During this age of pandemic isolation, my only interaction is with Miss Sugar, the cat. My interaction with others of my species is limited. I talk on the phone with friends and there are a few of us who have Zoom “get-togethers,” but it’s been weeks since I’ve had actual contact with another human being
There is a popular challenge going around asking people to describe how their child or pet is behaving, but to substitute the word “co-worker” when describing them. If there is one thing I know about Sugar, it’s that she does not view me as an equal. I am, if anything, an employee. Most of the time I am considered to be staff. Either way, she has asked that I refer to her as “the boss.”
For the first few days of my isolation, the boss spent most of her time at the front door. If she was in, she wanted out. If she was out, she wanted in. I am assuming she was testing the limits of my availability. She most definitely was testing the limits of my patience.
We’ve been blessed with an early Spring, so the boss is now spending most of her time enjoying the outdoors. I have put an old wicker chair and cushion out on the pergola and this is where she chooses to reign. At almost any time during the day I can look out the window and observe her basking in the warmth and sunshine. Some might even use the word “lolling.”
As the boss has acclimated to my increased availability, her demands have escalated. On the rare occasions when she deigns to join me in the house, her bowl is expected to be full. If it isn’t, I am reprimanded immediately, loudly, and persistently. I have given up on any hope of helping her maintain her girlish figure. I acquiesce in the hope of silence.
The boss is normally pretty stand-offish. However, when she decides she wants affection she can be quite demanding. Bumping my hand with her head over and over until I finally give in and pet her. As per our previous contractual agreement, I am allowed to pet her two strokes, no more, no less. If I forget myself and try to get in a third stroke, recriminations are immediate and somewhat painful. The boss has sharp teeth and claws.
When she walks into the house she takes two steps in and pauses; I am supposed to know that she wants to be petted. Once again, the show of affection is limited to two strokes. After the two strokes are administered she then walk majestically to her food bowl. See above for punishment if the bowl is not filled to her liking.
I have tried complaining about her incessant demands, but the HR department does not seem to care about either her harassment or her assaults.
I have had to accept I have to cope with her feline quirks to the best of my ability. I don’t know how long this isolation is going to last, but I fear that patterns are being established that can’t be undone. I can only hope the boss finds it in her heart to go easier on me for the next few weeks.
I miss people.