Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cat Break

Up until three years ago I always fancied myself a cat person. I got my first cat, Tigger, when I was five. My grandmother noticed her hanging around the wood pile and when she mentioned it to my mother, mom agreed to consider taking her home with us. Several weeks later when we were in Idaho Falls staying with my grandparents, the kitten appeared and Casey and I spent the afternoon playing with her, feeding her and planning on making her a part of our family. When my mother returned from a convention she'd been attending, the kitten had vanished, breaking our hearts. We reluctantly allowed our mother to convince us that we'd get a new kitten once we returned home to Nampa but as we were climbing into the car we discovered Tigger already waiting for us in the backseat, nonchalant, like it meant to be. And it was for the next thirteen years. After Tigger numerous cats came into my life, Pandora, Ling, Cricket and finally Winnie, Pip and Olive and even though dogs were ever present–Skeeter, Auggie, Noah, Nikki and Ashley–I insisted on calling myself a cat person.

Today I changed my mind.

Don't get me wrong, I love my cats. In fact, Winnie is the best cat I've ever had. She's my girl and if I had to choose a favorite from all the kids, it may surprise you to learn that Winnie would take the prize. If I could, she'd get a blog, too, but let's face it, there's not a lot you can do with a cat. They're great cuddlers, incredible contributors to illiteracy, and the best sleeping aid I could ask for, they just don't do much except sleep, eat, groom and puke.

It was the puke that convinced me tonight.

Is there a week I don't clean up cat puke? Pip's favorite game is to stuff himself full of food, drink a ton of water, run around and play with Duncan until he ralphs on the carpet. Olive, who had a rough evening with a Boxer several years ago, prefers the safety of the bedroom. After eating far too much she'll retire to her favorite place on Ken's pillow, moving to mine only when she feels the need to empty the contents of her stomach. Winnie is a dainty little eater. Her only vice is one of my several spider plants. She can't resist climbing up high to bat at them and chew on the leaves, which immediately come up in green little piles on the counter, the back of the couch, amid the pages of a favorite cookbook I've left open and vulnerable.

There's no stopping them. I spray the plants with cayenne pepper. I'm careful about the amount of food they get. I try. I really do. But, as anyone who lives with them knows, you might as well move a mountain than change the will of a cat.


Ruth said...

You can't convince me that cats want to throw up. Any cat I've ever witnessed puking is always upset about it afterwards--either grumpy or embarrassed. Unlike a dog, for whom a good barf is just another opportunity to enjoy the same food again.

Lori said...

Welcome to the Dog Side! ;-)

Curt Rogers said...

I honestly do believe that my cats enjoy puking. They seemed completely unphased by it when they pick a good spot, typically on a nice delicate fabric-y surface quite close to a hard, easily-cleaned non-fabric-y surface, do that echo-y gag thing they do that causes every human in the vicinity to lurch around looking for the cat in order to scoop it up and put it someplace that won't be stained. And then, just as they're about to be relocated they empty their stomach contents, lick their lips and walk away. Mine always look at me as if to say, "What, you don't like that? I made it for you," then amble off to a patch of sunlight and sleepy time.