Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Guilt Trip

Okay, this is getting embarrassing.

Even fully aware of the fact that I am a sucker and that Puckett can play me like a fiddle, I still fall for it EVERY SINGLE TIME.

I've been traveling a lot which is not normal for me. I'm such a homebody, and I hate packing a suitcase, going through security, dealing with TSA, and taking off my shoes, my jacket, and all my jewelry just so TSA can be sure that I'm not some kind of serial bomber who tries to sneak - horror of all horrors! - a razor on board.  This last time I traveled I had to take my Snickers bars out of my carryon as all food needed to be out (Snickers bars are very dangerous after all), and once my bag went through the security they asked me, very no-nonsense, "You have a candle in here don't you?"

Is that bad?

Candles are dangerous too, you know.  I might decide to light it on board and stink up the entire cabin with the scent of fruity, frosty melon with soft undertones of vanilla. The candle was a gift for my friend, and after TSA confirmed it was wax and not gel, they allowed me to repack it and board the plane.

At least I didn't try to take poppers onto the plane like my friend, the Paleontologist.  In his defense, he'd forgotten they were in there - he is a bit of a scatterbrain - and it did earn him the nickname of the Unipopper, giving him fodder for stories for years to come.  He even made the Denver paper.

In the space of a month I went to Texas for a week and then I flew down to Denver to spend the weekend with my other best friend.

I left a week ago Friday and got home very late on Sunday (after nine), and went to bed pretty quickly.  The next day California Guy came to stay for a night. I guess I didn't pay as much attention to my pets as I usually do because Puckett put up a protest.

I guess Sweetums did not appreciate being left or ignored.

When I got home from work on Tuesday I couldn't find her. Percy and Willow greeted me at the door like they usually do, and Tess was begging to go outside since the poor pooch had been locked in the house for days given the ridiculously cold weather and snow forecast.

No Puckett though.

I wasn't worried. Puckett has several spots she likes to hide in, especially when the weather turns to shit.  He favorite place is between the base heater and my space heater, though she also likes to sleep on the dog bed or next to the cat tree.  That night however she was nowhere to be found. I checked my bed, the dog bed, downstairs by the heaters, under the couch, the cabinets.  I even looked under the bed. 

I was just starting to panic when I remembered that Puckett is pretty good at wedging herself under the bed as far back against the wall as she can so that the shadows conceal her.  I checked under the bed again and there she was.  Her butt facing me, her face turned towards the wall.  I called to her and patted the floor.  She turned her head slightly, but didn't flick an ear so I went around to the other side of the bed and reached underneath to pat her.

She moved away and glared at me.  Then she shifted and turned away from me again.

Okay, so she was pissed.

She's done this before, so at that point I wasn't worried.  I figured she'd come out when she was good and ready.  Also, the forecast had predicted one monster storm coming in with 8-12 inches of snow and negative temperatures.

If I was a cat, I'd hide too.

By Wednesday morning, she had not emerged.  This is uncommon for her.  Every morning she is at the food bowl with Percy, mewing for her food.  Even if she doesn't care to eat the rest of the day, in the morning she has her ritual.  Eat, drink a load of water, use the litter box, and resume resembling a beached whale in her chosen resting area.

I left her alone Wednesday, but by Wednesday evening when she still hadn't emerged I got concerned.  She didn't eat, she didn't drink, and she didn't really respond when I reached under the bed to scratch her ears or tickle her belly.  Not a purr, just a dirty look.

Thursday morning she still wasn't waiting by her food bowl like she usually does, so by then I had had enough.  At least this time when I reached for her under the bed she purred and rubbed against my hand, but she still didn't move.  I told her enough of this foolishness and managed to coax her close enough so that I could drag her out.  She let me carry her downstairs where she refused to eat, gave me dirty looks, and stared at her food bowl like she was wishing something amazingly yummy would appear, or maybe that the food would just magically appear in her mouth so she wouldn't have to take the trouble and energy of eating it.

I offered her canned food and you would have thought I was offering her offal the way she wrinkled her nose and backed away.  Percy and Willow wolfed theirs down, but apparently even canned food on a white china plate isn't good enough for Her Majesty.  She did use the litter box and then slunk upstairs and under the bed without drinking water.  I left her a bowl of food and filled one of my white cereal bowls with water. Sometimes Precious just wants to consume her necessities out of human dishes.

I decided that if she wasn't coming out by Thursday evening I would take her to the vet Friday morning.

I came home for lunch around two and took care of things like dishes and cleaning litter boxes. As I walked into the kitchen, there was Puckett, mewing and weaving against the corners of the wall like she was demanding to know why the hell I hadn't fed her. She bolted down a bowlful of food, drank a gallon of water, used the litter box, and then sacked out in her designated spot by the heaters.  I stared at her in amazement. I couldn't decide if I was mad at her or relieved that she wasn't dying on the spot.

She's done this before.  I reacted the exact same way before.  You'd think I'd have learned by now.  When she pouts and faces the wall and gives me her butt, she's probably just mad and not sick.  Refusing to eat and drink and use the box is basically punishing me for not paying attention to her or allowing the weather to do something idiotic like snow for 8-12 inches.  She really knows how to get my goat, because she is well aware of the fact that if all is not right with her I start to panic and pay extra attention to her. She draws the line at being dragged to the vet, but she knows how far she can go so that I've sufficiently learned my lesson.

She's kind of a little asshole.

I'm kind of a big sucker.

And I fall for it every time.

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