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I love my cat to pieces, but she is a complete rat. Upon exiting my room this morning, I saw a dark shadow huddled beyond the door. When I bent to inspect it, it shot off with a trill. Yeah. Good morning to you too, cat.

She waited until I had come out into the living room before she did her usual leap from the counter, to the fridge, to the peak of her domain above the pantry. From there, she surveyed me. Yesterday, she was flirting so badly with Mom and I that she nearly rolled off the edge. Today, she was content to dash away from the edge in mock terror whenever I scooted a tall chair over.

I made up for it later by scooping her up like a baby and “bugging her face,” as I put it. She gnaws on my hand as I scritch her soft kitty-fur, and sometimes she wraps her strong front arms around my hand to trap it. I am the only one in the family who antagonizes her, and she loves it. She grew up with mainly me as a playmate and, after I graduated college, I took to the part quite well.

Her other playmate is our golden retriever, Maezie. They play tag and chase all through the house, and enjoy wandering the backyard together. Currently, the cat has taken over the dog’s bed. And since the dog is a golden, she tries to find room for herself around the sprawled cat.

Oh the joys of my Joy-Joy.