Have Some Respect

“We got a notice in the mail today,” my husband said. “The city is repaving our street. We’ll have to park the car away from the house.”

“Why? What’s wrong with the garage?”

“They say we can’t use the street for two days.”

“How do I get to work then?”

“We’ll have to park on a street away from the house,” my husband said.

“Ah,” I said.

Our street looked perfectly good in my opinion. There were lots of other streets that needed attention, ones with big cracks and holes in them. Main arteries in and out of the city. The ones with lots of traffic. Those got overlooked for some strange reason.

A week later a new layer of asphalt was laid. Bright, shiny and black. It smelled like chewing tobacco.

For some reason it fascinated Oscar, our cat. He tip-toed to the street. His tail went straight up in the air. His ears were pointed and alert. His whiskers lengthened.

“Oscar, no!” I said.

I ran after him. Big mistake. He leaped into the air and landed on the asphalt. And there he stayed. Glued.

I thought of how I was going to pull him off.

“Don’t even think of it,” said my husband from the driveway.

“How do I get him out then?” I asked.

“He’s smart. He’ll find a way,” my husband said.

“I’ve got to get him,” I said.

“He’s appealing to your motherly instincts. Don’t give in.”

I  was worried that Oscar was hardening with only his yellow eyes peering out.

My husband called me into the house for lunch. As I bit into my sandwich, I heard what sounded like a flamenco dancer’s castanets. The clacking got stronger and faster. I got up from the table to see what it was. Through the kitchen window I saw Oscar tap dancing all over the driveway.

I ran outside. That’s when I saw his black paws, like little shoes, making tapping sounds.

“See, I told you he’s smart,” my husband said at my side.

“And talented,” I said. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or run inside for the camera.

It took me all day to comfort Oscar and peel off his tap shoes. Since then, he has avoided the street. This will shorten his tap-dancing career because he won’t make the auditions, but he’s coping well.

And I’m sleeping better at night.

Calvin says, “Leave it to the cat to mess up. No self-respecting dog would have landed in such trouble.”