Thursday, May 26, 2016

Cats I've Known

We had three cats when I was growing up.  Pocohantis or Poki was a black and white outdoor cat.  He was scared of people and lived under the house.  Malahini or Mali was a female Siamese.  I have a picture of her with a baby bonnet on her head and intense glaring eyes.  She raised three litters of kittens.  If a dog wandered into our yard, she would chase it off.

We kept one of the male kittens out of Mali’s first litter.  Nebbechadnezer or Nebbie had a kink in his tail.  We sold the other kittens, but no one wanted a kinky cat.

Cats have distinct personalities.  One of the cats we had in Boulder, Opus, would all of a sudden charge around the house like his synapses were misfiring.  Tammy, was very motherly.  When we yelled at one of our kids, Tammy would get worried and come sit with the disgraced child.  When one of us was sick, Tammy would be on the bed, consoling the invalid.  She purred so loudly you could hear it from the next room.  She liked people and wasn’t phased by any party or gathering.  She’d saunter through the house undaunted by any commotion.

Our current cat, Athena, is just the opposite.  For fifteen years, she only accepted three people in the world:  My wife, my daughter and me.  If anyone else approached or entered the house, she streaked off whatever perch she was on and hid under one of the beds.  When the plumber replaced the furnace, Athena stayed under the bed all day for two days, only venturing out after he had left.

Athena purrs, but has it set on vibrate.  You can’t hear a sound, but can feel it if you place your hand on her throat.

Athena is very self-centered.  She’s out for herself.  She used to try to eat all of Tammy’s food as well as her own.

But she likes to sleep on legs.  The moment I lie on my back in bed, she jumps up on the bed and snuggles down on my legs.  I can’t image that that would be comfortable, but that’s her place.

Athena likes to chase string, bat around play mice, toss them in the air and do flips.  Then she’ll get wild-eyed and streak across the rug.

When we lived in Colorado, she only ventured outside when it was dark for a brief foray before charging back to hide in the garage as if a pack of wolves were after her.  As soon as the door was opened she shot inside with her afterburners blazing.  She is the original wussy pussy.

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