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Thursday, Sept. 11, 2003 - 10:55 a.m.

I have wanted to write about Ronnie for some time, and when better than the morning Iím supposed to be working on a conference abstract? I have a number of mental blocks against writing about my cat, though. I donít want to be Crazy Cat Lady.

Still, Ronnie is my roommate, and here at The Measure you get all the details, whether you want them or not. In many ways, Ronnie is the same as other roommates I have had. She is often grumpy (no, waitÖI was always the grumpy roommate. All of a sudden Iím the patient, upbeat one). She likes to eat my food (again, I think that used to be my role. This isnít working very well). And she never, ever does the dishes or cleans the bathroom or does anything to help out around the house (Damn. Ronnie is the roommate I always WAS, not the roommate I always HAD).

Okay, that didnít work. Let me just tell you a few things about Ronnie:

1. After I take a shower she runs into the bathroom to lick the water off my feet.

2. She drags her toys into the room and drops them in front of me expectantly, like a dog.

3. She is a gray cat carefully disguising an orange cat.

4. She has no sense of balance, and often falls off couches and tables.

5. She likes whole wheat bread.

6. When I come home she is always standing in the window hollering, like a dog.

7. She is allergic to fleas. They make her head crusty.

8. Her anti-flea medicine costs exactly what my birth control pills used to. Fleas and babies are the same that way.

9. She can glare like nobody else, in a way that makes you feel like an absolute asshole.

10. When she was a tiny stray kitten she would climb on anyoneís lap who sat down and fall deeply asleep. You can play with her paws when sheís asleep, and she doesnít mind.

11. She sighs very loud sometimes.

12. She should not be fed Ocean Fish Feast before someone comes to visit, because it makes her butt stink up the whole apartment.

13. Once she got out and immediately caught a mouse.

14. She has played with my neighborís pet rabbit a few times. The rabbit is bigger than her, and when it leaps at her she gets scared and stumbles.

15. Nothing is known of her parentage, nor of her scary life outside in December as a tiny kitten before she found me.

16. She likes to hide around corners and leap out at me when I walk by. She flies through the air at me like a wrestler or a Colobus monkey, upright, with all four legs splayed and her mouth wide open.

17. She likes to be chased around the apartment sometimes.

18. Right now she is sleeping between me and the end of the couch. She is soft.

19. Her full name is Veronica, after the Elvis Costello song.

When I stay at Lís house I feel a constant, low-level guilt. I donít want another cat. Ronnie doesnít really like other cats, either. Iím home a good bit, but I never feel like itís enough.

Ack. I have somewhere to be in, like, fifteen minutes, and I havenít showered yet. I will complete this batch of thoughts at a later time.

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