Queen Callie’s Court

It has been quite awhile since Queen Callie has made her presence known in my blog. I live with her every day and see her as part of the house like the same green couches we’ve had so long we barely notice them. But the Queen will not be ignored! She darts in front of me when I first wake up and walk bleary-eyed down the hall to put her food bowl within reach before I go to the kitchen. If I don’t listen right then she meets me at the glass paned door between the dining room and kitchen and meowhines while I’m making the coffee until I obey her and give her the food bowl. By the time I’m ready to land carefully on the green couch with my coffee in my  big black souvenir mug from New Orleans, she has taken her place on her royal throne above my shoulders on the back of the couch to look down on me and glare over my shoulder at my computer screen or my journal pages, watching my fingers type or my pen scrawl across the page. If I don’t pet her soon enough she lowers a paw to my shoulder and flexes her claws INTO my skin, snagging my white robe, and hurting me like shot needles demanding attention.

Of course, the world revolves around HER and I am her servant here to grant her every wish. If I just give in and put my hand up to stroke her head and scratch behind her ears the world is a beautiful place and she purrs her contentment loudly. But when I stop petting she starts jabbing and poking until I pet her some more. I don’t mind loving her, really, but sometimes she irritates me or hurts me too much and I have to scream at her to get out of the room just to get some peace or finish a sentence. I know some people like this, too, so demanding and self-absorbed that even the sound of their voice sets me off (remember the Seinfeld episode where Kramer hears Mary Hart’s voice on the tv and goes bonkers?).  Like a cat under threat of attack I arch my back in anger, the hairs on my spine stand on end, and I either pounce first or scram out of the room to hide. I think it’s called the fight or flight response and since I don’t like to fight I’d rather run away.

Anger is a signal of an impending threat, perceived or real, and though I don’t like to be angry sometimes you just have to respect yourself and stand up to the demanding queens of the world throwing their piercing jabs at whoever will stand there and take their poison. When I regain my composure I remind myself that hurting people hurt people and that I’m not perfect either. That doesn’t excuse their behavior, offensive as it may be, but it helps me forgive and have compassion. Queen Callie may THINK she rules me but I will play her game only if I decide to and no matter how deep her claws dig into me she can’t draw blood unless I stay there long enough to let her.

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