Paws and Effect

Dahlia Tells AllAfter a couple of weeks of betrayals and barn cats, I want to write about something that made me so very happy that just thinking about it puts me right into turbo-purr mode. And that’s the day I met the Nice Fingernails Lady!

I don’t remember exactly when I first met her, but I do know it was in the spring.

Oops, I’m getting ahead of myself! Let me try to start from the beginning.

So Mama has this very good friend that she talks with on the phone all the time. These aren’t just hey-how-are-you talks; these are at-least-a-couple-of-naps-long conversations about everything under the sun … and alas, in the course of these conversations I learned a few things I’d rather not have learned about humans!

Anyway, one day while she was chattering and babbling away with her friend, she woke all three of us up with an excited squeal and an “Oh my God, really?”

I looked up from my nap with a frown — I mean, if you’re going to yak and yak into a tiny box and totally ignore your cats, the least you can do is not wake us up with your caterwauling!

“Sweet! I can’t wait to see you,” Mama said and folded her tiny box into an even tinier box.

“That was really rude,” I said as I hopped off Mama’s lap with a twitch of my tail.

“Hey Thomas, guess what?” Mama said, “The Nice Fingernails Lady is coming to visit!”

“Really? The Nice Fingernails Lady? I loooove the Nice Fingernails Lady!”

“Thomas, who’s the Nice Fingernails Lady?” I asked.

“Oh, you’re gonna love her. She gives the best petties in the whole wide world!” He squinted his eyes and purred.

“Who could give better petties than Mama?”

“Don’t get me wrong, Dahlia,” Thomas said. “Mama does give very nice petties. But the Nice Fingernails Lady has longer claws than Mama and her skritches tickle so delightfully and relieve the itch at the same time … I’ve never met another human who could do that!”

Well, I didn’t know how anybody could possibly give better petties than Mama, but I figured I’d wait and see.

Adrianna and Thomas

Thomas is resting on the Nice Fingernails Lady's lap.

Soon enough, the Nice Fingernails Lady arrived. She was shorter and bigger around than Mama, but even though they didn’t look anything alike, I could tell from the bond between their souls that they were sisters. Kinda like my bond with Thomas: he’s not my brother, but we’re siblings where it counts.

Nice Fingernails Lady put her suitcase down and gently asked us if we’d like to come over and introduce ourselves. She held a finger out, extended, and allowed each of us to rub on it. That’s one very polite human, I thought. She really understands cats … she must be Mama’s sister!

Another thing I liked right away was that Nice Fingernails Lady was quiet. I generally like humans, but when they’re loud and fast, they frighten me a little bit. Oh, OK, a lot!

Anyway, Mama fed us some supper and then Nice Fingernails Lady went with Mama to Barking and Screaming’s place to eat. When they came back, they put a movie on and sat together on the couch to watch it. Thomas jumped up into her lap the minute said lap was available, and Siouxsie and I decided to share Mama.

I finally drifted off into a snooze as Mama petted me and the man in the movie talked about oceans and fishes. But then in my half-sleep I began to hear an unusual skritching sound and Thomas murmuring his pleasure.

And then it started to escalate: “Oooh, oooh, yes,” he purred. “Right there. Mmmmmmm, ooooh,….”

The Nice Fingernails Lady chuckled, and I looked up to see what was going on. And there was Thomas, sprawled out across her lap, eyes half-closed in throes of ecstasy.

“Oh, right by my ear please,” he begged, shifting his head a little to the right. “Oh, yes yes yes! Ooooh, ooh!”

“Oh, sweet Bast! Sweet Bast,” he purred. “Oh, oh, oh, you give the best petties ever!” Then he turned around and kissed her hand about a hundred zillion times.

Well, I couldn’t let Thomas have all the fun! I stood up and stretched, then crawled over into the Nice Fingernails Lady’s lap. Thomas looked a little bit perturbed that I discombobulated him, but he was a good big brother and shifted his body a little closer to her knees so I’d have room to curl up.

And soon, she began stroking my head. I just love having my head stroked; it’s so relaxing it gives me a case of the whispering purries. I stretched out a little bit and gave her a love-blink.

The man in the movie droned on and I closed my eyes.

Then, I felt them.

The Fingernails!

Oh, it was just like Thomas said it would be: so deliciously tickly and delightfully relaxing at the same time! The sound of her fingernails caressing my fur was music to my ears.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, she got those wonderful, wonderful fingernails through my fur to my skin. I don’t think I’ve ever purred louder in my life! Oh, sweet Sekhmet! The love, the love!

I moved just a little bit to guide those … fingernails of ultimate joy … under my necklace. It gets itchy under there, you know: between the shedding fur and the rubbing of the necklace, the tickling can be almost maddening at times.

But the Nice Fingernails Lady knew just how to take care of it!

TURBO PURRS! TURBO PURRS!

Oh my gosh, I purred so much and so hard that my nose hurt the next morning.

But it was totally worth it. I went back again and again. I just couldn’t get enough of those Nice Fingernails!

And every day and night while she was here, it was the same thing. And sometimes she gave Thomas and me the Nice Fingernails Massage at the same time. Oh my gosh, I thought our little barn was going to fall down from the sound of all that purring!

Then one day, she started putting things in her suitcase. I tried to distract her because I knew what that would mean. I rubbed my head on the suitcase, on her hand, all over her clothes — and I even sat on her lap when she wasn’t moving around.

“You’re not allowed to go!” I cried. “I love you! I need you!”

“But I have to go,” she said to me as she stroked my head-fur ever so gently. “I’ll miss you, too, you know.”

I jumped into her suitcase. “Take me with you! Please?” I begged.

“No, Dahlia, I can’t take you with me. I don’t have any place to put you. And besides, your mama needs you.”

“I don’t take up much space,” I cried. “I don’t eat much. Come on, please?”

“No, Dahlia. I’m sorry, I can’t.

“Fine!” I said. “Go away! See if I care!” With a hiss, I jumped out of her suitcase and ran under the bed.

“Aww, come on,” Nice Fingernails Lady said. “I’ll be back.”

Thomas crawled under the bed and licked my ear. “She will be back,” he said. “She promised me she would, and I didn’t believe her either. But then she did come back, and her petties were just as wonderful as ever. There’s no need to harbor sad and angry feelings.”

“But … but Thomas …” I wept. “I’ll … I’ll miss her petties … so … much!” Water poured out of my eyes as grief pounded through my heart.

“Darling Dahlia,” he whispered in my ear. “She will come back. Some humans have to come and go, but that doesn’t mean they love and miss us any less than we love and miss them. You’ll always have the memory of those wonderful fingernails and how the owner of those fingernails gives the most perfect petties on the planet.”

My sobbing abated as Thomas licked my face and ears for me. “I guess you’re right,” I said. “I suppose it would be nicer of me to leave her with fond memories, too.”

“Good girl, Dahlia,” he said. “Now, let’s get some sleep.”

See the rest of the story | Next chapter >

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