Monday, April 10, 2006

The aliens I live with...

...are the furballs. Everyone's pets are weird, and here are a couple of reasons why mine are certifiable. First of all, they're indoor cats, so there's not a lot of adventure in their lives that they don't create for themselves; but that also means that they don't get hit by cars, eaten by coyotes, or beat up by the local bad-ass cat who hangs out on our porch because it gives her a better vantage point to blitz a passer-by and kick some furry butt. However, the furballs seem to have a very rich fantasy life (there are apparently many imaginary bugs in our home...).

BUT, I digress. The thing is, I've noticed them getting weirder and weirder over the past 8 years:

1) They have migratory patterns in our apartment - they move to one chair and sleep there constantly for a couple of weeks; then it's another chair; then it's the shoebox that I've put on my desk; then it's the bed...then the cycle repeats itself.

2) Furball #1 has started singing what I now call his "water song." First off, both of them have issues with public water drinking - they will use their box or eat in front of God and everyone (not to gross you out) - BUT, they freak out if anyone watches them drink - if they catch me looking at them I have to look away quickly and act like I didn't see them. It's like getting caught checking out a hot guy on the bus!!

They also refuse to drink any water that's not in our bathroom (it's been this way for at least 4 apartments now) - I've come to realize that they feel like their source of water should also be our source of water - it only makes sense, after all.

So, Furball #1 now "announces" when he's going to take a drink by yowling like he's being slaughtered. He'll yowl a few times (deeply, painfully), circle the dish and then glance around to make sure no one's looking - and then he'll drink. Maybe he likes the echo? The dish is under the sink. The first couple of times he did this the Dutchman and I thought he was in serious trouble - we run in, thinking he's collapsed or something, and he looks up at us blandly, a little irritated, like "will you guys get the hell out and let me quaff?"

3) Both furballs have a strange attachment to the bathtub - I take a bath almost every night without fail (my friend Jill says it's like the show "1800s House"). If I leave the door open, they both come in, perch on the side of the tub and dip the tips of their tails in like they're at a fishing hole! They sit there staring around at nothing for a while and then hop off and realize that they have acquired "offending moisture" on their fur and so they chase their tails around until they can take care of the problem. It's funny.

4) Furball #2 has an eye thing right now - I'm not sure what it is (the doc was unsure), but she has drops and antibiotics to take a few times a day (which is really damn fun, let me tell you!). The antibiotics are liquid and it's pink and it smells like bubblegum. I used to be able to disguise it by giving her some ham or turkey laced with the gunk, but she's on to me now and she scorns anything but pure deli-meat. Plan 2 is that I have to chase her around, and squirt it down her gullet with an eye-dropper. Then she starts frothing at the mouth (b/c she's traumatized), so she looks like a large, pissed-off, rabid, Easter bunny...

So, we're in "siege mode" hereabouts - she puffs up like a blowfish whenever I come around and I've taken to coming up with elaborate ruses to get close enough to dose her. This includes acting very nonchalant, pretending I came into the room for something else, and hiding what I have in my hand (b/c she recognizes it now). She won't forgive me for another week after her medication is done...

Today's blog is a little frivolous! It's actually been a fantastic day - in the 60s, tons of sunshine, my kids today were GREAT in class - we're grilling for the first time this season tonight, making margaritas, all is right with the world.



At 8:40 PM, Blogger Dr. Virago said...

Woah, that water thing *is* weird -- the shyness, the song, everything.

My dearly departed cat used to like to watch over me in the bath, too. I think she thought I'd fallen in and needed help getting out. She always looked very concerned.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger medieval woman said...

I'm glad mine aren't the only ones who hang out around the bath! It's strange that there's this whole fiction about cats hating water - I mean, they probably don't want to jump in, but they like to dip a toe or two...

At 9:05 PM, Anonymous New Kid on the Hallway said...

Hee, I think your aliens are related to my aliens! Two of mine love water, the third gets very anxious when I take a shower b/c we think he thinks I'm going down the drain.

As for the antibiotics - Middle Cat had to have those for a while once, when she had an IBS attack, and she had had a lot of problems and surgery and had to be syringe fed, etc. etc. She is just so smart that it got to the point that if you walked into the room with a purposeful tread, she bolted. Thank god the other two are dumber than she is!

At 11:57 PM, Blogger Tiruncula said...


My fat old kitty likes my bathtime so much that when I remodeled the bathroom in my house I included an 18in-wide tiled deck just for him to recline on (on top of a pile of magazines) while he dangles his tail in the water.

His late brother used to sneeze strategically when I tried to administer Pink Strengthening Medicine, which resulted in pink stuff all over me, the walls, his brother, etc.

At 6:25 PM, Blogger History Geek said...

'Empress' Matlida(she's very tiny but can hold her own quite well) insisits on watching me bathe and shower. She'll sit between the two shower curtains when I shower with her tail hanging in and doesn't seem to notice it's getting quite wet.

The mintue my out of the tub or shower she's in their lap up water from the faucet.

My other cat Pumpkin (or the pencil theif) inisits on ice in his water. He'll sit by the bowl and burr and meow until I get him the ice.

Amber, who died in November right before I found Tilly, used to stand by the bathroom door and give me strange looks. This is the same cat that would stick her paw in the water before she'd drink it.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger medieval woman said...

This is fantastic! I'm so glad to hear these great "water-baby" stories - either my cats aren't that weird or all cats come from the same planet! I had no idea kitties could be so eccentric about their water...thanks!


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