Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2002
Dear Diary:

For reasons known only to herself, over the last few months my cat Zoe has stopped sharpening her claws. We have two, count 'em two sharpening posts PLUS a yard full of trees she could use if she wanted to, but she doesn't.

Everywhere she goes we hear clickety clickety clickety clack. It's kind of like owning a tap dancing cat which would be cool except that every time she climbs into my lap and begins the "I love you man" kneading thingie I can feel my flesh shredding, even through the thickest denim.

Having a completely stealth free kitty living with him is a source of hours and hours of fun for our other cat, Zubby. He hides behind things and tracks her progress by the volume of her approaching steps. When she gets within pouncing range, he materializes out of nowhere like some sort of fuzzy ninja and pins Zoe. Occasionally he will gnaw gently on her neck just because he knows it makes her mental.

She growls heated insults and he continues annoying her until I bust it up. This gets old for me, fast.

Between the pain of Zoe's Chinese empress claws and the annoyance of breaking up cat kerfuffles, I decided it was time to become Marn, Kitty Manicurist. My daughter procured the fancy schmanzy cat claw clippers. I hunted down instructions on the right way to do it from the internet.

I picked up Zoe. "This won't hurt a bit," I promised her. Holding her loosely with one hand, I squeezed gently on her paw to expose her claws just like the web site recommended and tried to clip the first claw.

Zoe decided to test that no pain theory by trying to bite me because, after all, I hadn't been specific about WHO wouldn't be hurt a bit.

I decided that five pounds of cat was not going to get the better of me.

Five pounds of cat decided she WOULD get the better of me and after a brief tussle the score officially became:

Cat 1. Marn 0.

Time to call in the big guns. "Paaaauuuullllllll." From my tone the spousal unit knew I was calling him to help me with something That Was Not In the Least Bit Fun.

"I'll hold her, you clip."

Gingerly he took the clippers. With two hands I was able to subdue the wriggling cat. I petted her until she relaxed. Snip, snip, snip ... he almost had the right paw finished and then the cat made a move to bite me again. More tussling and the score became:

Cat 2. Marn 0.

I picked her up again. More petting, more cajolling. Right paw finished, the spousal unit began work on the left. He got it done! Then came the moment we were both dreading. In order to get at her back paws, we were going to have to tip Zoe. Some cats love being cradled like a baby with their tummies exposed. Zoe hates this.

I got her pinned in rock-a-bye baby position. We got three claws cut before she wriggled out of my grip, growling some terribly rude things.

For those of you keeping close track of my personal humiliation at the hands (or should I say paws?) of a tiny, very old black cat, the score was

Cat 3. Marn 0.

There was no way I was wrestling that cat into that position again. "Let's try catzilla," I said, so I stood her upright with my hands hooked under her front shoulders, her bottom paws on the ground.

She tried to dance her way out of that, but the final claws were snipped. I'm scoring that one for me, which makes the final cat wrestling tally Cat 3, Marn 1.

And just think, in two to six weeks I get to do this again.

Oh man. The smart money stays on the cat.


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She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -

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2000, 2001, 2002 Marn. This is me, dagnabbit. You be you.