Last week, Princess Calamity Jane (whose name evolves as we learn more of her personality) decided to switch up her routine.
Monday morning I let her and our orange tabby, Gentleman Jim-Bob, along with Katie the wonder dog, out through the sliding door as soon as I got up. As usual, Jane was the first to confirm that no new mice need to be stalked near the house and demanded re-entry two minute after she’d gone out.
I padded back to my studio office and Jane padded behind me.
I settled into my purple easy chair and pulled my tray table close. I’d been illustrating with good old fashion watercolor again — the iPad still isn’t quite as efficient and doesn’t provide the tactile pleasure of putting a brush on paper.
Calamity Jane jumped up on the table as I dipped a brush in my fifty-cent plastic water tumbler. She sniffed my forehead and then gave me a silent meow as she gracefully inspected the tumbler and the pan of paints. Then she bent over the illustration as if she was evaluating it.
Gentleman Jim-Bob had already put his stamp of disapproval on a painting the week before, so I readied my swooping hand to swoop her back to the floor.
I dipped the wet brush in a pool of paint, and she made a high pitched purring sound before wedging her head in the tumbler. She drank and then looked up at me and purred again. She walked around the perimeter of the painting and paint tin, daintily avoiding my work and looking regal as all cats do.
Then she came back to the tumbler and wedged her head for another drink. I finished coloring in a shirt and went to rinse my brush. I tried scratching Jane’s head to distract her from the colored water, but she wrapped her paw around the tumbler and pulled it closer to her.
It was a not-so-subtle reminder of why we added the title ‘Princess’ and that, as with kids and every other cat a human thinks they own, what’s mine is hers.