The Ascent of Mount Bookcase and Other Endeavors
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Hey! Shhh… Emma here, whisper-purring to you from one of my favorite comfy spots, under the futon in the living room of Deborah’s apartment. I want to stay quiet because I don’t want Winston to hear what I’m about to tell you. He has pretty good hearing, so it’s a possibility that he might hear even though he’s locked up in Our Room (for once he was rebellious while I was napping).

The truth is, I don’t want him to hear me spilling this story about him, because his version is a bit, well, more glamorous than the real version. If he told it, it would be all “I’m Super Spy Cat and I’m perfect.”

But I’m here to tell you the truth. Although Winston is a Super Spy Cat, he’s more amusing than amazing at it. Why? Because he doesn’t look before he leaps, so to speak, and he’s
  
 
more than a bit clumsy besides. Clumsy and impatient simply don’t go together well, and that’s all there is to it.

Now, I admit (though you have to promise me you won’t tell the Kitty Powers-That-Be) that I’ve had a few landings other than on my feet, but at least I land on my feet a majority of the time.

Winston, on the other hand, just doesn’t think things through. Take his kitten-days habit of running into walls, windows, and sliding glass doors. I love my brother, but let’s face it, he’s just a few whiskers short sometimes, if you know what I mean.

So anyway, back to my story about Winston’s decision to ascend up Mount Bookcase. Mount Bookcase, to catch you up, is this seven-foot-tall monstrosity of a bookcase in Our Room. I think Deborah must have dug it up at a garage sale or something, because it’s not too sturdy.

I know it’s not terribly safe because I felt it wobble myself when I once tried to climb up the shelves to the summit. After that kitty-shaking experience, I was more than willing to stick to pushing toys behind it and pulling the books off the easily reachable bottom shelves. However fascinating the shelf-climbing was, it just wasn’t worth the risk of having the whole huge thing topple down on me.

(I should point out that even had it toppled I knew I’d be okay because of my Liquid Kitty powers—one of which is to make myself an inch thick at any given moment—but I wasn’t quite willing to trust it in the case of Mount Bookcase.) The ascent just seemed too dangerous to try.

Winston, however, had no such common sense about the matter. I’d told him my careful, logical explanation of why we should abandon the quest for the summit, and yet he insisted on trying his own fancy Super Spy Cat ways of doing it. He’d calculated, he said, and claimed that if he leaped from the four-foot-tall chest of drawers three feet away from the bookcase at just the right trajectory, he’d built up his muscles just enough to make it to the summit.

I was through protecting him from hard walls and falling bookcases, so I washed my paws of the matter (in the water bowl, of course). While I was doing that, Winston—just for pure spite—went ahead and tried his method. Maddeningly, it worked. By some fluke, he was suddenly gloating down at me from the top.

Just as I was yelling at him to get his kitty tail down quickly but carefully, Deborah woke up (this was, of course, at one of our favorite times: 3 a.m.). The look on her face was, I admit, priceless—she rubbed her eyes several times before jumping up and easing around the bookcase, peering up at Winston to try to figure out how to get him down without knocking the thing over. She seemed even more concerned than I was about the fall of Mount Bookcase. I could tell because she was giving Winston the rare “Why can’t you be more like your sister?” lecture.

Well, anyway, she got him down. To make a long story go along slightly quicker, let’s just say the summit of Mount Bookcase, sadly enough, became one of my brother’s favorite haunts and favorite gloats for awhile—he would not stop meowing about it.

What I will tell you—and this is the part he conveniently leaves out in his version—is that he didn’t always make it to the top. There was this one time when he was hanging from the top of the bookcase by one paw before dropping to the ground, unsuccessful… Come to think about it, though, that one was pretty cool. Deborah keeps saying it reminded her of someone called Tom Cruise in this movie called Mission: Impossible. (Maybe I’ll have to pay more attention to her movies if she’s watching that one.)

The thing is, there were lots of other times Winston fell, not even close to gracefully…

Ooh, I hear a sound from Winston’s quarters. I better pipe down before he catches me telling this story…he hates that. Besides, it’s nap time again. So until later, it’s Emma reporting for “The Cats’ Eye View of Entertainment.”

***Did Winston overhear Emma talking trash about him? Will he retaliate by trying to undermine her credibility? Will he finally explain the deep dark secret behind her Liquid Kitty identity? All these questions and more will be answered in the June 20, 2003 installment of “Cats’ Eye View.”***



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