Perpetual and Todd (sittin' in a tree)

There is an old saying pertaining to writers that goes kind of like this: Stick to a subject with which you are familiar. In keeping with that advice, I shall now prattle on incessantly about Perpetual. For those picking up this paper for the first time, I should explain that Perpetual is a nickname for my gentleman suitor of the past 13 years. I oft' refer to him as P or Perpetual with a (fiance) thrown in for good measure.

We have literally (and I only use that word in its true sense) been perpetually involved for that lucky amount of time.

His ridiculous admiration for Todd the Kitten (TK) has reached the level of absurdity and I must share.

Mind you, he NEVER reads my columns and I would appreciate it if you would refrain from directing him to do so. I'm talking about Perpetual, not Todd.

TK actually does take an interest in my articles but only when I am typing them on the laptop. He thinks it's great fun and constantly walks across the keyboard, fiddles with the mouse and basically attempts to wreak havoc on power cords, etc. What a joy he is! (Now that I ponder, he also loves the Community News when it comes out in “hard copy” format. He derives some kind of pleasure in sitting on the paper and/or pawing all pages.)

OK, do you remember when we had that heavy snow about 2 weeks ago that left about a foot on the ground? Guess who shoveled a part of the back yard so that his dear sweet Todd wouldn't sink. This is a true story, folks.

The cat is still not permitted to roam freely in the outdoors and then come inside to use the litter pan, as our elderly gals do. I have begged and pleaded with Louise, Todd's best kitten friend, to go outside but she FREAKS every time. It might have something to do with the fact that she was found wandering the streets of Meadville when she was a few months old.

Anyhow, TK must don his red harness in order to hit the region beyond these walls. The umbrella style clothes line is directly on the other side of the bedroom window and that is HIS area.

Imagine my chagrin when I was an actual witness to P carrying out snow removal in the yard for that *&^%$ cat. Not to mention but you knew I would, the frisky feline stays out for about 10 minutes and then demands to be released from bondage. His “wittle footie pads can't take it,” says P. “He's too told,” states P. (This is called kitten language. Replace the C or K sound with a T sound instead. Stating that the cat is cold would be, “the tat is told.” Yes, this is a true language spoken by P around all felines. I'm digressing, aren't you proud?)

Moving along, Perpetual's mood seems to hinge on Todd as of late. What I mean by that is now that the youngster has become more independent, he doesn't want to cuddle with P as much. It's almost like when a mother no longer nurses her newborn and there is a kind of separation depression that emerges.

For example, last night TK was cheerfully ripping up the house along with cohort Louise. They were both performing illegal maneuvers like launching onto the table, violently removing refrigerator magnets and unearthing old dust bunnies.

During destruction hour—I mean play time, TK had the absolute chutzpah to ignore my darling Perpetual. He used to pause play in order to be groomed or he would drag a toy in for mutual use, etc. I could kind of tell that P was highly bummed out over the whole situation. It's pretty obvious that something is bothering the man when he gazes at the telly and doesn't interact with others. (I feel like I'm still describing the kitten but sadly am not.) The darn cat's physical presence, or lack thereof, has a direct effect on P's mood.

I have actually used that to my advantage, as you knew I would. For instance, this might come as a surprise but sometimes cartoon bluebirds refrain from gently landing on P's shoulders when he has just awakened. Since I now rise earlier than most, I often hear him stirring and tend to enter the bedroom with extreme caution.

After all these years, I can sense these things and have tried to defuse his cranky attitude by casually cradling TK as I enter the sleeping quarters with great trepidation.

I might say, “AWE look at how wonderful Todd is! Isn't he absolutely precious?” (Total bologna, by the by.) P fell for it several times but told me the other day that he had caught on to my game.

Tragedy almost struck recently. It was one of those super sunny days so I plunked the cat outside—in his harness, of course. I checked on him periodically but honestly am not going to spend all day frantically flying to the bedroom window to see how our dear TK is managing. This would be P's department as he oft' knocks the lamp off the bedside table while madly trying to ascertain if TK is tangled up in his long leash or some other terrifying scenario.

Anyhow, I went outside to see how he was doing and was met with an EMPTY harness and equipment lounging on the ground. Panic stricken, I zoomed into the home, seized the “clicker training instrument” and exited the back door while clicking madly.

The Child headed out the front door in order to round him up appropriately. Turns out that my clicker training worked as TK came out of hiding. After he scratched my neck, I still had to give him a treat because one must “click and treat, click and treat.” (If you take nothing else from this blather remember to click and treat.)

I was not looking forward to imparting the saga to P at all. You see, he really doesn't trust me to be in charge of the precious “kids” when he is working out of the home. The Child and I got our cover stories to line up and then I confessed to P.

I hate to end this abruptly but I must. TK has dug up some kind of ancient artifact from under the oven. What if it's rat poison? What if the item poses some kind of danger to kittens? On second thought, maybe I can continue to bloviate. WAIT—I must think of Louise, Zoe and Marz! I'm outta here.