passed away from old age in the spring of 2005. She lived well and
avidly at least 12 years beyond what the vet
predicted when we first rescued her. Two weeks after she left us, we
adopted another waif, pretty little Delphi, whose autobiography will
one day inherit the main page of our kitties bio section.
January 23rd is Answer Your Cat's Questions Day. There is even a special animated e-greeting card for the occasion which humans can send to their friends who own cats from the Blue Mountain Arts web site at: http://www.bluemountain.com/eng3/unusual/index.html
For those humans who have problems answering the questions, here are some suggested responses offered by an Experienced Cat.
Why do you sleep when it's dark? - because people have their days and nights turned around backwards! If you want your person to be awake at night, you have to get him or her to sleep in the daytime. This is why it is wise to adopt a senior citizen instead of a young human, one who no longer goes out in the daytime to "work" where you haven't a chance of pursuading him/her to nap during daylight hours.
Would you like some? - Don't waste your mouse. After several instances of offering tasty fur clad tidbits and being turned down most rudely by unappreciative humans, my friend Thomas and I, who hunt as a team in the cemetery where the supply of prey is limitless, have decided that humans must have some sort of genetic deficiency in the taste bud department.
Why can't I go in the garbage? - This is a silly question. Don't ask! Just DO it!
Will I fit in there? - The First Principle of Prowling applies here. If your whiskers will fit in there, YOU will fit in there.
Please give me more food? - If you have to ASK for more food, it's time to trade in your stingy family for a new one. While you're at it, try to pick out a nice round soft human. They're not only more understanding about the food supply, but they also have really comfy cuddling spaces.
How do I get down? - Why would you ask a human that question? Most of them can't even figure out how you got up there.
Kitty will answer additional cats' questions on request.
to Kitty Sue's Questions in care of firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is not really Kitty-Sue or even Kitty, but at least people can pronounce it correctly. So I have gone to a good bit of trouble to train all the significant people in my life to call me Kitty instead of the Tibetan name that is on my birth certificate and instead of my Real Cat Name which none of them can even hear, let alone pronounce adequately.
Training of humans is easily accomplished by ignoring anything they do which is unacceptable, reacting to extremely displeasing behavior with temporary abandonment, and rewarding desirable behaviors with purrs, mooshing, and, in rare cases, lap-sitting for several minutes. This so-called behavior modification which people credit to a human named Skinner who apparently lived in a box is obviously something Skinner plagiarized from us cats.
I live with my human in a cozy little home surrounded by green grass and a modest flowering jungle. We do have winter here, but I would outlaw it if I could. Every day I check all doors and windows in our home just in case summer might appear at one or another of them. Early in the morning is an especially good time to watch for summer to come up over the eastern horizon.
I'm not very patient with my person in the early morning. She wants to sleep. I want breakfast and fresh drinking water. After the morning tea, the cooled contents of the tea kettle is poured into a Britta pitcher. That is my drinking water -- it tastes infinitely better with the chlorine boiled away. I believe that people would be much better off if they drank boiled water too. That chlorine in the tap water can't possibly be good for them.
Once summer has arrived, one of my major responsibilities is supervising the livestock: squirrels, crows, butterflies, lightning bugs, mice and voles, ants. Especially I am fond of herding ants. They sometimes take a wrong turn and come in under the kitchen door. So I have to run around, gather them all into a bunch, and herd them back out under the door again. Cats do not have a natural herding instinct, but I learned the technique from watching videos The Mama took at the sheepdog trials. My, those border collies are intelligent (for canines). If they were gray with green eyes, I might consider adopting one as a pet.
I only herd ants INSIDE the house though. Outdoors I try to preserve my image. The neighbors are under the misguided impression that I am merely a house cat. Since I wish them to continue in their innocent delusion, I will occasionally go out at dusk and act like a cat, chasing lightning bugs all over the yard, leaping into the air in pursuit of the "prey", and eventually returning home wearing "the look of the hunter" as illustrated to the right.
I am pretty good at independence except for the eagles. The Mama says they are not eagles; they are red tailed hawks. But they look like eagles to me. They scream like eagles too. And I have seen them swoop down and grab small creatures from the ground. A mouse acquaintance of mine bought the farm last summer when he was caught out in the middle of the lawn far from any sheltering leaves or bushes. For that reason I stay close to the foundation of our building when the eagles are flying.
To tell the truth, it's much safer in the house most of the time, so I usually don't spend a lot of time outdoors by myself. I schedule my outdoor time to coincide with people basking on the deck with their books or dulcimers. I LOVE music, especially harp or dulcimer. But the music I really like best is when The Mama plays the bells on her keyboard. When she is playing I will come and pat her and meow. She understands that I mean, "Bells! Play the bells now!" When she does I lie down on the floor and stretch out as long as I can be so I can feel the sound of the bells through the floor. She thinks "The Bells of St. Mary's" is my favorite song. Actually any song played on the bells is my favorite. When the church bells ring at five o'clock in the summer, I stretch out on the wooden boards of the deck and enjoy their music. I wonder if the person who plays the carillon knows that one of their biggest fans is a cat.
Repurposing the household furniture is something that all us cats have learned to do since we don't usually have any furniture of our own. For instance, my people think bookcases are to keep books in and put lamps on top of. It took me quite a while to remove all the stuff from the top of this one, but finally they got the idea that anything that they put up here in MY place would go on the floor whenever I want to take a nap. We finally compromised on the lamp, but it's scrunched up in the corner now instead of being symmetrically arranged in the middle of my nap spot.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, March 1, 2006