The Cancer Cat

by Betty Sleep
Carraig Birmans

Published June 2006

June 22 - July 22

CANCER- Cat got your tongue?

Planet: Moon, from which reflects all light and knowledge in the universe(except for the answer to “Who knocked over my orchid in bud, which blooms only once every 10 years?”)

Cancer is a fraidy cat! Nyah, nyah! Cancer is the sign of the “sook”, the “guilt tripper”, the “wounded beyond saving” cat. Cats born under this sign are capable of out-leaping the cow that jumped over the moon, when startled. When company drops in and you try to show them your beloved Bosco, he will immediately take flight and dive under the couch as if he expects to be beaten...again.

The dropping of a pin can send them into hysterics that will involve a prolonged “rip” around the house during which the goldfish bowl assumes a horizontal position, the entire six shelves of your china cabinet are emptied in one swoop, and the chandelier becomes a launch pad for your tabby tornado.

Not that Cancers are nervous. They are simply highly sensitive and over-stimulated by the least little thing…like breathing. This proclivity for overreacting carries into every facet of their lives. If you are an hour late getting home from work, they will lie just inside the door, on their side, unmoving, except for a weak, and piteous meow that says “goodbye cruel world. I haven’t had anything to eat since I cleaned out two bowls of crunchies and got into the closet where the bag is kept.”

Heaven forbid you should ever accidentally step on a Cancer toe. Not only will they shriek like a banshee being skinned alive, they will disappear under some convenient piece of furniture as if sucked there by a vacuum and held in place. Because they won’t come out. They will regard you with very large, very wounded eyes, and refuse to budge, so take a pillow and lay down on the floor. You’ll be there a while. When they DO come out, they will make a point of showing all and sundry what a cruel monster you are, by cringing when you reach to pat them, or leaping into someone else’s lap, there to tremble in terror.

PREY: Shadows, the only thing with less substance than themselves. Until the sun moves around and the shadows move towards them, then they run like...heck.

RECREATION: Finding new places to hide, which will cause you to tear apart the house you just cleaned and straightened up.

DINING: Very small bites of only the best canned salmon, eaten in a jerking manner, because obviously you are salivating over it yourself, and they are terrified you will try and steal it. If you can manage to observe them while remaining hidden, they will polish it off in one gulp, then proceed to the dog chow, and the garbage can someone left open.

MUSIC: Gregorian chants, noted for their soothing qualities.

SLEEPING: Huddled pitifully under the bed, behind the fridge, in a corner a mouse wouldn’t fit. Alternatively, on the bed of a guest, plastered to their chest to convey the message “Help me, these people are animals!” When you go to bed, they will commandeer the most comfortable chair, bed, or potted plant in the house.

COMPANIONS: A stuffed Garfield. Garfield’s reputation will serve as an example to them, and they can draw strength from his character. Unless Garfield falls off the back of the couch, and “attacks” them, in which case you may have to get your Cancer cat a stuffed Odie, in order to prove there are bigger “wusses” than themselves.

ACCEPTABLE HUMANS: Anyone who can cause bigger guilt trips than a Cancer cat. This narrows the field significantly, to someone like your mother, or your tax accountant.

NAMES: Spike, Tank, Othello, anything that qualifies as inspirational, and which is in direct contradiction to their nervous behaviour.

INTERACTION: You call, Cancer runs. You put down food, Cancer slinks out to grab a bite and run. You bend down to pat their head, Cancer climbs both legs of your pantyhose simultaneously, and leaves identically laddered ruins, before running.

PREVIOUS EXISTENCE: Point man for the Charge of The Light Brigade. (Which may explain their desire to hide behind anything and everything.)

MOTTO: “ Te vidi eir, nunc vidi eir.” - Now you see me, now you don’t.

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