Cat’s Meow

There was a cat in the living room saying meow very loudly and over and over. I lay in bed, wondering what awful thing had happened to make the cat make such a noise. But it kept doing it over and over. After a couple of minutes of the meowling, I got up to see what the cat’s problem was. My wife was pleasantly sleeping, oblivious to the kitty cries. When she goes down, she tends to go down hard enough it takes a shoulder shake or two to wake her. So it didn’t wake her up when I crashed my wheelchair into the bedstead with a loud and metallic clunk. Out in the living room, the cat kept meowing loudly, unabated.

Having collected my wits and slippers, I scooted on out to the living room. The cat was standing in the middle of the room, mostly equidistant from the chairs and furniture which rings the room. It did not appear in distress, nor did I see any threat posed to the cat; for instance, one of the other cats. We have three of them and sometimes they can get a little, well, catty. Two will gang up on one to block access to the food and water dishes. Or they will gang up to prevent use of the kitty door that leads in and out of the house for human intervention-free cat privacy. But there were no other cats in evidence, just the black lump standing in the middle of the living room and saying meow over and over again.

“What?” I asked. My voice toned for incredulity and concern.

The cat looked at me and said “meow.”

“What?” I asked a again. “What’s your problem, cat?”

It said “meow” again.

“Kitty, kitty, kitty!” I trilled. Perhaps if I got it to come on over I could pet it and tell it that it felt good and didn’t need to complain and could shut the hell up now.  It was after two am in the morning. But the cat ignored me, preferring to stay right where it was and keep meowing. I get it. Mountain and Mohammed. Sure, okay. I rolled over to the cat and reached down and petted it on the head. Tap, tap, tap. “Good cat.”

It immediately began to purr and rub its cheek on the front casters of the wheelchair. Then it took three steps away, just out of my reach and began its repetitious meow again. I held my hand low and wiggled my fingers, the universal cat signal to come on over. However, this cat had obviously missed the sign class and stayed right where it was. Meowing.  I rolled over to it again and petted it. Once more the cat broke into its motorboat purr and rubbed its cheek on the front caster of my chair. Then it moved three steps away, out of my reach and said meow. I was struck by an overwhelming sense of deja vu. The cat was struck with an overwhelming urge to meow. I rolled over and we repeated the skit one more time. As it meowed this time, I was reaching for a throw pillow from the couch.. Since it was a throw pillow, I threw it. It plunked the cat in the face mid-meow. It sounded like “meuf.”

The cat sprang straight up in the air and started running mid-flight. It tore down the hall and ran into the bedroom. I rolled my way back and climbed back into bed. As I settled, I felt a weight on my feet as the cat lay across them. “Meow!” it yelled.  I scissored my legs and watched the cat ride up and down on the blanket. It was momentarily silent, then started to meow again. As it did, I scissored. The cat said “Meyiga.” It tried to meow again and I scissored again. The cat repeated its earlier word. We played that game for nearly five minutes before the cat slunk off the bed, landing on the rug with a stumbling thump. So much for catlike grace.

A moment later, the cat was back in the living room, and of course, the damn thing was meowing loudly again. I lay in the bed and thought about it. Then I reached over and shook my wife’s shoulder. She mumbled a little and opened her eyes. “What’s going on?”

“You were snoring and you snorted yourself awake.” I lied.

“Oh.” she giggled a little. “I woke you up. I’m sorry.”

“I was already awake.” I said. Right about then a loud meow echoed through the house.

“Is that Squeek?” my wife asked, dry washing her face with her hands.

“Why yes,” I said. “I do believe it is.”

“Kitty!” called my wife, sliding from the bed. She closed the door as she left.

“Ahhh.” I sighed, closing my eyes.