January 22, 2020

It’s Not Hard to Figure Out Who Owns the Place

• By John F. Chisholm •

Jinx is a black and gray tiger cat.  He’s confident that he owns this place.

He doesn’t walk.  Walking is for lowlife.  He sashays, parading every step with deliberation, exactitude and pride.  His tail, long and sinuous, waves above shimmering, luxuriant fur, a standard not lowered for circumstance.

This morning he arrived in the kitchen.  Chesapeake Bay retrievers dotted the floor, occupying the two dog beds next to the wall and cluttering the hard, cold ceramic tiling with paws, claws and slobber.  Unmoved by the canine world, Jinx sat in the middle, groomed for a moment and then yawned, crimson gullet gaping below gleaming white fangs.  Finished assessing the situation, he calmly paraded over to Hannah, a dog four times his weight, and batted her nose.

I didn’t feel it, but it certainly didn’t look gentle.

Hannah was napping on a dog bed.  Startled from sleep by the impertinence, she eyed Jinx, sniffed and got up to investigate.

Jinx calmly moved onto the preheated cushion, turned around twice and laid down, curling in the precise center of the bed, tail warming his nose.

Hannah, unsure how to proceed and clearly unaware of what exactly had just happened, sat, looking puzzled.  Finally she gave up the contemplative effort and laid down on the hard, cold floor.

Observing it all from my vantage at the kitchen table, I laughed out loud.

Wendy looked up from the newspaper.  “What?”

My explanations didn’t do The Cat proper justice.  How could they?  Instead I sat at my computer after breakfast, trying to outline the events in their proper order.  Who should appear as I tried?  Right.  Jinx.  He frequents my lap as I work in the mornings.  He demands proper adulation, too, bumping his head under my chin, his purr the low rumble of a distant airplane.  Should proper accolades not appear or my attention wander, he faces the monitor and raises a paw over the keyboard.

The threat is obvious.

Besides, he knows far better than me how to write.

“bnv n ,,,,,,,,,”

There.  I guess he showed me.  (I added the quotations.  Otherwise, what is clearly a derisive comment appears exactly as Jinx wrote it.)

I’ll be damned.  Perhaps I was mistaken.

Maybe he really does own this place after all.