Toys. Cat toys. And small offerings of kibble pieces, as well as two beloved treats.
The message was clear: Why won't you wake up and play with me?
Two mice. Two balled up red mohair leg warmers, ready for tossing and a game of Fetch. A bit of bubble wrap. Three balls, one felt, one yarn, and one that I contend was meant for budgies, but what do I know -- it's hard and has a bell in it.
I am grateful for all these gifts, except for the tiny seafood treat an inch from my mouth. Had I inhaled that sucker, all might have been lost. Hmmm.
In a play for pity, not hearing a sound back here in the soundproof area of Marlinspike Hall -- one of the perks of living* in the executive suites -- I sent Fred an urgent email begging for caffeine.
*Okay, so technically, we are squatters, but since we've been caretakers, as well, of this magnificent manor for years now, and even were mentioned in the Haddock Corporation Annual Review, albeit as a misleading footnote, I think Fred, Bianca, and I can claim to live here, as well. And since the Feline Triumvirate lives wherever we live, well, they have rights, too.
Which they abuse, constantly, but no one seems to mind. Fred and I? We can't get away with nothing...
Mais je divague...
You'd think Buddy would want a heavy-duty, intense play session after loading me down with all his beloved goodies, but no! He sat there, staring at me, his back about as straight and rigid as a baby Maine Coon can pull off, and said: "Look, have a little coffee, wake up, think about what you have done, and *then* we'll talk."
I am discovering, via their profound engorgement, lymph nodes heretofore unknown to me. My respiratory tract is artfully producing colors and textures that Benjamin Moore would die to have in its line.
Once Buddy and my email alerted Fred to my consciousness, he came in to join in the make-fun-of-prof brigade, greeting me this way: "What's wrong? Are you sick?" He could barely get it out, it cracked him up so much. He wasn't laughing after I beaned him with the big blue hard plastic ball we use to hide treats in... that Buddy had tucked into the crook of my elbow during my extended rest.
He makes the best coffee, does Fred. So now I am wondering where my appetite might be. It's gotta be around here somewhere. I know yesterday was a day of yogurt, apples, and pepperoni slices -- ugh, alors. (The French are all the time saying that. "Ugh, alors.") Right now, I am thinking that I will have to consume my daily requirement of probiotic yogurt, but even that usual pleasure makes me nauseous at the mere thought. "What's wrong? Are you sick?" Very funny, Fred, very funny.
He is, you know. Very funny. With my foreign language background, you'd think I could do a fair imitation of at least most Romance Languages, but no. I have a great accent when speaking the language, but cannot do the pretend-while-speaking-English thing. But Fred can, and does. Often when he thinks no one can hear him, which is the most hilarious. He bends genders, too. He breaks into this grandmother's Irish brogue that kills me. That usually emerges while he's cooking. Then there's a Germanic/teutonic (Viking, Swede, Finn) mélange that every damn body gets to enjoy whenever Fred faces The Moat in the never-ending Algae Bloom Battles.
Lately, he worries about having Alzheimer's Disease. I never pooh-pooh anyone's health worries -- well, except for ridiculous people who take to Twitter when they think they are dying, in lieu of, O I Dunno, calling an ambulance -- but want to pooh-pooh this one. Fred is older than me by 15 years, but sharper than a very young Yogi Bear. No, seriously, his mentation is to be envied, his memory, divine.
On my birthday, when I sent him flying around Tête de Hergé after sundown in search if Indian delicacies, he found himself in an unknown area southwest of the Lone Alp, and panicked. Just because he is New York City born-and-bred does not mean that he has innate savy taxi driver know-how when in new territory. Anyway, that started the Alzheimer's Watch. Kind of like how a soft winter rain triggers Tante Louise's News Outlets to put the entire region on StormWatch 2013.
But in a way, his worry is a blessing, for I am using it -- as women will -- to encourage the scheduling of a check-up. I feel like a crafty District Attorney, countering the Defense's objection with: "But, Your Honor, the Defendant opened the door to this line of inquiry with the mention of Alzheimer's Disease." And the presiding judge nods sagely, with eye-brow raised, and curtly notifies my drably-dressed legal opponent, "He did, you know. Proceed. Objection overruled."
I'm being gentle about it, thus far. Of course, thus far, the only thing that my suggestion has produced is that Fred took all three cats to the vet. Two of them more than a month early.
We'll get there.
What worries me, but not him, is all the falling down around here. It may be fine with my half-siblings back in the States to let my Mom go *boing* once a day or so, but I have a problem with all the *kabooming* Fred has been doing. After hours of snazzy contra dancing, he fell down the steps of the high school gym on the way out. Walking by the bed, he ran into the annoying knobby end and *bam* -- down he went.
Okay, there are extenuating circumstances. He blames his glasses for the gym steps' descent -- something about how the bottom rim obscures his vision when he glances down. Hmmm. Okay, okay. The bed? That was somehow my fault, as his immediate response was: "When are you going to do something about that?" Hmmm. Nope, that's a no go. The other occasions involved him donning thick wool socks and then rushing over polished floors. And yes, Bianca has once again fallen prey to the old "wax the stairs" fixation...
Speaking of The Milanese Nightingale, has anyone seen her? Maybe she felt such guilt after waxing everything within sight that she's run off to hide for a bit -- not wanting to face the pile of orthopedic bills that Haddock Corporation is refusing to pay. Or... maybe I should check to see if she's been impounded again, like some stray car. Fred -- oh, how to put this -- Fred "disabled" her bedside alarm clock, which plays "her" aria in an unending loop, after six hours or so of:
"Je ris de me voir..."
Still, she's my girl. She wouldn't make fun of me right now. She'd find Sven and Cabana Boy (oy!) and order up some tea and buttered toast, get a Duke F'blastic Ball game on the telly, put on her giant #1 finger, get into a suitable f'blastic ball outfit, and everyone would pile -- ever so carefully -- so as not to cause moi a bit o'pain or spill the Jameson, I mean, the Earl Grey -- in bed with me, the kitty babes included... and we'd all engage in an extensive purr-r-r-r-r-r.
Or I could roll over and go back to sleep.
Probably wake up, this time, with a litter box on my head.