All bow before Cat Queen Mandy, ruler of Apartment 3 – foto Smith
I was slowly softly firmly pulling fingertipfuls of fur on Mandycat’s head and neck, and her tail was whirly, her purr purry, and she got so wound with pleasure she leapt from my lap and ran. Trying to lure her back, I picked up the long string to attach to the end of my bamboo backscratcher to turn it into a cat fishing pole and I started to say “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” and at *than* my brain fortunately shut me down with “You don’t say that to a cat . . where are your manners?”
Wonder how many more unfair animal phrases I have in my head that need analysis and maybe abandoned as life-form-cruel? And where’s the line? *Raining cats & dogs* seems harmless enough until you envision them hitting the ground, while *The cat’s pajamas* is simply surreal silly and at worst might offend a cat’s dignity. *Pop goes the weasel* is definitely bad from weasel’s point of view while *The cow jumped over the moon* seems fun and harmless if we don’t consider her reentry into the atmosphere and hard earth landing, but *Hey diddle diddle the cat and the fiddle” implies some seriously kinky cat/fiddle sex as well as the dark implications of cat gut being used for fiddle strings.
I wonder what happened to the Smith who used to not care about such niceties, the one with the dark dark humor, the sharp-edged nasty-tongued chap who still slips out now and then.
Actually I know part of the answer to that – I got older and somewhat wiser and started listening and thinking a bit more and realized words cause pain and pleasure and that plants and animals dream as much or more than man.
Walkin’ the cat – foto Smith
We have our own persistent cat dreams to deal with now. We did bad trying to do good.
Lady has a soft heart, a sensitive soul, a caring spirit and an active imagination. She noticed how Mandy sits in the window and stares out as she sniffs the breeze, then glanced around and thought maybe the apartment wasn’t a big enough world for her. I wasn’t convinced it would work well but her logic was fair so we bought a cat leash and took Mandy out. She loved it immediately.
Walking a cat is not walking a cat but rather standing in one place while the cat sniffs every scent around, then moves a few feet and begins the process again, every now and then trying to slip in under the dark porch or out of the leash.
Within an hour of coming back in she was howling mournfully at the door wanting back out. We explained gently that it was a once-a-day experience and no, she would not be going back out. She continued her mournful mewling.
Took her out the next day. Once back in she got worse, cried to go out all night long. Kept her in two days. Her cries got less frantic but popped up repeatedly.
Took her out one last time 10 days ago. It took days for her anguished wanting-out wails to cease . . . she was especially vocal at night.
Anyway she’s down to lurking at the bottom of the steps at the base of the door, trying to find ways to slip out when we come or go and every now and then reminding us she wants to go out right now.
Trouble is I understand her point of view — I’d want out if I were her. But we live on a busy street, she has no outside experience on her own to be out alone, and we cannot live our life outside just to keep her happy. So since we can’t reason or compromise, she no longer goes out, ever.
We tried to be nice and understanding and put us all in a bind.
I’ve learned a lot about interacting with people by watching Mandy closely these past 3+ years. She deals in need/desire/want and it’s all RIGHT NOW, not later. There is no compromise, just success or defeat — and defeat to her merely means she keeps whining until she gets what she wants or she temporarily gives up after too many soft “no”s and starts in again later.
Our Mandycat no
mendicant rather Queen Cat
orders us about
— Smith, 9.8.2012
Peter Ball’s cat Harry (aka Hermes) – foto Smith