More On The Four-Footers

>> Friday, August 14, 2009

So the cats and I have been having some chats, and they have reminded me of a few things I should have mentioned about them. (Girl Cat wants me to tell you about the things that make Houdini weird. Houdini just wants you to pet him.)

So, for "peace in our house," I will oblige.

Our cats divide themselves up into groups. There's "the twins" and then there is Houdini. This division is more than just a personality clash. This is Venus meets Mars at the speed dating round. There is nothing in common and only looks to go on.

Let's take the "velcro cat trick" for example. First, there is a typical cat's behavior, which Girl Cat and Big Black Cat embody. When you nudge a cat, it moves ... at least a little bit. If the cat is sleeping on your bed and you wiggle your foot, the cat moves. If you nudge, the cat usually slides off your feet and finds a better place to sleep. No one told Houdini this. If you nudge Houdini, he activates all 10 claws and hangs on for dear life. Trying to get him off a lap is like extraction surgery. God forbid you actually have to stand up quickly if he is on your lap because he is likely to dig in for all he's worth and go vertical with your leg like a velcro cat. There he is, stuck to you. By the time you get him off, there is more than a little blood to go around where human flesh meets cat claws. At least in winter there is the slim protection of long pants, but in the summer there is squat but bare flesh. And don't even try to get him to move in the middle of the night without surgery. The only moving he will do is to take your spot if you leave for any reason, because your spot is warmer. Hopefully, you see him when you get back, or its a cat pillow for you, and Houdini sheds like nobody's business.

Girl Cat, on the other hand, prefers to lie in the dark directly in front of the bathroom door so she can strategically sweep her tail under your foot in the middle of the night, then yell at you loudly to see how high you jump. Big Black Cat doesn't have any clever night tricks. He just purrs a lot, and as he settles down to sleep, he prefers to lick himself all over, every last inch, at least 7 times, while lying on your feet. When a 15 pound cat starts rocking back and forth to get those last few hairs at the base of his tail or on his tummy, believe me, you know it. No sleeping here until he's done. (Call it, Daddy the human bathtub.)

Then we have the vet trips. Big Black Cat and Girl Cat can smell a vet trip a mile away. They do not go quietly into that dark kitty carrier. No, no, they rage against the starting of the car. Trust me. If you can find them, and persuade them to stop holding on to the outside of the carrier with all four paws and their teeth, the yowling starts. They hate the carriers and will not go willingly. No, no, no, no, GET ME OUT OF HERE! That is ... until they get to the vet. Then suddenly the kitty carrier is the nicest piece of real estate for miles, and of course I don't want to get out. Why would I want that? Hey! Put me back!!!!!!!!!!!

Houdini, again, has to be different. He has no issues with the carrier. He has no concerns with the car. As usual, his only concern is when someone will next pet him. Houdini is the only cat I have ever met (or ever expect to meet) who purrs at the vet. Heck, this cat even purrs when he gets his temperature taken. (Don't think about that too much. Nothing good can come of it.) I mean, seriously, this cat will do anything for a pat on the head!

The most confusing thing about this whole "cat trio" is who is really the boss? Girl Cat beats the snot out of Houdini (he literally runs from her, and she literally dive bombs him from the bed.) Houdini isn't afraid to take a swat at Big Black (or vice versa). Whichever one of them is on the high ground is usually going to pick a fight. Big Black Cat beats the fur (literally) from Girl Cat in weekly wrestling matches that don't always seem consensual on Girl Cat's part. (Hard to tell.) Someone gives Big Black Cat some light claw scratches on his head or his chin, but he never seems to complain. (I'm blaming Girl Cat getting her digs in during the wrestling.)

But how is it Houdini isn't afraid to swat at a Big Black Cat who outweighs him but runs in terror from Girl Cat? How is it Girl Cat has this effect on every male cat but Big Black Cat? How is it that Big Black Cat can hate all interlopers but never manage to have them trembling in fear? (They just learn to stand aside and wait their turn at the food dish.)

I guess we'll never know until someone gets me that collar from the movie UP!


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