Aslan Speaks For Himself

Hi! It’s Aslan here. Mom said she thought I should get the opportunity to speak for myself because even though we cannot talk, humans who understand us can tell by our demeanor that if we could talk, we would have a lot to say.

I have overheard the family comparing me to this Snickers cat that used to live in my house. Not in a negative sense. They say I’m just different, although one day, I heard Mom and Grandma agree that I might actually be a little sweeter than Snickers. One day when I was sitting on Mom’s lap and rolled on my back so she could rub my belly like I have seen my brother Gilbert do, she was amazed and said Snickers never ever let anyone rub her belly! Speaking of Gilbert, I love him. I pick on him sometimes by ambushing him and swatting him in the face because that’s what little brothers do, but he doesn’t mind. On good days when his arthritis isn’t bothering him as much, he will even playfully chase me around for a few seconds. Although I love my food, his food smells really good too. When I first joined the family, I boldly walked up to him while he was eating and tried to steal a bite, and he growled at me with displeasure. We came to an agreement that as long as I let him eat in peace, I could steal a few bites while Mom was still preparing it. But I can tell when he isn’t feeling well, or upset after Grandma made him take a bath, and will snuggle up to him sympathetically. I don’t blame him regarding the bath. I don’t like being sprayed with water either. I am sure glad I can groom myself, so hopefully will never be subjected to such treatment.

I am also a lot more cooperative. Mom was absolutely shocked when I needed to go to the vet, and I just walked right into the cat carrier as soon as she set it down, whereas she used to have to sneak up on Snickers when she was asleep, or else chase her down to get her into the carrier. And my greatest joy in life is jumping into Mom or Grandma’s lap in the evening and purring so loud Grandpa cannot hear the TV! I especially love when Mom covers up with a particular blanket, a fleece blanket from the University of Minnesota that a friend gave her. Mom and Grandma have taken to calling it the Mamma blanket because it reminds me of my cat mother, and I love to suckle it.

But make no mistake: I get into plenty of mischief too. In fact, I hadn’t even been in my new home an hour before I found myself in trouble. On June 1 when Mom, Aunt Becky, Grandma and Grandpa brought me home from the Humane Society, they decided to set me up with water, a bed and litter box in the upstairs bathroom, as they had read advice articles that recommend confining kittens like me to one room to gradually adjust to the new environment. After spending a few minutes fawning over me and laughing when I stood on my hind legs next to the toilet so that I looked like a little man in a teddie bear costume, they decided to give me some peace and quiet. Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Becky wanted to go out for lunch, and Mom, who prefers to eat at home anyway said she would make herself lunch and then come back and check on me. So after double-checking that the toilet lid was down, and all cupboard doors were closed, they left me to my own devices, confident that nothing eventful would transpire.

Well, when Mom came back to check on me, she was horrified to discover that the door to the cupboard below the sink was open. Inside this cupboard was an uncovered laundry chute. After listening for a few minutes to see if she could hear me, and calling for me frantically, she called Grandma and Grandpa who rushed home.

Grandma said she felt terrible for this happening. She said when they moved into the house almost thirty years ago, she nailed a board over the laundry chute since Mom, Aunt Becky, Uncle Brice and Uncle Ben were small children then, but just this past year, she removed it when renovating the laundry room and hadn’t gotten around to replacing the board. But Snickers never showed any interest in that cupboard, so she temporarily placed a laundry basket over the hole, and closed the cupboard door.

Well, the first thing I did when left to my own devices was climb up the cupboard and slip through a gap the family had overlooked between the top of the cupboard door and the sink, push aside the laundry basket and explore the laundry chute! They shined flashlights down the hole but could not see me. They called frantically to me, but since I really didn’t know these people well yet, I was too scared to come out, even when Grandma opened a can of tuna. So they decided maybe I was overwhelmed by all the fuss, and if they were quiet and just waited me out, I would come out on my own, but when Mom dropped a flashlight and saw it fall irretrievably down into the wall, she was horrified. I could be stuck in the wall. It was beginning to look like they would have to saw through the drywall and rescue me. Aunt Becky and Grandpa raced off to the hardware store to get supplies for this rescue, but fortunately, this extreme measure wasn’t needed. Shortly after returning from the hardware store, Aunt Becky crouched inside the cupboard again, spotted me and grabbed me! I was a little overwhelmed by all the hugs, laughter and relieved chatter that followed. At the time I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. I was just exploring my new house, and was ready to get back to it. After firmly closing the cupboard door, Aunt Becky set me down, and everyone freaked out again when I proceeded to climb up the cupboard door again. Aunt Becky grabbed me again, whisked me out of that room and Mom immediately nailed a board over that hole! But just to be safe and prevent any more trouble, they moved me into the guest bedroom where Aunt Becky would sleep with me my first night.

The first couple weeks in my new home, I was a little shy, preferring to be alone in the guest room, but Grandma and Mom brought me out of my shell by holding me and talking softly to me every chance they could. Today, I am a little shy when strangers come over, but around the family, I am not shy at all. In fact, sometimes, Mom or Grandma have to put me in time-out because I insist on being on the table at mealtime, or jumping on the counter and investigating the crock-pot when Mom makes soup each week. Mom has taken to nicknaming me Mayhem, as sometimes I remind her of the cat in the Mayhem commercial for Allstate Home Insurance that airs frequently when I sit on her lap to watch television most evenings.

One evening in December, Grandma was really pleased with a new lamp she bought and assembled that day to bring more light to the room. But not ten minutes after sitting down to watch television, I knocked it over and broke it. Boy was Grandma mad at me! But she forgave me quickly because I am too cute to stay mad at for long. Mom too got really mad when I climbed into the pantry one day and knocked over a container of expensive, organic dried beans she bought, some of which spilled on the floor and had to be thrown away, but she too forgave me quickly.

I also love the really clear picture on the television screen, and love to jump onto the TV stand and swat at the little people on the screen. Grandpa doesn’t appreciate the paw prints I leave on the screen, but I know he loves me too.

I also enjoy knocking over glasses of water left on the counter, and do this on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times a day. Usually, these glasses are left by Grandma who likes to sip on water throughout the day. Because of this kind of mayhem, Mom does not allow me into her bedroom where she says she keeps important technology that she cannot afford to have damaged by my antics. But that doesn’t stop me from trying to get in, crouching outside her door and dashing in when she opens it. But with that darn bell collar she makes me wear, I cannot be sneaky enough, and she always catches me quickly. One day, I will figure out how to get that collar off and sneak in. That’s my life’s mission!

My first Christmas was a blast. Given the mayhem I am capable of, Mom was certain I was going to knock the tree over, but to everyone’s surprise, I didn’t find the tree that interesting. I am still a little apprehensive about playing with my Christmas gift. Given how I loved playing in the bags of newspaper before they are recycled, Mom thought I would enjoy a cat tunnel. But the day after ordering it on Chewy, I was investigating a paper gift bag that had boxes of chocolate in it that Grandpa bought. Well the bag was sitting near the edge of the table, and the bag fell off the table with me stuck in it! The handle was wrapped around my front paws and my head was facing into the bag so I couldn’t see anything. So I panicked and try to run from the bag, but I couldn’t get it off me, and because I couldn’t see, I was banging into things which freaked me out even more, so I ran even faster! Grandma witnessed the whole thing, and I could hear her screaming and laughing hysterically. Mom was in the next room and heard the cacophony, but couldn’t see what was happening. When Mom described what had happened, instead of taking pity on me, she laughed hysterically too! My predicament only lasted a few seconds, as my running tore up the bag so that I could escape. Once I was free, Mom and Grandma laughed again when they saw that I decided to put myself in time-out, partly because I knew I had been very naughty, and partly because I was exhausted and a little shook up by the incident and was eager for peace and quiet. After a couple hours of sleep in time-out, I was back to my mischievous self, but I am still a little leary of paper bags or any enclosed space, so haven’t played much with my tunnel. But I enjoyed playing with the ribbon and wrapping paper on Christmas, and knocked a couple ornaments off the tree before it was taken down this past Thursday. And Mom said to make up for the tunnel, she ordered me a battery-operated ball for me to chase. I cannot wait for that to be delivered! Yes, I’m a spoiled little prince!

I am not as untrainable as Snickers was. I have heard she didn’t listen to anybody! I will listen to Grandpa as he speaks with authority. Mom and Grandma are push-overs. They have tried scaring me off the table with coins in a soda can, but I was only fooled by that the first day. They try yelling “get down!” in a loud authoritative voice like Grandpa, but they laugh because they physically cannot be as loud as Grandpa. When Grandpa walks into the room, I usually jump off the counter or table I was exploring before he even has to say a word. When Grandpa isn’t home, the only thing that works during their mealtime is diversion. Grandma bought me these springs that are really fun to chase, but I am always losing them under the stove or behind the television. But she will put her plate of food in a cupboard that I cannot reach and go to the trouble of pulling the stove out to retrieve springs for me! Usually with these newly found toys to occupy me, they can finish their meal in peace. If it is not mealtime and there is nothing of importance on the tables and counters, Mom lets me do what I want.

Well, I am usually asleep at this time, so I think I’m going to curl up either on my cat tree, or in one of the recliners and go back to sleep. But I look forward to writing again in the future, and I look forward to many happy years of love and mischief with this family.

Published by Allison Nastoff

As I write this in 2020, I am 30 years old. I am blind, and Gilbert was my first guide dog. He passed away on December 2, 2020, but I decided to keep the title for my blog as a tribute to him because he will always hold a special place in my heart. In 2012, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a journalism emphasis, and went back to school for a Paralegal certificate in 2014. I worked for five years at a Social Security disability firm. When the pandemic hit, I did some reflecting and decided to resign from this job and take seminary courses. My dream is a career as a teacher or writer where I can be a blessing to others.

One thought on “Aslan Speaks For Himself

  1. I also have a cat that likes to knock over my half-empty water glasses. I also have a cat (and parrot) that want to drink out of my iced tea glass. I have had to resort to lidded travel mugs in the house so that they can’t drink my drinks or spill them. The things we do for love!

    Liked by 1 person

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