I was reclined on the couch, reading a book. I was struggling to relax, however, feeling a bit…unsettled. Movement from the corner of my eye made me lower the book, and that’s when I saw it.
Freddie sat on the arm of the opposite end of the couch.
He was frozen in place.
And watching me.
You know how this works, but as always, a gentle reminder:
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“Freddie, what are you doing?” I asked slowly.
He blinked, once.
“You are being super creepy right now,” I said, and raised my book again.
Ignoring him the best I could, I focused on my book. The story was pretty good so this wasn’t too difficult. My weirdo cat couldn’t change that.
The call of nature, however, could.
I sighed and dropped the book on the sofa cushion next to me, face down to save my place. I hauled myself up and made my way to the bathroom.
I had passed the point of no return when the bathroom door swung slowly open. Rolling my eyes, I waited for Freddie to enter, look around, and leave, naturally leaving the door wide open. God forbid I should relieve myself in private.
He didn’t come in.
The door slowly swung open to reveal my goofy cat, sitting just outside the bathroom door, staring.
“Freddie, what?!” I demanded.
He did not answer.
“Creepy,” I muttered, finishing up.
Hands washed, I stepped past him and walked into the kitchen to refill my water bottle. The filter pitcher was low, so I carried it over to the sink and filled it from the tap. While the filter did its thing, I bent down and opened the freezer. Carefully choosing the smallest cubes from the ice bucket, I filled my bottle. Once satisfied, I closed the drawer and straightened, turning back to the pitcher.
I startled and gasped, almost dropping my bottle full of ice.
Freddie was sitting on the mat in front of the sink, watching me.
“Is your kibble bowl empty?” I asked. He didn’t respond so I leaned over to look around the kitchen island. His bowl was not empty. “You have plenty,” I pointed out.
He said nothing, tilting his head a little, eyes on me.
I carefully stepped past him to the now full water pitcher and filled my bottle with fresh, filtered water. Shaking my head, I went back to the couch and my book and settled into the fluffy cushions.
Freddie quietly followed and hopped up next to me.
I wiggled a little to get comfy and grabbed the furry blanket from its spot on the back of the couch. I threw the soft material out and gave a contented sigh as it fluttered down to cover my body. Turning to Freddie, I patted my lap in invitation. “It’s waaaaaaarm,” I crooned.
He said nothing.
Just stared into my face.
“Okay. It’s fine. Just stare at me. I don’t care.”
He did not respond, just keep his eyes on me as if he expected me to transform into a duck or something. I was tempted to quack at him but resisted, barely.
“Maybe I’ll stare at you!” I said, triumphant.
I squinted my eyes and stared into his face, giving him a taste of his own medicine.
He stared back, calm and quiet as ever.
My eyes started to water but I resisted blinking. Must not show weakness, not in a staring contest with a feline.
He didn’t move and didn’t blink.
My eyes were dry as the Sahara, dry as my hands after a day of sanitizer, dry as overcooked turkey.
He was unbothered.
“Ugh!” I growled, breaking the stare and losing.
He settled down and tucked his paws under his body, loaf style. His tail wrapped gracefully around him, the end twitching contentedly. His eyes? Still on my face.
“What?!” I demanded. “What do you want? Are you hungry? Are you tired? Are you just trying to make uncomfortable? Why. Are. You. Staring. At. ME?!”
He blinked slowly.
He yawned, his eyes slipping closed for the first time in hours. They opened again lazily and met mine again. “I just like you,” he said, blinking slowly.
“I — oh. Uh, wow. That’s. That’s really nice.”
He laid his head out flat and closed his eyes, going to sleep.
“Huh,” I said, feeling silly for my tantrum. “I like you too,” I added, speaking to his unconscious head.
Happy Caturday, Peeps! We are getting some rain today and I am super excited. I hope wherever you are, you have a warm blanket, a good book, and a cat to stare at you.