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When I edited her web page, she tried very hard to help. She hit all kinds of buttons, opening and closing windows and creating desktop shortcuts. Finally, she realized that it happened because she was pushing buttons. She cocked her head to one side, fascinated. She looked at me, then back at screen. She understood what was happening, but she's still working on why. I have faith in her.
Once she saw a photo of some other cat on screen. She batted at it for two or three minutes, claws out. It was worse than funnel web spider. I must turn off computer when I'm not using it because Picasso likes to log onto Internet. Seriously.
Sometimes I wake up in middle of night with a stomach pain, but that's just her pouncing on it again. In next second, she kisses my forehead or sniffs my eyelashes again. She doesn't pounce on my wife's stomach. No, she prefers my wife's chest. Her claws have gotten quite sharp recently.
We no longer need an alarm clock. Picasso sneaks into bedroom, with stealth of a born hunter, sticks her mouth directly in closest ear, and lets loose with a blood-curdling MEEEEEOOOWWRRRRRRRR!!! Convinced that we're awake, she returns to couch and sleeps contentedly.
One thing about tri-colored Picasso alarm clock, however, is that she doesn't know when we want to get up. She visits at midnight, 1, 2, 3, etc. She also doesn't bother to check calendar.
As of late, she's become a more discriminating alarm clock. She realizes that nothing wakes me up, so she concentrates her efforts on my wife. At moment, my wife is responding by imitating me and lying unmoving. It's working, but one never knows for how long.
Apparently, Picasso feels that we don't need sleep anyway. Either that, or we're simply deaf. We never know when we'll hear things crashing in living room in middle of night, or perhaps some strange howling.
By now you may be wondering why I'd keep such an insane cat. It's because we love each other.
Does your cat wait for you to wake up in morning so she can say hello? Does she run to door and talk to you when you return from work or an errand? Does she know your schedule intimately, adjusting her sleeping habits to wake up and stare at door at lunchtime, waiting for you to pop in for a quick visit? Picasso does.
She often visits me when I'm reading in bed, rubbing and purring and saying, "I love you, Daddy." When I'm working at keyboard, she watches contentedly from a nearby perch. She always follows me or my wife around apartment when we cook or clean or whatever because she loves to watch us do stuff.
Every cat I've owned has run as far away from me as possible when I clean litter box. Picasso supervises. As soon as I'm done she gives it an inspection and a test drive, but that's not unusual for a cat.
"Being a cat means never saying you're sorry." I never met a cat who'd disagree with this statement, until Picasso. If I scold her for something, most of time she genuinely apologizes. She might do it again a week or an hour later, but she just can't help herself.
Naturally she has mellowed with adulthood, and she was never very bad to begin with. She's an angel at least 90% of time. As for rest, we all have to blow off some steam sometimes. Life with Picasso is never boring.
Shortly after her arrival, I bought her a scratching post. She absolutely loved it. But as she grew older, and longer, it became too small. It's seventeen inches tall, perhaps acceptable for a kitten, but not an adult. A cat really needs to stretch her body to its full length when she's sharpening her claws.
Back in United States, this would have been simple enough. Go to pet store and buy a bigger one, right? Not in Hong Kong. I had to find myself a pet store with an employee fluent in English, explain what I wanted, and order it from a catalog. It wasn't as difficult as it sounds, actually. I'm getting hang of Hong Kong now.
Picasso watched in fascination as I assembled fifty-two-inch monstrosity, with four perches of varying heights and sizes. The longest of three posts, one that rises from floor, is a whopping thirty-two inches from ground.
As I completed construction, I discovered that one of perches had a hole missing. I didn't have a drill. I couldn't simply take it to store for a spare part because it was imported from UK. Plus, repackaging it at this stage and returning to store would have been cruel to Picasso.
I "drilled" hole with a hammer, some nails and a screwdriver. When I finished job, exhausted and sweaty, Picasso ignored post in favor of empty box. She spent days sleeping in that box. Now it's lined with towels, plus all stray paper balls and rubber bands she's found to stash in it, and it serves as her bed. It's beneath dining room table, giving her a four-poster bed.
Finally she discovered scratching post. She leaped atop it, putting her at eye level with me, and gave me a grateful meow and a kiss. She loves it. She can sit on a perch and look over my shoulder as I type this.
Do you remember what I said before about her claws getting quite sharp recently? This is why. But aside from an occasional attack on feet beneath blankets, Picasso usually keeps them to herself.
There are two problems with writing about Picasso. The first problem is, it becomes obsolete so quickly. The second problem is, I don't know when to shut up. I think I'll just do that now.
You may rest assured that Picasso will be living with us for a long time to come. We're all much happier this way.
Picasso's been with us through five years, two provinces, three cities, and seven Chinese flats. We currently reside in Hangzhou, where I bicycle around on quests for tuna and cat litter while Picasso stays home being beautiful. She's the star of my free weekly newswletter, WHO MOVED MY RICE?, http://www.chinarice.org Also, she has a much bigger scratching post now.