Tuesday, July 27, 2010
What downsizing can do to a big cat: former Texan in big city considers the leash
from Salon by Sarah Hepola:
Bubba wakes up every morning at 5:39. Meow. He pads around the bed while I snore, puts one paw to my face. Meoooow. He slinks over to the nightstand, starts shoving stuff off the side -- a magazine I've been reading, a rubber band woolly with hair, the doorstop of a novel that falls to the ground with a bah-thunk-thunk.
Lately, Bubba has been a real dick.
He wasn’t always this way. Ours has been a breezy courtship forged by a mutual love of long naps and inertia; there was no mewling misery in him that wet food or cardboard couldn’t fix. But a few months ago, I moved to a Manhattan studio perfect in every way except for one: its size. Everyone knows New York apartments are tiny, but you never quite realize how tiny until your closet looks like a game of Jenga and you start eyeing your stove for storage. Downsized to a yuppie shoebox, my good-natured 13-year-old tabby has turned insatiable at dawn. I stumble out of bed at 5:50 to scoop out his breakfast, but he will not be satisfied. He pouts by the front door, crying his despair to the heavens. He hops up on the windowsill and stares longingly out into the courtyard below. Meow, he despairs. Meoooooow.
"Maybe he's lonely," a friend said.
"Maybe he's sick," said another.
I had a better idea: Maybe he needed a cat leash.