My daughter can no longer merely walk into a room. Kick! Turn! Down on one knee! She’s up! Spin! Jazz hands….and dying swan. Her chores are interrupted every three minutes with quick Broadway style/interpretive dance interludes, so that even the most mundane chore, such as unloading the dishwasher, has evolved into nothing short of a thirty minute production. It’s exhausting to witness. I’d take a little nap, except that Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer are singing their duet and I simply can’t sleep when singing cats emanate from our television.
My mother called last weekend and I could barely hear her when I answered the phone. “Hold on, mom.” “Kate, turn the TV down, please!” I almost have to shout over the din of singing felines. Who knew stage cats could be so loud…and annoying.
“What is that noise?” she asks. “It’s Cats.” “Cats?” she asks, puzzled. “Yes, Cats…Andrew Lloyd Webber…the Broadway production,” I explain. “Oh, Cats! That’s a great musical!” she says emphatically. “I thought so, too…the first five times I watched it,” I said sighing.
It’s not that I don’t like musical productions. It’s simply that since she was a toddler, Kate, like most children, will latch onto a particular video and obsess for months over it. When she was four, Charlotte’s Web stayed in our DVD player for an entire year. Not only were her father and I required to sing “There must be something more” and “Chin Up” every night for that year, but she adamantly refused to eat any derivative of pork. I suppose Cats is somewhat of an improvement.
Last year, it was the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and everything was a “precious.” Her Webkinz were precious. Her Littlest Pet Shop toys were precious. Her new iPod shuffle was precious. Her socks were precious! I would find said “precious” items in odd places, too. The iPod would be tucked in the silverware drawer. I would find Littlest Pet Shop toys under my bed pillow. Once I found a “precious” ink pen in the refrigerator crisper. “Don’t move the precious, she’d shriek when I tried to re-organize her handiwork. There’s still a pen in the fridge. It’s been there over a year.
So we’ve moved on from hidden precious treasures to singing, dancing, theatrical cats. Her admiration for Gandalf has been replaced by her intrigue of the Magical Mr. Mistoffelees. I fell asleep on the couch last Saturday, only to be awakened with an ear bud in my ear and Old Deuteronomy singing into one side of my head. She had the other one in her ear. “I’m sharing a truly artistic and emotional song written by a most adroit composer, Mother. Is it not riveting?” she asked mellifluously. Ok, that’s not what she said. What she actually said was, “Ain’t it cool, mom?! I love that song! What’s your favorite Cats song?!” She asks me my favorite cat and song no less the 47 times a day, and usually I’ll say what ever comes to mind. “Victoria, yeah she’s my favorite. She’s the white one, right?” I make minimal eye contact, lest I get drawn into a lengthy discussion on the complexity of Grizabella. “Memories is my favorite song,” I tell her…again, although if I hear that song one more time, I may very well cough up a hairball. I think she’s beginning to note my lack of veneration for her beloved, harmonious kitty cats.