Margaret Cat and I each have a joke that we play on the other, jokes which never fail to amuse. Margaret Cat’s joke is based upon her knowledge that I do not like bugs in the house. She does not know the why of it, that bugs can bite, are pathetic in their efforts to escape me or get back outside, and they are a nuisance to clean up after they have expired. She just knows that each time and every time she alerts to a bug in the house, by staring at them like a hunting dog pointing at prey, I equip myself with whatever I need, subdue the bug, and dispatch it either to Heaven or Outside. Margaret Cat’s joke is that sometimes she alerts on a bug that is not there. I know she knows there is no bug because after I thrash about trying to find the nonexistent bug, she looks “Amused.” Really.
The joke I play on Margaret Cat also never fails. When holding her, if she seems bored and in need of a surprise or vice versa, I cry out “!Tail?!” as in “Oh dear, where is your tail, you’ve lost your tail!!!” And I pat about her hind legs and back as if I am trying to find that missing tail. Instantly, she gets a stunned look, really and always. Like most cats, Margaret Cat usually has little expression on her face other than “Okay” and “Not okay”, and for example in response to a stray dog, “Horrible, this is horrible, I am leaving.” But when I exclaim to Margaret Cat that her tail appears to be missing, she has a different look, best described as “Stunned.” Then I happily pretend to find her tail, so all is well. She is reassured and I am amused. Life is full of fun for those who are easily amused.
By the way, Margaret Cat knows the names of her primary body parts, including the aforementioned Tail, Foot, Nose, Eye, and Ear; not bad for an old pound rescue. She knows and will often do as I ask: Toy, Up, (as in jump up on whatever surface I am patting), Want To Go Outside (on the patio)?, Come In, Sit, Treat (standard cat chow), and Cookie (a catchall for a taste of whatever food I am eating), Brush (she has several brushes kept in a pretty basket and she loves to be brushed).
Caption: Margaret Cat Plays A Joke On Me by Annmarie Throckmorton, 2017.