Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to get a treat

It’s a good thing we don’t live in Buckingham Palace or the White House, because having five cats to keep track of would be a nightmare for mom.
Take today for instance …

Today was the day the smoke and fire alarm would be tested in the condo building where we live.  Sure enough, around 2:00 p.m. there was a knock on the door and the superintendent announced that someone would be coming to the unit in a few minutes.

The knock on the door was enough to have Mickey, Charlotte and Gabriel running for cover.  Not Charlie, he’s relaxed about anything and everything and not me, (Chanel), because I happen to be under Dieter’s bed already.

I don’t know how the smoke and fire alarm was tested, but everything seemed to be in order and shortly afterward the front door closed.  That was when mom started her headcount.

She found Mickey, Gabriel, Charlie and me, but where was Charlotte?

She looked in all the usual places: under her bed, behind the cabinet, behind the love seat, but apparently she found nothing because I heard her stomping around the place.  She had another look under the bed, checked the linen closet, even opened some kitchen cabinet doors (heaven knows why she did that), but still Charlotte was not to be found.

So she switched to plan B.  “Charlotte, where are you?” she called.  “Charlotte!  Charlotte!” … no answer.

Okay then, over to plan C.  Mom got the treats out of the kitchen cabinet and rattled with the packet.  It’s a plan that never fails.  Within seconds Charlotte had materialized, along with the rest of the pack.  Yes, me included.  We just can’t resist a few treats.

So all was well that ended well.  The smoke and fire alarm worked and thanks to Charlotte we all got a few treats.  Is she a clever kitty or what?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Not the brightest bulb in the box

If you have cats, you know what wonderful companions they are.  Some cats are among other things, resourceful (they can hunt of they have to); funny (have you seen the amount of cat videos on YouTube?); and smart (just try taking out four treats and only giving three). 

And then, then there’s Gabriel.

Ever since he arrived here as a kitten, I knew there was something odd about him.  Oh he’s cute alright, but he’s definitely not the brightest bulb in the box.  At first everybody excused his lack of smarts due to the fact that he was a baby, but now he’s just over three years old and … well, not much has changed.

I saw him do something yesterday that made me shake my head in wonder.  He lay stretched out in the loveseat having a wash.  It started out alright, he groomed his chest, he groomed his belly and paws and then … then he started washing his face, and that’s where it all went wrong. 

He licked his left paw until sufficiently wet and then groomed his face with his right paw.  He did this again and again.  Then he licked his right paw and groomed his face with his left.  It was just the strangest and funniest thing I’ve ever seen.
He of course didn’t have a clue.  He just kept on licking one paw and wiping his face with the other.  

But it didn’t end there.

Later that day mom and Dieter played a game of ping pong with us.  They would throw a ping pong ball and the cats would chase after it.  By the cats I mean, Mickey, Charlotte and Charlie.  They went in pursuit, I just watched.

Gabriel was there too, but he didn’t get the game.  He would see the ball go by, but he didn’t chase it.  Not even when it hit him in head.  That’s right, the ball bounced and bounced and landed right smack between his ears.  And what did Gabriel do? … nothing.  He looked at the ball, shook himself and walked away.  

Being mentored by Mickey sure hasn't done Gabriel any good.  Maybe I should take over.  Neih, every house needs a comedy act.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another one bites the dust

It’s been said that shards bring good luck.  In that case, there must be a lot of good luck going around in this house.  The plates, bowls, cups, ornaments and even lampshades that have met their end due to human or feline clumsiness are too many to mention.  Let’s just say that this house has quite a few partial dinner and coffee services.

Tonight it was a soup plate.  One moment it was used to serve me my dinner, the next it was on the floor in several pieces. 

Mickey was the culprit and shortly after breaking the plate, he set a new world record in the 50 meter sprint.  Like a bow from an arrow, in a blur of black fur, he shot out of the kitchen and under mom’s bed.  When I went to have a look, I found him crouched in a corner, eyes as big as saucers.

I don’t know why he was so scared, it’s not like he was going to be yelled at or punished in any way.  So he broke a plate, so what?  It’s not the first one he broke and my guess is, it won’t be his last.

Of course, like I said, it’s not always us cats who break things.  Mom and Dieter have broken their share of items too.  Mom’s most memorable breaking accident happened a few years ago and involved a navy blue candle in a glass bowl.

The candle had been burning all evening and when bed time came around, mom blew out the candle and picked up the bowl to put it away.  Well, she wanted to put it away, but the bowl never made it that far.  Shortly after mom picked up the bowl, the hot glass burned her fingers and she let go of the bloody thing.

You cannot imagine the mess ... glass and blue wax everywhere!  On the wall unit, on the floor, on the carpet ... words cannot describe it.  Dieter actually took a picture of it at the time. 

Was the mess cleaned up?  Of course it was.  Once the wax had grown hard, it was easy to lift it off the hard surfaces and most of the carpet.  To clean up the remainder, the wax was covered with brown paper and ironed with a warm iron.  The wax was absorbed in the brown paper and so not a trace of wax was left.

I’m throwing this in just in case one of you ever spills wax.