When Cats Meow…

You don’t have to be a parent for long to realize that prolonged silence is always a bad sign.

The problem is that it’s often so welcome that you don’t snap that you should immediately put down that book you actually read two pages of, get up and run over to the area where your children are and be prepared to: hose them down with soap and water; rescue them from the top of something that not even the lizard would climb; or phone the insurance company nurse.


This was one of those times.

We were upstairs and I was experiencing some pride in my children. I had told them to “entertain themselves.”

What was I thinking?

The problem is that we are at that point in the summer where the first words in the morning are “I’m bored” followed quickly by “I don’t know what to do” and the ever popular “Mommy, what are you doing?”

Remarkably, they are reluctant to take on any of the 500 chores available to alleviate boredom.

Apparently no one is THAT bored.

It was the day I had banned television after a marathon of cartoons had my daughter quoting Sponge Bob with reverence usually reserved for Thomas Jefferson. Sure, it had been a struggle, but they seemed to be managing. Then I realized that it had gotten quiet. I tried to ignore my mounting sense of doom.

Then I heard a door downstairs close. Next came the sound of running water. This was pretty remarkable since washing hands is right up there with any one of the 500 chores. But miracles happen, right?

Have I mentioned that it’s very dangerous to be an optimist in our family?

A few minutes passed, then I heard a forlorn meow. Very forlorn. As in “abandon hope all ye cats who enter here.”

I closed my eyes and thought about how resilient our cat is, a requirement of every Prosapio pet. Surely they wouldn’t be…

Then there was a shout.

“No! Don’t open the door!”

“But it’s scarwee!”

The knob rattled and there was another shout. I could hear the door open.

“Why did you open the door!?”

“I was scarwed!”

A few seconds later, the cat was up the stairs, shaking copious amounts of water off her legs and glaring at me. After a few more half-hearted shakes she gave me that look that begged the question:

“How many more days until school starts?”