Sunday, July 6, 2008


Peep had just become accustomed to having the Mommy around again. She wasn’t sure how long she was staying, but hoped it would be for a while more. So, when Peep was awakened from a nap by being picked up and snuggled, she was disappointed to hear the Mommy say, “I have to go back to Virginia now, Peep. Remember, I’ll be back in about a month. I love you….” After more snuggles, which Peep didn’t altogether like, the Mommy put her down and headed out the door. The Daddy went with her and they got into the car and drove away.

Peep sat and looked out the front window for a very long time. She couldn’t quite figure out how she felt. Sad? Partly, but that wasn’t all of what she felt. Angry? There was some anger there. How could the Mommy do that to them? Come home and stay for a few days and then leave again? That was like being teased by her litter mates when she was a kitten. There was something else, hunger? Well, yes, she was hungry, but that wasn’t an emotion. She did decide to have some lunch while she was thinking about it.

As she ate the fresh squishy food (salmon, one of her favorites) she pondered. It wasn’t right for the Mommy to leave them. Yeah, it was nice that she came home, cleaned the house and cooked for them, but she shouldn’t have left again. She was supposed to take care of them, not go rushing off to Virginia to have fun playing with numbers! Peep felt she’d been wronged.

She stomped into the living room, which is difficult to do when you have short little legs and soft paw pads. She looked around for something to shred. She was so full of something mean that she had to do something. Hmm, perhaps that nice needlepoint pillow? No, that was the Daddy’s, and she loved the Daddy. Not the Mommy, just the Daddy. As she looked around the room, most of the things she saw she related to the Daddy and not the Mommy. She needed to try a different room.

The office had potential. The Mommy had left some things on her desk. Mostly papers, which weren’t as satisfying to shred, but they’d do for a start. She dug her claws into the top page and raked. The paper just moved, so she put her other front paw on the paper and then raked again. Much better! There were now four long gashes in the page. She did it again and again, and then moved on to other papers on the desk. When the papers looked more like large pieces of confetti, she knocked over the pen cup, and started chewing on the wooden pencils. Lots of teeth marks, she thought, would make it very uncomfortable to hold the pencil. The paint on the pencils didn’t taste very good, so she licked her fur to remove it every few bites. She was starting to look like she had yellow dandruff, but she didn’t care. She pulled the phone off its base and swatted the receiver to the floor and then looked for more opportunities for mayhem.

Peep looked at the chair the Mommy sat in, and was disappointed to see that it didn’t have a cushioned seat. It would have been great to be able to shred the seat until the stuffing poked out. She could, however, put long deep scratches in the seat. She jumped down onto the seat and the chair tipped, sliding Peep into the back of the chair. She scrambled to right the chair and turned around. Mommy’s desk was a disaster – paper scraps all over the desk, and drifting onto the floor, pencils and pens everywhere.

Instead of feeling gratified at the chaos, Peep suddenly felt very, very bad. She’d destroyed the Mommy’s papers, after the she’d come home and cleaned and cooked for them. Mommy was so neat, she’d hate the mess. That was, of course, why she’d done it, but now it just seemed wrong. She hadn’t revenged herself against the Mommy, she’d just had what amounted to a cat tantrum. She slumped down on the seat in misery. What to do? She couldn’t put the papers back together, or take the bites out of the pencils. She couldn’t apologize to the Mommy, she wasn’t even here.

Peep was still sitting in the chair when the Daddy came home. He looked at the mess and then at Peep, who was one miserable little cat. “Peep, did you do that because you were angry at the Mommy for leaving? I can understand, because I didn’t want her to leave either. I said something angry to her in the car that I didn’t even mean. It made me feel terrible, and I apologized right away, but still I felt awful. The Mommy didn’t want to leave us any more than we wanted her to leave, but she promised she’d work at NASA for ten weeks, so she had to go back.

The Daddy carried the Peep into the living room, lay down on the couch and put her on his chest. “We’re just going to have to comfort each other, Peep. It’s just you and me right now,” he said as he gently stroked her back. After a few more minutes of feeling just horrible, Peep began to purr. The Daddy understood her so well, and loved her so much. They’d make it for the next month or so, somehow.

Photo courtesy of Ariel H. -

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