Still Life With Irony

So ysterday evening, Athena was whooping it up in my studio, knocking things over and generally bein’ a pain. I found her dancing in the back corner of my table, where it is difficult to get to her, made a grab, and caught her rear end.

The rear end is not the best handle for a cat, but you take what you can get when the art’s at stake. I picked her up, backward, by the hips.

What followed was thus not Athena’s fault. Panicked by this awful hold, she attempted to turn around in midair with a wild flail, not to dismember me, but to get her paws on my shoulders and get a solid grip, whereupon she would doubtless have shoved her skull under my chin and snuggled. It was pure bad luck that her flailing paw happened to rake that particular chunk of space occupied by my face, and left me with a long set of cat scratches across my cheek.

“Ow,” I said.

Now, on any day of my life, this would be a painful, mildly annoying event, particularly when they turned red and welty and infected as cat scratches cannot help but do. But with the kind of inevitability that stalks my existence, this occurred the evening that I was bound to go out to a friend’s art opening, a benefit fundraiser. For…of course…the local battered women’s center.

“If anyone asks,” I told James, “I’m telling them my husband beats me with the cat.”

Fortunately, cold compresses got the scratches down to levels easily concealed by make-up. This morning, they’ve turned red and I look a bit piratical, but they’re not very deep and should be gone in a day or two.

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