In Which My Mother Tries to Teach My Cat to Facetime

During this entire time, one very important personality in my life has remained largely invisible, mainly because she hasn’t been with me at all: my cat, Leia. Leia came into my life years ago, back when I still had all the stuff to care for young rescue kittens, and before I, well, found out cats were great carriers to things I’m allergic to. Despite the latter basically making me allergic to cats, I’ve continued on with my cats, and adjusted life accordingly (my parents even got me an air circulation machine to help filter allergens). Leia started her life under a tractor, from which she was pulled after most of her siblings had died and her mother had abandoned them. She and her brother (Luke) were never meant to be kept (hence the reason their litter names were Star Wars based), but when both kittens fit in the palm of your hand, it becomes a little hard not to bond with them. My mother stole Luke, leaving me with Leia as My Cat. During my time here, she has been in the care of my mother (along with my old grouchy cat, Button, who doesn’t seem to care if I’m there or not).

To be fair, one of the hardest things for me to adjust to was living without my cat. When she was a baby, I would pop Leia into my hoodie pocket and carry her around while I did everything from baking to reading. When she got older, she would insist that I carry her around with me. I’ve become very adept at one-handing jobs. She also sleeps with me, a very familiar lump near my feet. I even bought a pillow when I first moved in to this apartment, because I had trouble sleeping without her.

Now that my mom is back home, she decided it might be appropriate to assure my cat that I had not fallen off the face of the world. I personally think she might have seen some of those videos on the internet about various cats and dogs skyping with their owners, and thought it adorable, so she decided to try it out.

It did not go as planned.

Now, I know Leia understands movies and screens, because she often sits with me when I watch stuff, and even has a way of telling me when she finds my choice of viewing material upsetting. I thought, then, that it wouldn’t be a bad jump from that to video chatting, but apparently it was. We knew she could hear me, because she started talking to me, but she couldn’t figure out where I was. She kept walking around my mum’s iPad, and then trying to dig underneath it. Eventually we gave up on it, and ended the call. That evening, I got a message from my mum, which simply read “your cat bit me.”

Apparently Leia had continued to try to find me after we hung up, and, finally, in desperation, when my mum tried to put her iPad away, had bitten her. Fortunately, she did not draw blood.

Moral of the story: communicating with pets is risky. Videochat at your own risk.

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