Those Amusing Cats

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Peggy is taking the week off, so enjoy this "Best of Peggy" column from several years back.

I don't like cats.

Well, that isn't true. I do like cats but I like dogs better.

You can talk to a dog and it knows what you're saying.

A cat just looks at you and walks away, aloof.

A cat will trip you by rubbing against your legs or winding itself between your ankles. Or walking slow motion in front of you.

It sleeps most of the time, waking to be fed, rubbed.

It spends an inordinate amount of time grooming.

You think I don't know much about cats.

You are probably right. The cats I've known were outside cats, mostly strays that showed up, stayed around for a year or two, then moved on down the road.

A black cat I named Ms. Black showed up at my doorstep one chilly morning..

A couple of days later she reappeared with some kittens she had stashed in the woods.

There was no Mr. Black around.

It wasn't long until she had another litter.

Her kittens were a bunch of hissing rebellious brats.

Eventually they grew up, moved on.

Ms. Black and I used to sit out on the deck overlooking the pond. She would stare intently at seemingly nothing, as though there was a ghost in the woods. Ever so often, her tail would twitch back and forth.

She seemed to like being near me, but often she would disappear for a day or two.

Eventually she moved on too.

I've mentioned my daughter's cat, Chloe. Maybe I didn't mention that she weighs 18 pounds.

When I spend the night with my daughter, Chloe and I share a bedroom.

Actually, it's Chloe's bedroom.

That's where she hangs out most of the time.

She has four or five favorite sleeping spots in the room. She may sleep in the swivel chair, or on top the library table, or on a pile of blankets or at the foot of the daybed. Or on my purse.

Now my daughter bought Chloe a fancy fur-trimmed round padded bed where the cat would be snuggly warm.

The cat took one look, turned her nose up and walked away. As far as I know, she has yet to spend one night in the bed.

My daughter warned me that when the lights went out, Chloe would jump on my chest, snuggle and expect a neck and belly rub. But after that, I wouldn't know she was on the place. She would then jump down and find her own sleeping spot, sometimes at the foot of the bed, but usually not.

She wouldn't be a bit of trouble, I was told.

My daughter forgot to tell me that Chloe wakes up early and wants outside.

Early being anywhere from 4 a.m. until 5 a.m. when it's still dark outside.

Until she is let outside, she will meow incessantly, without ceasing, in your ear.

When I complained, my daughter said, "Just ignore her."

It's really hard to ignore an 18 pound cat that knows what she wants.

One night just before I turned out the light, Chloe charged across the room, jumped on the coffee table, and skidded the full length, wadding up the crocheted table scarf and causing the remote and a coaster to hit the floor. When I told my daughter about it, she just shrugged.

"Oh, she does that all the time," she said, laughing.

I think lots of cat owners may not know that cats evolved as turbo-charged hunters who climbed, crept, leapt and raced in pursuit of fast food.

Maybe Chloe's sudden charge was just a carryover from her genetic past.

My mother-in-law once had a Siamese cat that would jump on your back while you were eating supper.

I don't know why the General (that's what she called him) would do that, but it made me nervous when I ate with them.

After supper, the General would amuse us by trying to fight his way out of a paper bag. I think that was his only talent.

Cats are okay, I guess.

But I'd rather have a dog I can converse with.