Hey, Cat! I Am Not Your MTV!
by Tina Blue
March 17, 2001
My old cat Luke, who died a year ago at age sixteen, had let me know when he wanted in by hopping up on a small table on the porch outside the front window and tapping on the window.
I didn't usually hear his tap--I am pretty deaf--but I would see him out there tapping for my attention.
Sometimes I would look up and see him just sitting out there, staring in at me. At first I assumed that he'd gotten tired of trying to get my attention and was just waiting for me to finally notice him and let him in.
Feeling guilty because I had no idea how long he had been sitting there, I'd hurry to the door and open it to let him in. But he would turn his head and look at me for a moment, and then turn back to look through the window.
Oh, shoot! I'd think, Now he's mad at me. I'd try to make amends, putting on my best high-pitched "Here, Kitty" voice; "Come on, Lukey! Want in?"
And he'd turn to look at me again--just for a moment--and then go back to gazing through the window.
"The heck with you," I'd mutter, and then I'd go back inside to do whatever it was I had been doing before I'd first noticed my master--er, my cat--watching me through the window.
But then I'd glance over there from time to time, and the darned cat would still be watching me.
He'd follow me with his eyes as I moved around the room. If I sat still for too long reading or writing, he'd lose interest and start watching a ferret or another cat as they went about their business in the room. If there was no action at all, he'd finally get bored and leave, or even summon me to let him in after all.
It was funny to watch the signs of his evident interest in the goings on in our front room. He'd twitch his ears forward and actually crane his neck to get a look at what was happening in some distant corner. He did not want to miss anything important as he watched his favorite program--me!
Luke is gone now, but the "Tina Show" has not been cancelled. I didn't realize that Lila was also a closet fan of the show, since I seldom saw her out on that little table while Luke was alive. But Lila did want to watch, it seems. Luke was alpha cat. He had not permitted Lila to occupy his special perch, and would drive her away whenever he caught her there.
But now she has claimed that spot as her own, and whenever I look up from my work there she is--watching.
As with Luke, it took me a while to understand that Lila wasn't always asking to come in when she was sitting there at the window.
She was just watching.
I'm okay with that, I guess--as long as she doesn't decide to change the channel.
Or turn us off altogether.
But what bothers me about Lila is that I am not her favorite program.
As humbling as it is to serve as a sitcom for a cat, it is downright humiliating to be beaten in the ratings by the sight of water swirling down a freshly flushed toilet.