Zoë the Cat: Hey, is this a good time to talk?
Me: Yeah, I guess so.
Zoë the Cat (clearing her throat): Okay good, because there’s something really important we need to address…
Me: Go on
Zoë the Cat: Well, you know I’ve always been supportive of your mothering efforts. I mean, bringing up kittens is awesome even though it can be challenging. The bigger our pack gets, the stronger we will be.
Me: You’ve put a lot of thought into this.
Zoë the Cat: Of course, you’re a very special monkey. Now the thing is, your kitten has been making a LOT of noise lately and you have GOT to shut her up…
Me: Well, she’s two.
Zoë the Cat: Uh huh. By the time I was two, I was raising five kittens of my own.
Me: People are different.
Zoë the Cat: That may be, but you still need to quiet her down. She’s going to draw predators. It’s just a matter of time.
Me: No, we’re safe.
Zoë the Cat: We’ve gotten lucky so far and now you’re getting cocky. Look, we have a good thing here: it’s warm, it’s hidden, there’s lots of food…
But if that kitten keeps screaming like that, sooner or later a mountain lion is gonna show up and we’ll have to sneak away. You don’t want to raise kittens on the road, believe me.
Me: Mountain lions?
Zoë the Cat: Yes, or musk deer. Musk deer are a real threat around here, believe it or not. I’ve smelled them lots of times.
Me: Don’t worry, that’s just my perfume.
Zoë the Cat: Your WHAT!? Why would you…
OH, you’re trying to blend in with the musk deer! Smart. It seems to be working.
But you still need to shut that kitten up before she gets us all killed.
Me: How am I supposed to do that?
Zoë the Cat: You bite her firmly, but gently, on the back of the neck. Not hard enough to break the skin, but enough to let her know you mean business.
And if that doesn’t work, you may be forced to hold her down and rabbit-kick her in the face for a while.
Me: Umm, thanks. I’ll take that under advisement.
Zoë the Cat: No problem. Safety first.