Copyright © 2006 Henrietta W. Hay
Mercury Gets my Ear
February 3, 2006
I had a major crisis recently, not life threatening, but major nonetheless. I was all ready to go down for breakfast and went in to get my hearing aids. I reached into the cabinet and back into the corner to the special box in which I keep the one for my good ear.
Nothing. The box was empty. No way it could be empty. But it was.
The other aid was lying peacefully in its box beside the empty one.
When my panic had subsided a little, I started to hunt. I hunted everywhere it could possibly be. No hearing aid. I examined the bathroom floor square by square. Not there.
Finally the light dawned. I had noticed when I first got up that one of the doors to the cabinet was open . Could I have carelessly left it open the night before? Surely not. But unless we had been invaded by little green men from Mars, the only creature that could have gotten into that cabinet while I was sleeping was a four legged furry explorer named Mercury the Wonder Cat. I went out into the living room and glanced down at the carpet. There was a small spot, I reached down, and sure enough, there was the aid -- undamaged.
Mercury had never had a chance to explore that cabinet before, and obviously he took full advantage. Did he choose to remove an old toothbrush or a bottle of lens cleaner or some paper cups? No, being a very elegant, high -class cat, he went straight to the back corner and carefully removed the most expensive item there. I prefer not to know how it got it from the cupboard to the carpet eight feet away, but he had handled this delicate item very carefully. I was assured later by an expert that it was completely undamaged.
When I had awakened earlier that morning, he was sleeping peacefully on my feet.
Lesson: Never leave a cupboard door open if you have a cat in residence.
Cats are remarkable creatures. They make their own rules, and their humans had best follow them. They are probably the most graceful of animals. They can be docile and loving or resemble a tiger. I am lucky. Mercury is a lover, not a fighter. He is very affectionate, and when he is not getting enough attention he lies down on his back with his feet curled waiting to be rubbed. Of course I oblige him.
Erma Bombeck, who was not a cat lover, had this to say. "If cats were human they'd watch 'Masterpiece Theater', drive a German import car, belong to the country club, melt brie before serving, subscribe to the New York Times Book Review every Sunday and think that Harley-Davidson is a law firm."
Erma was not talking about Merc when she wrote that. He would rather watch re-runs of "Mash" with me than "Masterpiece Theater."
His favorite room is still my office. He spends a great deal of time watching me search the web or play solitaire or, oh yes, work on the columns. Of course I understand that. Robertson Davies, a Canadian author, explains it. "Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons."
Mercury the Wonder Cat is truly a wonderful companion. But I still have not succeeded in teaching him to type.