Ever since that little plus sign appeared on the pee stick…that cat has been acting strange. Truthfully, she knew Kate was pregnant before we did. We just figured she was being a weirdo cat. As it turns out the cat, Luna, was aware of the changes in Kate’s body and has been acting different for a while. Let’s do a little back story on Luna shall we?
Kate rescued Luna while attending Washington University in St. Louis for her undergraduate studies. Luna was a playful grey tabby cat. Though cats don’t like having their surroundings changed; Luna survived moving many times over Kate’s 4 years at Wash U, multiple road trips to Iowa, and many college parties. I first met Luna before I met Kate back in 2003 when I was filming a short film across the street from Kate’s Williamsburg, Brooklyn apartment. She was a long grey cat that barked at pigeons on the fire escape causing us to pause for sound recording multiple times. Weeks later when I first went to Kate’s house after a few dates I encountered my audible foe face to face. She showed her affection for me by swatting my nose in the middle of the night, stepping on my face and scratching me, and of course…stepping directly on my downstairs area while I was fast asleep. Nothing wakes you up faster than the full force of an overweight cat on your crotch at 4 AM…Luna has done this every night since for 8 years.
A howling, useless, sack of fur that demands food at 6 AM…we did not get along for the first few years. Leave any piece of black clothing on a chair and she would promptly thunder-shed on it and claim as hers with her catty smell. As a New Yorker…everything I owned was black. Kate’s move to Bushwick, Brooklyn was Luna’s and my cuddle phase. I would sleep in most days and Luna would crawl under the covers to be spooned by me. I would hug her close against my chest, rest my face on her soft stomach, and we would sleep the mornings away.
Then Kate moved into my East Village, Manhattan bachelor pad for 3 months while we looked for a place together. Day 1 Luna peed in my filing cabinet. She wasn’t a fan of the ladder up to my loft bed so instead she created her own ladder of: desk, TV (knocking cable box over), dresser, clean clothes stack (knocked over and covered in fur), and then the bed. The reverse was accompanied by loud howls of displeasure and more knocking over of things.
Next was our Fort Greene, Brooklyn apartment which she loved since it was a duplex. She and I rekindled our cuddle phase and her spare time was spent basking in sun beams mid-stairs and howling to be let outside onto the front enclosed patio. She was close to retirement at this point, getting fatter each year, and spending less time chasing yarn.
Kate briefly lived in a house with three other cats when she first moved to the Haight in San Francisco, which sucked for Luna since she hates any other living creature that isn’t human. She spent almost an entire year hiding in the closet or cuddling under the covers in bed. She emerged victorious when I ditched the Larchmont, L.A. crash pad and made the full time move to S.F. and got us a sweet pad with a back yard on Potrero Hill. We planted catnip in the flower beds and Luna would roll in it till she was completely covered in dirt. Her days were spent running up and down the long hallways chasing sunbeams and small flying insects. Life was perfect for her. She settled into her old lady phase and simply wanted to be a part of the action. If we had a house party she would howl till you pulled up a chair for her and she could be up where the conversation was. She was part of the family. She was our baby.
Next we moved to Bolton Landing, NY and lived in a house surrounded by ponds, fields, trees, and of course Lake George. Once the winter had been survived Luna became an outside cat for the first time in over a decade and immediately showed her talent for decapitating newts and mice. I saw her devour 3 mice in a 2 hour time span one day and she almost caught a chipmunk! She became the guardian of the house…protecting us from all things that scamper…which in Upstate NY is a full-time job. She launched an epic battle with a wild cat that went on for months and is the backbone to my dislocated finger story. They fought it out on the lawn and Luna (with no front claws) beat the crap out of this bully cat. Then, with fresh grass growing on the lawn for what would be her 3rd summer in Bolton…we uprooted her life again.
Wichita, KS. For the first 2 months we stayed at my family’s house while looking for a house. Luna lived in the garage as Bud is allergic and there are no pets allowed in the house. In this time period we learned that Kate was pregnant. Luna then had a surgery and had to wear a cone for weeks. When we finally moved into our house the cat could tell something was different. Could she hear Max in there? Could she smell that Kate’s hormones were different? Whatever it was, the cat was suddenly on edge all the time. If you rolled over in bed to fast she would bolt out of the master bedroom and down the hall to cry. The cat that always wanted to be wherever we were suddenly wanted to be left alone and go be where she wanted to be. She was retired. Angry. Scared. It was weird and it got worse as the pregnancy progressed.
Then, on January 28th…Max came home. She wanted nothing to do with him. She sniffed him, cried, backed away, and hid in the closet for 2 days. That is the cat I have been living with for the past 2 months. They stare at each other. Curious? No…waiting to kill each other in an epic battle of furry fatness vs. soft uselessness. My money would be on the cat if she wasn’t such a pussy. (Eh?! Get it?!)
In the past week or so there has been yet another shift in the cat’s life…jealousy. She now climbs into Kate’s lap when Max is breast-feeding, tries to nudge Max out of the way if you are holding him, howls for attention, and often sleeps with her face pressed against mine. What was once a lazy well-trained cat is now an annoying ninja fur-ball creeping across coffee tables, drinking water glasses, stepping on crotches, and acting like a baby. She thinks she is the baby. She is trying to out-cute Max! She climbs inside his Nap Nanny. She sleeps in his laundry basket. She is often found just hanging out in his closet with a look of “What?” on her face. She is up to something. I feel like Luna is turning into Rebecca De Mornay from the movie “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” and is gradually trying to replace the baby. And so, the battle begins. I hope at some point they will have a cuddle phase and be friends. Currently, they are at war…but Max isn’t aware of it.