Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Well! I Never…

I never knew a cat more determined to show off her balance. Pixie is clever. She gets an idea to do something, and she figures it out. We have to watch that girl… keep cabinets closed, car keys hidden, credit card numbers secure, etc. This cleverness, and desire to take on the world, includes self-taught lessons on how to climb, traverse, balance… etc. She is always the first, and always the most adept.

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I never knew a cat, or cats in this case, so determined to run away with my kitchen linens and sponges (even the scrubby metallic things). I can be laid back about a lot of things, but dish cloths, towels, and especially sponges are washed and replaced (the sponges) often in my kitchen. My ‘ew!’ factor is delicate and easily tipped with these items. I don’t let them become stinky or otherwise smelly – so why are the cats attracted?! I wash the washables in hot water and bleach the heck out of them… but they are divine kitty treasures, and I must hoard them if I want to keep them to myself.

I never knew, before owning cats, that they can have favorite toys, just like kids. Misty and Ramses always had preferences, and these kittens do too. We got them a bag of Christmas toys on sale after the holidays. I told the kids to dump them on the floor, let the cats grab a couple, then we’d stash the rest. While Ninja has her socks and did not pick a favorite, Pumpkin found a ball -

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and Pixie found this large, alien, squeaker rat -

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It’s been weeks, but Pumpkin still loves his blue ball, and Pixie, her rodent. They play with other toys, but these are the favorites.

I never knew cats so thrilled to share the litter box. Most cats prefer privacy. They do not like to be startled. It is recommended that you have one box per cat in your household. Some cats will not  use a litter box that another has used. Well, these guys have not heard this bit of cat lore. When they were babies they knew to eliminate in the box from the very start…  out of the bushes, into the land of people, and they knew what was what… but they wouldn’t go alone. If one kitten needed to go, he or she would meow sadly until a sibling joined them in the box… never mind that this sibling would always annoy the heck out of the toilet user, they called for company anyway. Now they are bigger and there’s less room, so we have fewer potty parties, but it’s still a community event… especially if mom – meaning me – starts digging, aka, scooping up the buried treasures to throw away. Most cats I’ve ever known vacate the area when it’s cleaning time, as if to distance themselves from any blame or shame, or to give me privacy, or who knows?!? But these guys are thrilled with my digging abilities. They are so proud of me! I have to make them stay out of the box to keep them from helping me dig. I must make them wait to add more treasures. I even have to watch the bag I’m scooping the dirty sand into as once Pumpkin hopped right in and peed! “Look what mom made! A new potty!” (He got a bath right away, because peeing in the plastic bag you’re squatting in is NOT neat, but did that stop him from trying again? No.) They will also sit on my shoulder, or atop the litter box, or beside me… patting or holding the hand that is using the scoop. I mean really guys, I know what I’m doing! 

I never knew that I was a tree. I’ve had cats want to climb me before, but not obsessively. It’s not like their feline mom had shoulders they could ride on, so where does this instinct come from? Now I admit, if it were only graceful Princess Pixie, who can be floor to shoulder in a flash – no claws involved – and who can ride without holding on(!), I wouldn’t complain. But often, the whole herd will come zipping into the room and be halfway up before I can even think to say “Auugggh!”, or perhaps “No!”, or some other useful phrase. Three cats, two shoulders, and somebody is going to lose out… usually me. It seems my best defense is to become “unstable” as soon as the climbing starts – which is, I am sure, of great entertainment to my family – but it’s slowly working, the kittens are gradually giving up on this game, and my skin might (might) survive without permanent alteration.

I never knew I needed so many cat hugs! I swear, Pumpkin is on my lap now, bashing his head on my chin, kissing my cheek, and has his arms around my neck… So sweet! How could he have ever been destined to be a feral cat?? I feel very loved, but it makes typing difficult.

I never knew that I still had so much more to learn about cats! (But I did know I’d love every minute of it)!

7 comments:

Lydia said...

I'm so glad these kitties make you so happy! You deserve it!

Lynda said...

I do like me some kittens... everyone except me is allergic in this family, so I have to get my fix from you. I tried listening to your audio version of the post.. but I was shunted back to year 10.. the horrid english master that made me rewrite my essay on 2001 A Space Odessey 3 times.. I learn't that it would have been better for HAL to have killed them all off in right from the get go.

Connie said...

Thank you Lydia! I love to have critters to love, and these guys are just too sweet. Horrible to think they were fated to be flea-ridden, garbage eating alley cats. The kids and cats are in the other room playing some sort of soccer game. Players keep switching sides, and the rules sound very much like calvin-ball, but they appear to be having fun! (I think Pumpkin just got put on his own team).

Lynda - Sorry that everyone is allergic. That is tough. I'm sort of that way with dogs. Not allergies, I just don't 'get' dogs like I do cats. I'd not be a good mom. Esp. not with a puppy. I have to save my love for other people's pets :D Sometimes I listen to the audio-cast just for fun. It's not all that good. I saw it on my SIL's blog and thought it was a nice thing to add for the vision impaired, although I suppose there are likely better tools available! btw, if HAL had killed everyone early, there wouldn't have been a story... but yes, it would have saved you a lot of grief :D

bettyl said...

It sure sounds like a happy blended family of humans and felines! I never heard of cats having parties in 'the box' ....maybe it's a universal girly thing to go in groups.

Christine said...

Kittens are so much fun. WE recently got 2 guinea pigs-- but they died today.

Connie said...

lol! I didn't think of 'meeting in the girls' room'! Of course, Pumpkin is a boy, but this group does work together and he may have been out-voted on house potty policy!

Connie said...

Christine - oh no! That is very sad. I saw the photos of the kids playing with them. Little critters are hard to raise - you never know. They can be tough as nails and live for years, or a simple cold will take them fast :( Guinea pigs are cute - I like the soft little car alarm noises they make 'woop woop'.