Living the fishbowl

I know how the fish in our aquarium feel at night. When the lights cast a purplish glow over the water and the kids have their faces plastered up against the tank, pointing and rapping on the sides of the glass.

In the evenings when Martin and I are vegging out, we become the fish in a tank. The barn cats abandon their mousing activities, they skulk out of the bushes and settle in for a session people watching. Perched on the deck railing or the table top, they peer at us through the picture windows. For hours.

I can’t say that I feel their presence — in the dark I wouldn’t know that they’re there. But when the deck lights are on, you can’t miss them — roosting on the rail, staring intently at us — enraptured, as if they are watching TV. Or hamsters in a habitrail.

In my anthropomorphizing mind, I imagine the cats bantering back and forth:

Hey Mel, whacha doin?
Watching the humans interact in their natural habitat
Anything good going on?
Eh…the short one’s pretty fidgety but the bald one hasn’t moved from the couch.

I don’t know why we’re watch-worthy when all we’re doing is warming the couch and puttering around the kitchen.

But maybe the fish think the same thing when we’re watching them.