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I have seen this look before. And heard this ominous whistling, too. The thoughtful sequential tapping of claw after claw on linoleum. I can tell. Whiskers plots.
Right now, he is planning some diabolical feline freakishness. That I know. But the really tough part is trying to anticipate exactly which type of diabolical feline freakishness he is about to foist on us barely-suspecting humans (who dared to consider him our pet). If only one could figuratively crack that furred cranium to reveal the coming horror that is germinating within.
Will Whiskers once again — having tired of toying with the teeny rubberized goldfish lying limply inert at his clawed feet — make that headlong yowling leap from the top of the curio cabinet into the open rim of Gleamer’s fishbowl, to perchance dine on sushi tonight? Maybe I should get that scrap of screening from the garage, pronto, and fashion a leaping hungry devil-cat deterrent.
Or is it the dining room drapery that Whiskers is now pondering? Is his devious little brain calculating exactly how many parallel ribbons of slitted nylon he can create by means of a sudden frenzy of well-placed forepaw swipes? Can I make it up out of this Barcalounger and down the hall before him? Or before the worst of the damage is done? What if he head-fakes me, and veers toward the master bedroom drapes instead? (I swore last time I’d never fall for that again, but who knows?)
Maybe the little demon is recalling last week’s visit to the vet. How he found the fawning receptionist overly familiar and unctuous. And how he didn’t particularly enjoy his annual rabies inoculation. Or that whole to-do with the rectal thermometer. Or that I was the one who drove him there. Should I be worried for my own personal safety? Or the integrity of my leather reading chair?
Am I fretting entirely too much? Has Whiskers instead directed his evil designs this time on the Wilson’s Rottweiler bounding around by the back fence? Will he soon be planting those toe razors of his into some rather sensitive areas of canine anatomy? Should I be worrying about neighbor-on-neighbor retaliation to follow?
Or what if it’s the pantry again? Oh no, not the pantry! It was at least a week before all the split peas made it into the vacuum cleaner, and I never would have thought a bursting jar of marinara falling from only the lowest shelf could leave tomato spots on a ceiling fan! Let me tell you, you have never really felt true pain until you’ve stepped barefoot squarely onto a single lone honey-nut cluster at 2 a. m. Please, don’t let it be the pantry!
Maybe, if we are lucky, all he’s considering is exactly when to unload into the litter pan a vile load of diarrhea — to maximize the likely time lapse before one of us discovers it, and, thereby, the olfactory assault on the household. Omigod! Could it be?! Is he thinking perhaps of leaving the little surprise in one of my slippers again?!
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