Thursday, February 05, 2009

Whining, Pain, Fury, Midnight Special

After almost two weeks of a really bad cold, on Tuesday I started feeling really good...I was getting healthy again!

That night I caught the flu, or something similar. Then today, while walking up my stairs, I slipped on some ice and pinwheeled my damaged right arm, and I was literally paralyzed with was like somebody had run over it. I couldn't even breathe and everything went white-hot around me.

I stumbled upstairs and got into the shower so I could spray some high-pressure warm water on it, and while I was washing my hair...I lost the hearing in my left ear. It's some congestion-related thing.

And all that time -- while I was stumbling up the stairs in absolute agony, and standing in the shower trying to figure out what had happened to my ear -- the cat was WHINING. She wanted me to put some water in the tub so she could drink it. I suddenly realized that she has NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER in my state of mind.

I don't just mean that she doesn't comfort me when I'm upset -- I would never expect that from a cat -- but she doesn't even know when I'm ANGRY. She has no idea when I need to be left alone. Standing in the shower, listening to her whine with my one good ear, holding my blazing and limp arm with my one good hand, I realized that my cat doesn't have any interest at all in my behaviour, except when I'm making her happy in some way.

So I became furious, and when I opened the bathroom door and she came bouncing in out of some futile desire to drink out of the tub, I sprayed her with the shower hose. Pain can really distort your character.

Of course I felt terrible afterward, and if she gets sick I will never forgive myself. After tracking her down to her hiding place I toweled her off and tried to make her feel better. But even now -- when my pain and frustration has dulled to a pulsing throb -- I can't shake the sudden realization: my cat does not have the LEAST CONCEPTION of how I behave, let alone how I feel.

What got me through my blue funk was a good dose of another kind of funk: the "Midnight Special 1974" DVD. Besides a few stinkers -- David Essex, Golden Earring, Neil Sedaka -- the DVD was full of goodness,, how did I EVER forget Maria Muldaur's "Midnight at the Oasis?"

I LOVE this wonderful song! I don't think I've heard it since...well, 1974, possibly. "Send your camel to bed," I mean, jeez.

But the best performance BY FAR was by B. B. King and Gladys Knight, in what appears to be a bit of an improvisation for her:

She is SO beautiful and genuine. Those eyelashes! I think it's time I gave her music a closer listen. If I ever get my left ear back.


Anonymous said...

I was discussing this with my friend who has a dog. I was contrasting a dogs remarkable ability to understand their owner -
but he seemed to think that cats must have similiar empathy - he thought that it is just that tom-cats are grouchy loners by nature as against the more social female cats. How right/wrong is he?

which makes me really wonder about the zeitgest that some people actually dont mind having sex in front of their pets. Ewww. . :)

Lois said...

Hi Muffy!
Well I certainly hope that you start to feel better really quick!
Poor baby. I at least have a dear husband to turn to for comfort when something happens to me. Cats are, as you discovered, not the most sympathetic ones to have around when you are sick or injured. Mind you, they are just cats and they tend to learn what we teach them. We are the Alpha being in their lives and I think that they ignore us when they can to get back at us. Who knows?
Anyway get well soon and take care.

Kimber said...

Hey, at least Zsa Zsa didn't poop in your shoe afterward. My friend's cat used to do that when it was irritated with her.

And I'm sorry, but I laughed out loud when I read about the shower spray incident. Bravo Muffy! You may enjoy this website on days where you've had it with cute animals:

Kimber said...

PS: Get that arm looked at! I hope it's not sprained.

Anonymous said...

This has not been your best 3-4 weeks, has it? Hopefully your year is coming in like a lion but will go out like a lamb.

I had thought that cats were supposed to be even better than dogs in understanding their owner's moods and emotions. Guess not, at least in this case.

Yeah, the "Oasis" is an oldie and a sorta goodie for me. Some of it doesn't really make sense, but a fun song doesn't have to.

Anyway, hope you feel well enough to sneak off to a sand dune - real soon - and kick up a little dust!

Adam Thornton said...

Zsa Zsa certainly is oblivious to my anger, but I think it might be because I don't MAKE her aware of it. When I'm frustrated with her, I just ignore her and eventually she leaves me alone...but I don't ever give her a reason to RUN AWAY from me. So I suppose I've never given her a way to connect "angry yelling and crying" with "I'd better stay away."

Plus, of course, I spend all day socializing with people, while she's cooped up and can only socialize with me. So she has every right to be needy. was the first time I've really registered her total obliviousness to my mood. We're probably just both abnormal.

This has been a terrible month. And the doctor just told me I have bronchitis. So I'm back on the couch again, though the meth-style medication they've given me results in both hyper-concentration and a total inability to think. Plus goosebumps. I have an appointment with the sports medicine place so they can maybe find out what's wrong with my shoulder.

The great thing is that other than my health, everything ELSE is going wonderful! Knock on wood. Oh please, lucky-life-steak, continue, continue...