Saturday, January 27, 2007

Desperate House Cats

Jack has a certain fascination with sitting on my lap when I am at the computer. He will teeter totter trying to maintain his balance and will lay on my lap crooked, with half his body hanging off the edge. I don't know why it's such a thrill for him. As a kitten, he used to lay on my forearms while I would type. Balancing a sleeping kitten on your arms as you type is no easy feat. I think he may be a "special" cat, as he hasn't seemed to grow out of his very adolescent, neediness. While I do think it's "cute" in a way, this is one of the reasons I prefer animals who are female. They tend to be a little more independent and can keep their private parts to themselves. Male animals always have to show them off or at least show you what great things they can do with them.

I've started keeping a little bowl of food and water in my room for Scooter near his little bed. He thinks it's the coolest thing to eat in my room. He used to bolt down the hall from my room to the kitchen at light speed. Now that he has something as exciting as a bowl of dry cat food in my room, he runs back and forth trying to figure out which room he will have the pleasure of eating in. He woke me up this morning at my door asking to come in to see if he had anything left in his bowl. I crawled out of bed and he followed me to the kitchen so that I could get more food for his bowl and then chased me down the hall into my room as I filled it up. He seems so much hungrier these days, but I think it's from all the running back and forth. I think he feels like he's being rewarded for something, because after he eats a little something before bed, he tries to sneak into my bed. I have to pick him up and relocate him to his own bed and continually remind him that my bed just isn't big enough for the both of us. He doesn't know that this new idea of having food in my room was put in place to keep him happy until at least 6:00 AM, so that I could sleep passed his usual 4:00 AM wake up call for a little snack.

Kit has discovered that Scooter has an almost always full bowl of food in my room and has now become a door stalker. She plants herself outside my door and waits until someone comes in or out. She then bolts into my room and heads straight for the food bowl. I have to catch her within 30 seconds or it's too late. This cat would eat until her gut exploded or.. until she puked all over the house. We treat her like she's had gastric bypass surgery and she is only allowed like 6 pieces of cat food at a time. Her entire life revolves around food, which kind of makes you sad. But.. it is useful when you want to train your cat to do tricks. It's very hard to motivate a cat, but Kit will sit and sit up for a piece of any substance that contains actual calories. This cat likes just about anything. Gardenburgers, potatoes, bread, cheese, yogurt, crackers, and of course hamburger soup. She has been caught with her head in the pan of cooling soup more than once. We have to keep the bread up or we find mysterious holes in it and end up having to throw out half the loaf.

I used to have so much fun watching the behavior of my dog that I didn't always notice the little quirks of our cats. Dolly would steal all the attention when she would sneak into the Pinto via an open window and watch as we all went nuts trying to find her. She would eventually stick her head out and ask.. "Well, are you ready to go bye, bye?". Cats are far more subtle, but every bit as hilarious and personable. They have far more self esteem than a dog and feel no shame about telling you to fuck off if they just aren't in the mood. I like that about cats. Dogs will try to lie ("No way, I know I was the only one home, but that garbage can tipped itself over and the pieces of garbage ran all over house.") in an attempt to stay in your good graces, while a cat will tell it like it is ("Ya, I pissed on that couch.. so what?") and then still have the guts to demand that you feed them and pick up their poop.

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