Monday, December 8, 2014
An Open Letter to the Alarm Cat
We love you dearly, and still marvel on a weekly basis that a bright, generous soul such as yourself found your way onto Route 95 that morning two years ago, and that you survived your dash across five lanes of traffic to where I had pulled over to help. And that, ironically, I had been on the way to the animal shelter, wanting a second kitty who was more amenable to cuddles and hugs than Lucy T. Cat, whose folder at the veterinary clinic is splashed with warning stickers and the nickname "Cujo."
The Universe got it very right when it paired us up--you are as soft, warm and cuddly as I could have asked, and you are Extremely Serious about your job of helping me write each day. I realize that some times it may feel as if there is no end to the pens and papers you must sit on, the computer keyboards you are required to walk across, and the effort it takes to poke me into the optimal position for your next nap. You take it all in stride, though, uncomplaining. You are a valued employee, and your annual review will reflect this, as will the raise we are planning for you next year. It is called a "catio" and will be attached to my office window and replace the scrubby bushes in the front yard.
However, in your annual review (and, well, pretty much every morning), it has come to our attention that you have taken on a second set of duties that you pursue with equal zeal: that of Alarm Cat. We would like to point out that we have small mechanical devices that perform this job adequately, and on a schedule of our choosing. Also, we would like to note that when these mechanical devices fail to raise an alarm around daybreak, this does not necessarily mean they have malfunctioned and need you to back them up. Similarly, you do not get extra credit when you anticipate them by anywhere from a minute to an hour. Sometimes us humans need extra sleep, too.
We can only assume it is your lack of faith in these devices that has prompted you to assume the duties of Alarm Cat, seeing how you have kibble in your bowl at all times; Squishy Food is not dispensed until 5 p.m.; and upon my awakening, you immediately repair to your window perch for an extended bath-nap combination that undoubtedly fortifies you for the busy day ahead.
We acknowledge the grievance you recently filed, regarding our closing of the bedroom door, and understand that this causes you great distress as you picture what might be going on outside of your reach, and assume it involves Cthulhu. If you could see your way to trusting the small mechanical devices more, and perhaps waiting for daylight before sticking your paw in my mouth, then we would be less likely to invoke The Door.
It is our hope that the three of us, along with the Feline Workers' Union, will be able to negotiate some sort of an Alarm Truce in the year ahead. However, please note that your other excellent interpersonal and editorial assistant skills far outweigh the impact of your overzealousness in this other matter, and that we have no interest in altering the lifetime contract that was signed the moment I dug you out from underneath my car on that highway. We love you very much, and look forward to many more years of you being part of our family.