Friday, March 2, 2012

Dog's Day Off, My Turn

My cat is quiet and no where to be found when I wake up.  It’s a snowy, lazy day.  The dog is anxious to start her day with a quick trip outside, then a hearty bowl of Pedigree with a side of water.
No cat, until the dog goes outside.  He stretches from behind the TV stand to peer out the window and watch the dog in the snow.

I feed both cat and dog, and everything is peaceful, but not for long.  The cat has something in mind to liven up the morning.  Jump to the table, leap to the railing, squeeze through the open stair treads, bound up the stairs to the loft, run a lap around the treadmill, race down the stairs, streak through the living room, jump to the end table, hop to the half wall, sit for a second, and repeat from the beginning.

The dog is on her bed waiting invisibly for the whole thing to be over.Creak.  Ah, the dog's relieved.  It’s going to involve me today, not her.

The cat reaches to the doorknob and the door pushes open.  The bedroom door wasn’t latched.  Pretty soon I hear plastic rustling.  The bathroom door must have been open, too.  There is a trash bag in there that I am filling with expired products from the linen closet to throw away on dump day.
I stride through the bedroom and into the bathroom.  Yup.  There he is chewing on the red handles of the trash bag.  He has a plastic bag addiction.  I chase him out of the room.  He knows it's going to happen, so he gets to make a quick and skittery getaway.

I work around the house some, and he gets on the table and looks at me.  He tries to slide a stack of mail I have on the table to the floor.  I yell at him.  He ignores me.  He starts to eat a corner of the newspaper that is with the mail.  When he can’t get his plastic fix, he’ll go for crinkly paper.  He’s pretty successful at getting my attention, and I shoo him off the table.

He meows at me and jumps on the chair that I was sitting in before I got up to shoo him off the table.
I sit in the chair anyway and he leans back a bit to avoid me.  Pretty soon he leaves.  He isn’t in this for the pats or the lap.  I still don’t know what his game is.  I think it’s just to see how irritated I can get and still feed him.

I work some on the computer in the kitchen.  I write a nice haiku about snow.  I hear cupboards banging.  Looking up I see four doors already open, and he’s over at the more difficult one for him to open stretching up to grab the knobs, banging it as he gets it partway open and it slams shut again.  The others are easier for him, because the knobs are lower due to the drawers being above them.  This one is a corner one at a strange angle, and it has knobs that are up at the countertop edge.  He loves a challenge.  These corner cupboards have been eating at him for years, and this winter he finally mastered them.  (He’s tried opening the drawers by pulling on those knobs, too, but hasn’t got that mastered...yet.)
I ignore the banging cupboard.  It stops.  I hear funny rustling noises and get up to investigate.
There he is.  New game.

He doesn’t usually get inside and look out.

He likes to watch the toilet flush, but I flush the toilet without him seeing how it was done.  There are plastics in the trash, so I try to throw away trash without him seeing how the lid lifts on the trash can.  If he sees it, he knows it can be done.  He knows that a doorknob opens doors to other rooms, but so far they are too big for his paws to turn.   He also knows refrigerators open, but he as of this moment he’s using the wrong side of the refrigerator door.  He’s trying to open it from the side with the round dot that is a hole plug in case you want to switch the direction it opens. It looks like a door knob to him, I guess. 
Silly cat. 
Everyone knows a refrigerator has a handle, not a doorknob
...but some day.


  1. Oh my goodness, but your slic e made me laugh...and miss the two kitties we lost last year, Oliver and Hope. I loved they way they kept themselves and me amused. I really miss that. thanks for this wonderful slice of life with beloved pets!

  2. Oh Donna--you gave me such a chuckle to start my day. I went back and read parts again. This cat of yours is a smart one! You may have to get a lock on your refrigerator!

  3. Well, I love seeing the photos, especially that last one, but I want to say that your cat has really got you trained so well. It is hilarious to hear your 'moves' in order to thwart the cat. You are one step ahead, but Donna, soon, he may catch up. Cats are so smart-amazing. I love the part where you say he's working on the wrong side of the frig. HA!

  4. "I think it’s just to see how irritated I can get and still feed him." I love this line! These are the kinds of thoughts I have about my students sometimes. As if they are really cognizant of the way they are 'testing' me. What a playful story!

  5. I guess you will be able to count this as working out. All those ups and downs have to count for something. Your cat is too funny and smart. I love that Linda noticed how well trained you are.

  6. What a cat! This slice was enjoyable to read. Wouldn't it be interesting to know what the cat is thinking?

  7. Fantastic in capturing the zipping movement throughout the house. I love the picture. Mischieveous. Your short sentence craft move kept the action moving throughout your piece. Loved it.


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