We have three cats living here.
Cathy is 13 years old, grumpy but lovable; Pete, an enormous and gentle guy who can be flighty, and Ted, our daughter’s rescue cat. Ted is charming considering what he’s been through (there is still a bb lodged under his hide at the base of his tail). Ted is two years old and a high energy fellow. The following is a FB note I wrote earlier this month about life with them.
When the Cat Circus Drops In
We are creatures of habit. We are used to getting up at a certain time, we have certain route we like to drive to the grocery, we always stir our coffee with either our right or left hand – and, if you’re like me, you use a spoon and not just your hand. But whatever. Pets are creatures of habit too.
Submitted for your approval: This morning
0236 – Cathy the gruff but lovable cat wakes me up. She wants to let me know that in a mere two hours, she expects to be fed. From here on out, every fifteen minutes or so, she will pester me until the alarm goes off.
0430 – The alarm. My wife gets up to feed the cats and she returns with a 20 oz cup of coffee for me. Why yes, it is very very good to be married to her. I drink the coffee and fall back to sleep. It’s Saturday and this is the one day of the week we get to slack off, maybe sleep in ’till 7:30 or so. But here’s the thing, pets don’t understand a lot of things, like Saturdays or daylight savings time or the electoral college and so in their own little ways they start to become unhinged when you deviate from your routine. To them, as my high school German language teacher used to yell at us, “Ordnung muss sein!”
0510 – The bedroom door is pushed open wide. Cathy is back from chow and she’s not very happy. [Usually, by now the mom human is in the shower and Cathy is crouching angrily (that is, happily) on the bathroom counter top (we think she likes the sound of the water) And me? I’m supposed to be down stairs making human food or sitting at the computer with Petey sacked out on the floor next to me.] Cathy jumps on top of the cedar chest at the foot of the bed, then she jumps moodily to another cedar chest in front of the bedroom window and from there she disappears behind the curtains to survey – possibly angrily – the backyard. I get up and mostly close the door.
An aside about door opening: We leave the bedroom door slightly ajar so the critters can come and go as they please. Each cat has a distinctive way of negotiating the the threshold. Cathy, if the door needs to open toward her, simply walks up and with her left paw grabs the door and pulls it past her, then walks through like she owns the place. If it needs to open away from her, she walks up to the door, pauses and then raises up on her hind legs and pushes the door, usually with a lot of gusto. Pete on the other hand uses his head. If the door needs to swing in, he too grabs door with his left paw and then swings it squarely into the middle of his head. Bonk. He does this three times, bonk, bonk, and after the third bonk, he pulls the door past his face and slithers by. To push a door open he lowers his head bonks it like a billy goat would. Opening doors this way leaves him a little rattled and nervous. Ted, the new guy, doesn’t use his paw at all. He just jams his head into the opening and squeezes through. This long description is crucial to what comes next.
0513 – Pete bonks the door open with his head. He hops up on the bed. He’s concerned. I haven’t come downstairs yet and he needs to take a nap on the floor next to the computer desk. He’s so concerned that he stretches out to take a nap. He’s purring pretty loudly – it sounds sort of like somebody trying to start a chainsaw over and over, but it goes on and on unlike trying to start a chainsaw where after a certain number of pulls you fling that stupid stupid Homelite to the ground.
0520 – Ted walks into the room to see what’s up. I know this even through my eyes are closed because we hear Cathy, from behind the curtain, starting her low “stay away from me or you’ll be sorry” growl. This makes Ted curious. “Who do you want to stay away from you? Me?” , he asks in a single long trill as he jumps up to the cedar chest next to the window and jams his head through the curtains. I know this even though my eyes are closed because the next sound is Cathy snarling with the intensity of a real life wolverine. This sound startles Pete, who leaps off the bed, runs to the door and with a single Bonk! that makes the door sorta vibrate, runs out into the hall. Pete is followed by Ted who is either terrified or thinks this is great fun. Cathy is still howling mad. I see that she is still on the cedar chest but she is sort of dangling from the curtain, having lodged her front foot into it somehow. I get up, free her from the curtain. She yells at me and then exits the room presumably to execute a proper whaling on Ted.
“I don’t like it when the cat circus comes to town,“ I tell my wife as I get settled back in.
“Yep,” she acknowledges, in the clipped manner she uses when she’s trying not to laugh.
And thus starts my only day off.
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside……