Sunday, February 28, 2010

You've Read of Several Kinds of Cat

“But,” I can hear a percentage of my readers saying in increasing plangent tones, “what about the new kittens?”

Well, you cat-people, the kittens are fine. They are now half-grown girls, being of great length and some width and having had their Very Special Operation. Their names are still Anne and Diana, which made more sense when they were only staying a month or so. Anne and DiANA are entirely too similar for ease of differentiation; usually, we just say “Annandiana,” as if they’re conjoined. Consort avoids the whole situation by referring to both girls as “He.”

I kept waiting to write about them when their shadow-side appeared, figuring it made for better writing. Also, having lived with Lulabelle lo these many years, I assumed they’d be nothing but a shadow side, with briefs shafts of psychic light between the dark clouds of mouse-death. But these girls are so darling it almost cloys. They wear dolls dresses; they not only consent to being carried around like babies, they purr while it’s happening; each one chases her tail. If they could, they’d braid each other’s ears. After having lived for many years with the cat version of Marianne Faithfull (the heroin years), I’m now roomies with Vanessa Hudgens (the High School Musical years). Which is how I finally came to give them their first nickname:

Readers, may I present…the ingénues.

All round cheeks, round eyes and perfectly clean little paws, their greatest goal in life nothing more than twenty minutes bossing around the felt mouse followed by cooing attention from a small girl. I didn’t know Lu well at their age, but I can guarantee she had already felt the singular joy of a bird’s neck snapping in her mouth. The ingénues are like those kids who think hamburger meat grows at the Piggly Wiggly. They are no more allowed to go outside than the star of a Disney sitcom is put on the interstate and told to hitch her way home. My job with them is to protect their innocence; my job with Lu was to keep her inside often enough so the local fauna could replenish itself.

They have exactly one oddity; at 10:30 every night, on the dot, they race around the house very, very quickly. Then, having warmed up for a few minutes, they stare fixedly at a spot on the wall and jump at it for about a half-hour. Did I mention this spot is visible only to them and is about five feet off the ground?

Because in my house, even the ingénues need a quirk.


Blogger Emily said...

They sound ADORABLE!
But weren't these the kittens who used to try to kill each other for sport? And now...ear braiding? Wow.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

You know that means your house is haunted, right? That some spirit life shows up the same time every night and hangs out in one place for a little bit, but only the extra sensitive felines can sense/see it.

Now just think back, any nebulous semi-conscious awareness that you just never paid attention to around that time of night if you weren't already absorbed in something else? I'm sure something will come to you eventually. And then you'll realize that the cats knew about it almost immediately.

If you're interested enough, you could look further into the history of the house. Not that just knowing would get rid of the residue, but it would at least add another dimension (no pun intended) to the interaction. You could maybe join in the kitty playtime by contributing a little conversation.

Or you could, you know, call in the exorcist.

Sweet dreams. :)

6:13 PM  
Blogger Moonrayvenne said...

Now we need pics of the little ingenue's. Amazing how attached one can get in so short a time. Just like children, such fun when they are young, but when they get older...UGH! lol

6:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Pictures, please!

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother used to call it 'their mad half-hour' and her friend used to say it was 'when they see demons.'

We went from a 20-year-old sweetie to a kitten spawned by the devil. It's easier (though perhaps more confusing), to do it your way round.

Loved your book. Forgive me, but much as I loved your video, I kept on seeing a child sparring with Richard Dreyfuss. As I said, forgive me.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous MidLifeMama said...

I love when cats fixate on something only they can see. I had one cat who would lay back and let me cut her nails like she was at a spa. The other one was so unsure of what a mouse was I watched as one ran right into her legs and she jumped in the air. That was when we lived in the RentAShack. It was awful.

4:11 AM  
Anonymous josita said...

The cats sound adorable. But I'm really here to complain: Just when I've resolved to be nice to my eyes and cut down on my screen time, you go and add Q-Tea. I don't typically watch videos, but you have me hooked! No fair.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Quirky said...

We call the evening run-arounds "cat fits", and if you think two are bad, you should see it done with 5 cats. They sound like a herd of elephants! Once one gets going, they all join in.

As for the wall staring thing, we had that too, and I figured they were just doing it to mess with my head. Turns out that the spot they liked so much was a behind-the-wall chipmunk depot. Perhaps you have some hidden varmints?

WV:sedrat-a way to alert someone to a varmint's presence, as in, Anne and Diane repeated jumped at the wall and sedrat, but the humans in the house just didn't get it.

11:00 AM  
Blogger kate sweeten said...

My cat sounds like Lu's long-lost evil-cousin. We've taken to calling my cat Satan instead of "Gus" because he tears around the house meowing like a mad-man before kicking the dog in the face, eating flowers, stealthing into the fridge and scaling door frames. It's exhausting. The greatest thing to ever happen to that cat was when we moved into a new apartment that happened to have a family of mice living in a kitchen cabinet. Oh, so much mousie murder.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Char said...

i had a rescued cat who always longed to explore the out of doors again, even escaping once to come dragging home a day later. i miss her still. i still have her adopted brother that i've had since he was six week old. i don't know that he understand what a mouse is really. he doesn't even like to chase a felt mouse.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love them! So precious. My little Puff Princess at or about 10:30 each night likes to "sing" us to sleep and yet, she lives till morning... :)

1:32 PM  
Anonymous jim Rochester n.y said...

Quinn dont get me started making cat sounds My neighbors already think im nuts now as it is.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous chloek said...

I have 2 cats - the Princess and the Beast. Otherwise known as Abby and K2. They boss me around, they sit in my chair and when I dare to go to bed, they begrudingly allow me to claim my spot. Wouldn't have it any other way...

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Eggman said...

Enjoyed the video immensely. In my mind, it rivals "Avatar" for technical prowess. Though I must confess when I hear you speak, I keep hearing "he reminds me of a dog that nobody wants." Sorry. Forgive me.

If you're fond of some sort of pie, you could add that to the mix and have Q-Tea-Pie.

a fan,

5:48 AM  

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