I thought, at this late date, that I'd heard pretty much every meow the cats had to offer. Aggrieved "yes, there's kibble in my bowl, but you have to come watch me eat it" wail? Heard it. Burbly about-to-barf yowl? Know it well. Hair-raising "my tail MY TAIL FOOT TAIL OW HATE" shriek? Like an old friend.
Little did I realize that, having never lived in an apartment with an outdoor space, I had seen but the tip of a vast iceberg of meowing, an iceberg shaped like a summer vacation with young children — short, hairy, narcoleptic, omniphage children with no thumbs, no boundaries, and no respect for authority.
And it does not stop with asking to go out onto the patio, then sitting in the doorway, befuddled as to why I've opened the door, or clawing the screen and then getting stuck. In fact, each of those meows has several variations; the latter, for example, encompasses "oh, hi — can you please unstick me?", "I meant to do that, obviously," "STOP LOOKING AT ME WITH YOUR JUDGMENT OF…JUDGING (and please unstick me)," and "this is so embarrassing, I can only be comforted with treats, plural — no, not those, the good kind." And did I mention that failure to de-screen-door the paws in question with a lightning quickness is greeted with a high-frequency banshee death screech?
Sometimes, it's funny; more often, it's like the stupid-questions montage from Clerks.
"Mom, I'm hot. Mom, I'm hot. Mom, I'm hot. Mom, I'm hot. Mom, I'm hot.…What are you doing DON'T PICK ME UP biting you now."
"I want to go out now.…Later now, not now now."
"I can see that it's raining, now get out of my way OH NO I'M WET ACK."
"Mom, I'm cold.…WHY ARE YOU PICKING ME UP? Biting!"
"Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?…Look how cute I am.…Mom?"
"Why won't that bird fly in my mouth? Can you make it fly there?"
"Where does that tree go?"
"I want to come in. Well but I want you to carry me and now I don't want to come in anymore YES BITING."
"I like to play with moths in-side."
"Mom, look! Look! [zzzz]"
"I'm hot and cold — when are you going to move the table so it's in the shade but out of this breeze?…Uch, not that direction, over here.…That's great. Okay, I'm going inside, bye!"
"I ate a leaf and you said not to and I ate it and it tasted bad and now I'm angry."
"This dirt on my tail is YOUR FAULT."
"But I need to sit on your foot out here."
"Where does that pipe go? Can I go where that pipe goes? Can I?Mom? Mom? Mom? Mom?"
"Oh my god another leaf! Lots of leaves! Dog barking leaf CONFUSED YOUR FAULT and then some biting."
"I'm thirsty.…I'm OUT HERE thirsty."
"BIRD LEAF OTHER CAT IT'S LIKE CHRISTMAS OUT HERE!"
"I'm not chewing anything. I'm not! I'M NOT, MOM. [kak] My tongue feels like a foot. Mom?"
"I'm hot again I'M HOT RIGHT NOW stop touching me I SAID STOP."
"Some puddle got on my paw. I SAID I DON'T KNOW can you please un-wet it please?"
"So, about that caterpillar? That you said not to eat it and you said, um, you said leave that caterpillar alone? So I did? So but then I didn't and I ate it? Um, and the thing is it's walking around in there all around in there with its fuzzy feet ack ack ack Mom I'm scared."
"Just saying hi. So, hi. But since you're out here, I'll just go ahead and throw up this terror confetti of dried leaves, diet kibble, and the back half of a caterpillar.…Aaaaand I'm going inside now. Enjoy."
Tags: "outdoors" yes "great" not s'much barfing city living Clerks fat cats feline fun times Hobey Little Joe orange cats shut up moving