I am not a cat person, or so I’ve always thought. Howard and I had a succession of dogs, probably close to a dozen at different times. They were members of the family, and sort of acted like people. I could not imagine cats being anything like that. But a few months ago my friend Amy offered me an opportunity, or rather three of them. A mama cat had dropped by her house when she was in the family way. Most of the kittens had been adopted by the time I showed up, except for three tawny, writhing kittens left, all males. I said thanks but no thanks and went home. The idea of a cat was now lodged in my brain. Cats are easy, I told myself. One didn’t have to walk them. And I would not have to ask anyone’s permission to adopt one. (Howard would definitely not have loved the idea. The last time a homeless ball of fur appeared at our house, he kept mentioning Shark Bait. ) Okay, deal done!
Soon after I adopted Tigger I noticed that he frequently cleaned his toes by licking. This was fascinating. He would stretch his feet and his toes and claws would spring out. He would then immediately start licking, no stalling around. Yuck! Still, if I were a four year old boy I’d probably be envious. No more baths!
I can’t believe cats have all their cleaning supplies on board. When I go to clean my area, I first have to face a cabinet full of bottles with neon colored labels all of which say pretty much the same thing. I find this boring and a waste of time. My cat is much more economical – I envy him. He just begins licking whatever site needs attention with his perfectly designed scrubby tongue. I googled this once, to find out why this approach worked for Tigger but could only make me sick if I tried it. The answer is in his stomach, which has its own strong chemical disposal system. Wow.
Cats are smart, Tigger especially. His foster mom told me he was the smartest of the litter. He teaches me games, like Where’s Tigger. I have a sheet covering my ancient sofa which falls gracefully down the front. Tigger noticed that this could be a new hidy place. When he crawls under it I pretend he’s gone missing and call out, “where’s Tigger?” If a paw doesn’t come shooting out from the drape, I’m supposed to poke him with his toy which he will then bite, although he much prefers to bite my feet.
I wish to dedicate this post to two of my friends, both named Linda. One declares she is Not a Cat Person. The other Linda is a Three-Cat Lady! Stay tuned, I may write more next week…