Saturday, January 8, 2000

After three and a half years of living in the same apartment, I have decided to move deeper into the bowels of Cincinnati so that...

Mike: Hi Calypso.

Calypso: Hi Mike! Whatchya doing?

Mike: I'm trying to update the Pussycam diary.

Calypso: Can I watch?

Mike: Sure, but would you mind moving your buttocks away from my monitor, please?

Calypso: Oh, sorry. So what are you writing about?

Mike: I'm writing about our move to the new apartment in a few weeks.

Calypso: New apartment? What new apartment?  I didn't know about a new apartment! Why am I the last to know about these things?

Kat: **Surprise!**

Mike: Geesh! Kat, can you give me a little more warning before you jump into my lap like that?

Kat: Yeah, right. Like I'm going to announce to all my prey whenever I'm about to pounce on them. What are you typing?

Calypso: I know somethiiiiinngggg yoooouuu donnnnn'tttt!

Kat: What do you know, Calypso?

Calypso: I'm nottttt gonna tellllllllll youuuuuu.

Kat: I'm going to count to three, Calypso. There will not be a four.

Mike: Settle down, Katherine. We're moving to another apartment next month.

Kat: What?! But we love this apartment! It's got everything we could ask for! Do you know how much time and effort was involved in marking all the articles in this place?

Mike: I'm sure you'll get over it.

Kat: Well, what's the new place got that this apartment doesn't have?

Mike: A change of scenery?

Kat: That's why we're moving? For a change of scenery?

Mike: Essentially, yes.

Calypso: Does the new apartment have a litterbox? I need a litterbox, you know.

Mike: You'll get your litterboxes, don't you worry. It's a nice apartment. I think you'll both enjoy it. It's got hardwood floors and..

Kat: Hardwood floors?! Are you daft, man? You know that we like to dig up the carpet when we...when we...

Mike: What?

Kat: Oh now I understand! You picked out a place without carpeting on purpose!

Mike: Why Katherine! I'm surprised at you for thinking such a thing!

Kat: I have a feeling I'm being mocked.

Calypso: Why Katttthhhheerrrinneee...I'm surrrrprrrrissseddd at yyyouuu for....ouch!

Kat: You're trying my patience, my feline friend.

Mike: Did I neglect to mention that the new apartment is filled with cans of tuna?

Calypso: Really?

Kat: Well, why didn't you say so!  C'mon Calypso --we need to start packing!

Calypso: Okay!

Kat: Now, I want you to gather all the milk container rings, and I'll start collecting our twisty-ties....

(note to self:  gullibility appears to be inherent in all cats.)

Saturday, January 29, 2000

Kat's Diary entry:

This past week marked one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I first realized something was very wrong when I began to notice objects disappearing from the apartment. Then one day, Mike forced Calypso and me into our separate carrier cages, despite our vehement protests. After what seemed like hours, we were finally released. When I skittered about the apartment, still confused as to why Mike had suddenly felt the urge to subject us to such brutality, I found to my horror that all the furniture had vanished! I could not believe my eyes. I looked up at Mike to ask him what had happened, but he appeared to ignore me, absently filling cardboard boxes with objects he had stored inside kitchen cabinets (where I'm not permitted to go).

Calypso and I spent the next day or so re-adjusting to the increasing emptiness of our surroundings. I tried not to think about the disappearances, which continued throughout the week. I could only pray that I would not suddenly disappear myself, though it wouldn't have bothered me much had Calypso vaporized.

Then one night, a truly frightening thing happened. Mike suddenly bolted into the apartment, which was by that time completely empty except for me, Calypso, our food dish and the litterboxes. Once again Calypso and I were thrust inside our respective carrier cages (why Mike thinks he can get away with incarcerating us is beyond my comprehension. Does he not realize that we are feline beings and deserve equal rights?!?). Calypso repeatedly asked me what was going on, but I had no answer. She cried out inquisitively --as did I-- but our meows fell on deaf ears. Mike again seemed too busy removing our litterboxes and food dishes to listen.

In a few moments, I felt my cage lurch forward, then upward, as if I were riding in some hellish elevator. From inside my cage, it appeared as though the world were spinning; I caught final glimpses of the apartment before being greeted with the bitter-cold outside air.

"Shhh, it's okay," Mike whispered in answer to my cries, which I hadn't realized I had been making. What was happening? Where were we going?

Finally our cages came to a halt inside a strange, cramped compartment I have only seen a few times in my life. In this compartment, Mike sits grabbing onto a bizarre wheel-shaped object. From one vantage-point inside my cage, I could also make out his feet manipulating objects on the floor. A panel of lights glows just behind the wheel, which I notice Mike looking down at from time to time. Usually Mike will stick one of my metal toys into the side of the wheel, twist his hand, and then a humming noise will begin to reverberate throughout the compartment. Seconds later, I experience the sensation that we are moving, and I see objects move past Mike's head just outside the window to his left.

"I'm scared," Calypso cried from the cage next to mine.

"Me too," I said, trying to sound comforting.

"What's going to happen?" Calypso squeaked as she scratched hopelessly at her cage.

"I honestly don't know," I replied.

"It's okay girls," Mike said, "We'll be home shortly." I was confused by what Mike said --hadn't we just been removed from our home, after all? He twisted the metal toy dangling from the side of the wheel, and then I felt the compartment start to move.

Nearly a half hour must have past before the humming noise inside the compartment stopped.

"We're here!" Mike shouted into our cages. His breath smelled of fresh onions and cheese, reminding me that I hadn't eaten in hours. He then left us in the compartment for several long minutes, and I saw him walk past a couple times holding our litterboxes, then our food dishes, then our toys. Finally, he returned to pick up our cages.

As we were carried away from the giant metal creature, I tried to gauge my surroundings but could find nothing familiar to me. Even the smells about me had changed. I picked up a strong odor of polished wood; dust bunnies filled with human and cat hair; chicken and dumplings; some laundry detergent; and the possible scent of one dead spider. Unfortunately, I was unable to sniff my surroundings very thoroughly as Mike continued to carry us up a few flight of stairs.

At long last, Mike sat our cages down onto the floor and opened the cage doors. Calypso was the first to venture out --she's not a great fighter but I must admit she has more courage than I do. Or perhaps it's merely a reckless disregard for safety. I remained inside my cage while I watched Calypso investigate this strange new territory. No sense in both of us dying, I thought to myself as she continued to roam about.

"Wow, this is really neat!" Calypso said to me as she eagerly flitted through various rooms of what I assumed to be the "home" Mike had referred to.

Very cautiously, I peeked my head outside the cage. Once satisfied that the coast was clear, I left the safety of the cage behind to investigate. But this overwhelming change of scenery was a little too much for me. I soon became very terrified. Influenced by my uncontrollable fear, I raced to the closest hiding place I could find: a small cubbyhole underneath a heater vent.

"It's okay, Katherine, this is our new home," Mike called after me. I soon felt his hands grab at my stomach as he lifted me up to him. The smell of his cologne comforted me slightly, though I still felt the fear envelope my body. My tail shook about wildly as Mike placed me in the center of a floor that smelled heavily of wood. Soon I was able to pick up the scent of familiar objects: the furniture was here! I could make out Mike's bed off in one room, and immediately I darted underneath it.

"Oh, Katherine," Mike said with a disappointed tone. I felt guilty for somehow letting Mike down, but I just couldn't take the strangeness of this new place. Calypso, on the other hand, had no such hang-ups.

"You've got to see this, Kat!" Calypso chirped as she continued to roam about the foreign land. I heard her mumbling "this is my spot, and this is my spot, and this is my spot," over and over again as she rubbed her face against some of the doorways.

It has taken me several days to fully recover from the fear over my new environment, but I've calmed down since then and must admit I find this strange place Mike calls "home" a bit entertaining. There are far more window sills for us to perch on, for example. There's the comforting familarity of the furniture, the scratching post and the food dishes. Mike also seems to clean our litterboxes more regularly here. I suppose the change isn't so bad after all.

Katherine Taylor

Monday, April 17, 2000

Kat and Calypso will never be close. I’ve come to that conclusion after over a year of hoping they’d eventually bond. When I first brought Calypso home, I’d pictured the two of them becoming fast friends, often cuddled up together, cleaning each other’s fur or engaging in playful chases and wrestling matches. It never happened. They tolerate each other, true, but they seem content on giving each other a wide berth.

Cats are, by nature, solitary creatures. It is unnatural for them to be pent up together in groups. Why we humans are bent on forcing the family unit on them is beyond me. The simple fact of the matter is that my cats don’t really care about me, only the food that I supply. To them, I am a means to an end . Pet my head because it gives me pleasure and I know you’ll do it if I bother you long enough. Fill my food dish if you want me to stop meowing. Clean my litterbox or I’ll shit on the floor. I’m going to hack up this hairball on your freshly cleaned carpet just because I know that eventually you’ll wipe it up. Let me cuddle next to you not because I’m fond of you, but because you are warmer than anything else in the house. And one more thing, Mike: kiss my fat, feline ass.

Cats are cold. They are calculating. They accept who they are and are not ashamed of their actions.

But humans…..humans have to slather emotions over every aspect of life. They wrap complex, romantic auras around unextraordinary physiological processes. The burning heat of hormonal imbalance is what we describe as love. Instinctive fight or flee triggers are designed to pump adrenaline through the bloodstream, creating what we know as fear. The body’s defense mechanisms sense conflict and generate what we call anger. The entire make-up of humanity is based on denial. We simply cannot accept that we are no more special than any other living organism on the planet, so we spend our time building ourselves up to be more important than we are, more important than we deserve to be.

Cats, on the other hand, do not possess this shortcoming. They are highly in tune with their instincts and follow them implicitly. They get together long enough to mate and then go their separate ways. They are ruthless, merciless killers. They sleep most of their lives away. They do all this guilt-free.

Perhaps my own inability to be in a relationship means I’m more in tune with my instincts than the average human. I am as aloof and as independent as others are bound to the cultural façade that is "family." We were meant to be alone. There is no true love, no real emotions at all –they are nothing more than a jumble of chemical reactions in the brain.

Still, these chemicals make me love my cats as much as I want them to love each other. My desire to see Kat and Calypso bond on some emotional level is a pipe dream, a human’s dream. And I should know better.

Sunday, July 16, 2000
I've begun dating again these past couple of months, and since then Katherine has become quite a jealous little bitch. She……

Mike: Hi Kat.

Kat: Hmmmph.

Mike: What's the matter?

Kat: You know I don't approve.

Mike: Approve?

Kat: Of this, this…woman.

Mike: That's too bad, Kat.

Kat: Hadn't you noticed my utter contempt for her?

Mike: We both know you're overstating it, but yes, I've noticed.

Kat: And?

Mike: And that's tough, Katherine.

Kat: Tough!? Tough?!?! That should be ME you're spending time with and giving attention to! We've been together for over three years! For better or for worse! Dirty litter or fresh litter!

Mike: Ah-huh.

Kat: She has to go.

Mike: You'll be seeing more of her.

Kat: Fine. If that's the way you want it, then I'll…I'll…

Mike: You'll what?

Kat: I'll…stare the two of you down when you're making out.

Mike: You're already doing that.

Kat: I'll hiss at her every chance I get.

Mike: You're already doing that, too.

Kat: I'll crap in her shoes whenever she spends the night.

Mike: Well, that's a new one.

Kat: Good! Calypso, write that one down.

Calypso: Got it, Ma'am.

Kat: Just you wait, Michael Taylor - - you'll learn it doesn't pay to mess with this feline!

Mike: I'll keep that in mind.

Kat: War! War, I tell you!

Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Katherine puked in a total of fifteen different areas of my apartment within a 24 hour time span, a new record. The cause of her persistent heaving was due to cheesecake poisoning. The first incident occurred when my girlfriend ate a slice for breakfast, then set the plate down, not realizing that lurking just out of sight was one hungry kitty. Katherine crept slowly up to the plate, licking it absolutely clean. Within a matter of seconds, the lactose served to do her in.

Watching either of my cats puke evokes both a sense of concern and annoyance, but Katherine's puking ritual is particularly disturbing, because she is so very animated with it. When her body is primed for spewing, she lurches her head violently forward and backward, with her tongue sticking out about an inch from her mouth. She then proceeds to make the patented "puke noise" that is renowned by cat lovers worldwide. The sound seems to reverberate around the apartment, radiating, piercing flesh, penetrating deep within those centers of the brain that are responsible for evoking feelings of true dread. Finally, the puke ejects from her mouth with a hideous "plop!" and Kat responds by smacking her "lips" wildly as though to get the nasty taste out of her mouth. Then she creeps slowly to a fresh, new, clean spot on the floor, repeating the whole process.

I was still not sure the cheesecake had caused this violent reaction --it could very well have been a hairball or a piece of double-sided scotch tape, which I had placed on one wooden door to deter their scratching at it (Instead, Katherine and especially Calypso began biting off bits of the tape). So later that evening, I ate a piece of leftover Thanksgiving cheesecake, setting the empty plate on the coffee table as I continued to watch television. Once again, Katherine eagerly jumped up to lick the plate clean. And, within an equally short amount of time, the retching began. This round of upchucking went on much longer --I could literally jump from one puke spot to another and be able to successfully traverse my entire apartment. In all, Katherine managed to puke 11 times that evening.

Bon Appetit!

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