I’ve always loved to dance. Back in high school, my friends and I would pile into someone’s rusty old car and we’d hit our favorite all-ages club and dance ’til moments before curfew. Except for that one modern dance class I took in college, I’ve never danced in any sort of structured way. I prefer freestyling — moving with the music and letting my body magically choose the next step. When I became an adult, I found my kitchen floor was the absolute best dance floor around. There was usually some open space, a nice smooth floor, and — should the dancing become a little more expressive than I preferred to share with my neighbors — there was a window shade to lower.
When my kids were toddlers, we danced in the kitchen every afternoon. I can almost guarantee my son was the only kid in his preschool class who knew the words to “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer. At least the only one who chose to sing it in public and make me rethink my decision to expose him to the saucy disco stylings of the fabulous Ms. Summer. Soon my kids grew too old for kitchen dancing with Mom and, instead, they asked that I please refrain from such “unseemly” behavior. At least when their friends were around. Alas, the dance was still in my heart and soul and I found myself partnerless. Then one day 11 years ago, a teeny tuxie boy joined our family and everything changed. We named him Cosmo and he immediately took a special shine to me. I held him over my shoulder while I washed dishes and folded laundry. He seemed to feel so comfortable there and, out of motherly habit, I found myself patting his fuzzy little back, hoping to burp(?) him and doing that swaying back and forth thing moms do when holding an infant. He was my baby.
There’s always music playing in our house. Always. My husband and I love all sorts of tunes and our kids have grown up listening to and learning about a variety of genres. One day I was puttering around in the kitchen with a baby kitty on my shoulder and one of my favorite 80’s dance songs popped up on my playlist. I think it was something by New Order because if any band could send me flying onto the dance floor back in the day, it was their electro-Brit goodness. Out of habit, I started moving around the kitchen and Cosmo remained calmly resting on my shoulder. I placed my hand on his back and continued dancing. It was in that moment I realized I’d found my new dance partner.
Over the past 11 years, Cosmo and I have twirled and bounced around the linoleum floor at the kitchen disco to most every type of music. He’s a natural talent and can easily move to the accompaniment of Patsy Cline’s country crooning and then modify his booty-shaking to rock along with The Ramones or some old-school Run D.M.C. rap. He’s just that versatile. He still enjoys resting on my shoulder, but he’s not a little kitty anymore and I can only hold his now 12-lb. form for a song or two. And, honestly, his patience has waned with age so he’s more likely to let me know when he’s ready to take off the dancing shoes and stretch out in a sun-puddle for a nap. I know he’ll be back for another round.
Oh, have I mentioned I usually sing to Cosmo while we’re dancing? For sure, I do. I typically alter the lyrics and insert his name so he feels even more like a star. He especially loves when I sing ABBA to him. Seriously, what cat doesn’t like being called a dancing queen? It’s the truth, after all.
I’ve given up on worrying what neighbors think about my kitchen-dancing. They know I write cat humor so they already think I’m a little bit nuts. Why not raise the shade on the full-blown crazy? And Cosmo and I even dance in front of the kids and sometimes (gasp) their friends. He and I have nothing to hide. We love to sashay and feel like it’s our purpose — nay, our responsibility — to share our talent with the world. The kitchen disco is always open, the DJ takes requests and there’s never a cover charge or dress code. What’s not to like? Let me know if you’d like to come join us sometime. Just please don’t ask to cut in because I’m not sharing my dance partner with anyone.
Do you dance with your cat? Tell us about it in the comments!
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