…has discovered yet another very bad habit. She’s one of those young cats who gathers bad habits to herself and cherishes them like treasures. No day goes by that I don’t want to punt her across the Lair at least once for getting into my food, or picking on Auntie Click, or clawing the big chair, or climbing on top of the bathroom wall and demanding rescue, or knocking glassware off the counter, or leaving fresh muddy paw prints where I just cleaned, or…
Ahem. Well. There is one bad habit I really can’t live with, and that’s the one where she climbs onto various warm bits of the Jeep. She seems especially prone to do this just when I’m planning to leave. I was a dealership mechanic once – we still called ourselves “mechanics” then – and have had opportunity to see what happens when somebody starts an engine while a cat is in the vicinity of the fan belts. It’s a grisly business, and not one I wish on Zoe more than two or three times during even one of her worst days.
That Zoe will not live to get old is a possibility I’m prepared to accept. I’ll do what I can to prevent early retirement, but that’s very little. What I have been able to do, up until now, is keep from killing her myself. Acts of self-control, they say, are good for the character. But if the Jeep gets her it’ll be my hand on the key, and I wouldn’t want to have to clean that up, or live with the memory.
Last night, just when I was preparing for my expedition to subversively wash laundry, she decided she just had to jump up into the Jeep’s undercarriage. Unless she moved with amazing speed – unlikely but not impossible – she still wasn’t actually under the hood so I reached in and started the engine. She came out from under as if shot from a gun, which was the effect I’d sought. I want to scare her away from there without actually killing her – which is also something that happens fairly often, I must admit.