Everybody Wants to Be A Cat

>> Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I have these three pretty wacky cats. Two of them were by "our" choice, and one of them came later by "his" choice.

We met the "twins" at a pet store when they were kittens. The little black one climbed up Darling Husband's arm and sat on his head. No joke. They came home with us and switched their loyalties. After we took them to the vet for their little "surgeries," the little black one (now the Big Black Cat) became my best friend because I was the one to come and rescue him from the Mean Scary Vet. He has been following me around ever since. Darling Husband picked up little girl cat the next day, and she has been sleeping on his dirty socks just about every night. (Someone has to take care of the dirty socks, right?)

So there we were, living harmoniously, just the four of us, then the Universe came around to disrupt things. Mommy got pregnant, and Houdini the Outside Cat made a mad dash for the cushy life.

So now, we have Big Black Cat, Girl Cat, and Houdini. Big Black Cat is sweet and gentle and a ... little ... bit ... high ... strung sometimes. When Toddler drops a toy in the family room, if Big Black Cat doesn't see it coming, he's likely to be up the stairs before he stops to take stock. Other times he seems unphased by the world. His biggest claims to fame are his remarkable ability to smell ice cream and his fascination with wine. If there is a wine glass within reach, he will have his nose in it. If there is an ice cream bowl anywhere in the house, he will be sitting in front of it begging like a dog. Vanilla is his favorite flavor, but he has been known to beg for frozen cool whip, too. (Actually, he is sitting at my feet now instructing me that cats do not beg. In the case of ice cream, he is just actively demanding his due respect as a feline, and under no circumstances does he ever behave like a dog.)

Here is Big Black Cat when he was not so big, sneaking his first draft. Note Girl Cat in the corner egging him on.


With due consideration for the vagaries of feline relationships, Big Black Cat is the alpha cat, and he knows it. He is the best at everything, and everyone get out of his way. In his own way, he is more *cat* than the others, and he shares that cat trait of knowing his own mind and not caring what you think of it. He also doesn't know the meaning of "give up." Every morning he sits in front of the fish tank, pawing at the glass, certain that today will be the day he gets a fresh fish for breakfast. Every evening he sits in front of the glass doors batting at the glass to catch the tail of the outside cat. It never seems to occur to him that he hasn't caught either in 5 years. He's perfectly content to keep on trying.

Big Black Cat thinks he is entitled to a seat at the dinner table, and if there isn't enough chairs, he will take yours if you get up for something. The only way to get him down is to tell him that whoever sits in that chair has to feed Toddler. He likes to keep a healthy distance from Toddler. He also thinks he is entitled to a spot on the bed at night and a Christmas present every December 25th. He likes to sit on the back of the couch, and if he wants a pet and you aren't listening, he will grab you as you walk past.

Here are Big Black Cat and Girl Cat eyeing the fish together:


Big Black Cat is also very curious. He can hardly resist a paper bag on the floor or a box big enough for a cat. (Big enough is, of course, in the eye of the beholder.) Sometimes, though, paper bags are beneath his dignity. This may be because Houdini CANNOT pass up a paper bag, and Big Black Cat thinks Houdini is trailer park trash. More likely, though, it has to do with a bad day one Christmas a few years back. We were storing bows in a paper bag with handles. Big Black Cat got a little too curious, and ended up with the bag handles caught around his neck, at which time he promptly panicked. He ran, and, of course, the paper bag followed. Well wouldn't you know that paper bag chased that cat around the house for nearly 15 minutes, throwing bows at him every few feet? No matter where Big Black Cat went, the bag chased him, right on his heels no less. Try as we might, we had a hard time convincing him to just "hold still!" By the time we got the bag away from Big Black Cat, he didn't want his Christmas present anymore. I think the experience may have scarred him even more than his de-manning surgery.

Here is Big Black Cat Getting ready for Christmas one morning.

Life with Big Black Cat has always been interesting. He likes to sit in the window of the living room, pushing back the lace curtains with his paw and staring out. Of course, in his world, glass is all one-way, and if he can't smell you, you can't see him. If you walk in the room, he runs for cover, because of course he isn't supposed to sit there, but otherwise he waits and watches carefully while you get out of the car and walk up the sidewalk. As soon as you put the key in the front door, he moves like lightening from the window, and by the time you get the door open, he strolls casually toward you from the kitchen (another direction altogether) to greet you for the evening. Funny thing, you can even go up to the window and knock on it from the outside and he won't budge. After all, you can't see him ... right?

The entrance of Toddler into this house has cause some stir. Big Black Cat is least bothered, but he does flip his ears a lot at the noise and glares at me if Toddler cries too long. In his own way, Big Black Cat cares a lot about all of us. He is quick to show up if someone is sad or hurt, but mostly, like any good cat, he cares about himself. After all, his diligence in getting us up on time in the morning has less to do with our schedule and more to do with his stomach.

Keep an eye on this spot, there will be more on our colony of cats later on. After all, I still need to introduce you to Girl Cat and Houdini.


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