Signs of life 4: Fuzz

“No!”  Meena, the eldest of the two daughters said with an indignant expression on her face  when her parents proposed to go to the market fair.

Eve, the youngest, fell into an uncomfortable silence squeezing a plushie against her chest. She did not dare to go against her older sisters opinion, yet she feared her mother’s displeasure equally. She withdrew into the only direction she could: into herself.

“We never go to anything that we like. We always have to go to these boring things you like.” Meena continued waving her frail hand about,  ”I am not going and that is final!”

Harry, the father, tried to reason with her, but she was not going to listen: hormones and peer pressure were much more important for the budding teen than whatever considered arguments parents brought to bear.

Jane, the mother, then played the power card. “We all go and that is final!”

Meena grabbed her hand-held, stomped upstairs and closed the door of her room with such an audible bang that even the neighbors heard it. Everyone got that message. Then she started to whatsap all her friends that parents were the worst creatures in the universe by far and her parents were the vilest of the bunch.

Jane then shouted up the stairs that Meena should come down this instance or she would be facing a week of extra chores. Eve started to pout her lips and Harry began to tell Jane that maybe they should reconsider this fair business.

“See, even father doesn’t want to go!” Meena shouted, she triumphantly rubbed the words into her mothers face.

“I didn’t mean that!” Harry said, hearing how his words were being twisted into arguments for the defence.

“What then do you mean?”  Jane said. She felt slightly backstabbed by her husband but also knew that her eldest was twisting the knife on purpose. At the same time she saw her youngest discomfort and she grabbed Eve’s hand.
Harry smiled disarmingly at his wife. Meena had walked halfway down the stairs not wanting to give in to her mother, but also not wanting to face a week of extra chores. She looked down on the scene with her arms folded in front of her chest.

Purr the cat sat in front of the door that led to the garden. She mewed at it and glanced at them to see if they would notice. Purr was certain that door would open sooner or later, and if it didn’t  she would lie down on her cushion on the couch. From that vantage point  she would then stare at them with an expression that seemed to say: what on earth are you all doing?

Signs of life 2

Despite the drizzle the red male cat had been outside in our garden the whole morning. He had been  making those weird howls males make when they are in heat. Somehow he had found out that we had a female cat even though she had only been with us for a few months and only outside for one.. Her name was Saar and she was a beautiful Maine Coon, with long grey and black hair, intense yellow eyes and a  bussy plume for a tail.

She was the third cat in out house for we had two castrated male cats as well. A small red one called Sam and a black grey one called Moos. The names were taken from two fictive characters invented by the Dutch humorist Max Tailleur, who had them talk to each other as part of his jokes.

Sam was the smallest of our two cats. He was a nervous, somewhat unpredictable cat who had a fear of men. Probably he had once had some kind of traumatic experience with a man and it took him a long time to get used to any man, like our neighbor who took care of our cats when we were on holiday. On the other side Sam was most social of the two and was the one who sometimes played with Saar.

Moos was almost the opposite of Sam. He seemed to be unaffected by anything going on around him. In fact, although he was aware of things around him, it looked like he did just did not seem to register them.  You couldn’t call him relaxed, so perhaps he was an autistic cat. He was a buddy of Sam, but he completely ignored Saar.

The drizzle had stopped at noon, but the red male had kept on howling. Saar had taken position on a blue plastic table at the other end of the garden. It felt like she was cautiously curious. Not quite sure about his intentions but curious about his behavior. The male saw Saar on that table and started to sneak towards her.

My eldest daughter, unaware of what was going outside opened the garden door to let Sam out. He had been sitting before the door casting looks at us that meant to say that he wanted to have that door opened.  Sam saw the red male crouching in the grass. Something clicked in his head and he charged. The red male was oblivious of the oncoming Sam, until he was on top of him.  He gave a surprised meow and fled.  Sam chased him, but my eldest called out to him and he stopped.

We  fantasized about the reason for the charge and came up with all kinds of explanations, but we all agreed that the one our eldest gave was the most fitting.

“Perhaps he was just fed up with the incessant howling.” she said.