Recently a local radio station had a 90s weekend.
1. made me feel exceedingly old, and;
2. afforded the opportunity to be reminded of Shakespeare-worthy lyrics like “not vicious or malicious/just lovely and delicious.”
Which brings me to Queen.
I’d like very much to say that Queen is exclusively the “lovely and delicious” side of the equation. No cat is ever “vicious or malicious,” right?
Um. Let’s just go with another quality 90s lyric: “Mama said knock you out.”
Or perhaps, “so please get off my back/or I will attack/and you don’t want that.” Snap!
For quite a while now, Queen has dwelt in the Community Room at Tabby’s Place. This is a plum position. The majority of cats who are not insane in the membrane consider it a plum position.
Queen, on the other hand, isn’t entirely convinced it’s so lovely and delicious.
Queen does not enjoy humans. Queen does not enjoy cats. Queen would like to say “bye bye bye” to all living beings who are not Her Majesty.
Queen does, however, enjoy reigning, which carries the annoying requirement of having subjects. She’ll put up with us - just barely - if necessary. She’s far too legit to quit.
But all of this raises a conundrum for the other Community Room creatures (humanoid and otherwise). No one - noooooooo one - is immune to Queen’s personal reign of terror. Our little dynast doesn’t hesitate to jump up jump up and get down even on fragile 17-year-old Franny. Gentle Colleen’s poky pacing draws out Queen’s most condescending snarl (translated “as if!”). If she had opposable thumbs, Queen would be using them to form an L on her forehead every time another cat passed by.
No one is so much the subject of Queen’s simpering scorn as the humans, however. For reasons unknown to anyone but Queen, Her Majesty has chosen my desk as her throne. Personally, I think she’s far more suited to a chair made of swords than a fleece donut, but close enough. Queen does not like me. (Unless “liking” is displayed by launching out, teeth first, when I am anywhere within 6 feet of her. Queen is Stretch Armstrong of the teeth. And she’s probably going to bite me again for saying that.) Queen does not like my decor (”pictures of cats? really?”). Queen doesn’t even like my post-it notes and scissors (”pink??!! TURQUOISE? I HATE COLORS!!!”).
She does, however, like - nay, love with a mighty ardor - distressing Webster.
Yes, the Best Cat In The History Of Existence is quaking in his Hammer pants under the harsh hand of the Queen.
Lest you think this is all just a bunch of hissing and posturing, let me set the record straight: this is not a game. Queen uses her teeth and her screams and her all-powerful power of the stinkeye to beat her opponents into submission. And Webster and I…well, we are beaten. Like eggs. Or Ace of Base on the post-90s charts.
But here’s the funny thing: we love Queen anyway. (OK, we humans do. The cats are perfectly happy to ship her to Abu Dhabi. Webster will personally write the mailing label.)
As I type this post, Webster is sleeping in the fleece donut on my desk, and Queen is making bizarre noises and emitting assorted odors and vapors from behind my computer monitor. (Yes, Her Majesty is both noisy and flatulent. It’s the best of Marie Antoinette and Henry VIII, all wrapped up in one tiny dictator.) Due to a uniquely malformed soft palate, Queen continually makes soft sounds along the lines of “hnnnnnnnnhhh” (translation: “I am superior”). I’ve come to love her hummy sound, her angelic face, her unsinkable sense of self.
I confess I’m far less crazy about her attacks. But the first rule of the Community Room is that no cat leaves the Community Room.* It’s the Hotel California of Tabby’s Place.
And so we hail the Queen.
*Yes, there are exceptions. Or, more to the point, one exception, ever.