Tuesday, January 23, 2007

tall, dark, and cursing

My husband doesn't understand why the cats fear him. Sure, he's big even among guys, a full foot taller than me. So he's what? 700% taller than they are? And at least 1250% heavier...

And his height is greatly exaggerated by his recreational hair growth. You see, he hasn't had a haircut since September 2005. At first he claimed he was doing it for me, as I told him I missed his hair. Now it's nothing short of a full blown science experiment. Though he hates dealing with it - all the washing, the detangling, the finding of it in his food - he is determined to see how big he can get his white boy afro. (He actually even combs it with a pick. He was so excited when he discovered this tool. Until then he'd just been breaking all our combs.) Depending on the humidity, I sometimes call him Erik Africa. I took this shot thinking I could mock him, but it actually looks pretty good. This is probly what Lilt meant to do to my third grade hair. But Lilt could have never given me his volume. Only Dad could have done that. But no, he just gave me his exceptionally large forehead and his Rosacea. (Thanks, Dad.) Erik also has naturally long eyelashes that any self respecting girl would kill for. Like his hair, he considers his lashes a nuisance. Apparently they have the audacity to brush up against the lens of most sunglasses. Darn, I hate when that happens. Is it wrong to be jealous of your husband's hair?

But I don't think his size is what the cats fear most. I think it is his volume. The cats, like myself, are both nervous by nature and frequently sleeping, thus they find loud noises disturbing. They especially hate the trash truck or, as we call it, the Kitty Grinder. (Funny aside: I thought I coined the phrase "Kitty Grinder," using it to tease my then-living kitty. Each week Fabe seemed grateful that I hadn't turned him over to the authorities, but I could tell he was angry that I had considered it at all... Then in a totally random pre-Tivo channel surfing session, I saw a Kitty Grinder in a Felix the Cat episode. It was more meat grinder than trash truck, but still, it was actually labeled "Kitty Grinder." I was at once delighted and disappointed. I am never quite as clever as I think I am...)

Tonight, when I woke at 3 am to hear my husband cursing, "F@ck you, you f@cking @sshole!" I too was startled and a little afraid. Of course I knew this meant he had stumbled across a cat, presumably the black one, as he is basically invisible - "blacker than night," I say - and because the orange one is, after 2 weeks of captivity and 2 good stool samples post emergency enema, free once again to roam the neighborhood and slaughter small animals, thus he is seldom home...

Sometimes cats deserve cursing. Sometimes they intentionally trip you or at least foolishly don't not trip you. (Which brings to mind another of my favorite mother quotes - "I don't not dislike you," a miscalculation on her part of the number of double negatives needed to say she loved me...) Tonight, the cat's chief crime was falling asleep in front of the heater (and therefore squarely in the path to the bathroom) and assuming that humans, like cats, can see well in the dark.

I can't expect my cats to understand about rods and cones - though the black one was home today when I watched the Mythbusters Pirate Special... Together we learned that pirates wore eye patches not to cover unsightly gouged out eyes. Instead, the eye patch served to keep the concealed eye prepared for fighting in the dark. The pirate, when moving from a well lit place to a darker one, would move the patch to cover the sun bleached eye and carry on with the necessary plundering and pillaging. Very keen, those pirates... So perhaps he assumed that sleep was like the ultimate eye patch and he expected that Erik should have been able to avoid an obstacle such as himself. I can't say for sure.

In any case, my husband took his hair and went back to bed. My cat went outside but has since returned, unscathed. I made a pot of tea and here I sit, realizing that one unexpected byproduct of my life as princess parasite is that, by sleeping as often as I want, I can't always sleep when I'm supposed to. No big deal. Tomorrow I'll take a nap.

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