The cat has a new toy.
Tabitha’s birthday party on New Year’s Eve was a small family affair but we still ended up decorating the place a bit. There were streamers hanging from the arched entryway into the dining room, for example, and we blew up a bunch of latex balloons and strew them around the place. It was festive, and strangely pink – a color that she has not really liked for a decade now. But that's what we had, and so it goes.
The streamers are still up, which allows us to make rather dramatic entrances for dinner. We sweep them aside like we are gunfighters bursting into an Old West Saloon, though admittedly a rather pinkish sort of saloon such as one might have found in sections of the frontier that were significantly more confident in their own masculinity than most others and didn't feel any need to prove themselves to anyone by dolling the place up in black or never mopping at all. It's quite the scene. We may keep them up for a while, just for that reason. They go well with our TARDIS door decorations leftover from November, too.
We’ve also still got most of the balloons.
Midgie is not the brightest of cats, which is a polite way of saying that she has the intellectual firepower of wet cardboard. She is a sweet cat, but even by feline standards she is the sort who never quite gets the joke. If she were human there would probably be a heartwarming after-school movie about her. It would star an up-and-coming young actress with big yearning eyes and everyone who watched would Learn Something About Themselves in a nonjudgmental sort of way.
This general cluelessness might be why the girls thought it would be funny to rub one of the balloons until it was staticky and then stick it on her back the other day. We let Midgie run about for a few minutes with her latex remora and then we took it off. We figured that was the end of it.
We didn’t count on balloons becoming her new favorite playthings.
She bats them. She chases them. They ride the air currents from the heating ducts across the living room floor or they move along propelled by the static charges they develop, and she follows along, jumping on top of them and rolling over with them encircled in her paws. She just adores her balloons.
The problem with this, as Calvin and Hobbes once pointed out, is that felines are pointy on five of their six ends. There is just no way that can end well, balloon-wise.
It’s kind of like living next to an artillery range, one that keeps college-student hours. You’re noodling along, taking care of whatever usual nonsense the day brings, perhaps even getting ready for bed or eating dinner, when all of the sudden POP! followed by the thunder of one very surprised cat BADUM BADUM BADUM BADUM fleeing directly into a wall POW!
Repeat as necessary.
It’s probably a bit cheeky of us to keep blowing up new balloons for her, but there you go.