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Learning Experience

by Tony Doucet


Speaking of Siamese maybe I do have a little humor to contribute:

I have, over the years, owned a few cats. I thought that I knew pretty much everything there was to know about partnerships with cats (You can own a dog but the best you can hope for with a cat is an unequal partnership with you as the junior partner.) and then I acquired a Siamese. As it turned out I still have a great deal to learn. Just the other day I had another learning experience.

Nature had called (shouted actually) so I removed myself to the small bathroom that adjoins the master bedroom. I took a magazine with me to help pass the time and flipped through it, as I went along, to find a particular article.

Now I must digress here, for just a moment, because there are those people (mostly women) who feel that reading while ensconced upon the commode is a decidedly deviant behaviour. However, if you think about it, reading on the toilet makes use of otherwise wasted time. The "toilet process" is one that only requires attention at its beginning and at its end. The middle goes quite well all by itself without any thought or action on my part. In addition, the bathroom is the quietest and most private room in the house. There are no telephones, televisions, or passers by to distract your attention, so why not consider it an ideal place to read a bit? I do.

This bathroom is tiny. It is not much more than a door, a toilet, and a cupboard mounted high on the wall above the toilet's tank. This cupboard stores bathroom essentials like toilet paper (and magazines, of course). I was distracted by the magazine I already had in hand, and, with a familiarity bred of long practice, I paid no attention to my surroundings as I settled down on the john to let nature take its course. I had no sooner become lulled by the solitude of the place and engrossed in the article I was reading than I was struck a firm blow on the top of my head. To say that I was surprised would be a gross understatement. Suffice it to say that, given the level of surprise, it was extremely lucky that I was seated where I was. It could have been messy.

After what seemed like an hour or so I felt my heart begin to beat again. As my blood began to circulate I slowly regained awareness of my surroundings. There, on the floor between my feet, was the object that had bounced off my head: a roll of toilet paper. This could only have come from the cupboard above my head, so I leaned back and looked up to see what was going on. I had just barely registered the fact that the cupboard door was open when another roll dropped from the cupboard to hit me squarely between the eyes. I had already used up all of the adrenaline in my body, so this time I was only slightly startled and recovered in only a second or two. I leaned back once more and this time, hanging over the edge of the cupboard shelf and staring down at me, was the face of my Siamese cat. I'll swear that she was laughing.

And the lesson I learned? Well, it has three parts: if you really want to be alone be certain that the damn cat is somewhere else; Siamese cats can climb into and hide inside of the most impossible-seeming places; Siamese cats have a sense of humour, but it's a little twisted.

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