I should have stopped her right there.
Some of you reading this will know that I lost “the perfect kitty” for me a year and a half ago. I wrote a column about him entitled, “A Tribute to Bubs.” He was a gigantic cat with a sweet disposition. When he spoke, it was with a teeny voice—laughable since it came from such a large guy.
When my friend suggested another kitty, I balked. What if Bubs comes home? I still want him to.
I live alone and spend a lot of time writing, so having another creature here was a pleasure. Bubs was great company. He was a muse in his gentle way, and he reminded me every day how to live in the moment. It was reckless, I know, but I decided to give Marble a chance. According to my friend, she needed a safe home and I needed her.
I don’t see how something that started out with such good intentions could go so wrong. I renamed Marble “Emmylou,” after the singer, Emmylou Harris. I’ve been a fan of hers for years and her name came to mind. I claimed it was because Marble “sang” so much, but I was being kind. She screeches. Where Bubs was huge and quiet, Emmylou is half his size with a Godzilla voice.
She gives an ongoing play-by-play on everything and nothing measures up. When I go into the kitchen, and I mean every time I go in, she races to get there first. She yells at the top of her lungs. I have no idea what she wants. She has food and water. I’ve offered her bits of human food but she turns up her nose and continues to bawl. Her irritating voice constantly berates me. I’ve haven’t done anything but show kindness to her. She seldom shuts up. She makes it difficult to write or talk on the phone or even to think of my name.
I haven’t been in the bathroom alone for weeks, even in the middle of the night. She can be sound asleep when I get up, but she follows within seconds. I hear the thunk as she drops from the bed to the floor. I feel persecuted. Emmylou is a stalker. She gripes at high volume and rubs herself against my legs so fiercely it’s both heartwarming and aggravating. I remind her that if she’s trying to say she adores me, words of love are spoken in a soft voice, not bellowed. She’s deaf to my advice and I soon will be.
By the way, I misnamed my cat. I’m sure her namesake doesn’t awaken her loved ones in the middle of the night to screech Even Cowgirls Get the Blues into their sleep-deprived faces.
My cat loves to lecture my ex-husband, which is humorous. He sits down and she begins. It’s as though she’s channeling the angry father of a teenage girl. The other day he said, with a dead-serious expression, “Esta embrujada tu gata.” (Your cat is bewitched.) That would explain some things.
When I was preparing to go to Austin for a few days, I planned to take Emmylou back to my friend so she wouldn’t be left alone. On the morning we were leaving for Terlingua, an animal control officer came to my door asking if I had seen an injured cat. Neighbors reported hearing one. Are you kidding me? I open the windows at night to let in the fresh breezes, and it was my wailing cat they heard! As if to prove it, Emmylou let loose a loud rendition of a bluesy number. The officer laughed, but it wasn’t funny—not when you live with it. I insisted he meet my mouthy cat so he would know she wasn’t injured or being tortured by a sick freak. If anyone is being tortured in my house, it’s me.
The place is quiet without my furry little crooner. I write and can sleep through the night. The neighbors look at me funny, so they probably think I killed her, but I haven’t, not yet.
Emmylou is returning soon for her second show. Is it awful to hope your friend’s truck breaks down? If it doesn’t, I’ve prepared a Want-Ad. Needed: kindhearted deaf person to care for a serenading cat.