Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Reason Sub-Group 3

Anyone who says cats don't have personalities is just dead wrong.

I don't say this to be an instigator, but really, I have never known a cat that didn't have a vibe, a feeling, an attitude. Some of them, it just takes longer to find it than others. This morning, I had a bit of a run in with 'Cousin' Emmett, which both cracked me up and annoyed the hell out of me. And it got me to thinking about our little Pride.

She smiles. A lot.

Miss Z, aka Zero, aka Maow Maow, aka Pretty Girl
Well, she's sort of the ruling matriarch... except the boys don't really take her seriously. She used to be the runt of the house and was picked on or ignored quite a bit. She's the only one in the house that really actually knows that she's a cat. The other felines are nowhere near as self-aware. She adopted me as an itsy bitsy feral kitten, and that was about 7 or 8 years ago. Since she's more mature, she generally prefers to spend her days cuddling in the bed, or sitting on top of something high and looking down on the others. The boys do tend to pick on her quite a bit. Bless her heart, she's so small that she kind of takes the beating... although not quietly. Aside from her extreme disdain of the others--and her OCD regarding the litterbox--she is a really well-behaved kitty.

"I'm helping....... right?"

Bill, aka Biiiiiilllll-BO, aka Billy-Boy aka Derp-Cat
When we picked Bill up, they told us he was the last of the litter to be adopted. The adoption gal laughed and said, "Look, his mom is so relieved that you're taking him--she can finally sleep!" Normally, he's the second-best behaved cat in the house. He likes to pick on his sis now and then, but he will also cuddle with her and try to give her a bath [that's usually when things start to get violent]. He plays fetch. He'll follow you around the house. He's starting to learn that snapped fingers means "no." He's really talkative, but he doesn't quite miao. He may, in fact, be a reincarnated dog. When he sleeps, he takes up half the bed. He's a good boy most of the time... Until his cousin comes to visit...

"So this is toys?"

Ichigo, aka Ichi, aka Hey Fatass, aka WHAT!
Oh, Ichi. Bless his heart. He just doesn't know how to "cat." I'm not sure if he even knows exactly what a cat is. Slowly but surely, we are teaching him. He can't cuddle. He can't play. He can't miao--like at all. He just kind of squaks, awkwardly. He loves the smell of people food, and will climb up on the bed to beg. He is the epitome of the heavy-breathing cat meme. The smell of his poops would suffocate and kill small children. He makes sure to do so at least once a day, and I've heard tell that he has put more than one love-making event to a halt. And if that doesn't stop the lovin, he will stare at you. He and Zero tend to compete over loafing territory, and he does kind of pick fights with her. On the other hand, he and Bill get along pretty well aside from occasional playtime tumbles. Normally he's the most annoying cat in the house. Until Cousin Emmett is here...

Shown here in obnoxious trouble mode.

Emmett, aka HEY STOP IT, aka GET DOWN, aka WTF, CAT?!?!
Emmett's Real Dad is in the military, so when he goes away, guess who comes to stay? In respect to his Indian heritage, I am now his Auntie and everyone here is his cousin. But when he comes to visit, everything gets turned upside down--literally. He's a bad influence on Bill, who goes from being a sweet, well-behaved, cuddle-bug to a secondary terror. He blatantly attacks Zero. He even attacks Ichi! He climbs on everything. He walks on everything. And then he gets stuck and can't remember how to get back down. He has a backwards schedule... so, during the day he is cute and adorable because all he wants to do is hide under the covers and sleep; but once people-bedtime hits, it's playtime for him, which means bouncing off the walls and making as much noise as felinely possible. He may even attack your feet while you sleep--under the covers, or sticking out. He may climb on your face and attempt to suffocate you.

Shown here in adorable powered down mode.
So, now that you know the basics, here is what happened today that made me laugh and growl at the same time. You "train" cats with squirt bottles, right? I mean, assuming it's possible at all. Well. The most common offense for getting squirted in this house is picking on Zero. So although she doesn't like the squirt bottle, she knows that it is generally actually in her defense, and hardly ever meant for her. If she's doing something wrong [the worst she does is climb or sit somewhere inappropriate] I can usually get away with talking nice to her and/or moving her to where she belongs.

In true faux-dog fashion, Bill has learned a lot from the squirt bottle. If he's being rambunctious, all it takes is an angry look and a shake of the bottle to calm him down--and he'll usually scamper off, too. [One time his dad-folk shook the bottle at him as a joke, and not knowing what he was 'bad' for, Bill let out the saddest and most pitiful miao you could imagine. It was hilariously heartbreaking!]. He's also learning that snapped fingers mean to knock it off. Ichi at least has common sense. So when he was being a bully this morning, he got squirted. "Oh, hey, I don't like this." So he went down stairs. Logic, right?


Not for Emmett. Keep in mind, this happened in about a ten minute time span. After Bill and Ichi got their 'whoopins,' Emmett made a pass at Z. I squirted. He licked himself for a second... made another pass at Z. I squirted furiously. He retreated. Cleaned himself up, again. And then... you guessed it, dumb cat made a third attempt at picking on her! Something about the first two just wasn't enough to get through to him. He got a face-full of squirt water. Although he stayed put this time, he continued scowling her way, seeming to weigh the options in his little kitty brain. I think it was starting to sink in... 

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