The one great similarity between having children and having pets is the overwhelming urge to tell other people how cute, smart or talented they are. As I’ve mentioned before my cat Sweetie Pie isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer so I am left to sing her praises in the cute category.
I recounted our initial meeting and mutual seduction at the local animal shelter last September (see “Cat, Dog” blog). “Fluffy black and white beauty with golden eyes and romantic disposition likes sun bathing, bird watching and milk. Seeking LTR with adoring, not too bright, mature woman with warm lap and steady income.”
Yes, it was all there to see for those who had eyes. She tamed me within the hour. I have been fetching and carrying and brushing and petting ever since. Her demands are endless but not unreasonable.
She likes a tidy house in which schedules are adhered to and routines not disturbed. For instance, the time for bed is 9 pm. If I tarry too long watching old Star Trek reruns on Netflix, her peepers emit an florescent glow and my head starts to hurt.
She waits on the couch while my evening ablutions are performed and it is not until I am cozily ensconced in bed, pillows fluffed and her brush at the ready, that she makes her entrance. After several abortive attempts she hops up on the bed, sits patiently through the evening’s petting frenzy, then topples over from ecstasy and sleeps.
I know when it’s time to get up in the morning for she comes plodding across the quilt (though small she is of Rubenesque proportions) and settles on my pillow a few inches from my face. This allows her to spot the least movement of the tiniest eyelash which is the signal for her to turn on the purr which is extraordinary for a cat of her size as it has no volume control. After she wakes me up and has her breakfast, she goes back to bed while I, bleary-eyed, crank up the computer and stumble into another day.
An omnivore, Sweetie Pie likes hot dogs, peanut butter, baloney sandwiches, mayonnaise, chicken bits, spaghetti and custard pie. As I watch her sashaying from the kitchen she is a circle in motion, her round little belly and bum swaying back and forth. The only thing not curved is her short busy tail which is as upright and uncompromising as my second grade teacher.
Which is not to say that Sweetie Pie cannot surprise me. We share a perfect psychic communication and I had naturally assumed that she had evolved way beyond meowing. But I learned differently when I took her to the vet two weeks ago. There was a long, lanky and unattractive orange cat in a carrier who was quite vocal in his outrage and yowling like a singer on American Idol.
You can imagine my astonishment when the heretofore silent Sweetie joined the orange cat in an operatic duet. I don’t mind saying I was shaken by this discovery. What other surprises might lay hidden in her mysterious depths? When I remonstrated over this misdirection she simply cocked a golden eye at me while a small smirk played across her whiskers.
Which brings me to another point. Sweetie Pie does not really have a sense of humor unless you include torture as part of your definition. If you want a good laugh, get a dog. A dog has great memory for punch lines and the willingness to play the fool will have you rolling on the floor.
Cats, on the other hand, are too fastidious for jokes about farting and too prudish for stories about farmer’s daughters. Slapstick is not their forte and they prefer, when pressed, the caustic quip, well-placed pun or a flip of the tail.
I remember the day I had just placed the newly washed quilt upon the bed and Sweetie Pie immediately threw up all over it. She didn’t even smile, let alone apologize, for her faux paw (she made me say that). She merely tossed her head and went back to the kitchen for a refill.
I stop here to give the gentle readers an opportunity to shake their head in wonder over Sweetie Pie’s incredible cuteness. More fascinating anecdotes along with corresponding photos are planned for the future.