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Monday, January 29, 2007

Of Cats and Contests

Siamese with a Banana on her Head
I must admit to a highly suspect interest in discovering what others will do to their cats. As a child, I delighted in sneaking up on the dignified male cat the neighborhood had named "Taffy" while he was trying to get a drink out of the commode. I was not a wicked child. I didn't give him a swirly or anything. I just waited until he was pawing at the water to discover exactly where it was -- and then I'd nudge him in!

I figured this was a fair return for having my toes attacked while I was asleep! Taffy always managed to recover his dignity in short order. And he continued to attack feet whenever he was given the chance.

I only tried stuffing ONE cat into baby doll clothes. My grandmother's tabby, Mischief, was a grumpy thing. She managed to withhold the worst of her retribution who it came to the clothes, but when I tried to make her ride around in my red wagon while dressed as a doll -- well, that was her limit. Scratches and tears ensued. Since she returned to my Grandmother's house soon thereafter, we never really recovered from the quarrel.

I admire cats; I really do. I've a fuzzy black and white Oscar sitting behind my computer screen at the moment. He's only been subject to a couple of indignities. Tape on his feet was one. But he usually gets into enough trouble on his own. The time he tried to jump out at Lancelot the Dalmatian while Lance was charging after a basketball was a good example. Oscar jumped out standing on his hind feet, front paws spread and claws extended in a ferocious display -- and the Dalmatian ran right over him, completely unable to stop in time to respect the display.

The fact that Lance managed to stop while standing on top of the cat did not improve Oscar's response, but it had me gasping and rolling on the floor with laughter.

This latest contest from the folks at "Stuff on My Cat" is an excellent example of the human-cat interaction.
Cats with helmets. Everything from the banana-bearing beauty above to the winner, a lovely kitten sporting a cabbage!
The cat's expression says it all! The creativity of the other contestants is varied and entertaining. And the patience of the felines is amazing! I see no wounded hands, missing fingers, or other evidence of mayhem resulting from these photo sessions. The cats seem to understand this as part of what must be suffered in the company of their particular humans.

They may be planning some spectacular midnight raids in retribution -- but the long-suffering looks seem to indicate a real understanding of the juvenile nature of humans. Indeed, Oscar's ability to be so charmingly juvenile himself tickles my fancy again and again. He will do amazing things in pursuit of a feather on a string, and has no pride at all when it comes to belly-rubs. He is stunningly patient with Sally the Shepherd as she persists in trying to herd him around the house. They have developed "safe zones" and some type of communication that let's each know when the other means business. They seem to possess a clear comprehension of their own form of "knock it off!" and rarely do more than irritate each other in their fun.

He's not done anything yet worthy of an entry into "Stuff on My Cat," but I'll keep the camera ready -- one never knows when he'll shed his dignity and ham it up for a photo shoot!

Oscar and Lancelot


KnitNana said...

They MATCH! OH! Too cute!
I love the story about Oscar jumping out at Lance and being mowed over....
Glad I wasn't drinking coffee at the time...

Birdsong said...

Oh, and the cats look so disgruntled! Great stories..