Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 22, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

FRIDAY CATBLOGGING....On the left, the mighty hunter basks on a sunny rock while waiting for signs of her prey. It will come soon, disguised in a small metal cylinder covered by mystic runes.

On the right, Inkblot bides his time in his own way. Nothing says naptime like a load of fresh laundry!

Kevin Drum 3:03 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (44)

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I see Inkblot is still on the table!
Has he even moved once this week?

Phew the blog is up, that means I can go home soon.

Posted by: optical weenie on June 22, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia. ~Joseph Wood Krutch

Posted by: Mike on June 22, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you for today's "cat fix". Now I can wait the few hours til I see my own!

Posted by: phoebes on June 22, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

ooooh, cute ...

And on the topic of "dinner" I have a cat behavior question for all you cat-owned people:
Since I feed my cats when I come home from work, I'm typically in the kitchen right after I serve them and so I'm around while they eat.

I didn't think the presence of the can-opener made any difference until a few days ago, when I had to go into the garden right after I fed them. Even though I had just put their food down, both cats followed me into the garden, and stayed there with me until I realized they were both expectantly waiting on the garden path looking at the door, not exploring the plants like they usually do. I followed them back into the kitchen, where they both started to eat their dinner.

I didn't realize that my cats wouldn't eat if I didn't stay there with them. I thought cats were supposed to be independent creatures. What's up with this refusal to eat unless they're under the cook's supervision?


Posted by: Diana on June 22, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Diana-It's not about cats craving human presence when they eat...it's about cats refusing any change in their established patterns. Domino looks quite queenly in that pic and Inkblot as usual is the Court Jester. (In fur!)

Posted by: Winnie on June 22, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Diana,
Your cats are doing an excellent job at training you. Please congratulate them for me.

Next on the list is home cooked meals, as opposed to just nibblies. May I suggest salmon poached in white wine. You can graduate up to the whitefish mousse and smoked trout pate next week.

Posted by: optical weenie on June 22, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

smoked trout pate
Do trout have balding pates, like I do?

Inkblot looks like something I dug up from under the lawn. And I don't mean that disrespectfully, it's just that pose. My own Echo, whom I would have renamed Grub if Mrs. T would have stood for it, looked the same way when curled up.

Thanks as always for the fix!

Posted by: thersites on June 22, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Given the occasional bouts of night-flatulence, I don't understand the attraction, frankly, but my cats both seem pretty entranced with sleeping on my bed, between my legs.

Every time they do that, I wake up stiff and sore, because when they lay down there, I can't change position.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 22, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

thersites - the trout are bald because they smoke

obf - your position is better than mine. Cleopatra the Empress of the Universe sleeps sideways on her pillow next to me, always with the south end pointing toward me. I, frankly, do not like here bouts of night-flatulence.

Cat farts are awful!

Posted by: optical weenie on June 22, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

I love feeding my herd.

I have several in close proximity at the ceremonial can opening. Dang if they won't put aside all territorial wars to be the first face in the plate.

And for 10 minutes after it is blissful silence in the entire house, except for the sound of chewing (which is hilarious and quite loud, if you stop and listen). That smacking sound will lift the wreckage of even the worst days.

In honor of all beloved cats, may I give a public good-bye to my Mitchie, my only orange cat, whose sweetness and purr carried us both through his illness. Love you, Chewie. Miss you, bud.

Have a great week-end, all ya all! :)

Posted by: Zit on June 22, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

My parents cat (my he R.I.P.) wouldn't eat dinner until we were all seated to down to eat. You could poor the food and put out the water. But he would still wait until we were seated at the table and eating. I thought perhaps this was something odd about our cat (like my aunt's that would play fetch). Good to see that he wasn't the only one.

Posted by: DC1974 on June 22, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Osama-been-forgotten and optical weenie, I don't know who you are, but it must be awful noisy in ya all's neighborhood. :)

Sensible solution would be you two switching cats.....

Posted by: Gale Winde on June 22, 2007 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

I think that what Auden said in his poem about babies, "Mundus et Infans", also applies to cats:

"Therefore we love him because his judgments are so
Frankly subjective that they carry no
Personal sting. We should
Never dare offer our helplessness as a good
Bargain; without at least
Promising to overcome a misfortune we Blame History ior banks or the Weather for; but this beast
Dares to exist without shame."

Posted by: BruceMoomaw on June 22, 2007 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

When I had two cats, they would sleep variously one on each side of me, or one on the side and one between my legs. When I added a kitten, it became: male kitten (named Gummitch, as it happens) on one side, Alice in the middle and Trixie on the other side. Trixie had a thing about Gummitch, and if they only had a leg separating them, she would take swipes at him all night.

Once, when ill and huddling under the comforter, I had the urge to turn over: I had to slide up the bed, extracting my legs, turn over, and reinsert my legs into the slots left for them. Well, I didn't *have* to, but who would disturb the kitties? Mohammed reportedly cut off one of his wide sleeves rather than disturb the kitten sleeping on it.

Trixie, BTW, wasn't entirely loyal: on a cold night she would curl up precariously on the seat of my exercise bike, which happened to be over the heating duct.

Posted by: Gummitch on June 22, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Our Shadow will eat any time, any place. But if I dare to sit in the wrong chair in the living room...

Zit; condolences. No matter how many of the little critters you have, each one is an individual loss.

Posted by: thersites on June 22, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, thersites. You are 100% right. :)

Posted by: Zit on June 22, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

I CAN HAS TOWLZ?

Posted by: charlie don't surf on June 22, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

I don't dare leave clean laundry on the bed for more than a minute, or both of my cat-critters will be bedded down on it.

Posted by: Lee V on June 22, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

off topic: renewable sources generated 9.5% of America's electricity in 2006.

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Renewable_Sources_Contributed_Nearly_10_Percent_To_US_Electric_Generation_In_2006_999.html

It's a start.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 22, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Diana (3:31), I agree with Winnie (3:36). Our cat refuses to eat if we're nearby -- she will race away from the bowl if she hears one of us heading toward her. But cats are quite wary of changes in their patterns -- changes, that is, that they haven't initiated and/or approved.

Posted by: Glenn on June 22, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the great pics, Kevin!

I have a soon-to-be 3-year old Siamese, who eats every 5 minutes, whether she's hungry or not. She's obviously compensating for the terrible home we've provided for her.

I wonder if anyone else has this issue with their babies? This 21-pound beast burps, loudly and embarrasingly, after scarfing down her meal. I've had cats all of my life, but never a belcher. She doesn't even have the courtesy to cover her mouth, or say "excuse me". I blame my wife for not teaching her proper etiquette.

Posted by: bigcat on June 22, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

hehe. clean laundry? time to get some cat hair on it!

my cat was gassy for awhile this past year. silent but deadly. she's on Science Diet C/D for urinary health now and it seems to be helping with the pooting also.

Posted by: Librul on June 22, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, when dar no gas and no poot, you cat gonna explodes!

Posted by: Cautionary Tail on June 22, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Felines on Friday are invigorating. Hooray for Domino and Inkblot!

Posted by: Vincent on June 22, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Most ev'ry evening Goldilocks
Snacks from Kitty's litter box.
Then, on command, she gives her missus
Lots of little doggie kisses.

Posted by: David Sedaris on June 22, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

OK--maybe it is late on Friday and my brain is not completely firing. I was hoping someone else would have answered this in an earlier comment. "small metal cylinder covered by mystic runes"? Is this a cat toy? I hope it isn't a sprinkler head. :-) (That would not be prey.)

Posted by: sbw on June 22, 2007 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

sbw: That would be the can of cat food.....

Posted by: Kevin Drum on June 22, 2007 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Ah--OK. Of course. Our pets, whether cats or dogs, always ate (indirectly) from a bag of dry food, so I missed that one.

Posted by: sbw on June 22, 2007 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder if anyone else has this issue with their babies? This 21-pound beast burps, loudly and embarrasingly, after scarfing down her meal.

It sounds like she has had some trouble with food competition, maybe she was a stray or from a litter with a dominant littermate?

Like us humans, gas can come from eating too much or too fast. You might want to speak to a vet (or a cat whisperer) about the symptoms she exhibits or see if there is a book available that addresses what you have detailed here. A bit of research may provide you with a few simple answers of how best to get her over her food issues.

She doesn't understand that food stuffing or being overweight can hurt her, but you are aware of it and perhaps can help her once you understand where she is coming from.

Good luck.

Posted by: Zit on June 22, 2007 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing says naptime like a load of fresh laundry!

Mais, certainment, monsieur!
No cat of any breeding whatsoever would nap on dirty laundry, and Inkblot's breeding looks impeccable.

Posted by: clio on June 22, 2007 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Kevin, for my much-needed end-of-week smile. No matter what has happened, Friday Catblogging always cheers me up. And thanks also, David Sedaris, for your clever-witty-yucky poem. Although I have never owned one, I've admired and petted many dogs, but this undesirable dietary habit gives me pause.

Have a great weekend!

Posted by: MMC on June 22, 2007 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno. My Girlie-Girl, aka Princess, was of the highest class of personal cleanliness and festidiousness. But leave a dirty sock balled up in her vicinity...well, the ensuing activity required censorship and an R-rating.

Even the most impeccable have their weaknesses and for one Princess, all it took is a dirty sock.


Posted by: Zit on June 22, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno. My Girlie-Girl, aka Princess, was of the highest class of personal cleanliness and fastidiousness. But leave a dirty sock balled up in her vicinity...well, the ensuing activity required censorship and an R-rating.

Even the most impeccable have their weaknesses and for one Princess, all it took was a dirty sock.

Posted by: Zit on June 22, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

My old roomates cat wanted to be petted while she ate. She would ask you to follow her to the food dish and purr and eat while being petted. When you walked away, she would attack your feet.

Posted by: Brojo on June 22, 2007 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I do that too. It gets me thrown out of restaurants.

Posted by: Chili Dawg on June 22, 2007 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

A stocky black cat named Lucy came over to see and play with me and Mum this evening, it was great now that old Boots is gone.

Posted by: Neil B. on June 22, 2007 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

zit: She doesn't understand that food stuffing or being overweight can hurt her, but you are aware of it and perhaps can help her once you understand where she is coming from.

Thanks for the tips Z. My concern, however, is that I have the same problems, and perhaps I'm modeling behavior she's picking up on!

She was definitely a stray. We got her from the vet, brought in by a woman who had found her in her back yard (ultra-rural area). She was about 4-5 months old at the time. We officially called her Squirt, because she was so tiny.

Lo, and behold, after settling in to a dream house as an indoor cat, she also settled into unhealthy eating habits. We now call her Maggot.

Posted by: bigcat on June 22, 2007 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

thanks for the explanation. Yes, my cats are doing a good job of training me. ....optical weenie, you're closer to the truth than you wanna know ... or that I want to think about ....

Posted by: Diana on June 22, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Many years ago, one of my room-mates had a gassy cat. Chessie was a very friendly cat and the happier she was, the more she farted. It was sad; we all wanted to love on her, but couldn't stand the smell. I think she was confused about why we weren't nicer to her.

Posted by: quietann on June 22, 2007 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

wouldn't eat dinner until we were all seated to down to eat.

People influence and are influenced by other living things in their immediate environment, including the people they live with, to a degree much greater than we realize, I think.

Posted by: Swan on June 22, 2007 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

I had a friend who used to say that when cats twist around like in the picture on the right, they are communicating with beings from their home planet, or with the cat Gods.

Ok, no one really said that- but it would be funny if someone did.

Posted by: Swan on June 22, 2007 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

You worked until March 28 this year to fund Uncle Sam's projects, but the rest of the year's toil goes, ultimately, to providing a cush lifestyle for your feline overlords.

Posted by: ferd on June 23, 2007 at 4:06 AM | PERMALINK

bigcat,

Similar story - a friend found a very young Burmese female, who we added to our mix - She has revived the youth in one of our males, who is going on 12. Lately, she is trying to get auditions with the "Got milk" people - Loves to supervise in the kitchen and demand milk in a saucer.

However, we are in midst of completing a remodeling project involving 5 sky lights. Two of our cats have decided that the perfect decorating of any room is to have a 6 or 8 foot ladder included. They do not attempt to pounce; merely lie there and peruse the surroundings below.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 23, 2007 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

thethirdPaul,

My experience has been the same. You put a ladder anywhere, the cat will climb it and stay on it! Vertical domination is the key for all felines. Unfortunately, Maggot is working on horizontal domination ;-)

Posted by: bigcat on June 23, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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