Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Three Acts of a Common Cold

I had a brush with a cold recently.  It started out with sniffling, then came wheezing with a scratchy throat, followed by bouts of coughing; after going through them the cold was gone.  It then occurred to me that a good three-act play is constructed in the same way.  There is a little bit of stirring among the characters while being given individual traits in Act I, followed in Act II with some disturbances among the personages, and then in Act III we are given dramatic actions which are brought to resolution in the final scene.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

You know?

A young man said to me, “Yeah, I kinda know, you know, but I don’t know, you know, if I really know, you know, maybe, you know, I only think I know, you know, um, I don’t know, you know, ’know what I mean?”

I said, “I know, you don’t have to tell me."

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Vif's Diary 12/03/13

The sky was bright and it awakened me.  I felt so lively, and romped on the bed where she was sleeping and -- I couldn’t help it -- I stated to bite her toes over the bedcover; she retracted them, so I played biting off the cover.  This always irritates her, and she shouted at me and tried to kick me off the bed, saying it’s only 6:00.  So, I made a long leap to the window sill to take refuge.  She slept on.  I roamed in the other room for a while, a long while, and I couldn’t help checking on her, and she was still asleep.  I climbed up on the bed, went right to her face, and she opened her eyes, pulled me to her chest and petted me.  When I got restless and tried to nip her hands — playfully, of course -- she brushed me off and got up.  She slept late; it was 9:15. Little wonder I was so hungry. 

She weighed herself on the bathroom scale, and then got hold of me and weighed us together.  She wanted to see how much I weighed; I was told I’m now 10 pounds — growing fast.  I ran away as soon as she put me down, but then I heard the water from the faucet; she was washing her face and I squeezed myself in to drink the running water, which is so good, nothing like the water sitting in the drinking bowl. I rather find exciting to have the water wash down my cheek as I drink.  She was looking funny standing there with a soapy face. Usually when I'm drinking, she brushes my back; it feels good.

When I had enough to drink, I let her use the faucet; and I went to the scratching post to polish my claws.  This feels really good, too, and it makes me jump on it, hang on my nails with my hind paws off the floor.  It makes me squeal. 

This morning she fed me before her morning exercise and toiletry as it was late.  She gave me a half of the 3-oz Fancy Feast Flaked Trout; it was good but I wished I could have more.  While she was preparing her breakfast, I crawled under the stove; it’s not clean there and it’s a bit tight with a very low ceiling but it’s comfortably protective, and I enjoy crouching in there, anticipating the prospect of some bits of food falling on the floor even though that does not happen too often.  I was glad I was there this morning, however.  I heard a spoon scraping the yogurt tub; she always gives me the emptied tub to lick up, and as I anticipated she put it down on the floor.  It’s a 7-oz Fage yogurt tub (with a note  “pronounced Fa-yeh!” on it, she told me once).  The thing is I can lick every bit around the inner wall but can’t quite reach the bottom.  I strained and I succeeded but, then, the tub got stuck on my snout up to the head and it won’t come off.  Fortunately, she saw me and pulled it off for me, or else, I may have suffocated.  It was so embarrassing and I was glad she didn’t photograph me.  

While she was having her breakfast, I was drawn by the alluring odor and tried to get up on the table.  I know she doesn’t like it but I tried anyway.  As always she chased me off with the pepper mill.  It tingles my nostrils — pungent, it is -- and made me jump down to the floor right away.  To air my frustration, I went over to the cardboard magazine holder under the table to gnaw around the edges.  She gets terribly annoyed when I do this elsewhere but allows me just this one holder, which is already pretty badly ruined; it is filled with magazines and weighs down well and, so, it gives me a good resistance, very satisfying.  I worked vigorously, and littered the area with many chewed bits of cardboard; the floor looked what it might be under a woodworker’s bench.  You are NOT a rodent, she yelled at me.

Satisfied, I went to the bathroom, jumped on the washbasin, and curled myself in it — my favorite place of repose. The bottom is curved nicely to accommodate me, and I sink down in its bowl very comfortably.  I usually have a bit of nap there but there was a racket in the kitchen that detracted me.  She was rolling up the bread dough for baking.  

I came out and I found her already settled at her computer.  I went into the kitchen, and smelled something that attracted me to jump up on the counter, and there it was — a piece of chicken thigh wrapped in wax paper. I tried to nip on it, and, alas, it fell with a thud on the floor as it was frozen and hard.  She rushed up immediately, picked it up and put it away somewhere, and I was shouted off the counter.  Too bad for me.  So, I went to to the window sill, chewed on the little potted bamboo, which, thanks to my nibbles, is barely alive.  I then watched the world go by three stories below; there wasn’t as much activities as to entertain me very long.   I settled on the pink sofa and stretched down on top of the fluffy blanket to rest for a while. 

Unable to sleep, I felt restless; she didn’t play with me after breakfast today.  I lay down under her chair at the computer for a while; her bare feet were there to chew on but I resisted the temptation, knowing what will happen — I’ll be picked up and thrown in the bathroom and the door shut after me.  The bread came out of the oven after a while.  I moved to the cushioned chair at the dining table and slept there with the warm air from the oven wafting in soporifically.  I slept well. 

Whenever she goes to the bathroom and sits on the pot, I follow her and enjoy sprawling on her feet.  I feel awfully docile, curiously, and she pets me; I lie low and purr a lot and get no urge to bite her toes.  On the sofa, I don't feel that way, somehow.  

She didn't have lunch today. When she came to the kitchen to make tea, I got off the chair (I’m proud to say) so that she could sit at the table for cheese and crackers.  At her next session at the computer, I wanted her attention.  I don’t know what it is but I get irritated when she sits and concentrates on her tapping the keyboard. I feel terribly ignored as though I don’t exist for her.  She must be equally irritated.  In these situations I do three things.  I try to poke my head between the cardboard boxes behind the computer table; I chew on the cardboard containers with papers nearby; or, else, I reach on the chair where she is seated and reach up to her arm to bite it.  These actions are sure to excite her; she claps her hands, shouts, or brings her pepper mill to scare me off.  I run away and come back and repeat the actions.  I also like chasing her as she walks back after chasing me and grab her legs from behind. Her legs are hairless and take my claw marks very well; nipping her soft calf surely makes her mad.  But it’s kind of fun; she should understand that, only if she knew, she’d get up and play with me and I’d stop annoying and bothering her.  But she doesn’t always respond.  I play with myself sometimes, but it’s not as much fun. This time I gave up and sat under her chair pretending to sleep. 

It was soon getting dark outside.  If she was not going to play with me, she could at least give me my dinner.  She is not stupid; she is a thoughtful person, sensitive and attentive to my needs.  I was wondering if she was too busy with her own thing and forgot about me, or she didn't care.  But just as I was thinking this, as though she read my mind, she picked up my dish and gave me a serving of flaked trout.  I finished it in no time, and stretched out flat on my tummy just outside the kitchen where I have a view of both her at dinner and the kitchen counter.  With a full stomach I dozed off.  But I was rudely awakened by the racket of dishes being washed.  When she finished with dishes, she went to the bathroom; I never miss the sound of the water running from the faucet; I rushed for a drink of water.  I saw her getting ready to go out, and so she did, leaving me alone in the house.  I got up on her dining chair, still warm, and had a good sleep there.

The turning of the key never fails to wake me up; I know when she is back.  I waited for the door to open, and there she was.  While she was having tea, I lay down under her chair quietly.  But as soon as she settles at the computer, I get this itch to annoy her.  This time, after scolding a few times, she got up and played “fetch” with me; she made me all kinds of toys but I like best, for now, some stiff plastic strips tied up into a knot and the paper twist tie wires knotted into a shape.  She throws the knot across the room toward the entrance, I chase it, grab it, throw it up, and catch it, then hold it in my mouth and bring it back to her — well, sometimes only a halfway.  I also like pushing it in the gap under the closet door and try fishing it out with my paw.  I can’t always get it out, and she comes and gets it out for me; this way she gets to have some exercise.  When it is pushed under the sofa or the refrigerator, she has to stoop low, her head on the floor, search with a flashlight, and get it out for me with a yardstick.

This evening, she didn’t play with me full time; that is to say, she cheated, multitasking, sitting down to write while I was chasing the knot instead of standing and waiting.  Still, it’s better than nothing.  When I had enough running, I rested under her chair.  But her concentrating on the computer started to irk me quickly; so, I tried my cardboard chewing routine, and after a short while she lost patience and grabbed me and put me in the bathroom.  This is no big deal; it’s warm there and I can relax in the washbasin.  

When she was ready to retire, she opened the door; she came in to wash up.  I got out of the basin but hang around so that I could break in for a drink of water as soon as she turned the faucet.  While she showers, I wait outside, or, more often, on the rim of the tub between the two curtains so that I can enjoy watching her hairless body get drenched.   I am always curious how I might feel under the shower water.  When she is done, I wait for the water to recede into patchy puddles and get in the tub; I kind of like the feel of water on my paws.  This is now a well-set routine. I get up on her bed after she is completely settled, and lie down next to her legs, leaning comfortably on them, and fall asleep.  

It was a long, full day, more or less a typical day.  It was good that she stayed home during the day; yesterday, she was out most of the day and then the evening.  That is not much fun.

By the way, if the style of my writing resembles hers, well, I suppose it's inevitable, living together day after day as we do.