Our dog is pretty good about not begging at dinner time, but Snoop, our fat black god of pleasure, has a habit of parking himself by the Big Guy’s chair as soon as the Big Guy settles himself and his plate at our round pedestal dinner table.
Snoop stares longingly up at the Big Guy. The Big Guy, doing his best ogre imitation, orders him to go away and starts to eat. Snoop begins a classic silent meow, but ends it with a squeak to make sure the Big Guy is aware of how adorable he’s being. The Big Guy ignores him for a few bites until Snoop reaches a paw up to pat the Big Guy’s leg.
Then the contest begins, with the cat and Big Guy staring each other down until someone gets the next bite of whatever is on the Big Guy’s plate. Snoop doesn’t always win, but he does so often enough to make it quite clear to the humans that it’s not the cat who is looking at a king.
Snoop, our resident fat, black, furry god of pleasure crawled onto the drawing board this morning to make sure the excitement of publishing a book wasn’t making me forget my his priorities. He head butted me until I drew something to adequately honor his presence.
At this time of year, the big challenge of living off-grid in an earth-sheltered (read: 3 feet of insulation on 3 sides) is to remind yourself 69 on the thermostat would be T-shirt weather if it were describing the temperature outdoors, but when the only thing reflecting light back at you as you let the cat in at 5AM for his morning nap is the frost coating the world outside your door, it’s hard to remember that it’s too early in the year to light a fire.
He really is a pussycat in the morning. When I go to my study at 5 AM, we usually play a game of ‘who gets the chair’ until he resigns himself to sitting on my desk, overseeing the writing. Occasionally, he’ll put a gentle paw on my hand when he thinks a word or phrase is wrong.
The sun is up now, and he’s taking his place on the woodpile as the guardian of the house – Katy the wonder dog is better at announcing burglars than stopping them. But, as I walk back from the car after my morning chauffeur duties, he fixes me with a stern gaze, warning me to keep his safe secret from the other critters that will pass through our yard today.