Today, I heard the birdlike chirp that serves Athena for a mew. I looked over to discover that she was prancing around on the end table that houses the X-box and my birding binoculars. There's not much space for a cat to manuever there, but she has delicate little paws and seemed to be doing okay. I got up and wandered in that direction, gazing idily out the sliding glass door at the soggy forest. Athena chirped. I looked over at her. She looked up at me, all four feet firmly on the table, and chirped again. As I watched, she extended a hind leg out over empty space, and apparently without realizing that one haunch was simply hanging in the air, lifted up a front paw delicately and shifted her weight to the dangling foot, obviously expecting thin air to support her weight.
Physics caught up a moment later. I dove for her as she slid off the end table, butt first, flailing claws seeking purchase in the X-box, the tabletop, and thin air. One of those rapid, hard-to-follow flurries followed, and then the cat was three or four feet away, wandering off, and I was checking myself to make sure that all my limbs were intact.
I looked at her. A smarter cat would have had the grace to give me the haughty I-meant-to-do-that or that-was-all-YOUR-fault look. Athena's expression, however, is simply "What?" She apparently forgot the entire episode while still in mid-fall. She didn't even give herself the whoa-that-was-a-close-one couple of licks. She just wandered off and fell asleep in James's chair, content with the universe.
Ignorance is bliss.