Friday, August 18, 2006


I haven’t written much about Mr. Darcy, my beloved Maine Coon, but here is a story to appease your ever-parched appetites.

Mr. Darcy came to me last year unexpectedly from a no-kill shelter in town. Since I adopted him when he was still so young, he is understandably needy. Yes, needy is the word that I’m looking for. Demanding would also work as well.

If it weren’t for his cute persona, I’m telling you, he wouldn’t be worth it. I can hear your mouths all dropping to the floor right now. Well, pick them up. I said that if he weren’t so darn cute, he wouldn’t be worth it…but lucky for him, his is!

He claws at the walls all the time, most often when there is nothing there. In order for you to fully appreciate the noise he makes, imagine ten long and pointed nails scratching down a chalkboard. Yeah, that’s a nice sound isn’t it?! Thought so. Especially at 3:00 AM. That’s when I really love the noise. I used to go investigate, thinking that there must be some sort of insect fluttering about, annoying him to no end. But no, there’s nothing. Just the paint and the dry wall. Not even a shadow! Nothing.

He likes to play in the bathtub, which I am sure is in direct correlation to the reason that I buy Drano every couple of months.

He also can’t stand closed doors. And by can’t stand closed doors, I mean that he has panic attacks trying to get himself in or out. The scenario starts off by him gently meowing. “Mom? You back there?” Then it progresses to a more desperate meow. “Mom?! Oh my God! Mom?! Are you behind there?!” Then it get suicidal. He bangs his body/head up against the door over and over again. Thud! Thud! Thud! I’m pretty sure that he thinks I have disappeared when the door closes. Which, I guess, technically, I do. Honestly, I thought that he would have grown out of this by now…being that for ten months, I have consistently come back from behind the scary closed doors.

This leads me to this morning. For once, I wanted to get a shower and have the bathroom get steamy and warm. But, this was not to be. I fed Darcy to get his mind off following me around and tripping me up along my morning routine. I thought that if he was occupied, his attention successfully grabbed, he wouldn’t get in my way, but apparently the tuna/salmon/whatever fish morsels didn’t keep his attention long enough. I closed the door to the bathroom and distinctly remember the door clicking into place. Once in the shower, once I was nice and wet and not willing to get out, I heard Darcy going about his normal psychotic routine but ignored it thinking that it would stop in a bit. To my surprise, it actually did stop. I was shocked.

I continued on with my bathing. Wash the face first, then the body, next wash the hair, and then shave the legs nice and smooth. Nothing. No sound. Not a peep. Then I think maybe he’s dying out there and I have to save him. Like, maybe he’s choking! Oh no! What a bad mom I am! I turn off the water quickly, grab a towel and hastily push back the curtain. And there he is. Laying on the floor next to the toilet. Where he always is when I’m in the shower. And there’s the door. Pushed open. How in the world was he, sans opposable thumbs, able to open that door?!

He gets up and starts to lick the water off my legs. The exact water that I haven’t been able to dry off because I thought Darcy was dead/dying. It was then that I see it.

Something brown and circular laying just beyond the cracked door.

Peering at me. Leering at me. Sneering at me.

Surely not. It can’t be.

I move closer. Oh yes, it surely can be. It’s poop. A nice little piece of poop. Laying outside the door like a morning present. Saying, “Mom, you’re all nice and clean. Thanks for breakfast! I got you something...a present. I like to call it ‘a little piece’ of me.”

I got some toilet paper and pick it up to flush it down the toilet. I can’t be mad at him. I mean, I knew better, didn’t I? I knew that closed doors scared Darcy.

I guess I just didn’t know they scared the crap out of him…

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