So the weekend’s here, the hectic frustration of the last few days is past, and I had some time to garner “cute” photographs of Ernestine the Brat Cat. I felt obligated to restore her reputation after the recent accusations of her looking mean, evil, grumpy, and even being the spawn of satan.

Ernestine, being the brat that she is, was completely uncooperative.

Normally, she is the sweetest thing, my prevailing companion, staring at me adoringly, sybaritically relishing my petting and scratching of her face and belly. She makes those big latter-day Chuck Jones overdilated ga-ga-eyed faces. Picture Bugs Bunny mutely pleading for his life, ears flopped back, huge black eyes with glistening reflections. Those kind of eyes. But as soon as a camera is pointed in her direction, all bets are off. She becomes interested in something, anything, as long as it’s elsewhere. She will not look at the camera even when I call to her or otherwise try to attract her attention, she will move around much more unpredictably than usual. Her ears will pitch backward at the unfamiliar sound of the lens focussing, causing her to look much more threatening and evil than she truly is. If we are indoors, her catlike reflexes (go figure) ensure that her eyes will narrow to slits as the flash is engaged.

The thought occurs to me that I’d be rich were I to invent a camera that looks like an open book or magazine. Cats are genetically incapable of not getting in your face when you’re trying to read.

So I snatch her, tote her outdoors. Fortunately it’s still a little overcast, so her pupils will not be the tiny vertical slits so wonderfully exhibited in the picture I posted previously. Now of course she’s busy looking and wandering around, on the alert. You know, cat stuff. Hunter-predator stuff. Lawn mower: threat or snack? What’s rustling in that shrub? Squirrel squirrel SQUIRREL!! Finally, and with much perseverance, I manage to steal a few photos in which Ernestine dos not appear completely unfriendly or intimidating. These I proudly offer to you.