Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How do you solve a problem like Mathilda?

Mark and I are pretty lucky. He works for a great organization where he can take off enough time to join me for our big Midwestern tour. We have great neighbors who are more than willing to look after our house and it shouldn't be too much of a problem to just pack up and leave for a couple of weeks.

Except for Tilda.

This is Tilda, our cat. Isn't she cute?

Mathilda Phlash Ignatow-Graham

She looks really peaceful, right? That is because she is asleep. Here are a few pictures of what it is like to work in a studio with Tilda around.

Tilda requires a ridiculous amount of attention. This is her signature WHY ARE YOU WORKING WHEN YOU SHOULD BE PAYING ATTENTION TO MEEEEEEEEEE move.

If I don't let her sit in on my lap while working, she will find another place.

Sometimes I just give up and let her sit on my lap while I work.

And some times I just give up and stop working.

Tilda loooooves me and Mark, which is great. The real problem is that she will turn into the Worst Cat In The Entire World around anyone else, and the Worst Cat In The History Of The Entire Universe to hapless friends who have, in the past, generously agreed to catsit when we're away.

Here are some testimonials from friends who have sworn to never, ever, never, ever catsit again--

While rinsing her food dish in the kitchen sink I turned to see Tilda sitting in the doorway, glaring at me with hatred. Pure unadulterated hatred. "Hi, Tilda." "Hiss, hiss, growl, growl, hiss, hiss." "Do you miss Mommy and Daddy?" "hiss, hiss, growl, growl, hiss hiss, hiss." She looked directly into my eyes and I began to freak out a little bit. I slid along the wall with her full dishes trying to sweet talk her and she hissed, hunched her back and bared her teeth at me. I put the dishes down and began to slide back along the wall to the kitchen. That's when it happened. With insane sounds emanating from deep in her gut, she lunged at me, claws and teeth out for blood. I picked up something from the floor to beat her back and ran to safety in the kitchen as she flew off into the living room. I called my sister to tell her what happened and she yelled "Get out! Get out now!" I grabbed my things and ran. --Marci

It was like being trapped in a pit with an enraged venomous snake. --Val

Artist rendition of what Marci and Val experienced.

We've finally found an excellent catsitter--a friend who works in a veterinary clinic. She did a great job of taking care of Tilda while we were in Washington, DC for the ALA Annual Conference--

which is to say that she wasn't terrified into swearing to never, ever, never, ever catsit again. We'll be posting updates from Jen about Tilda's state of being while we're away. If you're the praying type, perhaps you might want to say one for Jen.

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