TheDailyRumpus

TheDailyRumpus
Le Derby de 1821 à Epsom,1821, Théodore Géricault
" … I once found it perfectly acceptable to start the day with a placid perusal of the paper."

Days begin with a thump now, the muffled sort of crash a kitten makes after misjudging a pounce, followed by a few moments of almost frantic pounding. The Daily Rumpus usually starts without me as witness. I enter the arena well after the start of the festivities to find another ornament down and the dining room table's cloth hanging at an odd angle. They've also displaced the carpet runners, making the room look like it belongs in one of those Vortex House tourist traps us kids used to plead to stop at when my dad was trying to make time on our summer vacation drive to Southern California. The food bowls will have been picked clean and the water bowl nearing empty. A plant might have been mysteriously tipped over, throw rugs knotted where they lay. Doilies lay like crumpled butterflies in the seat bottoms beneath their usual display positions along the tops of chairs. The wicker rocker will have lost its throw blanket and all will seem right with the world.

The celebration will continue for the next few hours, re-enouraged by the presence of an appreciative audience.
I flip cardboard coasters at whomever's scratching on a piece of furniture, providing a distraction no self-respecting kitten could ever ignore. They both disengage long enough to bring that Frisbee® coaster to ground before turning back to pouncing at each other's throat. No blood's ever drawn and few distress calls ever emanate from either of them. By all appearances they seem to be enjoying themselves, though I reflect that I might have introduced Molly a little too quickly into the family. Max demonstrated full capability of initiating a solo rumpus in the mornings before Molly came around, but Molly looked so forlorn those first few days in quarantine that I finally accidentally on deep purpose allowed her to escape out into the general population, where she found fresh corners to isolate herself and simply watch. It took a few more days before she integrated herself into TheDailyRumpus. Now, I think she might be the primary instigator.

Last night, I caught the pair cuddled in the crow's nest atop their cat tower, giving each other tongue baths, purring loudly with two twitching tails hanging below them. The truce lasted for no more than fifteen minutes before Max took to batting at Molly and Molly rolled over on her back to show her teeth. They tussled quietly for a few more minutes before exploding into what might have been the first act in the upcoming overnight Rumpus. These critters seem nocturnal, hardly seen after nine o'clock in the morning, sleeping in some lair through the daylight before rising for some supper around our suppertime, after which the usual Rumpus begins. I'd carried visions of cats cuddling in on these cold winter nights, but they're downstairs engaged in preliminaries to upcoming pitched battles by the time we're settling in for the night; woe to any wee hours burglar creeping into the place.

Molly prefers high ground. I discovered why books were showing up beneath the bookshelf. Molly hops up to the six foot high second from the top shelf and squeezes over a few smaller books to crouch behind the remaining volumes. I'd have never known, except Max was up on a chair back batting at the books on that shelf. Looking more closely, I glimpsed one of Molly's paws batting back. She's been eyeing the china cabinets, certainly calculating some means for gaining that altitude. She's already conquered every other Everest here. Max seems less cavalier, but no less dedicated to wreking havoc here. No real harm beyond a few ornaments, though The Muse was clearly upset enough to immediately order a replacement for that little Clara Holding A Nutcracker ornament Molly shattered. Molly's a fetching cat. This morning, she hopped up onto a low shelf where The Muse displays a line of heavy brass ornaments. Batting around the collection before taking the ribbon of one in her mouth and hopping down onto the carpet below, she let it fall to the floor, whereupon Max appeared to distract her away from there. She takes impossible leaps over and sometimes through furniture to get to Max, who might turn and run downstairs with her tight on his tail. I have not yet been downstairs this morning to see what The DailyRumpus has displaced there.

And to think that I once found it perfectly acceptable to start the day with a placid perusal of the paper.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved








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