Wednesday, December 28, 2005


I love those moments when I connect with one of my cats, when I'm one of them, albeit the one with opposable thumbs. My skinny nimble cat (pictured here) likes to come into the bedroom at night and do a bug check -- scan the ceiling and walls for bugs and other interesting things. Since that is what she wants to do, I help her. I put her on my shoulders et voila! she is 6-foot-kitty, able to bat her paw at the cobweb near the ceiling. I've learned that giving her access to a real spider is no good, though -- she usually knocks it off the wall so it fritters and jitters its way down to the floor, under my bed, alive to creep again. I've especially learned not to do this in my daughter's bedroom as she is so unnerved by the thought that the spider got away and is STILL IN HER ROOM that she can't sleep.

The other cat, a torpid 18 pounder, has a silent yowl. Appropo of nothing, she will stare at you (I think she has no eyelids) open her mouth wide and yowl -- without making any noise. She likes to sit in the front window. When my daughter comes home from school they trade silent yowls through the window.

Skinny Nimble learned early on that I respond to cat sounds so she speaks frequently. Her most common conversation is a "brrrrrep" noise, which means: "I'm jumping up on the bed now," "What are you doing?" "Hey, I was sitting here," "Oh, it's you," "She started it," "Help me get this door open willya?"and "Coffee? But I haven't been fed!"

Skinny Nimble's credo is "Run and find out," like Riki Tiki Tavi. Torpid 18-pounder's credo is "This too, shall scare me." Torpid likes to lie flat on her back with her paws in the air. She swivels her head around to keep eye contact with you, her green eyes wide and unblinking. It's not an invitation to pet the belly, more likely just a break in the daily grind of carrying around 18 pounds. She also scuttles like a (big, black) crab, sideways with lots of nails-on-the-wood-floor noise, when she's startled or just feels like it.

I love having critters sharing my space, because they are so clearly not-us. And I wonder if animals feel any sense of wonder when they communicate with something not-them.

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Blogger Soundsurfr said...

You forgot to mention how skinny nimble kitty rips her claws into your flesh every time she jumps onto your shoulders.

Or how the two of them usually choose 3 in the morning as the optimum time to run roughshod through the house, knocking over lamps and anything else that's not nailed down.

Not that I'm complaining or anything.


10:40 PM  

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