Christine thinks Monty, the senior tomcat, may be trying to kill her.
Unfortunately Christine has the straight man role in our household, straight man in the comedy team sense.
She's the George Burns to my Gracie, Martin to my Lewis, Hardy by my Stan Laurel, though I must clarify that I have the weight advantage.
There's been a series of unfortunate events since we've been married that cement the role.
For example, Christine's relatives were coming to visit one Sunday a.m. I heard the shower come on in the bathroom. It was long after we were dressed and ready for visitors.
"I wonder why she's turning the shower on?" I asked myself.
A few moments later a drenched Christine came into the room with a simmering expression and clenched fists. "You didn't push down the shower plunger after you finished. I was just going to rinse out the drain."
There have been many incidents like that, though I'm usually responsible.
The other night Monty was really the culprit. He likes ice water. I don't know at what point we discovered this, probably when he was somewhere he wasn't supposed to be, sticking his nose into one of our glasses.
From to time to time, we drop ice cubes into an old plastic drinking glass for him, or we just deposit ice in his water bowl.
He must think the little half-moon-shaped slivers from the ice maker are fish or something, because he'll sit beside his bowl, pawing at them. Sometimes he drags the bowl around the kitchen in the process.
The other night he dragged it around a while, sloshing out some water, and while I was at the computer, busily typing away I heard something like:
"Ahhhhh," SWOOOOOSHH. THUD.
Christine has a habit of saying things like: "OH, NO!" from the other end of the house.
I call out: "Everything all right?" to a response of dead silence, so that I have to get up and go see what the "oh no" was about. Usually it's something like the leftover fruit salad's gone bad.
Friday I said: "Everything all right" and got no response, so I got up and walked through the den into the kitchen.
Christine had been the source of the "Ahhhhh," SWOOOOOSHH. THUD, having slipped in the sloshed-over water Monty had left behind when he abandoned his water bowl and went to sleep on the sofa.
"Are you OK?" I asked.
"That cat is going to be the death of me," Christine said, having picked herself up and determined she had no broken bones.
Now she has an eye on him, Grace Kelly to Monty's Ray Milland. That certainly puts a new wrinkle on things, but if this little game of cat ;-) and mouse goes on, at least it will keep them from turning on me.