Thursday, February 23, 2006


This was originally posted on January 4, 2006. Thankfully, my mood improved by the next day.

My cat is an egocentric, temperamental little personality, which makes her like virtually every other cat in the world. Lucy, however, is more than usually averse to being picked up and petted. She is exceptionally pretty, with long fur that's almost as soft as a kitten's, perfect little white paws, delicate features, and the most amazingly large pale green eyes I've ever seen. She makes you want to pick her up, cuddle her, and pet her all over. I still try it, even after being owned by her for ten years, because she's so pretty you just can't believe she's really that unpleasant.

She is, though. If you pet her on her own terms, and you're very very lucky, she might break into a gentle purr. She doesn't do one of those full-body V6-engine purrs that some cats do, but it's a purr and it's a delight to the ears. But I tell you what, if you pet her too much or try to pick her up when she's not in the mood, she'll let loose a hiss that makes you think the devil himself has set up camp on the living room couch.

I have often wondered why humans can't purr. It seems like a useful skill. If God created us in His image, I assume He doesn't purr ... but wouldn't it have been nice if He threw that in as a bonus? And if you take the view of evolution, explain to me why that one got filtered out, would you? Sure, it'd get misused just like winks and smiles, but I think it would be so nice if when we were really, really happy, we could close our eyes, smile with the little corners of our mouths turned up, and purr.

Today, though, I am sorry to inform you that I have a raging case of PMS. I hate pretty much everything in the world, including but not limited to my dishwasher, the neighbors' 35-foot-tall tree hedge, the moldy olives in my fridge, and the Republican Party. (Never mind. It's a long story.) My head hurts. My back aches. I'm hot and then cold for no apparent reason. I feel like calling up computer customer service hotlines and being rude, just to make them be nasty back, just to have the pleasure of being REALLY awful to them and then hanging up. Not that I would ever actually do such a thing, but it sounds like fun at the moment, and that's not really all that good a thing, now is it.

I'll be fine in a few days, I promise. I'll be back to my nice sweet self, or at least as nice and sweet as I get. It's temporary. I keep telling myself this. I'll feel better soon, and I won't feel like slapping people when they tell me to have a nice day.

Most days I envy cats because they can purr. Today, though, I envy cats because they can hiss.


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