wise. There was food and lots of warm places to sleep, but nobody paid any attention to me. All I ever heard was "get off of my desk!" Then I got picked up by the geek with the laptop, literally, placed in a wire cage, and tossed into the backseat of a VW with the word "meek squad" on the side.

We drove around for a long time listening to an odd voice coming out of his GPS, who kept saying "recalculating, take the next legal u-turn". I began to get so dizzy. Finally the geek stopped at a small house, where he had an appointment to fix a computer for a nice couple who were desperate. He bribed them, telling them he wouldn't fix their computer unless they agreed to take me off his hands. (Alors!) He also threatened them with bodily harm if I didn't continue to remain in good health under their care. He promised to take good care of their computers if they took good care of me. A whole lot of caring going on.

Well, let me tell you, it worked. My new companions certainly do love me. It was l'amour at first sight. They absolutely smother me with affection, including their "other" cat. I'll tell you about her later, but for now, let me assure you that you are in for a rare treat. No, not a cat treat, a rare treat.

Spring is in the air! My favorite time of year, that's when I'm off climbing fences, chasing ze leetle birdies, drooling over those delicious squirrels, and searching for a new amour. That's what cats do, n'est pas? Especially moi. It's springtime and ... well, you know, some things are private, non?

Mais, I'm so worried, my guardian just said the dreaded word -- "luggage". There is clean litter in my box and such a huge pile of cat food in my bowl. There are also maps, books, electronic gadgets, clothes and shoes everywhere. These are not good signs, if you know what I mean. I'm trying to think positive, but it is non good.

The word Paris keeps coming up. After all, it is April. And I have not been informed about anything (as usual). I can feel it in my very whiskers. I want to go to Paris. I could be the interpreter. But, no. I'll be left here with ze doors locked and ze windows shut tight, for such a long time. Alors!

How I got my French accent:

Lately, I've been attending a French accent-reduction class, but so far, no luck. I steeel have zee slightest, how shall we say, French accent. I believe I contracted it while I was still in the PD (philosophy department). La Professeur loved la francaise so much that it was hard to resist mimicking her a leetle bit, and then it became, how you say, (h)abit-forming. So now La Chat Mimi must take zee steps drastique to become more Americaine. It is dreadfully importante. If I do not master zee English post haste, I might be mistaken for zee dreaded alien chat and whisked away to who knows where. Alors! Merde!

Philosophically speaking:

Urban cats don't have real jobs, unfortunately. Our main responsibilities are to purr, sleep and be persnickety. I find that job description rather limiting at times. As a cat who was literally raised on Kierkegaard and Proust, purring seems like a rather mundane raison d'etre.

Sometimes I need to do something meaningful, like chasing mice, but we don't have any real mice around here. I only have toy mice stuffed with cat nip. Yummy! I just cannot help myself, I do enjoy tossing my furry little toy mice around, especially the one with the rattle inside. Ah oui! Ze leetle mice are great fun in the middle of the night when everybody is sleeping (except moi). And the catnip, so habit forming. Sometimes I think I need rehab. The Tom and Jerry Rehab center is booked, as usual, with my catnip-addicted pals. I'm tired now. I think I'll purr for a little while and then take a nap in the window sill. A bien tot.

Remember: Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. That's Kierkegaard, you know.

Cat Scans...are highly over rated. Cats don't need to see the insides of things, the outsides are awful enough. As a sensible cat, I can scan everything I need to from my perch on the window sill.

Climbing cats:

Have you ever given any thought about why cats like to climb the drapes? The answers are many and complex. If the question is why, then the answer is because they are there. First, it's easier to climb the drapes than it is to climb the walls. Second: drapes pose a challenge. My favorite drapes are the ones with the thick material with the nubs on them. Something to really sink my claws into. Sheers, on the other hand pose a different set of problems, it's the ever present "slip thru" dilemma that scares most seasoned climber cats. Only kittens can successfully reach the drapery summit when climbing sheers.

Lastly, the most difficult climbing experience for cats is, of course, the mini-blind challenge. Think about it for a second, consider please the inherent danger embodied in a mini-blind climb. My fur quivers in anticipation, I am so intrepede. But alors, all attempts so far have met with ze failure, complete. Remember, cats climb without ropes, parachutes, water bottles, or oxygen tanks. We climb au naturale, but we must climb. The view from the top of the mini-blind is the ultimate experience when it comes to indoor climbing. 


RAM: As you may already know, cats have really short memories. Sunning ourselves and napping keep us tres busy -- my memory is so easily erased. Alors!

A cat can be so upset one minute, hissing and clawing, and then the next minute, she has forgotten all about it. I think that's where the term hissy fit originated, but I digress. After a leetle while, we are once again in love with life, with the sunshine streaming through the window, and with simply watching the birdies playing in the birdbath. Life is good once again.

Harboring grudges is so outre, and I mean that in a negative way. Getting even, another horror. Why not just shrug it off, like ze french chats do, and go on loving life. It will soon be dinnertime and then evening, my favorite time of day. But first, I must nap.

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