Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Jhoti's penance

          Hello!  I'm Jhoti and I'm writing Mom's blog today.  She says she's too darn tired because I wake her up every morning at 4:30 to feed me.  Oh, I'm full of shenanigans -- and have been since I was a kitten.  Truly!  At one time I thought my name was "Jhoti NO!"  Then I thought it was, "Jhoti STOP IT!"  Then Mom pulled out a water gun because I was chewing her plants (What can I say?  I was hungry!)  and said just "Jhoti" before she shot my hindquarters.  By then I figured out I only had one name and that's all. 
          I do all kinds of fun stuff that gets me into trouble.  Like opening cupboard doors.  And nibbling on the fichus tree leaves after they hit the floor.  And knocking the pinecones out of the baskets near the fireplace.  And banging on the picture window whenever I see another cat come into the yard.  Once I screamed so loud at that big Tom, I barfed on the window sill.  Seriously.  Ick.
          Lately Mom's had me on a diet because I'm a bit on the chubby side.  I'm Rubenesque but can still dart like a shot after my toys; however, there's my ongoing health to consider.  Mom says she's had one diabetic cat and that's enough for anyone.  So now I'm on a strict feeding schedule.  Every six hours she plunks a measly pile of kibble into my bowl and locks me in the bedroom so Aditi and Forest don't steal my special and very expensive diet food.  If she leaves me in there for too long I call for her.  I've learned how to speak English and can say, "Hello, MOM!" with such clarity, she immediately obeys me. 
          Mom thinks I should sleep until sunrise, but I can do the math.  I gobble up a bedtime snack at 10:00 PM, so by rights I'm bound by the laws of my hunger to wake up and eat at 4:00 AM.  I always throw in the extra half hour as a gift because I know how tired Mom has been this month.
          But this morning, it wasn't my fault.  I swear.
          My little sister, Aditi, did it.
          Still, I did teach her how to chew electric cords to get Mom's attention.  If we gnaw long enough, she'll eventually get out of bed...although lately she just kicks us out of the bedroom and shuts the door.  I may be stalled at bit, but I'm not beaten.  I holler "HELLO, MOM!" and my little brother, Forest, bangs on the wooden frame and Aditi tries to rattle the doorknob and voila - she's up and at 'em.
          We get to eat and she even opens the front curtains so I can watch the sunrise and the Squirrel and Bunny Show in our front yard.  That keeps me busy for about half an hour, then I'm back to bed where I curl up on Mom's feet and go to sleep.  Usually she's already zonked out, too, but lately, she sighs and tosses and turns and disrupts me just as I'm heading off to dreamland. 
          I hear her tell her yoga friends she only sleeps through the night about once every three weeks.  But I can vouch for the fact that she takes a nap when she can (and I lay on her feet or her hip to keep her warm).  She complains that I'm bossy and sassy and demanding, but I know she loves me, too.
          You see, I'm not just a naughty cat.  I have other fine qualities you might not recognize.  I'm a great watch cat and keep our yard free of annoying felines who want nothing more than to pee on the bushes and taunt my siblings and me with their unabashed freedom.  I'll play with Aditi in the afternoon when Mom needs to work and in the evenings when she's teaching yoga.  Speaking of which, I love to assist her with her students, weaving my way between their legs, head-butting them and otherwise making myself a pleasant nuisance.  I figure I'm helping them learn to stay balanced when life brings unexpected surprises.
          I often circle the students and can figure out which one is really stressed out and needs a little TLC.  I sit on their mat, purring in their ear while they relax.  I can even style hair and if you ask Mom's friend, Cheri, she'll say I'm pretty good -- if not a little aggressive with the scalp massage.  And speaking of massage, I always know when Mom has a migraine and will curl up behind her so I can knead her sore neck and head.  She loves that...and I do, too.
          So all in all, it's a pretty good trade, don't you think? 

          This morning after yoga class, Mom fed me an early lunch and sequestered me here in her office.  "Since you can talk, you can figure out how to write," she said, handing me a pen.  "Write 'I will sleep through the night' ten times, please."
          I lifted a whisker and rolled my eyes.  I've heard the story of how her first grade teacher caught her talking to Billy Klatt and made both of them stay in for recess and write, "I will not talk in class" ten times.  She was mortified to get into trouble, but I doubt it kept her from being excessively verbal.  After all, where do you think I  learned how to be so chatty?
          When she was a teacher, Mom never made kids write for penance.  She says she didn't want any child to connect writing with punishment.  I guess I don't count 'cause I'm just a cat.  Even so, the other day I was sitting in her rocker and reached over to grab something from the end table.  Mom took a picture because she thought I was reaching for the pen. 
          "You're a real writer's cat, Jhoti," she beamed.
          Yeah, I am since I've sat behind her in this chair for the better part of six years.  I know how to turn the computer on (and off when I want Mom's attention pronto).  I know where the letters are on the keyboard and of course I love to play with the mouse.  I've listened to Mom read out loud, so I know where to put the commas and the periods and all that stuff.  Sure, I can write as well as any cat I know.
         Still, Mom should have known I was going for the remote not the pen.  If I can only figure out how to turn on the TV, then I can entertain myself while I listen to my growling tummy and wait for the sun to rise.  I figure come springtime, I'll have it all figured out. 
          But by then I'll be as svelte as Cat Woman, so why bother?