Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Closed Book

My cat Herbie sleeps much more than his adopted brother Guinness. A lot of the time Guinness has no one to play with but me and I spend a great deal of time in front of my computer – which is no fun at all. Some of his favorite toys are little balls of fluff stuff that some knowing manufacturer covers with shiny metallic rays. We play fetch with these. Guinness will bring one into the study if I’m working, or into the kitchen if I’m cooking, and drop it by my feet. If I don’t get the idea, he’ll meow, annoyed. So I throw it and he runs after it, sliding on the wood floors. He’ll bat it around for a while then bring it back for me to throw again. These and other amusements – such as helping me make the bed – usually suffice but occasionally Guinness gets bored.

A bored Guinness is a dangerous Guinness.

With the infallible instincts of a two-year-old human, he knows what gets my attention. If I’m in my study, he will begin by climbing over papers and folders to the shelf where I keep small collection of significant rocks. With infinite care, he will select one particular stone and send it to the floor. If I still ignore him, he’ll find another. If, even then, I keep working, he goes to the books. Knocking a volume off the shelf almost always gets me off my chair.

And evidently Guinness finds the thud of a fallen hardbound book especially satisfying. When I hear it while I’m eating at the dining room table, I know one of the downstairs books has hit the floor. Unfortunately, several of the downstairs volumes, carefully placed in the built-in bookcase, are family treasures. They include books that my great grandmother gave to my great grandfather when they were courting.

He knocked down two of them last week. That was the last straw. I spent an entire morning moving things in the pantry so things in the kitchen cupboards could go in the pantry – then moving things in the china cabinet into the kitchen cupboard. Eventually, the two bottom shelves of the glassed-in china cabinet were clear. They became the new home for the treasured volumes. Finally, un-clunk-able.

It’s a damn good thing he’s cute.


  1. They can get your attention in the most amazing and cute ways at times. When I'm at the computer and Little One or Gum Drop wants my attention, they usually plop down on the laptop. Then they look at me like it's my fault because I didn't do what I was suppose to. You gotta' love'em.

    Thoughts in Progress

  2. All I had to do was go absolutely balistic, berserk, and bananas when either of them got near the keyboard. They learned. Now they walk AROUND the keyboard -- sometimes 'falling' onto my lap or shoulder but never hitting a key.