Thursday, March 1, 2007

Rambling About My Cats

I share my home with two cats. I can't say that I "own" them -- it's more like they own me. Until five years ago, I kept one cat at a time. I took in my second cat when his former human was moving and had intended to take him to the pound if no one wanted him.

Though the original cat was more than a little miffed when I came home with another cat, she's adjusted to his presence with acceptance, though sometimes that acceptance is decidedly grudging. She's never forgotten that she was here first, and will sometimes remind the tom of that fact, especially if she thinks he's overstepping his boundaries. On rare occasions, I find them curled up together, but more often than not, she'll growl if he comes too near and if she's having the cat version of PMS, she'll reach out and swipe him with her paw. Most of the time, he'll just good-naturedly take it, despite being three times her size. But sometimes, when he's bored and gets a wild hair, he'll chase her around the house just to fuck with her, to which she responds to with screeching and more growling. Unfortunately, he tends to get those wild hairs when I'm in bed wanting to sleep. More on this later.

For the most part, both cats prefer their humans to each other. Both cats want to be wherever I am in the house. If I'm on the computer, they're on the tables next to it. The female cat will sometimes jump on my shoulder and sit there as I'm surfing the net. If I'm watching TV, one or both is sitting on the couch, on my lap, watching with me. They'll sit on the toilet and wait as I take a shower -- hell, I've had one jump on my lap and sit there while I'm on the toilet taking a dump!

Right now, both cats are sitting on either side of the computer, on tables, waiting for me to get up and feed them. I feed them every night just before I go to bed, so that they won't wake me up early in the morning begging for food. There's nothing more guaranteed to instantly turn me into a crabby bastard than waking me before I'm ready to get up. Of course, there is one exception to that -- if I've got a woman in bed with me who needs some early morning "attention". That I will happily make an exception for, but, even then, I prefer to roll back over and conk out again afterwards.

But I digress. Back to the cats. If I wait too long to feed them, they'll let me know to get off my lazy ass and feed them. The female cat used to knock things off the table to get my attention, but, nowadays, she leaves the tom to do the dirty work. He'll pull out his full arsenal of annoying behavior, designed to get my attention: he's got a deep-throated, loud, caterwauling meow he'll use only for this purpose that I call the "feed me" meow. If that doesn't do the trick, he'll become more annoying, with the tactic he chooses depending on what I'm doing at the time. He'll mess with the female cat setting off her meows and growls, run around the house jumping on and off things, walk in front of the computer screen, jump onto my lap, jump hard onto the bed, and so on. He's even knocked pictures off the wall a time or two. He'll keep it up until he gets his point across.

Last night, he really pissed off both me and my son. I'd fed both cats and both my son and I went to bed. Apparently, the cats didn't like the food I'd given them, because neither of them would eat it, despite the fact I'd given them that very kind several times in the past. No matter. They turned up their noses at it and walked off. When the tom realized I'd gone to bed and food more to their liking was not to be forthcoming, the tom decided to fuck with the female cat to get me out of bed. He chased her around the house, knocking things over, with her screeching. Telling them to shut up had no effect. They'd stop for a few minutes, then be back at it again.

Finally, my son had enough and he got up, got dressed and went out and got them a different brand of cat food, just so we could get some sleep. It did the trick, fortunately. I fell asleep, later than what I wanted, and awhile later, I felt one of the cats crawl into bed to sleep with me. I have one or both cats sleep with me every night, even when I'm sharing my bed with a woman; but on those nights, I keep them out until we're ready to actually go to sleep.

I've always had pets since childhood, though I've not had any dogs since I was a kid, mainly because dogs need more attention than cats do. Despite them occasionally being pains in the ass, they give so much more than they inconvenience me and I can't imagine living without them.

Time to go feed them and go to bed.

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