She looks all sweet and innocent lying there, doesn’t she? You’d think her an angel when she deigns to bless the world with her own kind of sweetness. But don’t be fooled. She’s equal parts sugar and vinegar, and the sugar’s only there to put you at ease so she can get her way. Remember, she’ll hit me if I point at her. She knows that’s the cousin of discipline, so she gets her preemptive strike in before it goes any further. And there are other tales, but let me share this one with you.
Derek called me and asked about dinner. I was running late from work, so I told him to grab something on the way home as I’d be there shortly after he arrived.
I completed my duties at the office before making my escape. I drove home quickly, parked the car in the garage, then stepped inside the air conditioned space.
“Don’t push me, Woman!” I heard him say with a great deal of jest in his voice. He loved pushing her buttons, Derek did, for her adamant disposition always won the day. He therefore enjoyed the challenge of making her make him behave. . .or at least do what she wanted.
He continued, “I told you you can’t have any until Daddy gets home.” By then he was looking at me, as was she.
With one front paw resting atop the coffee table, she stood on her hind legs swinging at his hand. He was trying to keep her at bay. He would gently push her away, she would come back more obdurately than before, swinging all the while, and the game would cycle through again.
But my presence changed all that. She turned immediately and looked at me, an insistent call for some of his chicken still ringing from her open mouth. Then her approach changed. If she couldn’t get to his food directly, she’d use me to get what she wanted. That always worked.
Without hesitating, she dropped from her perch, turned, and ran to the kitchen where I stood. She griped the whole way. I don’t mean she meowed or howled or whined. No, she griped. In fact, she told on him as she trotted to my side. There was no denying what she was saying.
“Daddy, I told him to give me some chicken and he said ‘no.’ That’s a pretty dumb one you got there. You better tell him to give me some of that chicken right now before I take it. Don’t make me hurt him, Daddy. Oh, and by the way, he’s been teasing me, too. You know, telling me I can’t have any until you get here, and even then I might not get any, and all that crap. I’ll kill him if you don’t make him give me some chicken, Daddy. I mean it.”
Her entire waltz across two rooms echoed these complaints throughout the house. She was very unhappy.
Both Derek and I began laughing uncontrollably because we knew precisely what she was doing. She was telling on him, yes, but she was also making it clear she wouldn’t be putting up with any more of his shenanigans.
Once I caught my breath, I looked at him and said, “Now that Daddy’s home, you’re gonna pay. You heard the lady. Either she gets some chicken or you lose some blood. It’s now your choice.”
Again we laughed. Nevertheless, she understood me enough to know the hammer was down. She turned tail and ran back to his side, propped herself up on the coffee table once again, and reached into his plate to grab a bit of chicken.
One quick glance back at me proclaimed loud and clear she’d get her way because Daddy was home, and Daddy said she was gonna have some chicken, by golly, and I mean post haste.
Derek moved his hand and let her fetch a piece of fowl, one just right and to her liking, which she pulled from his plate and dropped on the floor where she could focus on its sumptuousness without his interference.
I’ve never forgotten that day, a moment of time when she challenged everyone involved to get what she wanted, beating up on one and manipulating the other. Sure, she was willing to put the hurt on Derek if she had to. Using Daddy, though, made more sense as it required less effort. And it always worked, as she knew quite well.
It’s no wonder she’s never purred for anyone but me. I often thought that hurt Derek’s feelings when he was alive. I mean, he knew her as long as I did. Still, she loved him and cared for him through his illness, yet never did she purr for him. That was a gift meant only for me. I think it’s because she knew she could manage me better that way, better if she lived up to Derek’s nickname for her: Daddy’s Girl.
She still only purrs for me, and more importantly, she still manipulates and abuses me at will just so she can get what she wants. I love this little lass!