But. One cold day, almost exactly a year ago, I opened the front door and found an orange and white cat waiting for me, glaring intently at the entrance and drumming his paws rather impatiently on the brick patio. The moment he saw me, tail waving high, he marched into the house and has never left.** Proof positive, I suppose, that any cat can be saved, once he decides he wants to be. (I think that’s pretty much the way it works for members of the two-legged species, as well.)
The newly-dubbed “Psymon” spent slightly more than a week in my largest dog crate, stinking up the place with his toxic and overbearing (I’m not being catty about this) masculinity. Phew. Fortunately, a session with my veterinarian “fixed” this odiferous and argumentative problem, and he’s come up nothing but roses and agreeableness ever since. Would that all such problems could be solved so easily. She said. LOL.
He’s the smartest, most engaged cat I’ve ever known, and he loves to play. As a result, and for the first time in my life, I’ve bought a number of actual cat toys for him, because it’s worth it, to see him enjoying himself so much. Fabric tunnels. Magnetic “fish.” Corrugated cardboard climbing/scratching trees. He loves them all. Everything’s a toy for him, and, if it’s not, he turns it into one. (Sometimes, when I’m knitting, this isn’t so much fun, at least not for me. I used a photo of Psymon to illustrate this point on a post several months ago.
Mischief, thy middle name is Psymon. In that same vein, and after weeks of wondering who kept taking the lid off the cat food bin so that the dogs could empty it out, I finally solved the mystery!
Levi and Xena love it when he does this because after he’s eaten his fill, they can stick their noses in the bin and finish off whatever is left. Psymon doesn’t mind, because he’s already replete, and he bolts before the dogs move in and make a mess of things, in the way that only giant, hairy dogs with huge paws, floppy ears, and long tails, can. (Slobber everywhere. Cat food all over the floor. The bin and the lid flung far and wide. Other things knocked over. Thunderous crashing about.) By the time I hear the commotion, Psymon is long gone, and Levi and Xena are the ones who get in trouble. Win-win for the cat!
But the two things Psymon loves most are watching TV while sitting on my lap (he likes Animal Planet) and hogging any leftover room in the bed. On the rare nights that he doesn’t secure his place on it before I get there (thoughtfully leaving me a very narrow strip, right on the edge, so it’s easy for me to get in and out), I can almost guarantee that I’ll be woken up sometime in the wee hours, by his throwing himself against the door in an effort to crash his way into the room. Once he’s done that, he quickly elbows his way into the bed. (Since he’s got four elbows, it’s a very unfair fight and it’s pointless to argue with him.) Anyone who’s ever slept with a cat knows how much room they occupy (the Great Pyrenees, on the infrequent occasions that they’re allowed on the bed (right after a bath–theirs, not ours), actually take up far less room than Psymon, even both of them at once), but I find myself unable to resist his importuning or the pathetic yowls which prevent me going back to sleep, and in he comes.
Most recently, he’s developed a taste for climbing up the library ladder in the living room and making his way into the small loft above where he can observe events from the royal box, and where–what he really has his eye on–there are pillows and yarn! It’s only about an eight-foot rise, but the ladder is completely vertical, and he makes quite a meal of his effort. I’ve been trying to collect video of this feat for weeks, and I finally managed it a few days ago when he got himself stuck halfway up, fell off, and then tried again as I hoped he would.
Next up? I’m going to teach him how to fold laundry, and show him how to load the dishwasher.
What special or charming tricks do your beloved pets exhibit?
**Except for a rather faithless and disloyal episode last summer in which he buried himself deep in friend’s RV, with an intent to visit an airshow some distance to the North and West of us. I expect Psymon thought he might like to learn how to fly a plane. (No names, but you know who you are. Cat. Thief.)
P.S.–“Blackie” hasn’t yet succumbed to the inevitable, but shows up regularly on the porch now, for food and drink. He’ll come round. It’s just a matter of time. She persists.
P.P.S.–My granddaughter usually names my creatures. This is how the lambs end up with names like “Adventure” and “Triangle Triangle Fluff,” and the bunnies with names like “Mup” and “Nest.” I have a dog and a (barn) cat which are both named “Levi.” (Their full names are “Little Levi,” and “Big Levi, so we can tell them apart.) She’s very creative. And she likes logic puzzles, puns, and word games.