Fifteen Years

I realize that my complaints are of no concern to you, but I want to express myself and my seething frustration. There are certain things that irritate humans not because they really cause any harm or distress, but because they stand in opposition to what we wish to do, prevent the simple and easy from taking place.

My friend Steve assists with the daily cleaning of the litter box and the cleaning of the bowls, as well as the replenishing of fresh water, after every container has been cleaned for today's use. He must be present as the portions of food are distributed to each bowl, as if he is a self-appointed, feline cat food distribution inspector. He watches as I place the food in his bowl and every so often he attempts to eat some of another cat's food before I bring it to the floor for everyone to consume. It is not inconsistent, however, that he engage in a kind of tragic dialectic when I am walking from kitchen to dining room. If, say, I lift up my left leg in order to move myself and the long-desired food, in an effort to avoid the foot, and remain out of the way, Steve will find his way under my left foot. When I attempt to move with the right, he again finds himself in danger. If I move quickly, he moves quickly - in time enough that he obstructs what I am intending to do. His every move, intended to keep away from the danger, places him more thoroughly in my path. This kind of interference with our ritual is a part of the ritual, because it happens almost without exception each day.

I find myself not so irritated at the absurdity and avoidability of tripping over a panicking cat on each occasion. It is the matter of how long our dance has taken place.