I am a cat person. To those who know me, this is as enlightening a statement as “I breathe air.” Over the years I have raised, or helped to raise, more than 20 cats. This does not include the litter of feral kittens a mother cat deposited on my door step as soon as she had weaned them. Once she had decamped, the father showed up and spent time hunting for his kids. One day I came home from work and I found them dining al fresco on my patio on the catch of the day – a squirrel. Fortunately, they were very thorough and I did not have to clean up after them. I eventually got them all trapped and taken to the Humane Society.
By far the most entertaining of the cats is my current feline housemate, Naomi. She is funny, feisty, and won’t take crap from anyone. When I adopted her I had planned that she would be an indoor cat since she had been declawed by her previous owner. However, being kept inside she was unhappy, sick, getting fat, and stopped taking care of her fur. I gave in and started letting her out. Within a week she was in perfect shape again.
One day early on in our relationship she followed me into the bathroom. While I was taking care of business, she jumped up onto the sink to take a closer look at everything since she was still getting acquainted with her new surroundings. She was concentrating so hard that she walked off the edge of the sink into thin air. The gravity took over. So much for all that feline grace.
Her outdoor activities are quite varied, from making her rounds of the “perimeter” to waylaying total strangers walking by to get them to pet her. She has also made friends among the abundant wild animal population in the neighborhood, particularly the deer. I have seen her chase a faun out of the yard, only to see the faun chase her back in a moment later. They were playing some form of tag. I have seen her go nose to nose with a skunk without the expected adverse effect.
One day, while I was working in the garden, she caught a garter snake and brought it onto the patio near me. She would look at me and then poke the snake with her paw to make it move. She wanted me to see that she had found a string that moved on its own. After she had played with it for about half an hour she got bored and moved on. That is when I went and retrieved the unconscious snake to put it back into the bushes. There wasn’t’ a mark on him. I checked a few minutes later and he was gone.
Mice don’t fare as well with her. I was lying in bed half asleep one morning trying to convince myself that it really was time to get up. I could hear Naomi playing in the next room. It was a fairly rowdy romp, so I assumed that she was playing with one of her toy mice as she often did. Suddenly something landed between my eyes. I reached up to remove the toy mouse that she had managed to throw in my face, but what I found in my hand was no toy. It was a real mouse that she had caught and played to death. The rush of adrenalin fired me like a rocket. I was out of bed, threw the mouse in the trash, and raced for the bathroom. Thereupon I removed several layers of skin with soap and water.
What else does she do? Well, when I am lying down, she likes to wrap herself around my neck and head and drool into my hair. She has confiscated a portion of the linen cupboard to be her get away spot. If I pick up the phone she will rush back into the house to climb on my chest while I am in conversation. She is particularly fond of licking and chewing on the cords to the mini blinds. If I sneeze too close to her she will punch me in the face as hard as she can. If any of the neighbors leave a door open she will walk right in like she owns the place.
It’s a good thing I love her or there’d be hell to pay.