I stumbled across this in my drafts. Not sure why I never published it, but here it is. Dear Charlotte has left this earthly plane, but Clarice continues to amuse us with her vociferation and personality.
My sister has not had an uninterrupted phone conversation since the day her first child was born. That child is now 25 years old and Lottie has developed a habit of distracting herself while on the phone, even if there is no outside force actively vying for her attention. (There generally is.) She has a young son who has often taken the opportunity while Lottie's on the phone to stand on the back of the sofa and lick the picture window, or some other delightful exercise in self-destruction. She even stops talking to me periodically to scold her husband for something that he's about to do that will probably hurt himself or the house. Like that time there was a knife sticking up out of his leg. My sister is virtually unable to talk on the phone any more.
So there's this black cat, Clarice. At the ripe old age of 13 or so she is finding her voice, literally. It's as if the ghost of Barry's cat, Ms. Polly, were here teaching her the ropes of being a drama queen. She has her "I'm too weak to move" voice that she will use to convince the guy who cat-sits for us that he needs to bring her food to her while she sits perched on her pillow on the bed. There is the demanding scream to get our attention, and another similar one when we're being too daft to understand what she's trying to explain. She has diabetes now, and perhaps the extra coddling has encouraged this change. We give her moist food every morning and night along with a shot. The moist food is because it's lower in carbohydrates, and she doesn't seem to notice the shot, but the daily treats have made her feel the tiniest bit entitled.
The other day she poked her head in and meowed at me repeatedly while I was showering, much to my confusion and annoyance, and not a small amount of annoyance on her part – getting splashed in the face. We've been leaving the water dripping for her in the bathtub for a few minutes at a time, so maybe that's what was looking for. Another time I was getting undressed to shower when I heard her karate-chop the middle hinge of the bifold door that separates the bathroom from the bedroom. A moment later she was with me in the bathroom, vocally abusing me. In general cats don't like closed doors, and she's a thirsty girl these days. (There is a Very Large Bowl of Water that is changed daily.)
(In case you were wondering.)
Another cat, Charlotte, is having issues using the litter box, so Barry has isolated her in the living room. He put down a small litter box for her. He did all of this to make sure that he could tell when and if she relieved herself. (There are a number of cats inside, so it's difficult to tell which cat has used the box.) I was at work while this was going on and I had called him. There are almost no internal doors in the house aside from the bathroom, so he put a plywood board across the doorway from the bedroom to the living room.
Our call went like this: "Talk, talk, talk. Clarice! Get out of this living room. This is not your box. *sound of cat landing on the wooden floor on the other side of a piece of plywood.* Talk, Talk, Talk... *Thunk!* 'Meow!' Clarice! 'Meooow!' No, you don't need to be in here. 'Meooooowww! Errrr..' Talk, Talk, Talk... *Thunk! Rattle-rattle* Clarice, get down! 'MEOW!' Talk, Tal... Clarice!"
*Sigh* So much like talking to my sister.
When I got home there was another board screwed into the door frame on top of the piece of plywood and a very perturbed little black cat.
All of this from the cat who, when we rescued her along with several others, did her best to sink into the wallpaper and not be noticed. I'm always happy when people or animals take a chance and express themselves – as long as it's civil and respectful. Perhaps she's taken this a bit too far? She is an old lady, though, and entitled to speak her mind. And, if she's able to jump over a board set up in a doorway, or figure out how to operate a bi-fold door, then more power to her.
But, I shower alone.