February 4, 2010
This apartment is still very cold but I recently acquired an electric heating pad, much like those used in electric blankets, and it has found a home under a regular blanket on my lap. As this is normally Jesse’s spot, there have been, as you can imagine, some tensions.
I was working on a database one cold morning when I decided I needed to get the pad out. My hands were chilly, and every time I would write a new query, I would have to pause and question my will to continue living. I could hear Jesse in the kitchen attempting to get into the garbage, so I knew it was safe to remove the pad from its hiding place. I quietly opened my sock drawer, after putting on some music to cover up the associated sounds, and slid the main portion of the pad under my lap-sized cat quilt. As I bent down to unplug my lava lamp, I heard the sound of a cookie package tearing and some happy snuffling, so I relaxed a little, and, with the pad plugged in, dialled up the heat to the maximum allowed by industry standards.
Jesse might have known something was going on when he heard the music, as it is not usual that I put on late-period Depeche Mode before noon, but responded instantly to the sound of the dial, tearing himself away from the cookie crumbs and running down the hall, coming to a sliding stop in front of the doorway. He had been getting into the garbage a lot lately and was developing a noticeable inertia, cute at first but now downright terrifying. He snarled, the scrap of a Mr. Christie logo stuck on his claws. I tried to not look guilty but the cord was impossible to hide, and Jesse is a perceptive, territorial animal.
My cat quilt was spared and despite the safety instructions on the heating pad which practically guarantee a fire for one reason or another, no fire was started. However, in my haste to hide the more covert but less effective barley bag from his rage, I ended up with a gash which I think actually needed stitches? It was elliptical at any rate. I considered calling Heather for her nursing advice but that website I had designed for her hadn’t gotten a lot of views and things were a little icy between us.
“Jesse,” I said, pressing an old Terry Fox Run t-shirt into the wound, “how can you be my only heat source when you’re always tearing open the garbage?” I removed the shreds of fabric and plastic from his paws and set him down in my lap. He stayed there happily until lunch time, though, and I finally finished that database I was working on.
After lunch I accidentally erased all my data with a bad update query, but I blame myself for that.