When Tessa is feeling chill, she is the best cat you’ve ever seen. She occasionally seems to be channeling the soul of Gandhi. There are periods of about an hour every day or two when she can be remarkably calm, sweet, and accommodating. I can pick her up and cuddle her for a very long time, and she loves it. I can rub her tummy, and she just purrs. What if I want to trim her claws? That’s okay, it’s Ghandi Cat! Or, how about I want to put a harness on her, like for a leash? She walks a little awkwardly and seems a tad put-out, but otherwise goes about her business as usual. Medicine, cages, loud noises, all roll off her like water off a duck. Nothing bothers her. I want this cat all the times, ever.
Most of the time, however, she’s just Tessa. A high-energy, mischievous, attention-craving cat who tries my patience and makes me laugh. She is a cat whom I adore in spite of, and partially because of, her escapades.
Then, there are times. There are times when the moon goes dark, and the tides rise in a thundering omen, and the winds howl in the night. There are times when Tessa becomes . . . the Gremlin. I am afraid of the Gremlin. I never know when it might strike. My limbs, my clothes, my possessions are not safe. Nothing is safe. Nothing is sacred. The Gremlin is claws, and gnashing teeth, and a whirlwind with the power to destroy all it touches. Fortunately for me, the Gremlin rarely sticks around for more than five minutes, or appears more than a couple of times in one day, and some days doesn’t manifest at all. Indeed, the frequency of Gremlin appearances has gradually been decreasing. I have hopes that the Gremlin will disappear entirely, with time. I have hopes that the Gremlin is an artifact of her youth that, one day, will become no more than a bad dream.
In all truthfulness, even if the Gremlin never goes away for good, it really wouldn’t be a big deal. Most of the time I have Tessa, or occasionally Ghandi Cat.
I’m cool with that.