Monday, June 19, 2006

Dueling Felines

Dueling Felines

My cats fought a duel last night on the foot of my bed.

I don’t know what else you’d call it. It certainly wasn’t a real catfight; nobody yowled, hissed, or growled; and as far as I could tell (which wasn’t very), nobody’s fur stood on end. Aliera didn’t even have her ears laid back, though Sethra did. Everything was very formal, almost ritualistic.

It started with Aliera lying down, and Sethra sitting in front of her. Sethra raised her paw, very slowly and tentatively, then slapped Aliera in the face. Aliera retaliated with a double-pawed cheek slap (I think there’s a name for this in pro wrestling). This was repeated about three times; then Sethra hurled herself on top of Aliera and things got a lot rougher—though, as I said before, nobody screamed, so I gather the hind claws didn’t come out, despite the biting. They rolled around for a bit, and then both flung themselves off the bed in opposite directions. Usually Aliera is the winner of these little encounters, but this time she ran off. Sethra returned to the bed, but by invitation; I coaxed her.

I really don’t understand these guys. Very occasionally they cuddle together (usually in cold weather). Most of the time they tend to ignore each other, except for the occasional perfunctory duel, and fairly frequent mutual or combat washing; earlier the same day, Sethra had been licking Aliera’s face while Aliera licked Sethra’s paws. Aliera also licks Sethra’s butt; I don’t know if this signifies anything like what it would signify for a human, or if it’s just little sister making nice with big sister.

I hope someday Bruce blogs about the relationships and interactions of the six cats over there—it’s much more interesting and complex, as none of them are contemporaries, there are three males and three females, two have been outdoor cats, and only one still has claws. I’m sure the situation is worthy of a sociological study and makes my mere sibling rivalry look simple by comparison.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Little Cat Feetnotes

Little Cat Feetnotes

I combed the fluffy cat last night, and got enough loose fur to knit a small kitten.

Ever since I started leaving the bathroom door open all the time, because otherwise there’s no air circulation in there and it’s like an oven, the cats like to hang out in there. Unlike most cats, they show little or no interest in curling up in the sink. They much prefer the stack of clean underwear I keep on a shelf so I can get partially dressed before doing things to my face and hair, then finish the job without getting makeup on my blouse/dress. I just hope I don’t get hit by a bus, because I don’t know what the ER personnel would make of furry underwear.

The most disconcerting thing is that they like to stare at me when I’m on the loo. This is just not right. After all, I don’t come and stare at them when they are using the litter box, do I?

Now that it’s so hot (112° today, a new record), Aliera prefers to nap on top of the filing cabinet in the office closet. I don’t know where Sethra naps—she seems to be able to dematerialize at will, a skill I envy her. Where DO cats go when they walk through walls? And why do they have to take my good sunglasses with them?

On one of my discussion boards, we are talking about our favorite Discworld characters. I had named the Patrician of Ankh-Morporkh as mine, but it’s a very close tie with Death, and I may change my vote. Especially since although he doesn’t like people much, Death is very fond of cats. In The Last Hero, which has so many illustrations it’s practically a graphic novel, there’s a wonderful picture of him with a kitten on his skeletal lap, and another of the same kitten chasing the Death of Rats, an equally skeletal rat.

I have a new catalogue from Drs. Foster and Smith, and the cats are going to make out like bandits. Cat toys, cat treats, and a laser-pointer toy for under ten bucks!

Wonder when they are going to present ME with anything? Other than hairballs, that is.