It’s 6:30 am and still dark outside. I walk down our stairs to get my breakfast with just enough light to barely see the steps. On my way back up, as I’m about to round the mid-step turn, something with claws reaches out and swipes me on the shoulder completely freaking me out... yet again. Its our daughter Amy’s cat “Love Cat”… which seems a misnomer at that particular moment.
Amy purchased him from the “kitty pound” a couple years back. He was a fully grown, tubby black cat… the kind no one wants. Adult is strike one. Black is strike two. And because we prefer skinny things in this society, tubby, strike three. But Amy looks beyond social conditioning and goes for what feels right in the moment. Love Cat felt right. The pound folks had named him and Amy kept it.
Now before you think I’m trying to demonize this cat, he was chosen because of his loving nature. He’s a very calm soul, revels in being petted and is virtually maintenance free… which I guess most cats are. He was quite skittish for a long time, having been mistreated in his past, and he spent most of his early days with us hidden in some obscure spot. But after a while he got over that for the most part. He also has a penchant for lying in the oddest places, most times right where you have to step over him. He never keeps to the same location. I have found him comfortably laying on the fireplace hearth, curled up on a bunch of smashed boxes by the back door, tucked away in a lower kitchen cupboard and sprawled out in a doorway with half of him in one room and half in another. However, recently he’s started repeatedly staking out a spot on the upper landing of the stairs.
I really doubt that there is any ill intent in this latest locale. Sometimes as I step over him in various places he will reach out with a little swat of his paw as if to say “Hey! Stop and give me a scratch will ya?” Which I usually do. I simply think he has found that his new strategic location is perfect for garnering such attention. He can lie there and casually “reach out” to anyone who happens to be going up or down. Its just handy. And for a laid back, overweight cat, handy is good.
He doesn’t realize that its dark and so is he. He doesn’t understand that as I traverse the stairs in the black silence, my mind elsewhere, that an invisible furry claw reaching out of the darkness to grab me might possibly cause me some distress. Of course he doesn’t get that… he’s just a cat. Right?