Get out of bed, stumble around.
The world swims for a moment. Take a step and with one foot still in the air, my second step of the day, I nearly lose my balance, catch myself and try not to step on gatito as I go through the daily ritual of figuring out how the hell to move around and not damage myself too extensively.
Look down at the cat who is blissfully unaware of anything else but it’s need for food and attention.
He moves on and leaves the room, then turns and waits for me, sitting next to his sister, who was the cat who stood on my head and mewed at me until I made the decision to deal with it and get my fat lazy ass out of bed and feed them. The only decision she cared about at the time.
I think all cats are wild. They only act tame if there’s a saucer of milk in it for them. ~ Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See (1991)
I step out of the bedroom, scratch my ass, and notice the floor is again covered in small black dots. That’s what they look like to me without my glasses on. Those black dots are in fact little spots of cat fur. The world swims again, and this time I lurch to the left and bump into the wall.
Think Gotta vacuum again…Goddamn stupid inner ear
Shake my head, laugh, head to the kitchen, cats leading the way. Hit the power button on my desktop computer as I walk by. An urge hits me, so I said “Alexa, play Rachmaninoff.” I’m not a particular fan of Sergei’s work, and I don’t normally listen to classical music, not as much as I used to anyway. I like it, but it’s not for every day consumption. The words came out of my head like someone else said them. The thought didn’t exist the moment before I uttered the words. I rationalized it by thinking it must be something to do with all the news about Russia recently.
Think Goddamn stupid Russians.
“Shuffling songs by Sergei Rachmaninoff.” The singsong voice from the small hockey puck sized device next to my wife’s chair came out quietly. I had turned the volume down. A few notes from a piano, high pitched, struggle to make themselves heard. I let them struggle and go to the kitchen.
I walk in and both cats are simultaneously mewing to me, the girl, Daisy, more vocal and closer. The duet is rare from them, so I look down to see no food at all in their dishes.
“Are you a hungry gatita?” She looks at me, her eyes widen slightly and she mews again in response. I pick her up as her brother, a large furry ball of black fur, as he jumps on the table and turns to make eye contact with me. “Hungry gatos, Eh?” She in my hand, belly up, purring furiously, he looking intently at me, leaning in towards me slightly, as if eye contact were enough to explain hunger. Which it is.
Put her down, stoop to open the wood stained cabinet. Head doesn’t swim. Good. Grab two cans at semi-random and walk over the the small dirty counter near the window. Think Need to clean the counter, dammit and tap the two cans together to signal to the cats that it’s time to eat. Look at the coffee pot, upside down, think not a thing about it. Open the pop top cans. She jumps on the counter and the moment I pull the cover off of one can she begins to eat. Open the other can and let the other cat, Fozzy, eat straight from it. Shouldn’t but I do. He doesn’t mind, hunger trumps everything in his world at this particular moment.
Everything is right in the world.