This is Temperance, my temperamental, spoiled, and determined cat. I adopted Temperance (nicknamed Tempee) when she was four months old, and since then, she has taken over every room of my house. Perhaps her house is a better description. She's almost three years old and is part Siamese. She has so many quirks it would be difficult to name them all, but there is one particular side of her that’s, well, challenging.
Whether I’m in bed or simply taking a nap on the couch, Tempee sees that as her opportunity to become the flying squirrel. She can be two feet away from me or ten when she launches herself at my face, all four paws extended. When she lands, she is wrapped around my face like a catcher’s mitt around a fly ball.
The sudden obstruction of my breathing coupled with the sharp sting of nails in my scalp wakes me immediately. And so begins the tedious and painful process of trying to pry her off. She feels like she’s falling when I’m trying to wedge my hand underneath her furry behind to move her to one side so she drops to a squat atop my face, her stomach now flattening my nose.
Gurgling for air, I roll to one side, hoping she’ll slide off, but she hates the entire moving process. So she begins a desperate, plaintive meow as though begging for help from the human torturing her. I try to talk to her in a calm voice, but she keeps scooting forward to gain better traction until her behind ends up right below my nose.
Frustration does not serve me well when I’m attempting to free myself from her wiry clutches. Instead, I must let my hands fall to either side of me and lie as still as a block of cheese until Tempee’s stability no longer feels threatened. Then she gingerly balances herself on my neck and shoulders before waltzing off.
This might be amusing if it happened once. Even twice. But this scenario has been going on for over two years. I’ve tried to outwit her by keeping her out of my bedroom. That begins the obnoxious howling and steady thump of paws outside my door.
The rest of the day, Tempee is a loving cat who likes to chase the red dot, hunt the stuffed mouse, lick my hands at random times, and bump my arm with her head. She wants to be in any room I’m in. When I leave my house, she sits at the window and watches my car pull out of the driveway. And she’s at the front door when I return, ribboning through my legs like she hasn’t seen me in days.
And my favorite time of the day is at night right before I go to bed. I lift her in my arms and cradle her like a baby, lowering my cheek to her face. She gives me three solid good-night licks and leaps from my arms to seek her own bed. It’s clear she loves me, and I adore having her in my life…until the flying squirrel returns.
I’m hoping she’ll outgrow this challenging habit. If not, perhaps I’ll invest in a catcher’s mask.
My thoughts, experiences, challenges, and goals. Right here. At least once a week or so. Oh, and opinions, too. Those will definitely come in. Join me!