In this photo, Lion looks relaxed on his pillow but he actually is on the verge of taking off and disappearing. His pointy little ears are back, which is the warning sign.
He is nervous for one of two reasons:
1. I am bothering him. When I took this, he was having a rest after a pitched battle with me over whether he should chase the [disgusting] furry rodent attached to the pole or chew on the string, which is he thinks is his mission in life. He will chase the toy like a rambunctious kitten to please me and distract me, but the second I turn away — and I try hard to keep an eye on him but there are other cats who want attention, too — he attacks the string. It is fraying in several places. I remind him that he swallowed two feet of it once and it was no fun at all. He ignores me. I wish I understood him. The closest I can come is my own relationship with dental floss. I don't love flossing my teeth but can't imagine not doing it every day. Did he learn from watching us that "chewing" on string is hygienic and necessary? If I ask, all I get is his innocent, round-eyed gaze. And then he takes off to hide.
2. Lion is worried about our government. Possum follows the news and updates the others. I'm not sure what he tells them; so far, at least, no one's appetite has been seriously affected. But I've noticed that, when we are reading and working in the living room after dinner, four of them gather on the bed, leaving one, usually Harris or Toffee, to keep us "company" (it feels more like surveillance). If I walk into the bedroom while they are there, they stare at me, trying hard to look innocent and sleepy. I am not fooled. Then, every night when we go to bed, all five regroup in the living room. I can't remember when I last had a cat for company at bedtime — probably around Christmas. All we get is four patches of vestigial warmth. It makes us wonder if we should get more cats: five feels a lot like zero these days. If I get up in the middle of the night (I have insomnia and looking out the window passes the time) I find them all curled up on the living room chairs, facing each other. Having a meeting.
I can only assume they are planning some covert operation to disrupt/save the government, and they don't want to get us in trouble if it fails and they get arrested. They all lack any proof of citizenship. We know Harris was born in Newtown, Connecticut, but that's it. Possum allegedly came from Norway, and Lion is said to be some type of foreigner. They are brave.
I'm pleased that they are organized; like many others, our little family is learning the hard way that we need to participate in government if we want it to work for us and for all people. I'm also glad that Wendy is part of the group, since she tends to hold rigid conservative beliefs aligning with the Tea Party, according to Possum. But he says she becomes more open-minded once she's been bitten enough. I hope they don't do anything dangerous or embarrassing. I'm praying it's something harmless, like speed-dialing Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan's offices when we aren't home and leaving incoherent messages, or donating their toys to Elizabeth Warren's reelection campaign. If I figure it out, I will let you know.