Saturday, October 13, 2007

the secret lives of cats

Do you ever just wonder what in the world your pets do when no one is watching? I'm convinced that my cats have a secret life. They act one way when we're around, and when we're gone or sleeping, they put on eyemasks, suit up in their Bad Boy personae, and tear up the place. Like, they wouldn't think of jumping up on the counter or the table when we're in the same room. But sometimes late at night I'll come out to get water, and I'll catch one of them in the act--staring at me in dumbfounded surprise, paw frozen in mid-stride, right in the middle of the kitchen counter.

They don't take kindly to other animals in their territory, either. They puff their fur up and stand looking sideways at the intruder, as if to scare them right back out the door. Last night, one of our friends brought their new puppy over for us to see, and the cats were so bent out of shape. They were not impressed at all. Then to add insult to injury, D-girl brought her kitten, Gazhaagens, back to our house for the night.

So Gazhaagens is visiting us again! (That's gah-zhaa-gains, said with the same emphasis as potpourri. Confused? Never mind.) She is here as our houseguest (catguest?) temporarily. She is going to a new home tomorrow. M just bought a house, and she is taking Gazhaagens and adding her to her household. D-girl wants to get a puppy, and there is a limit on the number of animals they can have at one time. So Gazhaagens got adopted into a new family.

D-girl's other two cats, Boom-Boom and Charli, are missing Gazhaagens today. Well, Boom-Boom is missing her. He's walking around looking for her everywhere. On the other hand, Charli, the Queen of Everything, is doing victory laps around the house. "Yes! The brat is gone!"

Gazhaagens is D-girl's youngest cat--I still call her a kitten because she is so little, but she is about six months old, I think. She looks so dainty, but she can be a royal brat. She's a feisty one, she is.

We first let her out of the little kennel she came here in, and she ran back and forth through the house like a petulant child. She was scared, but still had enough of an attitude to lash out with a spunky hiss when either of our cats got too close to her. She wanted us to pay attention to her, but when we did, she'd hiss or bat at us and run away. She's like a sulky princess who doesn't know what she wants.

Well, I figured the cats would all be okay out in the living room area together. They had had some time to get reacquainted, and they weren't fighting. Our cats usually sleep most of the night anyway, with only a few spurts of racing up and down the hall. Although, those footraces sound more like a team of basketball players. Whappeta tappeta bump bump! A pause, and then again, racing feet and muffled thumps. You'd think they were somersaulting down the hall. But I think they're getting old enough that they have to take some serious naps between their wrestling matches.

So anyway, we went to bed, and we didn't hear any pandemonium from the cats. I slept like a baby. Wait. Babies are up and down all night long. I slept like a teenager! Didn't hear a thing.

I got up in the morning around seven, opened the bedroom door, and there sat Tucker and Franklin, wide awake. And about two feet away sat Gazhaagens with her long bottle-brush tail wrapped around her feet. If she could have, I'm sure she would have been calmly filing her nails or some such thing. I walked across the hall into the bathroom, and our two cats suddenly bolted into the bathroom in front of me. Gazhaagens strolled in there casually behind them, but I wasn't having that. I bent down to pick her up. I wasn't going to have them get into a scratching match underneath my legs--my momma didn't raise any fools.

As I scooped her up, Tucker saw her when he turned around and looked behind him. He made a mad dash right back out of the bathroom, and just as I was putting Gazhaagens down in the hall, he ran underneath my hands. I almost set her right on top of Tucker, which made him run even faster. It was just like watching a cartoon! His belly shakes from side to side as he runs, so he kind of zigzags when he gets going. As he picked up speed, I thought he was going to knock himself over. Here was Gazhaagens behind him, running on her back legs, whappity-whapping him with her front claws out, all the way down the hall! Poor Tucker! I laughed till I thought I was going to fall down.

Afterward, I realized that little stinker had those two big cats cornered in the hallway by our door. They didn't even dare walk past her, so they just sat there! Franklin and Tucker were probably egging each other on. "You make a run for it." "No, you go. I'll follow you." "Are you crazy?! She'll tear us up." I wonder how long she had them cornered there. I bet they hadn't slept all night.

I put Gazhaagens back into her kennel to give them all a break from each other, and shut the door. I swear I heard Franklin and Tucker heave huge sighs of relief. Tucker went lickety-split for the water dish, and Franklin buried his face in his food dish. About ten minutes later, they were passed out on the floor where they take their naps, out cold. They didn't move for about two hours!

Princess: 1
Bad Boys: 0

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