I have it written on my list, then when I get my first sit-down interview with God, I intend to ask him about his creation of cats. Something along the lines of “What were you thinking?”
You may have been under the impression that the duck-billed platypus was the all time winner in the God’s joke category, but I tell you, no. . . . it is the creature known as the “domesticated” cat. The word is in quotes for a reason.
We have four of the simple creatures, and I cannot say that I came to cat ownership naturally. We were Americans, thus we were dog people. Cat people were always somewhat suspicious, somehow not quite like us. They didn’t eat red meat and spit. They tended to decorate in cottage early American, and have lots of decoupage items around.
Probably to separate myself from the parental influence, I started a life with cats. And life has never been the same.
What is most true, is that no two cats are even remotely alike. They appear to be distant cousins to each other. Dogs, on the other hand, are all pretty much the same. They like being petted, like car rides usually, like treats, and like to give kisses. Doesn’t matter whether they are chihuahuas or great danes, they are pretty much the same.
Cats, well, as I said, they are all different. Ours are no exception. Kate, the first and only female, is crazy as a loon. She hates other cats, all dogs and well, anything else smaller, she catches. She thinks she’s human, and demands constant attention, but you can’t pet her as you wish. No there are rules. What parts may be touched, which cannot. She has no humor whatsoever. She is both nosy and clumsy. She has a fear of being left alone, and will follow you walking down the road, pitifully yipping her whiny disapproval of all this walking business. She spends the evening between us on the couch.
Spencer is the demon spawn who has mellowed in the last year. He is extra long of tooth and nail, and is a killing machine. He was arrogance personified, often jumping directly onto one’s stomach at 3 a.m. in search of a comfy spot to nap. After wheedling his way between the Contrarian and I, he proceeds to take a thirty minute bath, and then resettle with a plop and drift off to dreamland.
Letting him out has been a game. He scratches that he wants out. He then runs under the table while you go and open the door. Then you must step away from the door, and let him wander there in his own time. I get the broom. We don’t play that game much anymore. As I said, he has mellowed and is a bit of a cloying actually now. He seems glued to my lap every evening.
Calvin was apparently traumatized as an infant. He barely allowed us to touch him for years. Yet he was kind and around. Finally he has become a petting whore. He demands dozens upon dozens of pets each day. He digs at your hands with his paw, with just the slightest touch of claw, if you haven’t done enough. He doesn’t like to be held, but will tolerate it for a few seconds. He loves milk each day.
Hobbes is a big boy. He is a gentle, laid back dude who just loves to cuddle. You can hang him around your neck and he would be happy. He can be petted, carried, and he doesn’t take offense if you indicate that you don’t have time for him. He is one jealous little stinker who horns in should anyone else pay me too much attention. He’s a master of the lay against, and slowly ooze his way onto my lap, usually displacing Spencer.
Not a single one of the little buggers will give a kiss. Not a single swipe with that rough little tongue will be offered, no matter how much cooing and lovey dovey sounds you make. They are aloof. A cat has a way, when you speak to it, of turning it’s head slowly, finally meeting your eyes for a split second, and then moving on past. You are not sure he even responds to his name. You are obviously not worth his time.
You buy them toys, and they play for five minutes and then never touch the dang thing again. They have a love-hate relationship with their tails. Touch it and they look at you like you are a child molester. If it flicks off a cup and breaks it, they look at you in amazement, “Me? no, I have no idea what that thing is, and how it broke your cup.”
Now, I can see that they might resent us in some sense. After all, we didn’t adopt them as pets just cuz they are cute. No, they were “tamed” to do work, like kill mice in the pantry and storage facilities. Not so hard, and heck, it’s very natural for them. So I don’t know what is all the stink. Dogs were domesticated to work too at first, and many still do. They are still able and willing to look at their owners with pure adoration and offer kisses.
Not the freakin’ cat, who holds grudges for years. When Kate was young, she had an eye infection. I put the goo in her eyes and she has never forgiven me. You can be sure, that face touching is not allowed, ever!
Which takes me to the latest. Last night, or should I say before the crack of dawn, the Contrarian arose as is his normal practice. Not so easy, since he fell yesterday on the front porch and injured his hip. I knew he was struggling, so I got up and asked if he needed things. And in fact he did, so I was searching out the cane, a coffee cup, and his skull cap to keep his head warm.
I turned on the bedroom lights to look for his cap, and when I came from his side of the bed, here comes Spencer running full tilt into the room. He stops, spits, and drops a headless mouse in front of me. He looks at me with bright, “oh ain’t you proud of me” eyes, and meows. “Thanks butthead! You’re a peach,” I yell over my shoulder as I take the cap on to the Contrarian.
Yeah, 5 a.m. and I’m getting a paper towel to remove the headless playmate from next to my bed. Nice joke there God. Your point?