These little hairy varmint critters of ours tickle us to death, sometimes. They're like mischievous, hyperactive children.
Like this morning, for instance. Our new apartment has sliding aluminum windows. There are no windowsills as such, just ledges the width of the wall thickness, barely wide enough for a cat to stand on but not enough to really get comfortable.
At first Patty put one of the end tables under the front window, then later a small book rack, which she half- filled with library books stood up on edge. Next to it she put a small lamp which, together with the book rack, effectively blocked the top of the table.
The cats took turns squatting on the floor looking up at that tantalizing window ledge. Never mind that there were three other windows they could reach, this one had the nerve to hide behind the clutter on the tabletop and jeer at them. It became doubly, no, multiply, desirable because of its inaccessibility.
Willoughby carefully gauged the distance, braced himself, and sprang. He landed perfectly with his hind feet on two upright books and his front ones on the window ledge. By straining he could just see over the edge of the ledge. He strained harder, trying to see anything that would make the effort have been worthwhile, but all that was visible from that angle was the bottom edge of the window casing. He stretched his neck until he resembled a Peeping-Tom giraffe.
About then one book he was standing on tipped sideways, then the other tipped the opposite direction, leaving poor Willoughby trying to do a split. A cat's legs don't stretch very far, and Willoughby was showing the strain. Luckily there were other books on the rack to hold those two up, otherwise Willoughby would have been in serious discomfort.
But they were far enough apart he couldn't pull them back together. Everytime he tried to move, they wobbled. His paws were beginning to slip on the windowsill, and he was just starting to realize he had gotten himself into a predicament. He opened his mouth to meow for help.
At just that instant, not content to let wretched enough alone, Sasha decided to join Willoughby. She leaped on his back and tried to climb over him to get to the window. For a second or so she was actually riding him piggyback, front legs firmly wrapped his neck, paws over his eyes, while hind legs, claws extended, clambered for purchase on his back, but the strain was too much; with one long, despairing wail, Willoughby toppled backwards off the table, and from there to the floor you couldn't tell where one cat began and the other ended. It was just a ball of screeching, squawling, black and silver and brown and yellow fur, claws, paws, and whiskers tumbling, fumbling, and bouncing all over the floor, not realizing they had landed, still fighting, clawing and climbing to be on top when they hit the floor, each blaming the other for their predicament.
Apparently now they're both mad at me. I don't know why; Patty laughed just as hard as I did.