Cats Amaze Me

carpey flapjack

Because obviously I'm easily amazed. And I like shiny things.

I've spent a lot of time with our cats this year. Despite being around cats all my life, I still expect them to be aloof and cold, not needing any human interaction beyond feeding times.

And there are days when, if they had thumbs, I know they'd trip me so my head would crack square into the corner of a table and they'd no longer have someone nagging them about getting down off the counters or to stop stealing my socks and hiding them around the house, or to please cover the goddamn giant crap in the box.

But most days, they surprise me with how social they are. While they have bonded together somewhat as a tiny pride of living room lions, they still seem to prefer being with humans, or since I'm the one home all the time, me.

Neo, always a street-tough bulldog of a cat in my eyes, follows me from room to room, curling up near wherever I am. He doesn't have to be right on my lap like Nikita, but he's gotta be in the same room. He's a total badass yet he purrs the moment you touch him - that amazes me.

neo & nikita

With so much more observation time, I've seen much more of their personalities. They're all very different from one another - their only commonalities are bad breath, crapping in a box and loving ground up fish mush.

Ninja is the soft-headed gentle giant, content to play with a tiny carpet fiber or chase his tail on the couch. He doesn't rub his cheek against your leg, but instead gently brushes by like a fish in a lagoon, earning him the nickname Carpey.

He has a surprising range of expressions for a cat so mentally challenged. When he's happy the top of his head becomes rounded and fluffy and a ridge in his fur appears down his back. He's so at ease with the world he's totally comfortable sleeping flat on his back with his belly fully exposed. It's amazingly soft.

Because we see him as so, well, retarded, I was astounded one day when I figured out he was trying to tell me to clean out his crap box.

Like most cats, Ninja is particular about where he craps. The other two are fine with any box and any type of litter, but Ninja's gotta have it exactly the way he wants it or there could be trouble. Like a puddle of urine on the kitchen floor trouble. Or a box of books soaked in cat urine trouble.

As I sat here one day typing on this here computer dealie, he kept carping my leg and meowing softly - something he never does during the day. Normally right after breakfast, he's down for his all-day nap-a-thon - never up before 3pm when it's time to start bullying me into feeding them.

I watched him closely and he didn't look unhappy or stressed - he looked intent. We have two cat boxes in the closet behind me - that's the only reason he comes up here, except for bullying time.

Figuring it couldn't hurt to take a look, I grabbed a plastic bag and took the top off one of the boxes. Sure enough, it was due for cleaning. I scooped all the boxes and as soon as I finished, in he went to pollute it once again. And then he went back to his nap. Amazing.

I could go on and on about them, but if you have cats you know all the funny, weird things they do that make you wonder what planet they came from.

The scary thing is trying to stay on this side of the crazy cat lady line where I'm not talking to them like I know what they're saying back to me, but I gotta tell you, that line is getting blurry.