The dilemma every cat owner faces: touch the catâ€™s belly or not? Now go crazy and see yourself looking at the warm, rounded, bellies of not one, but TWO cats. That was my morning. What to do?
Moments earlier I woke to the usual infestation, aka, Pudgy and Giese wanting breakfast. They jumped on the bed, walked across my face, knocked items off my husbandâ€™s dresser, and squeaked out well-timed â€œaccidentalâ€ meows. The tiniest flutter of my eyelashes brought both of them to full attention, a fact that was not lost on me. Therefore I fluttered a lot just to annoy them.
Eventually I swung my legs over the side of the bed and stretched the sleep off of me. Sorta. Looking downwards while yawning, I saw both cats on their backs, tits up. There was no question they were inviting me to rub their bellies. Â Or were they? Â Was this pay back for my eyelash game? Hmmmm.
Giese was contained in a rectangle of sunshine splashed on the carpet. Her face wore a Mona Lisa smile and half-closed eyes. In the middle of her chubby white belly a round patch of black fur beckoned. â€œTouch meâ€¦â€ it whispered.
A couple feet away Pudgy was also spread-eagle on the floor. Unlike Giese, her face wore an ultimatum. With a Clint Eastwood-ian sneer she practically said, â€œSo ask yourself, punk, are you feeling lucky?â€ She streeeeeetched a little further and fully presented her belly. Ah, Pudgy, you wicked, wicked, girl. Â What you lack in girth you makes up for in softness.
What the heck. The day was young and any potential bleeding would be stopped by, say, noon. It was time to call their bluff.
I touched Gieseâ€™s black spot and she gave me a soft, appreciative purr. Her little paws curled and uncurled, and her Mona Lisa smile went outside the lines. Â Okay. Â Was this ye old “good cat, bad cat” routine?
Feeling empowered, yet wary, I reached over to Pudgyâ€™s belly. As soon as I made contact she wrapped her body around my hand like a ten-pound glove, and bit. It wasnâ€™t a hard teeth to skin reaction, but the message was clear. Touch me again and there will be a problem. I did a quick, â€œHa! I touched you when you didnâ€™t want me to,â€ touch, and then headed downstairs to get their breakfast.
They tried to trip me as I navigated the stairs, of course, but by now I know their plot to make my death look like an accident. Itâ€™s good to understand each other.
And so to recap: Iâ€™d messed with the cats, theyâ€™d messed with me. Balance.
Life is good, and that realization was, as always, the best part of my day.