May 31, 2005

A Chat With The Cat

I knew it was time again to have a much needed talk with Gatito, my oldest cat. His name came from the side of a kitten chow box; in Spanish it means “little cat” and we have discovered that in English it actually translates to “sly little furry bastard who will amuse you in his own good time but most often will give you the stare of death when you piss him off.”

The “talk” I had to have with him was not unlike the type you might have with a young child who is usually on his best behavior but turns into the kid from hell around houseguests; embarrassing you at every turn and going all out to ruin a good time.

He’s a large cat, as common house cats go. He weighs about 21 pounds and there isn’t an ounce of fat on his body. He prances about the house in his little “tuxedo” as if to say, “I’m bad, yeah… I’m bad.” For all intents and purposes, he is convinced he rules the roost, and stands at the top of the pecking order. He’s wrong of course, but so as not to bruise his fur-clad ego, we let him think he’s in command.

As the weekend (and company) approached, I knew I’d have to take him aside and give him “the talk” once again. You see, he’s actually quite neurotic. The second he sees us cleaning under furniture and removing dust bunnies from those hard to reach crevices in our 14 foot living room ceiling, he knows we’re going to be entertaining guests. That’s when his neurosis starts to kick in. Bear with me as I offer what I would imagine to be his thought process.

“Oh crap, they’re doing the thorough clean up… this could only mean one thing … the dreaded houseguest.” Then he gasps.

As Ed moved the sofa away from the wall to reach under the floorboard heating device with the vacuum, Gatito backs away slowly, down on his haunches. “No! Not the floorboard vacuum deal! Christ! These people must be pretty special!”

He backs clear out of the room and races up the stairs to the bed to claim position. He thinks to himself “I will NOT accept these changes, I will NOT.” Then, I swear to you, he starts to scheme.

And so, while Ed was off to pick up his daughter and her fiancé at the airport, Gatito enters the room and gives me a look as if to say, “Well? What have you got to say for yourself? Don’t think I don’t know what the plan is here… I heard the word 'airport' and that means SUITCASES. You KNOW I hate suitcases.”

So I picked him up and we had “The Cat Chat” that he has come to know and hate so very much.

Me: Listen buddy, we have to entertain on occasion because if we don’t, people will swear we’re socially inept and they will not send us birthday cards anymore.

Cat: You know I can’t stand change.

Me: Yes, but you WILL behave or we’ll move your litter box while you’re sleeping.

Cat: Go ahead, I’ll dump on the floor where it used to be.

Me: Then we’ll put you on a diet.

Cat: No you won’t because there are two other cats and we’ll band together and meow you to death all night long.

Me: (in deep thought now – rubbing his belly so he’ll retract his claws) Okay well listen then, will you at least refrain from jumping on their stomachs during the night if they forget to close the guest room door?

Cat: You ask so much of me.

Me: (thinking for sure I’ve got an edge now) And could you wait till AFTER breakfast before you take your first ‘special’ crap of the day? You know how that stench wafts through the entire house.

Cat: You know I always get Irritable Bowel Syndrome when guests arrive. I’ll try, but no promises.

Me: (smiling at him and scratching behind his ears … trying to win him over before making the biggest request of the day) Okay Gat-man, we need to discuss the hairballs.

Cat: (trying hard to pull away from me now) You’re pressing your luck.

Me: Come ON, dude. Just this once … just this one time, will you please stay ON THE FLOOR, preferably in the basement, when you feel the need to hawk a hair-lugie? Please?

Cat: But I prefer the couch. It leaves more of a mark and I love how you guys get all excitable trying to clean it up before anyone comes downstairs. Plus you turn the cushions and you KNOW I love freshly over-turned couch cushions. It’s like a whole new bed for me.
Me: (lifting him up to look out back at the pond) Can you tread water?

Cat: Okay couch - off limits. Got it.

Me: And one final request… can you somehow manage to stay clear of Jazzy’s butt for the weekend? You know what it smells like, there’s no need for our guests to witness that sort of activity during dinner.

Cat: Who ARE these people? The Queen and King of England?

Me: No, it’s Stacy … you know Stacy.

Cat: (now curling into the folds of my arms and purring loudly) Aah yes, Stacy. Wait! She’s a cat-lover. I like her. I can live with the rules just this once.

Me: (gently placing him back onto the floor) There’s a good kitty. I knew you could do it.

And so the weekend came and the weekend went, and though I think he did make an effort to do the right thing, he failed us once again.

The hairball fairy came in the night on Saturday and left a lovely surprise (at least it was on the floor) right smack in the center of the living room for all to see first thing in the morning.

I don’t know how he did it but he somehow managed to create the most steamy piles of crap in the litter box at the most embarrassing of times; and to make things worse, he left said piles uncovered. They were like feline works of art – smelly, smelly art.

He pounced on the couch several times without warning and though our guests couldn’t see it, we recognized his angrily flared nostrils each time this stunt failed to shock anyone.

He shed four times the normal amount leaving little black and white clumps on every chair and bed in the house.

But perhaps his best antic yet, was walking all over the brand new air mattress we had bought, puncturing a hole just big enough to offer a nice slow leak so that Stacy and Mike found themselves on the hardwood floor Sunday morning.

It doesn’t help when the guests pet his head at the end of the day and say things in pet-owner-speak like “Oh you’re such a cute kitty.”

When that happens, he shoots us that familiar look that says, “I’m bad… yeah, I’m bad,” and I swear on all things sacred ~ he winks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a cat! You really captured the essence of a cat!

8:58 AM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

LOL. I've never owned a cat and now I think I never will..

10:39 AM  
Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

twenty-one pounds? That's a muscle cat.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Hick said...

Why is it that cats always throw up on upholstered or carpeted items? They can be standing on perfectly good linoleum and then when they feel the "urge", they make a mad dash for the brand new carpet? I hate that.

Your cat sounds sweet.

11:00 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

Extremely funny! He sounds a lot like my alpha female, with the steamy smells in the litter box at the most inopportune moments. Great post!

7:09 PM  
Blogger mrhaney said...

that was a very funny post carol. i only had cats once and that is when i was a child. stop by my blog i leaft an audio blog there today.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Tuxedo :)
IBS!!!! ROFL......
CATegorically told so well I'm not CATatonic! Hilarious (Awful puns rear their ugly heads when I'm a zombie.)
(Wow, I see above that the audio posts are catching on. Just came from another blog w/ one. I've been contemplating putting one up....I'll have to ask your cat. ;)

2:02 AM  
Blogger brooksba said...


Excellent conversation with Gatito. Cute, cute, cute.

You really captured the cat personna. Sounds lovely.


3:47 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

Beautifully written! I could almost visualize the entire conversation with the cat proudly turning up his nose, eyes closed while he said his parts.

5:40 AM  
Blogger dbdoberman said...

cats are so amazing, in their own snooty ways. This was so amusing. I dropped in via blue2go's blog for a good laugh. Thank you.

8:07 AM  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Your prose is written with such beauty and grace.

That sounds like one unique cat, by the way.

11:05 AM  
Blogger frustratedwriter said...

I love the "can you tread water" line... excellent! Cats do have a way of making life a little more fun... in a demented sort of way. Fun post!

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

:)) .. cats...ah! 'em. We have six cats here, Carol... hold out one hand, and add one finger... its the one our alpha female uses to signal us her intentions when we lay down the law to her. She does it very well, has been practicing the 'one finger wave' for many years.
Love the page, keep on writing.
( from the cool blue one, in Oz )

6:01 PM  
Blogger jon said...

I'm a closet cat lover. I try to fit in with all my cat hating buddies, but I think they suspect. I especially like big cats.

8:37 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Oh, my God! It's Eddy! Except for the 21 pounds and black and white and well, everything but the hair balls. I think he is bulimic. Cat is constantly throwing up. It's quite annoying, actually.

But aren't cats great when they want to be loveable?

9:48 PM  
Anonymous colleenR said...

Ha! And the other two cats don't give you any trouble? We have a dog named Jazzy.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

Damn cats cause more trouble than they're worth, I have 2 of them and love em both, the little furballs.

2:23 AM  
Blogger dan said...

like your cat, i too get IBS when guests are arriving...

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Kahini said...

Now you make me miss my cats. :( But wotta super post.

5:59 AM  
Blogger dbdoberman said...

I just had a dog chat, he ain't listening :(

thanks for all your kind comments, Carol, I would like to add you to my blogroll, if you don't mind?

Have a great day :)

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was really funny to read, but I'm sorry he was such a naughty kitty.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous colleen said...

Thanks for coming by my site. We are on the same wavelength. My blog is also an extension of a "book," (as opposed to "blook). It's also a memoir of sorts about growing up in a family of 11 in Mass. It chronicles losing 2 brothers a month apart, coping with grief. You can read about how It came about, got published etc. on my webpage And I also write my blog as a sort of time capsule into my life for my descendents. I'll be back. I hope you'll stay in touch. Colleen

9:54 AM  
Blogger annush said...

that's pretty funny.
now I know why I love dogs so much :D

12:36 PM  
Blogger L said...

that's a BIG cat... and it sounds like you got the general "cat" personality down pat :)

8:29 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I wish I had a pond out back that I could threaten my cat with, some people have all the luck lol

11:03 PM  
Blogger Mona said...

I'm a random reader who found you on Ovedya's site...I really like the way you write, I really appreciate how much you share, and what in the world is a shill????

7:48 PM  
Blogger Lyvvie said...

I miss having feline companionship. Damn family with their damn allergies.

My cats were all female, and are secretive poopers. If you walked in, they would turn around and dangle thier tails out the box, if I can't see her, she can't see me.

My speech would've included a "Do not leave any dead animals on the guest's bed; they will not appreciate it as much as I do."


5:11 AM  
Blogger Alisa said...

I too had to have a conversation with el gato negro.

My nephew is staying over, and my cat decided that my lap was his domain. As my nephew tried to usurp the reigning Lap King, el gato negro reached out and smacked him upside the head (sans claws).

I am not sure who was more schocked, myself or my nephew!

Needless to say the Lap King was exiled to another domain.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Krys said...

Your Gatito sounds like my Queen Zoe--except she is many pounds lighter! She is not subtle at all about what she wants & will be purring happily one minute & biting you the next.

Why DO they always puke on the carpet????

11:20 PM  
Blogger Dave Morris said...

Carol. I have a cat and, unless Kramer is just behind the curve, cats don't talk. You REALLY should get a check-up.

(drumming fingers, fidgeting, feeling guilty)

Okay, okay. You've caught me at an honest moment. My cat DOES talk, but he does so in Portugese. I am lost, especially when he starts using the secondary nouns and really colorful Portugese curse words.

But he is definitely a creature of habit. When the sun reaches a particular spot in the sky, he knows it's feeding time - even when he hasn't finished his food from that morning. He meows and paces until I feed him, then he looks at it and walks away. That little dick.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Nick Ward said...

Absolutely brilliant piece of writing! I'm here at work, just pretending, reading this entry and suddenly burst out laughing, tears streaming from my eyes, laughing so much I couldn't speak. Then the 'phone rings, dammit.
It confirms to my co-workers that I need locking up, but what the hell. And you certainly know your cat well -sounds exactly like one of my pair.

Definitely going to bookmark this blog!

11:41 AM  
Blogger Rob Seifert said...

I have the privledge of cohabitating with an 18lb Mackerel Tabby for the past 15yrs. He, who was originally dubbed Shadowfax, takes great delight in hacking up furballs on the bed - preferably on my lovely lady's side. If he does opt for the floor, it's generally somewhere where a human WILL step in it. In so far as the timely, steaming, odiferous deposits go, he habitually just loves to drop one of these presents just as my lady and I start to get intimate. Ahhh cats... I feel your pain. ;-)


2:10 PM  
Blogger Justine said...

So glad to read your post - its not only our cats who *know* what a suitcase means!

Really enjoying your blog, BTW.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Erik Mann said...

another great blog from you guys. i'd point you to mine but it isn't yet the way I'd like it. i do have a website that I think is cool, kind of almost about martial art uniform

3:24 AM  

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