Ali 0, Belly 1

Our five-month old kitten, Ali, has taken up permanent residence in the kitchen. It's not because she thinks she'll get something cat-rific to eat. It's not because there's some magical piece of cat furniture in there. It's not because I rubbed catnip all over the floor. It's because the saltwater aquarium is in there.

She has decided that it is Her Job to monitor the clownfish, Belly, in there at all times.

She stares at Belly. She glares at Belly. She jumps, lunges, smacks, and tries to attack Belly. Each and every time the aquarium glass comes between Ali and a tasty fishy meal, she looks surprised. She doesn't strike me as a dumb cat, but obviously she's the very definition of crazy. She tries over and over and over and over to catch that beast of a fish.

I grew a little tired of the fuzzy four-legged pogo stick in my kitchen, so I decided to do a little experiment. I wondered what Ali would do if I left the cover off the aquarium and let her see Belly up close and personal. Now, while Belly is a fairly small fish (about two inches long), she is the Chuck Norris of Perculas. She has a history of beating the life out of things much bigger than her, so I had no doubt she could take down a five-pound kitten if it came to that.

I picked up Ali, lifted the lid on the aquarium, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

At last Ali glanced at the water, and then turned to glare at me, as if to say, "You know I only drink sparkling water from a remote Norwegian glacier." As she tried to destroy me with a fatal Kitty Stare, suddenly her tail flicked and her eyes snapped back to the water.

Belly had come to the surface to say, "Hi." Or to mooch food. Or to kill someone. I'm never really quite sure with that fish. I just know not to stick my hands in the water unless I'm wearing a thick rubber glove because she DOES bite. And hard.

Now, while our other cat, Powder, frequently hangs out in the shower (really), Ali hates water. I mean, she HATES it. If you've ever wondered if a water-phobic kitten would put aside that fear and go swimming in an aquarium if it meant a chance at a tasty fishy meal, the answer is YES. Yes, she will. Ali lunged for Belly and the only thing that stopped her from going for a swim was that she smacked her head on the back half of the aquarium cover. She managed to dredge one leg through the water, all the way to the tippy top of the leg.

Belly didn't even flinch. You know, because she's evil.

Ali spent the rest of the day trying to figure out how to lift the aquarium cover.

If this rivalry keeps up, I'm putting my money on the fish.


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