My kittens bring me lizards. I try to save the lizards, but the kits follow to witness the release and proceed to recapture. I’ve found a solution. Instead of an instant save and release I keep the unlucky lizard in a one quart Ziploc food storage box (with holes). The kits watch the box, bat the box, play with the box, and the lizard provides entertainment from the safety of said box. The kits take a nap and I release the lizard, rattled but lively, without witness.
I work for my kittens. They’ll be three years old in June, but just as my children will always be my babies, my cats will always be my kittens.
Annie and Gus were the runts of the litter, Gus being smaller than Sister Annie.
Annie is my raindrop. She’s a medium haired, black and gray tabby with an animated tail. Small and sleek, Annie is the cattiest cat with which I’ve even had the pleasure of sharing an abode. She owns her environment. I live here by her leave and I’m sure the only reason she allows this is my ability to open cans. My lap is her throne and my hands do her bidding. When she assumes the position she’s a perfect little package. My raindrop.
Gus looks like a cat (very long-haired orange tabby with a leg on each corner and a long graceful tail) and that’s where the similarities end. He owes a lot to his sister. She taught him cattiness and he applies some, but not all, of her lessons to his daily activities. Gus is the Raggedy Andy of cats. He prefers the floor to my lap and when he decides to take a nap (one of his cattier traits) he plops down, sprawls out, and snores. My puddle.
Annie was a good two months ahead of Gus on the learning curve of all the how-to-be-a-cat categories. She learned to jump on the counter, unroll the toilet paper, uncrochet a crocheted shawl, climb up a post and down the other side to escape from the yard, steal popcorn from the bowl, attack from the top of the refrigerator, and bring me small presents (most still breathing) not long after she took up residence.
Once Annie perfected any particular cat talent she was able, in time, to instruct Gus on these finer points of cattiness, most of which he has perfected in his own sweet way.
If Annie catches it and brings it in, it’s alive. If Gus brings it in it’s as likely to be a flower, stick, leaf, rock, coat hanger, or a newspaper, as it is a living, breathing captive. He’s the perfect son: always bringing his mother gifts.
Annie prances and steps lightly: my priss. Gus stomps: my lug.
Annie gets under the covers and snuggles up to me. Gus plops down on my head, or feet, or any part that I’d rather keep free for movement and comfort.
Annie runs in when it rains. Gus lumbers around to see how long it takes to get dripping wet.
I’m getting away from my little story. Okay, two stories.
I work a lot. They get bored. I try to find new ways to keep them entertained.
Mini marshmallows make fun toys. They roll and are easily subdued on a claw. They’re fun to lick and they bounce. Annie played with hers for a good twenty minutes. Gus lost his in five.
I got on my hands and knees, Gus standing right beside me, and looked under the table and chairs and woodstove. No mini marshmallow. I looked under the fridge, again, Gus standing right beside me. I looked under the wine rack. Forlorn, Gus looked at me and I started to console him and was about to offer him a new marshmallow and that’s when he decided to sit. And I found it—his mini marshmallow—stuck to his tummy!
The next time I wanted new entertainment I googled cat toys. It seemed the most talked about was a box with a lot of holes. I’m cheap. I made one. I took a flat box, 12”x18”x3”, and put twenty 2” holes in the top. I filled it with noisy toys already in their possession. An instant hit!
Jingle bells jingling, little balls rolling, fuzzy toys flying about as they retrieved them from the box. It’s the perfect toy. It brings out the hunter instinct in them and they don’t quit until all the toys are captured. Refill the box and it starts all over.
Let me turn this into a full-circle post and end where I began.
Gus has learned a cat trick of his own. He brought me a lizard. I wanted to put it in the Ziploc box (with holes). Instead, Gus dropped him into one of the twenty 2” holes in the 12”x18”x3” box. End of lizard. End of story.
Don’t know why, but I got a hankerin’ for alligator for supper.
Annie calls! I gotta get these opposable thumbs busy!
‘Til the kits allow,