Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Emailing Mommy

Miss Rudy sauntered into the house in search of breakfast. The Daddy had left early, so she had to use the cat door. She ate her food leisurely, wondering where the Peep was. Wandering into the living room, she called Peep’s name, and heard a tiny reply from the sofa. She walked around the back of the sofa and saw Peep snuggled into the right corner of the sofa. That was odd, Rudy thought. Peep never sits there, that’s the Mommy’s spot when she’s studying.

“What’s up, Peep?” Miss Rudy asked.

“Nothing,” Peep answered in a tiny voice.

“Do you feel okay, Peep? You don’t sound too good,” Rudy said. In fact, Peep looked rather flat. She was lying with her face pillowed on one leg, but looked as though the weight of the world was lying on her back.

“I miss the Mommy. Nothing is right. Food doesn’t taste good, the sun isn’t bright, my toys are boring.” Peep’s voice was even flat. “She’s not here, she’s not in the phone, and it’s been a whole cat’s worth of scratches and she’s not home.” With that, Peep began to cry.

Rudy jumped up on the couch and lay down next to Peep. She began grooming the Peep, hoping that it would make her feel better. She cleaned Peep’s ears, her head and was working on Peep’s back, but Peep hadn’t even moved. “Peep, the Mommy will come home. The Daddy promised us she would.”

“I hope I’m still alive when she gets back. I may succumb to old age by the time she gets back. Leave me alone, Rudy. Let me be miserable by myself.” Peep’s little voice was so pitiful. Rudy gave her another few licks, and jumped down, leaving Peep to her misery.

Rudy knew it was time to put her secret plan into action. She’d thought about this before, but hadn’t wanted to do it, because it wasn’t exactly catlike. The Daddy would be gone for hours, so it would be a good time to put her plan into effect. She walked into the office and jumped up on the desk. Good, he’d left the computer on. It was always harder when she needed to turn the on the computer.

Rudy turned on the on-screen keyboard and logged into her email. This would be the most important email she’d probably ever send, so she needed to word it just right. She wrote, deleted, wrote again, considered, revised and finally came up with her message.

It was short and to the point. Rudy was happy with it, and was about to send it when she was swatted by LT. She had been paying so much attention to the monitor, she hadn’t even heard LT jump up on the desk.

“Rudy, what in the world are you doing?” LT asked.

“I’m writing an email, obviously.” Rudy replied, bristling. There had been no call for LT to swat her.

“Rudy, cats don’t beg. We’re not dogs. Dogs beg. I want the Mommy home as much as you do, but you can’t beg her to come home. Cats are mysterious. We hint. We allude. We talk in circles around a topic to the people. We never beg.” LT said each of these with repressed fury. He took his position as senior cat of the house seriously.

“LT, the people don’t understand what we say. We could be reciting the alphabet for all they know.” Rudy was angry now. She’d done this for Peep, and now LT was picking on her!

“Your body language shows what your words say. Your voice sounds like the meaning of the words. If you recited the alphabet you’d just sound and look like a silly kitten.” LT explained all this carefully, as if to a kitten who had never heard it before.

“This is email, LT. The Mommy won’t see my face, she won’t hear my voice. I need to tell her how miserable the Peep is!”

LT shook his head. “All the more reason not to send it. Rudy, what if the Mommy doesn’t want to come home? If she came home just for the Peep, she’d be miserable, and then we’d be miserable too. She’d regret not staying in Virginia and then she’d get sadder and sadder and the Peep would get sad because Mommy would be sad, and we’d be back in the same place.” With that, LT jumped onto the floor and carefully turned off the power strip that provided electricity to the computer. With a hum, the monitor went blank.

Rudy bristled and said, “LT, you had no right to do that!”

LT came out from under the desk saying, “I have every right. If you won’t be a self-respecting cat, it’s my job as cat of the house to make sure you do! Now, let’s go support the Peep.”

Both cats went into the living room, jumped up on the couch and settled in by Peep. LT sat next to her, and Rudy perched on the arm of the sofa. Without a word, LT started to groom Peep, as though she were the tiniest kitten. He cleaned her from head to toe, rolling her over when needed to groom her belly fur. Miss Rudy just sat and purred, although she really didn’t feel much like purring. By the time LT was done, Peep was purring softly herself. Not a purr that would shake the couch for sure, but at least she was purring.

“Peep, no matter what happens, I’ll always be here to take care of you, and so will Miss Rudy. The Daddy will be back soon, and he’ll feed you and love you. We’ll all just stick together and wait for the Mommy to get home.”
When the Daddy got home, he found all three cats cuddled together on the couch fast asleep. He wasn’t sure he’d ever seen them like that before. He tiptoed out, leaving them to their dreams.

Photo courtesy of Giane Portal -

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