Stripey was at the window running through her vocal repertoire this morning. This is why. She can be an operatic virtuoso when she contemplates ripping into a small, cute rodent or bird and reducing it to its component parts. She would love to be red in tooth and claw, but I won’t let her. I painted her nails once, but that didn’t work. She lusts after the real thing. I catch her watching me these days with a calculating gaze, taking note of my declining agility while sharpening her claws on the bedspread. She likes to jump from behind the curtains and latch onto my leg, and then pull back and run off as if it were all in fun. I live in fear, to tell the truth. Just now, in fact ——aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!! Sorry, got a finger cramp from typing too many “f”s. I know y’all aren’t listening to my cry for help, you’re saying to yourselves, “Jesus, why doesn’t he mow his lawn, the lazy fuck?” What you don’t realize is that the condition of our back yard is due not to indolence but is an intentional obeisance to the dominance of Nature. Sooner or later she will win, and like the cheese-eating surrender monkeys as the Nazis rolled into Paris, I wave little Nature flags and cheer her victory. I just hope she gets me before my cat does.