Sunday, June 29, 2008

Learned Behavior

Every morning when I make coffee, the cats gather around in anticipation. The smell of the coffee and the gurgling of the coffeemaker are what call them, but what they're actually waiting for is the saucer of half-and-half I always pour for them when I'm getting my coffee ready.

Similarly, they're learning to hide whenever they see Katie anywhere in the vicinity of any cleaning products. Katie is not the tidiest person on Earth - in fact, on a scale of one to ten, with ten being my mother-in-law, and one being, well, me - Katie is about a -367,485,946.2.

But every so often she gets a major cleaning bug up her butt and scrubs sinks, tubs and toilets, washes the car, does the dishes, does laundry, wipes down the countertops, sweeps and vacuums the floors, and generally makes a complete angel out of herself. You can't beg, threaten, or bribe her to do this. But if she's in the zone, she'll clean the hell out of the place, which is awesome.

The next day, she's back to stashing banana peels under the sofa.

Unfortunately for them, when she's in this mood, her eye invariably falls on the cats. "Romeo's fur looks a little messy," she'll say in a speculative tone, and from that point it's all over. They get bathed. Romeo complains loudly, but endures it the best he can; Bingo struggles madly to escape; Peachy - sweet, cute, adorable, fluffy, good-natured, fat little Peachy - bares teeth and claws and goes straight for the jugular; and Slappy White, who may after all be the brightest of the bunch, is nowhere to be found.

At least they have a nice clean floor to lie on while they lick all the nasty water off. And Katie gave them a nice dish of cream.

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