Monday, November 14, 2011

Cat Tales

Dickens has been with us almost two weeks now and has proven to be a lively, intelligent and affectionate young cat.

Remember how I made him a bed in a little nook beside the cabinet in the back hall?  Well, he had other ideas.  He found this lovely nest of toques, scarves and mittens way up high in the back hall and decided that was the best bed for a cat.

Because he's quite young he's very "scatty" and needs lots of playthings to
keep amused.  One of his favorites is this empty pill bottle.  It's just wonderful fun to bat it around because it spins and jiggles.  He chases it all around the living room.  But sometimes it disappears and he has to go looking for it.  Once in a while it caroms down the open stairs.  One time I saw him pick it up in his mouth to bring it back into play in the open area.

Cats are not claustrophobic!  He's looking for the pill bottle under the loveseat.  Once in a while it gets stuck under a radiator and I have to retrieve it for him.

He also loves to bat around anything crinkly or crackly, so he'll play with a wadded up piece of paper, a paper bag, a crinkled up cellophane bag or somesuch.

The first time I ran the washing machine he was entranced.  It went round and round in the most enticing manner!  This reminded me exactly of a big tom cat we had when I was a girl.  Mom got a new washer--a Bendix front loader and "Fluffy" was mesmerized.  He sat staring at the washer with his head swivelling in time to the tumbling action.  "Fluffy," a misnomer if there ever was one, was also a striped cat like Dickens.

When I sit on the couch reading, sipping my morning coffee, Dickens likes to climb up beside me, real snuggly, until he's all the way up on my lap and there's no room for the book anymore.  My hands and thighs (in spite of wearing my heaviest pair of jeans) show the marks of his affection--lots of little scratches!

Sometimes he gets just too "scatty" and wild.  See the claws gripping the cushion?  It's time for me to decamp or
to evict him.

He's wrassled that pillow right over the edge, but he's still got a good grip on it with his sharp little claws and teeth.

Oops!  Lost it!

He is learning that he's not allowed up on countertops, etc. and I think he's
 intelligent enough to absorb that lesson.
He can barely resist chewing on my
new slippers, so I give him the old one
to chew on--the fur is so alluring!

This morning he was sitting alertly on an armchair across from the couch, observing the fireplace mantel, the wall sconces, the ceiling fan.  It really looked as if he were taking stock of the possibilities for mayhem.  He's already been up on the mantel and almost knocked over an antique Dutch glass canning jar.  I'd hate for that to crash to the floor!

I thought it would be interesting for him if I turned on the ceiling fan.  The switch is right beside the couch.  So when he stared up at it again, I gave the rheostat a little nudge.  OOOOh!  I repent in dust and ashes!  It scared him silly!!!  He exploded out of the chair and shot out of the room, claws scrabbling on the smooth wood floor.  The poor little cat was traumatized.  He finally dared to come back in the living room, but eyed the now immobile fan with great suspicion.  He was unusually quiet for the rest of the day.  Much the same way I would feel enervated after a big shock.  I'm just relieved he isn't holding that against me.

"Fluffy" was more vengeful.  One day my sister was carrying him around in her arms and accidentally knocked his head against a doorframe.  For some time he sat in wait on a dining room chair, just concealed under the drape of the tablecloth.  Whenever Peggy went by the chair, a paw shot out and took a swipe at her.  He didn't bother the rest of us--he was out to get back at her for that insult and injury.

Of course, it's possible that Dickens doesn't know it was I who turned on that fan!

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