Granma Ladybug did three blogs about our cats, here, here, and here, if you want to go back for a look. Then she decided that blogging wasn’t really her thing, so it falls to me to continue the tales of The Cats Who Own Us. Ancient Egyptians worshipped cats. If the bunch at my house are at all representative, it’s easy to see why. You’re not given any choice! Cats have been domesticating humans for over 3000 years. We’re still a work in progress, but coming along nicely.
This is about Contessa, another Bengal, as all ours are. Like our other cats, she’s also known as Missy, LadyCat, Kitten, and occasionally by epithets best not repeated in polite company. She was named Tess by the crazy cat lady, but LadyRyl had decided that she wanted to adopt the name Tess. So, it was decided to expand and regal-fy (?) her title a bit. She claims she deserves it. Didn’t matter, as soon as she joined the clowder, I took to calling our smallest cat Missy, or, despite the fact that she’s the oldest, Kitten. When she’s acting dignified, she’s LadyCat. Our vet says we’re the only family with so many names for each of our cats.
When we took LadyRyl up to pick up her big boy Benny cat, the wife saw Contessa, who is his mother, and fell in love. Isn’t she beautiful? We already had two cats; we didn’t need another. A cat’s a cat – until we got her home and she became my cat. Now she’s precious. She was a breeder and wouldn’t be available for almost three years, but the wife put in a reservation.
By the time we finally got her, she’d been in a bit of a fight, which puckered her right eyelid, causing the eye to constantly weep. Crazy cat lady is reliable and trusted, but we still took her to our vet for an introduction. He found that, having birthed lotsa litters of kittens, her teeth were bad, in fact a couple had already fallen out. He recommended surgery to remove a total of 14, including her right upper fang. Now she meows with a lisp, old Snaggletooth does. While he had her under, he repaired the eyelid. To harden her gums, sometimes she captures my hand and gnaws on my fingertip.
The first week we had her, she climbed onto the wife’s lap, seeking comfort and protection. I didn’t intend to steal her from the wife but, not having one, I’m a sucker for a pretty face. Soon, she was cuddling in my lap. It’s her picture with me that I use as a gravatar. Soon she was confident enough to be on the floor, independent, and Empress of all she surveyed.
Before LadyRyl injured both knees, she studied for veterinary’s assistant. Being the smallest, Contessa’s claws are the sharpest. Occasionally, when we have daughter and grandson over on a Sunday, I trap Missy in a bathroom and Ryl clips her nails. Neither the wife nor I can accomplish it. Having been poked and prodded, grabbed and pushed, by Cat Lady and her female assistant, and now by the daughter, she is leery of everybody, but especially women.
Slowly, she has gone from skittish, to reluctant, to acceptant, to expectant, to demanding. In fact, I think she’s one or two degrees past demanding. She can be Damn-manding, and now, Entitled!
The clothes-storage tub she sits on, to look out the window, is in the computer room.
If I come in, to work on a blog, she immediately jumps down and gives me a head-butt. What a little anvil-head! It’s PET ME, or get a broken shin. Since that sometimes didn’t work, she’s taken to reaching up to remind me. She aims for the short sleeve of my tee-shirt, but often catches the inside of my elbow. Remember those sharp claws?? I do!!
I’ve set a bad example; I’ve caved, and petted her. Now, She Who Must Be Adored, won’t stop, no matter how much I fuss over her. Type four words, pet the cat, type three words, pet the cat, type two words, pet the cat. It’s a wonder I publish anything. I’ve had to put her out and close the door. When I do stroke and skritch her, from ears to tail-tip, she falls over on the floor so that I can rub her tummy. Not “lies down,” I mean falls over, with a thump that can be heard across the room, she’s in such a hurry. Not much bigger than a pack of the revived Twinkies, she’s got a purr like a 15 horse trolling motor.
Which way did they go? How many of them were there? How long ago did they leave? I must find them, for I am their LEADER!
Apparently I am her slave, and she must supervise me. If I leave the main floor, to go upstairs, or down, she must be ahead, to lead, even if she doesn’t know where we’re going. Going down, she always stops on the landing and head-butts a pillar in the railing, being irresistible, till I sit and fuss over her. I may have to remove the wooden ones and replace them with metal to prevent Little Anvil-Head from breaking them out. Like her floor-flop, the landing-clunks can be heard across the room. Sometimes I step past the top of the basement stairs, to use the main-floor washroom, and she loses me in the rush.
Archon Had A Little Cat
Mary had a little lamb,
whose fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went,
the lamb was sure to go.
It followed her to school one day
which was against the rule.
It made the children laugh and play,
to see a lamb at school.
And so the teacher turned it out,
but still it lingered near,
And waited patiently about,
till Mary did appear.
“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
the eager children cry.
“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know.”
the teacher did reply.
Since she never had a chance to be a kitten, she’s taking advantage now. Both to play, and to establish dominance, she will suddenly start chasing one, or all, of the boy-cats. If one of them makes it up on a chair, or the feeding box, it’s Home-Free, and she will go chase some-one, or something, else. She even terrorizes, and now, flirts with, the dog.
Everything is a, “Toy, Daddy! Toy!” – a shell from the terrarium, the wife’s wooden, tatting-decorated pill-box, a crocheted cup-holder. The floor is littered with cat toys, but she always seems to find something else.
What did the old grump ever do without her, and what did she do without all of us? Who could resist a face like that?
Next time, I’ll tell you about our immovable object, boy-cat, Tonka.