Sunday, February 28, 2010

Standoff at the OK futon

So, remind me to write about politicians and respect, or lack thereof, some other time (my original topic). I got carried away with this story and I'm outta time!

I was meditating this afternoon when my pets had a standoff.

I say "meditating" so casually, as though it's a daily practice. No, lately, the only other time I meditate is when I visit my lovely Buddhist friends to practice with them.

I found myself unexpectedly home without kids or husband, when my younger son finished a school project and went off across the street to play with a friend. So I said, ah-ha! Really, this is the perfect opportunity to spend 20 minutes sitting. No excuses!

While I was sitting, the animals came in to see what I was doing. I suspect Scout would have flown in, except he is confined in a cage. Oh, I think the cat was actually already there in her usual spot, on a cushion on the futon, and she woke up to see why I was in that room. (Highly unusual.)

Got carried away with the flash there. Anyhow, so she jumped down to see if I might be actually interested in feeding her. From her point of view, that is my sole purpose in life, and I do a fairly rotten job of it. She's an old, quite plump cat, and this is her life: sleep/eat. eat/sleep. With certain necessaries somewhere in between. Her name is Bakpak, because when Austin was a toddler, that was one of his early words. I think she finally gave up and went to the laundry room, just to make sure the food hadn't come down from the shelf on its own.

Then I heard and sensed a burst of energy in the room -- a jingling dog tag, and a certain lively bustle. Mimi, our robustly proportioned chihuahua. As my husband says, she's big-boned. She had to come over and sniff around me and make me laugh. Then she looked around for a place to settle for a while, since this was now obviously the room of choice. I heard her trying to clamber up on the futon. She eventually succeeded, and spied the cat's queenly cushion, recently vacated. (At this point I was watching. A little break from the meditating bit.) She carefully sniffed all around it, and looked around. No cat in view.


In the above picture, Mimi is in her usual spot, when we're home, on top of the sofa in the living room (different room).

Then Mimi did what I've never seen her do before: she hopped up on the cushion, which was doubtless radiating warmth, turned several times, and settled herself there. This cushion must have special qualities, she was perhaps thinking to herself. Could it even be better than my bed? And -- the cat won't attack me, not with my mistress in the room!

So then, it got interesting. I had resumed my eyes closed, motionless, and heard the cat quietly return. The sound of licking alerted me. So now I had to watch the rest of the show.

The cat soon decided to return to her favorite spot, walked over, and jumped up -- almost onto Mimi herself. At this point, I started giggling.

Then began a stare-off. The cat sat very close to her cushion (well, she had to -- all that fluff had to go somewhere). She sat, and she stared at Mimi. Mimi looked in the general direction of the cat. You know you're in trouble when your cat stares at you. My giggling, meanwhile, was becoming louder -- I was snorting with laughter -- and was distracting the animals from their standoff.

It didn't take long. Mimi conceded as gracefully as she could, and relinquished the cushion. She went over to the other side of the futon, where there was no soft, warm cushion, and sat down, looking a little sad.

Here's the futon (Austin's guitar seems to have found a home there) and the cat in her rightful spot:

Our cat does not have a confrontational personality, or it could have turned ugly. I know I'll never see the cat pull a similar stunt and settle herself on Mimi's bed. But that sure would be funny to imagine.

So I must say my meditative session proved very fruitful. Since this entry was just begging for pictures, I took the time to load them! I hope you're happy! (It was a lot of work.)

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