My cat makes me nervous. I think she is trying to move in on my husband.
I’m no fool. I know cats are, as a species of domesticated pet, inclined to move in on people. If a cat desires petting, she moves closer to a hand capable of petting.
My cat is looking for something more. My cat is trying to make me feel like a third wheel in my marriage. My cat is trying to stake her territory around, plant her flag in, claim her ownership of my husband.
I know you don’t believe me. I know you’re thinking, “Abby, cats don’t have ulterior motives. You should probably watch less ‘Investigation Discovery.’” I know you’re studying my picture closely so you can avoid me the next time our carts ease into the same aisle at Shaw’s.
And so it is my honor and privilege, as a member in good standing of the New York State Bar (in other words, I’m an attorney), to prove you wrong.
First, a word about my cat’s provenance. We adopted the accused from a local shelter. By “we,” I mean my husband. He alone went to the shelter to “research” our options, he alone had a spiritual connection with the accused, and he alone stretched out his arms to take her from her confined living space. The accused’s first association with my husband was “he’s my hero.”
He brought her into our home of several rooms, centuries-old basement, and excitable toddler. The accused’s second association with my husband was “he put that squealing thing with hands near me.” In view of the hero-worship, though, she forgave him. She bore no grudge, even though by rescuing her generally, he was submitting her tail specifically to constant threat.
In summary, the accused fell for my husband immediately.
Second, my cat’s name(s) must be addressed. We do not know the name she was given in her first home. We do know that the shelter dubbed her “Peaches.”
You have never had your taxes prepared by a woman named “Peaches.” You would not entrust your children to the extended care of a woman named “Peaches.” The only thing you would trust a “Peaches” with is a thing I cannot write about in this reputable weekly.
We named her Gypsy Rose. If you are not steeped in the history of American burlesque from the early-mid 20th century, please know that “Gypsy Rose” was the stage name of a famous striptease artist. Yes, our cat is named after a famous striptease artist.
The name isn’t really our fault. My husband wanted to name her Gypsy; our daughter wanted to name her Rose. So really, God named our cat after a famous striptease artist.
Now we get to the meat of the case against Gypsy Rose Diaz: her behavior.
G.R. Diaz spends her time in one of two places: hiding under the couch, or at my husband’s feet. The cat will actually come to him if he beckons, as if she were a dog. If any of the rest of us try to summon her, she gives us (me) the cold shoulder/haunch.
Where my husband walks, she walks. Where he stops, she stops. Where he lies down, she nestles in and purrs so loudly he can’t hear my witty conversation over the din.
From her curled-up position in the crook of his arm or the bend at his knees or the expanse of his torso, she will find me in the room with her eyes. When she knows he is asleep or engrossed in “Pawn Stars,” she gives me a haughty, victorious look that skips down her whiskered nose and slaps me across the face.
She sheds excessively so that he always has to brush her. She laps water greedily so he is constantly refilling her bowl. She has rejected every toy he has ever gotten her so he is committed to a lifetime of actively engaging with her.
And the silver bullet: she has tricked me into remarking – constantly – at how much she adores my husband. He now thinks she is the most intelligent female since his mother.
The prosecution rests.
Abby Diaz grew up in Falmouth and lives there again, because that’s how life works. She blogs at abbysleftovers.blogspot.com and hellogiggles.com/abby-diaz, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Abby on Twitter: @AbbyDiaz1.