I wish that I could post in an ironic fashion about my cats. It is, after all, stereotypical to blog about one’s cats, detailing their every plant destroyed and mouse carcass delivered. When I get right down to it, though, I just like to occasionally talk about my cats and can find no ironical way to go about it.
I love my cats. There’s just no way to get around it. They can be frustrating to the point where I want to throw them through a wall, but I still love them. When I watch them interact with their environment I feel as if I’m gaining some sort of insight into the world at large. That’s a load of hooey, of course – the only insight I’m gaining is what it’s like to be a cat cooped up in an apartment that rarely sees the sun because I keep the blinds closed most of the time. Near as I can tell, what it’s like is that you’re constantly surprised by things you’ve seen a hundred times.
When I have call to shut them out of my room (or any room) for even a few minutes, when I allow them to reenter, they spend several minutes walking around looking at everything with their eyes wide open, as if everything was new and different.
“What’s this? A bed?!? It looks so comfortable! Where did it come from?!? Why does it smell like me when I’ve never seen it before in my life?!?”
They also adopt that way of walking that says “I’m someplace I’ve never been before.” It’s slow, deliberate, and inquisitive. If you’ve never seen an inquisitive walk and doubt its existence, I assure you, Dala could ask you more questions just by approaching you than you might think.
Dala also does this thing that’s hard to explain but it’s one of my favorite cat things ever. When she’s in “what’s all this, then?” mode, she’ll approach something, look at it with a slightly-tilted head, and then reach out a paw and kind of feel it. It’s like a mixture between a “poke” and a “pat,” almost as if she’s checking to make sure the thing she’s seeing is real and not just a figment of her tortured feline imagination. I wish I could catch it on film because it’s so much funnier than I’m describing it. I’ve had cats since I was seven years old and I’ve never had one that did this.
Their diet continues, though, by the look of them, Nutmeg is eating the majority of the food. Dala’s skin is hanging off her and Nutmeg looks rounder than ever. Nutmeg is also the one who wakes me ever morning at 5:30 or earlier, demanding to be fed. Feeding time is 6, and she darn well knows it, but she seems to think that rattling the blinds, jumping on the computer desk, purring loudly, and walking on me are going to get her fed earlier. It isn’t, but I’ll give her points for persistence. When I do feed them, Nutmeg takes the pole position, leaving Dala to reach in and extract single kernels of food with her paw, pulling them out so she can eat one at a time. This I don’t understand. This is the same cat who instigates fights with Nutmeg and can clean her clock every time. She’s bigger and tougher (and sweeter, strangely), but she lets Nutmeg charge right in. Maybe the sweetness takes over, I don’t know. She could have motherly feelings for Nutmeg, I guess. She’s a few years older and has known Nutmeg since Nutmeg was four weeks old.
Nutmeg continues to be an enigma. I have a few friends who, when they come over, enjoy riling her up. I’ll admit there’s something funny about her tiny impotent rage, but it’s probably mean to do. The simple act of picking her up will cause her to struggle, growl, and then hiss. An outreached hand is an invitation for batting and biting, with intent to harm. But, when no one else is around, she’s the cat you’ll find curled up next to me or on my lap, purring so loud you can tell it is taking physical effort for her to do it. Though I talk about giving the “devil cat” away to anyone who’ll take her, I secretly know I could never part with her.
I love my cats. I’m a 33-year-old male and can’t imagine life without them.