Samson, Megan’s beloved Basset Hound, lives in Megan’s house, and Juno, Megan’s tuxedo cat, is not happy.
Of course, in Juno’s eyes, the house is Juno’s house, and Samson often claims territory that Juno believes is rightly hers.
To be sure, there are times that Samson asserts his claim to assorted territories in the house through growls and barks. Juno darts away, and once again, a trademark dyspeptic look comes to her face. It is the look of a woman who believes that a sworn adversary has taken what is rightfully hers, and that she needs to deal with such an adversary accordingly.
When Juno gets that dyspeptic look on her face, it is clear that she views the house as one big game of Risk, and every scrap of territory is hers. She wants the board. The board belongs to Juno and Juno alone.
A particular point of contention is the bed. At night, Samson likes to sleep on the bed. Juno will situate herself on the at the foot of the bed, a barrier that often causes Samson to slink away dejectedly.
The bed is Kamchatka, and Juno believes that if she surrenders Kamchatka, she opens the door for Samson to sweep across the side of the board, grabbing territory after territory.
“Kamchatka must not be given up,” I hear Juno saying, “Kamchatka must never be given up.”
Often, alas, Juno loses this battle to Samson’s size, not to mention Samson’s snarls and growls. This, however, may be part of a larger strategy, because when Samson snaps at Juno, Megan often disciplines him. He must go off the bed; Juno settles in, and it seems as if a subtle smile curls on her face.
Yet sometimes she just jumps off the bed, deciding that today’s particular battle is not worth fighting. When she wanders off, I imagine her going to the basement, where she sits at a small drawing board. There, she sketches out diagrams that often involve anvils on pullies, with Samson under them after they’ve fallen, flattened with his legs splayed out like an asterisk.
She is actually quite affectionate when I scratch her behind her ears. She settles into the couch or the bed, or the easy chair. Often, if feels as if she is telling me of her woes, suffering at the hands of Samson’s tyranny.
Juno’s look is the look that all cats have on their faces from time to time; it just happens to be on her face pretty much all the time. It is a look of weary observation at the unfairness of the world. It is a look of the utter inability of everyone else to understand that in Juno’s eyes, all things belong to Juno.
Juno’s dyspeptic look is patient. I shall bide my time, she seems to be saying. She is telling all of us, with that look, that she can plan, and can scheme.
Above all, it is a look of resolve. To look into Juno’s eyes is to realize that some creatures will never back down, even in the face of overwhelming odds…and in this case, an adversary with an overwhelming size advantage. With her dyspeptic look, Juno says that time means nothing to her; at some point, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps next week, perhaps next year, Kamchatka will be hers.