Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chain Yanker

Firestar has been around three times already this morning. He had been down on the fourth level looking out the walkout door. Rabbits like to graze across our lawn just before dawn. Then, when the sun wakes up, various birds have their walkthrough.

But some mornings he will come quietly up the steps and over to where I sit in front of the computer. I learn he is there when he rubs against my legs. Other times he stands in the dining room, which is about three feet higher than the family room where I am, waiting for me to see him. Once I do he comes down the four steps so I can rub his back, beginning at the ears. I put one finger on either side of his head and slowly scratch backward toward his tail.

When he's feeling especially friendly, like this morning, he will put his front paws up on my hip. This is his signal for me to pick him up. I cuddle him up in my arms and he purrs while I lift him to my head. Then, cat-like, I rub my forehead against him. I try to communicate with him using the same methods he uses with me. Doesn't always work. I'm not that familiar with the language. But he shows little interest in learning mine.

Son has taken to doing some of the things, too. Spouse, on the other hand, does not. Spouse insists Firestar learn and understand our language. So when he gets in one of his aggressive moods, it becomes an endless barrage of, "No! Bad! Stop that! I said no!" It goes on ad nauseum. Spouse tells Firestar to knock it off, and he gives a right cross. Spouse tells Firestar he's bad and it's a left jab. Sometimes he bites.

I don't do that. I hiss. I can make him stop doing something without hardly moving a muscle. He can be on the other side of the house. If I see him doing something he's not supposed to do I just hiss and he stops. Sometimes, if he doesn't think he was violating any rule, he will meow at me. Other times (and this is so cute) he will half run away, meowing as he goes. The effect is a kind of vibrating meow which sounds absoulutely pitiful. This usually happens when he is interfering with a print job. He loves to play with the printer.

Firestar is amazing. He has the power to make me feel so loved and wanted. Then, just a few minutes later, he will show me equally how I am about the most useless piece of sh*t in the place. I couldn't get him to come near me if I opened a can of tuna. (I know. I've tried this.) And there doesn't appear to be much of a rhyme or reason for it. It's whatever his mood is.

He knows he has the power, and sometimes he just likes to use it. He's a chain yanker. That's what he is.


fairyhedgehog said...

I think it's called "being a cat".

Rufus is very cuddly but on his terms. I thought I'd got him to stop biting by petting him less and stopping before he'd had enough. Then the other day he was all over me - rubbing his head on my chin, kneading my lap, and biting my chin! I swear he seemed to think it was an affectionate thing to do.

At least Bonnie doesn't do that. She just squeaks at us when she gets lonely. Which is fine if it isn't 4am.

I try to talk cat talk. I do the closing eyes, and looking down and away and all the things I've learnt from our previous cats. I'm not sure Rufus will ever be fully tamed though.

Bevie said...

The rough ones never are, I think.

Mauzzie said...

absolutely loved this post :)

-Mauzzie (Sherkhan's human)

Bevie said...


Lisa said...

shame on spouse for not catering to Firestar!

Yea - fairyhedge has ALSO mentioned Bonnie in the same post - I won't point out that Rufus' paragraph was longer - baby steps.

I've been reading the Warrior series (love it) - Was Firestar's name based on it at all?

Bevie said...

Although our Firestar is not bright orange, the Firestar of Warriors is his namesake. There weren't any other cats close to his color.

Music to Make the Cats go Wild

Just a love song.

Musical Cats

Our Theme Song

Kitten of the Month - August

Kitten of the Month - August
Tara - Nick name 'ity-bit' because she's so tiny - just over 6 pounds. She's the most skittish of all my babies and even when being petted has the 'pet me, no don't pet me' look

Kitten of the Month - July

Kitten of the Month - July
Amelia - Nickname 'Bratelia' since she gets into every draw, cabinet that she can put her paws in.

Kitten of the Month - June

Kitten of the Month - June

“She’s got tuna. I know she’s got tuna.”

“Shut up, Sethra. Stay on mission.”

“What’s the mission? I thought the mission was to get tuna.”

“No, you stupid fluffbrain—it’s to escape and become outdoor cats, walking by ourselves, on our wild lone, waving our tails.”

“Oh, yeah? And isn’t it you, my dear stripy sister Aliera, who keeps pushing the FEED button on the printer and waiting for tuna to come out?”

“That was when I was much younger. Anyway, she’s at the computer—yes, eating tuna casserole—so we can go into the bedroom and see if we can knock the window screen out.”
“You do it, Aliera. I’d rather mess with her stuff.”

“Will you GET OVER that fixation on her wristwatch?”

“I like the feel of the Velcro on my paws. Hey! That reminds me. We’ve been declawed. How are we going to survive as outdoor cats?”

“New plan coming up….”

“What’s the big deal about being outside cats? Even StalkerCat, who used to hang around and chat us up, is a house cat now and loving it. We’ve got it made—food, petting, toys, valet service for the litter box, and we get to sleep on her bed twenty hours a day. And we can stick our noses up to the window and smell anything interesting going on outside. Why ruin a perfect situation?”

“Sethra, have you no sense of adventure? No curiosity? No cattitude? We were meant to live wild and free, to stalk and slay our prey, to be mistresses of the night!”

“Look, we’re cats. We were meant to rule the world, but that doesn’t mean we have to WORK at it. You can if you want, but I don’t need to. After all, I’M beautiful!

“Did I mention she’s got tuna?”

Kitten of the Month: May

Kitten of the Month: May
Kitten Close-Up.

Kitten of the Month: April

Kitten of the Month: April
At 8, you'd think Mikey would understand that he's a carnivore. But, no, he's rather fond of the shrubbery! At 20+ pounds, the veggie-enhanced diet is likely mitigated by a love for long naps on a warm comforter, wet cat food, begging at the table, and a nice lap to drape himself upon in the evening. And he drools when he's happy, which may or may not mean there's a Siamese ancestor lurking in the old dna.

What? Green teeth attract mice!

Kitten of the Month: March

Kitten of the Month: March
Who needs a wickerwork basket when you can hop on a cushion and bask?

Kitten of the Month: February

Kitten of the Month: February
Rufus is clearly a cat to be reckoned with.

Kitten of the Month: January

Kitten of the Month: January
Firestar is a tough cat. He has to be, living in Minnesota. He takes care of his family: wife, husband and their son. This was recently proven by his daring capture of yet another mouse in the house. Foolish rodents. They never learn. When not engaged in derring do, Firestar naps, looks out the window and sleeps. Firestar was born in April of 2006.