Cats…Go Figure

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Cats are so entertaining. They are well-known for their curious behavior, and often just spring into action over nothing noticeable to the human eye. They practice odd habits, move in ways that don’t seem physically possible, and make sounds that sound other-worldly. I’ve had several cats over the years, and I’ve seen and heard some mighty strange things.

When I was a little kid, my cousin brought a kitten home from college that she could no longer keep. She purposely let my brother and I see it, knowing we’d fall in love, and my parents would take the cat off her hands. We did, they did, and Shtoonkie was ours. I don’t remember a whole lot about Shtoonkie because I was maybe 4 or 5 when he came to live with us. It was a short stay, as I recall. Shtoonkie was fond of getting into unusual places and just hanging out…literally. Our front door had a small window at the top of it, and I remember he would jump up to that window and just hang there by his front claws, looking outside. Another of his favorite hangouts was on my parents’ bed, under the bedspread, but on top of the sheets. He would somehow slither in between the covers without disturbing anything, and would just appear as a lump in the middle of the bed.

I didn’t have another cat until I was teaching. My first was Ashley. She was sort of aloof and disinterested sometimes, but overall a good companion. One evening I was sitting on the floor, wrapping some gifts. I had a large gift bag laying on the floor in front of me, which didn’t have anything in it yet. Being a cat, Ashley crawled inside the bag. I focused on wrapping the gift for a minute, and suddenly the bag flew into the air in front of me, and exploded. There was a flash of grey fur flying through the air, and bits of bag fell to the floor. I laughed until I cried. She stayed away from bags for quite some time after that.

Then came Binky. He was the best orange tabby boy! He loved the crinkly plastic grocery bags. One time after a grocery run, there were several bags on the floor. He was sitting on them, poking his head in them, and all of a sudden he tore off running, plastic bag flying behind him like a parachute. He had stuck his head through one of the handles, and apparently, in his excitement over the crackling sound the bag made in motion, he just kept running faster, trying to get away from the bag. Unfortunately, it followed him everywhere. I finally was able to catch him and get it off of his neck.

Blossom was a sweet, petite, fuzzy, gorgeous girl. She didn’t get into much mischief, but she had one odd habit we never understood. She loved to lick and chew on photographs. This was back in the days of taking pictures with film in a camera, then getting the film developed into prints. I think she was drawn to whatever chemicals were involved in the processing of the photos. If you left any pictures laying around, you’d find them with little teeth marks all along the edges, and the finish licked off of them.

We had one polydactyl cat, Graycie, who was big on carrying socks around. She’d find my husband’s socks, and bring them downstairs, one at a time, and leave them all over the house. When I’d get home from work, there’d be a trail of socks throughout the house. Once in a while, when she was feeling ambitious, she would go for larger items. One time it was a sweater, and another time a blanket! She looked absolutely ridiculous dragging that blanket down the steps. We had one of those crinkly tunnels for the cats, and she’d often stash the socks there. She also would cry human-sounding cries as she carried the socks, as if they were her babies or something. She had a second special skill. She would sit up on her haunches like a prairie dog, and look around. You could get her to do it to take treats. I think we missed out by not signing her up for the kitty circus.

My current male tabby, Stewball, is very fond of the dog. I featured him in a picture the other day, doing his weird thing. He cuddles with Polly the dog and licks her ears obsessively. He does the “pusha pusha” while licking away, until Polly can take no more and sends him packing. I tried to explain to him that he’s wasting his time if he’s trying to romance her…he’s a cat…she’s a dog…he’s fixed…she’s fixed…he wouldn’t hear any of it.

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2 responses »

  1. Was Ashley Gator’s sibling, or the offspring of one of my parents cats, or something like that? Am i misremembering? I thought there was some connection between her and a cat in my family’s menagerie, but sometimes my brain makes up stories.

  2. Yes, Lisa…I was lucky enough to have TWO cats from the Hill Farm over the years…Ashley, and Binky. Not sure of where Gator fit into it, sibling-wise, though.

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