“LITTLE MAN ON THE COUCH”…On Vocabulary, Facebook & Mid-Night Snacks

Not just another cat.

TP: Come on in, Little Man. What are you chuckling about?

LM: Oh, I was just sitting there in the waiting room thinking about mom’s latest project.

TP: Regarding you?

LM: Yeah. She’s tracking my vocabulary…what words I know. Can you believe it? I swear, doc, sometimes she acts like I’m just another cat.

TP: Hmm. What did she come up with so far?

LM: Well, predictably, the word “NO” tops her list. That, by itself, tells you the list has no basis in reality. I mean, she writes that word down like it’s some grand accomplishment…like, when I say NO to Little Man, he knows I mean business.

TP: You don’t see it that way?

LM: PLEASE, doc! When she says NO to me, it means, just a minute…soon…I’ll need a hug first—conditionals rather than absolutes. Know what I mean?

TP: In other words, you’re going to get what you want, it just might require a bit more provocation on your part?

LM: Right, doc. Knowing NO is not the same as accepting NO as anything other than the first, and may I say, very tenuous stage of a volley that will quickly evolve to OK, just this one time.

TP: Sounds like she’s spoiled you, Little Man.

LM: I prefer to think she finds my persuasive charms irresistible.

TP: Uh-huh. What else is on the vocabulary list?

LM: Oh, let’s see. There’s MOUSEY, CHIPPIE, BREKKIE, THE RAJ (short for GARAGE)—you know, “see spot run words” like that. Oh, and my name, of course. DUH! I mean, my mom has no clue how linguistically savvy I am. Good thing, I suppose. Makes eavesdropping on her and dad’s conversations easy. Gives me a helpful heads up sometimes.

TP: Like when somebody’s coming over and you wanna lay low?

LM: Exactly. But, of course, there’s always the surprise pop-in. Like about a week ago, when I’m minding my own business out back and, suddenly, the grandkids come bounding around the corner to see “Uncle Little.”

TP: I’m sure they were thrilled to see you out and about.

LM: That’s just where I wanted to be—out of their clutches and about to pounce on a chipmunk. Thankfully, they didn’t stay long. I mean they literally showed up in the middle of my meticulous recon of a den of the little four-legged munchkins.

TP: Was it the kid in the plaid pajamas?

LM: Yeah, him and his little sister, blondie. She’s a sweetheart; too bad about the big brother. Anyway, dad hoisted me up in his arms so they could give me a head rub. I obliged, what with my desire to stay on dad’s good side, and all. They did their “Aww. He’s so cute routine.” Said I looked like a small bear. I took that as a compliment, of course.

TP: Hmmm. Your diet goes badly?

LM: Not at all! In fact, I just had my bi-monthly weigh-in at the vet’s office last week. Still tipping the scales at a hunk-perfect 30 pounds. I don’t know what the big deal is. Look at me, doc. As that cutie pie vet tech says, I’m a stud muffin.

TP: Uh-huh. And I suppose you’re still lovin’ those rides home?

LM: You know it. Mom was riding shotgun on this trip, taking snaps of me being dad’s wingman. Trouble is, then she posts ‘em on that Facebook deal.

TP: Why’s that a problem?

LM: I’ll tell you why. Because she posts the pix with a comment about how we’re on our way home from me getting “a mani, a pedi and a Speedo wax.” All that does, of course, is invite lots of snippy comments from her friends, like, “Little gets more spa treatments than most women I know.” I need that, right?

TP: I hear you.

LM: Hey, but that’s not the worst.  The other day, one of her friends posts a “kitty exercise video” with a comment about how a certain “Little someone (capital L making the facetious point quite personal) might want to check it out.”

TP: Who was that?

LM: It was that chick they call the “student council president.” You know, because she’s usually so prim and proper. Yeah, right…until she gets a couple glasses of wine in her. Then she reverts back to a Girls Gone Wild sorority sister. You remember that whole statue episode, right? “No head, no arms, a perfect weeny—I love it!” That one?

TP: Ugh. Let’s not go back there, Little.

LM: Just sayin’.

TP: Moving on…aren’t you supposed to be on field rations now? Thought your mom and dad were going off on a trip.

LM: Oh, the 25th Anniversary blowout in Paris? Nah, they cancelled it. Some family stuff got in the way. Bad for them…good for me!

TP: I’ll say.

LM: Yeh. It’s hard to charm someone into doing your bidding if nobody’s home. Kinda like that tree falling in the forest bit.

TP: Hey, speaking of trees and forests, I heard you did a little climbing recently.

LM: Yeah, gave dad quite the thrill. We were out in the back—dad was raking the forest floor (one of his many anal compulsive idiosyncrasies—seriously, doc, he’s the one who needs therapy!). Anyhow, he’s doing his thing and I’m doing the Tonto routine, watching kemosabe’s back, when we get out by one of my favorite trees. I think, gee, maybe I should show the old boy that I‘ve still got it. Up I go! Thought dad was gonna wet himself; he was so damn happy. Amazing how little it takes to give him a charge.

TP: You have a favorite tree?

LM: Yeh, the damn thing leans more than that tower over in Italy. Perfect for climbing. I’m tellin’ you, doc—a little bit of a tree climb, or maybe a short sprint up the Fred Flintstone steps out back, and dad damn near erects an Olympic medal stand in my honor.

TP: Sounds like you’ve got him sussed.

LM: What can I say, doc. Dad and me…we’re sympatico. He knows what I want half the time before I even ask. And I know how to strengthen the bond…even in the middle of the night.

TP: Funny you mention that, Little. I saw the posting your mom put on Facebook the other day. You know, the one where the man and lady are asleep in bed with the huge fat cat sitting on the man’s chest, staring at him. What was the caption? Something about the weight of true love!

LM: I saw it! Typical over-exaggeration on mom’s part! That cat was obese. But yeah, I do offer dad the chance for a little quality time with yours truly at around 4 each morning. I mean, I think it’s rather thoughtful on my part.

TP: Thoughtful.

LM: Sure. I could just sit on the floor and whine for attention. Instead, I hoist my considerableness up onto the bed, walk up his back (that is a form of therapy in some cultures, you know), and purr gently while he gives me a nice head rub before we both trundle downstairs for my mid-night snack. It’s a win-win for both of us, doc.

TP: You certainly have a distinct take on life, Little Man.

LM: Not just life, doc—the good life!

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