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Put Me Down!

How this feline friend named Mimi shows her disdain about being picked up.

Mimi, my female tuxedo cat, does not like to be picked up. Not at all. Not ever.

She won’t hiss if you lift her; she’ll simply stay stock still then twist her body and wiggle out of your grasp. 

Last week, I noticed that she wasn’t coming around for breakfast: dry cat food and a dental chew. On the second day, worried that her brother, who notoriously finishes his food and then hers, would gobble up her dental chew, I did the unspeakable. I picked her up and put her on top of the microwave oven, in front of her food dish. She crouched for a moment then slunk behind the microwave, a favorite refuge in stressful times.

When I was about to leave for work, I looked in the dish; nothing was eaten. Then I looked for Mimi. Not behind the microwave. Not on top of the TV cabinet. Not on the dining room chair—not in any of her usual haunts.

I was equally worried and puzzled about her whereabouts when I opened up the hall closet door, which was slightly ajar. Sitting there like a Egyptian statue of Bast was Mimi. No amount of cajoling would budge her. She refused to even look at me or acknowledge my presence.

Omigod! I’ve traumatized her, I thought.

I gingerly closed the closet door part way so she could get out when she was ready. And went off to work.

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Well, ever since that morning, Mimi refuses to eat breakfast atop the microwave. She will graze the dry food in the communal bowl on the floor and nibble at the dental chew if I place it in front of her. She will eat her supper from her the microwave perch and she’s still sleeping with me so I think I’ve been at least partially forgiven for my audacious transgression: offending her dignity and sense of autonomy.

But like another four-legged creature, the elephant, she’s not forgetting my trespass. Not at all. Not ever. 

                                                                                              —Anne Simpkinson

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