Good thing she loves me

Close-up of my cat Rani's face staring straight at the camera and glaring

How to feel like the worst cat mom EVER in one short story.

Rani gets fed once a day now, and she tends to go through her food in about 20 hours. Right now it’s more like 18. So the time of day she gets fed varies. Sometimes wildly. I try to keep to roughly the same time, but if she’s eaten every speck of her food in about 18 hours, I’m going to feed her early and not make her wait another 6 hours.

A few weeks ago we were snuggled in bed. I was watching figure skating and reading and she was cuddled up to me sleeping. The skating ended and I was tired so about midnight I shut off my lamp and went to sleep.


Around 3:00 am she wakes me up with pitiful meows and gentle taps with her paw. Seriously. She just gently pets my arm. I don’t yet realize I forgot to feed her, so we go back and forth with me trying to get her settled down.

I finally realize the problem, so I get up and feed her and go back to bed.

A few minutes later.

*pat pat pat* Meoooooowwww?

Me, groggily: I fed you!

*pat pat pat* Meoooooowwww?

Go eat!

*pat pat pat* Meoooooowwww?

Now I’m ticked. It’s cold in the house and I don’t want to get out of bed again, and I FED HER. Why is she still bugging me?! And there she is, staring at me like I’ve betrayed her. FINE! I’ll get up and take her to her food! I’ll show her and then maybe JUST MAYBE I can get back to sleep. And standing there, on the cold tile in my bare feet, staring at her empty food bowl, the light finally dawns in my fuzzy, annoyed, and oh so very tired brain.

I hadn’t actually fed her. I dreamed it.

Oops. Don’t I feel like the cruelest cat mom ever.

This is almost, but not quite, as bad as that time mom and I never fed her one morning.

Lynda the Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks
aka Meanest Cat Mom Ever 

They Know

Rani laying on a comforter that surrounds her on three sides with all the sides higher than she is.

A few years ago I was working an election and it was one of the local ones, so that meant we had about 58 voters all day. To give you an idea, the same precinct had nearly 800 voters for this recent presidential election.

Anyway, so I was talking to a couple other poll workers, and we were talking about our pets, and I said something about Rani talking to me. This one woman, turns to me and sneers, “Pets don’t TALK to people. They’re ANIMALS.” My reply was something along the lines of “They hell they don’t! My cat talks ALL THE TIME.” And she does! She’s a Tortie, so she’s very vocal.

Not only do I know Rani talks to me, I think she understands WAY more than she should. Take this morning for example.

I went to bed late, as I like to do, but not too late. Probably around 1:00 a.m. I was a little restless so she went in the other room. That sometimes happens if I’m disturbing her royal highness, but at some point I usually wake up and she’s on my lap or next to me. I woke up around 6:00 a.m. and realized she wasn’t there. And hadn’t been there all night. I used the bathroom and when I came out I could see she was on her favorite spot on the back of one of the couches.

Me: You didn’t come to bed last night? What? You don’t love me anymore?

Hey, I live alone and work from home. I talk to my cat. Don’t judge.

I went back to bed to get a little more sleep, and I hear her jump down from the sofa. (Small house. Quiet neighborhood.) She saunters into the bedroom, gets up on the end of the bed, stares at me for a minute, sighs heavily, and climbs on my lap. Then sighs again as she lies down.

And I laughed because if that wasn’t her saying “FINE. If you’re gonna whine about me not coming to bed, then here I am. But it’s under protest.”

Cat*, a fellow knitter I recently met, has a theory about cats. Dogs won’t let you be uninvolved in their lives. They force you to deal with them. But cats can be independent and indifferent. She thinks cats size up their person and give back what they get. The person thinks cats are aloof and standoffish, then that’s the attitude the cats give them. Like “Fine. You want that? Whatever. I’m good.” And once that pattern is set, there’s no going back. If you change your mind, the cat’s all “No, no. This is what you wanted. This is what you got. Too late now, puny human.”

But if you want a loving cat who cuddles and plays with you, they’ll eventually warm up to you and give that back. I’ve lived with 3 cats, all with WILDLY different personalities, but none were aloof, and all loved being around their person. Rani will play both Fetch and Catch. She spends about 20 hours a day with me, and wants to cuddle all the time.


When she’s not sleeping on the couch.

Lynda the Guppy
aka Rani Minion

*No, really. That’s her name.