Saturday, August 25, 2012

Small Houdahenian Events

Fuzzy has now achieved a new monniker, Puzzle, which I think is pretty nifty. He's growing the biggest (and possibly the fattest). We're trying to keep him from tending to always eat the leftovers, but it's hard to do that without being more constantly alert to their every notion and whim than we already are. We do have other aspects of our lives. I took out the trash, and the recycling, and changed the oil on both vehicles, and went to work. Just for example.

Libby got the boys an electric water fountain water dish last night. She sat up pretty late getting it going. I plugged it back in for them this morning. Possibly they weren't thirsty. They just looked at it and went on. But it's true that moving water fascinates them. Somewhere in the fairly distant but still computerized past I saw a cat who someone with a lot more time on their hands had trained to used the toilet. It was remarkable. I think he might even have flushed. No doubt it's somewhere on Youtube. It clearly proves that cats are somewhat interested in moving water. Wuzzy likes to whack the water dish and watch the water splash out. Also dip his paw into it and flick it around. Sometimes he'll come into the back room, where I'm doing something important like watching Al Sharpton, and jump onto my lap with his wet paw. Then I can tell what he's been up to, and admonish him. Usually he purrs loudly when I'm admonishing him.

This morning when I got up the usual situation was at hand, namely Momma was sitting on the porch looking intently at the door at me. As she's trained us, that "means" "I am hungry, people." I immediately set to filling her bowl. She gets a can plus some dry food mixed in. I made sure the boys were not standing right at the door, opened the door, placed the food out on the porch from a kneeling position. Momma was watching from the ground (it's a kinda small stone stoop of a porch). She has even now and then meowed just a bit to me, a new interaction. She also does the eye thing cats do when they want you to know they like you. (We can get into the eye thing some other time, but people who read books about cats will already know about it, and some dog people, the Romney kind of dog people if you know what I mean, will think it's just more liberal cat malarkey I'd expect, so I'm not going to rush into getting into the eye thing with you.)

Anyways, Wuzzy leaps over my arm and is suddenly outside, and standing pretty much beside Momma on the ground. He's fast and as heedless as Kurt Busch during the last ten, on bad tires. Momma wasn't sure what to make of this identical black cat landing beside her. She retreated under the house. What's funny, however, is that Wuzzy never noticed her at all. He was interested in sniffing the ground where he'd landed, and never moved when I went out and picked him up and brought him back inside. I rattled her dish a bit and left it outside on the porch, and shortly she hopped up and ate breakfast. When she finished she sat on the porch for a little while, grooming, then headed out into the woods as she does. We won't see her again until the next time. It's her schedule. I'd say there's a 70% chance or so that she'll be around this evening, and somewhat higher percentages for tomorrow morning. One day a couple of weeks back she sat out on the little race car that's a yard ornament for most of a morning. That hasn't happened again.

Bruiser became Grey Bear and is now 'Mokey, which stands for Smokey. Once the biggest, he's now the smallest of the three. He's the most finicky eater, which might account for some of that size differential. He's plenty full of energy and if we can guess the food he's really into on a given moment, he'll chow down like the others. Otherwise he'll eat some and then go sit on the windowsill, and like as not Puzzle will clean his plate for him.

All of 'em can now leap up to nearly any surface in the house. We are slowly losing our surplus of crockery. They are all tending to sleep in the bed down near our feet, and to function well as kitty alarms in the AM. I'm concerned that they use the wood stove as a perch and leaping station to higher spots. I don't want them to burn they little footsies, but how to prevent at least one such moment I'm really not sure of. We're about six weeks or so away from the first fire, if the weather is typical. They also have lept on the gas range without warning, fortunately not when a burner was in operation. I'm sure it's quite possible that one Sunday morning I could find one of 'em standing in the middle of the bacon or the scrambled eggs.

There was a nifty short story in the New Yorker a long time ago, about the senior year of some kids in high school. The story was sort of wry (not to be oxymoronic), and at one point the mother of one of the girls in the story says, to a friend, something along the lines of "well, at least if they're driving too fast in the middle of the night, they can't be having sex." The girl who's the object of this comment leans in the door and says, "why not?"

This is the motto of the Houdahenian Tribe.

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