Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"The trouble with cats is that they've got no tact." ~ P.G. Wodehouse

tact - Pronunciation: 'takt
Function: noun
Etymology: French, sense of touch, from Latin tactus, from tangere to touch
1 : sensitive mental or aesthetic perception
2 : a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense
synonyms TACT,
ADDRESS, POISE, SAVOIR FAIRE mean skill and grace in dealing with others. TACT implies delicate and considerate perception of what is appropriate
No doubt about it - P.G. Wodehouse has hit the nail directly on the head when it comes to Marbles, the cat who resides in my house, as she has absolutely no tact whatsoever. I refrain from calling her my cat as I'm pretty sure there is no cat out there worth his or her front claws who would allow themselves to truly belong to a person. They are completely independent creatures who cleverly fool people into thinking that because we feed them, take care of their medical needs, give them a home to live in, and provide playthings and kitty litter that there is some form of ownership involved. Not on your life! Or any of the nine that all felines purportedly have!

Dogs, on the other hand, don't mind in the least being owned. As a matter of fact, I think that they crave ownership as demonstrated by their willingness to fall all over themselves when their owner(s) walk in the door after being gone for any amount of time. When was the last time you saw a cat wiggle around on the floor in sheer anticipation of someone reaching out a hand and scracthing it behind the ears? I'm going to hazard a guess of ... never! Cats just don't do that sort of thing. Instead they look at the people who live in the house with them rather disdainfully like we've invaded their space when we come into our own homes. The nerve!

I adopted Marbles from one of the local no-kill shelters not quite two years ago when, for some stupid reason, I thought it might be a good idea to have a cat here for com
pany while the girls were off in Kentucky. Jamie, my youngest, is an animal lover and thought it would be nice for me to have a pet. She also wanted me to get a cat as her cats had to be given away when they didn't get along with the seven, no eight, no nine - that's right - nine dogs that her Dad and new stepmom acquired. She figured that a cat would keep me company while she and Amanda were away and that when she was here, it would be her cat and she'd take care of it, etc., etc.

Well, sucker that I am, I fell for the whole notion so shortly after Christmas of 2005 I f
ound myself at a shelter with Jamie who wanted to take all of the cats there home. I put my foot down that it would be one - just one - cat and was hoping for something cute and small with hardly any fur as the last thing I wanted was cat hair all over my house. After looking at all of the cats that the shelter had to offer, Jamie decided that we simply HAD to adopt the one that had been there for almost four years as she obviously needed a real home. I was a little skeptical as there had to be a good reason no one else wanted to adopt her but the lady at the shelter assured me that it was simply because most people wanted a younger cat. I must have been suffering from post-Christmas syndrome or something as I agreed to Jamie's choice of feline and Marbles was packed into a carrier for us to make the trip back to our house where she could be showered with all of the love and affection that she had been denied for the past four years. Yeah ... right ...

Marbles spent almost the whole first week hiding either under the bed or behind
the couch, only coming out at night to eat and drink when she knew that everyone else was asleep. She completely ignored Jamie's attempts at friendship by snubbing all of the toys and kitty treats that she was offered and hiding further under the bed. It wasn't until after the girls had flown back out to Kentucky that she finally decided to put in an appearance and to this day, I'm rather wishing she had stayed under the bed!

This cat that lives in our house is not the friendliest of creatures but she is the noisiest. When I get up in the mornings I'm greeted with
loud yowls until I dole out some wet food to Her Majesty and if I dare to stay in bed past the time she thinks is acceptable, she sits by the side of my bed and lets loose with a cacophony of caterwauling loud enough to wake the dead! When I get home from work I am met by the same annoying greeting as she demands her food bowl be replenished - but not with dry food. Heavens no! That can sit in her bowl all day as far as she's concerned - she wants the good stuff - the canned stuff - the stuff that she barely tastes while she scarfs it down at the speed of light.

When I'm trying to watch TV she'll perch herself on the back of the
couch close to my head and then drown out the sound of the show I'm trying to watch while she grooms herself with the most God-awful slurping noises I've ever heard! If I poke her and tell her to go do that somewhere else I am simply glared at for a moment and then she goes right back to what she was doing as if I never spoke. Her idea of providing companionship involves her lying on the floor directly behind my computer chair so that when I back up I practically run her over. She's almost tripped me on the stairs too many times to count, she's taken to sharpening her claws on the loveseat despite the fact she has at least three scratching posts, and I am constantly having to vacuum up cat hair which I not only hate but am allergic to. Oh yes, the joys of having a cat in the house are innumerable!

Still, I guess she's part of the family now even though I'm hoping that one of these d
ays she'll run out the open front door and decide not to come back as she has decided she wants to commune with the squirrels across the street rather than live cooped up with a couple of humans that don't appreciate her. Besides, I might actually miss her were she gone for good as I'd have to go back to setting mousetraps in the winter and she can be entertaining when she's chasing a ball around the living room. Who knows? Maybe in another two years she'll actually warm up to having a family?? Then again - she's a cat ... maybe not!


  1. Anonymous10:44 PM EDT

    I totally get you here. My cat Munchygirl is the same way. God forbid I should want to sleep in because we all know she's going to starve to death. And a day without the window open is like torture. She'll just sit there and meow at the window until I can't stand it any more and get up and open it. She's about as friendly as a piece of cardboard. We inherted her from my mother's friend and when my mom moved to Maryland she "didn't think the cat could make the trip" so she left her for me. Thanx a freakin bunch ma. She could leave me something useful like the TV or VCR. She knew they would be able to make the trip.

  2. We have an idiot cat living next door who likes to tempt fate by hopping our fence to fight with our dog. Somehow, our dog, despite being stereotyped as having a disproportionately strong jaw and not being afraid to use it, will get the cat in her mouth and run around with it, but won't kill it. Won't even harm it. Our dog gets more scratches and wounds than the cat. So much for that Pit Bull stereotype. Still, that feline needs to stay out of our fence. In other news, I tagged you for a meme on my blog! Come on over...

  3. Anonymous2:41 PM EDT

    The Ex from H*** & the Princess Bride have NINE dogs? Linda, they are officially certifiable. Call someone and have them locked up.

    I LOVE dogs, but I don't have one for the very reasons you so insightfully noted. A relationship with a dog is a lot of work. They are loving, yet needy beasts. I have a husband. I have three kids. I have a couple of friends here and there. I can hardly keep up with those relationships! A dog is officially out of the question.

    Cats, on the other hand, can be maintained in large numbers and keep each other entertained. My cat(s) don't yowl at me in the a.m. They wouldn't dare. They all view me as Supreme Cat Mama, fear ny hiss, and seek my adoration (in moderation). They also know that cans are a rare treat; if they don't like the dry food they can truck on down to Safeway and buy their own eats. The only rule: Spay and Neuter makes Kitties Cuter!

    The allergy thing is a problem, but personally, I believe the exposure to multiple selections of dander would eventually render you immune to anything. And there are always shots...

    Marbles needs a buddy. Just one. No need to--ahem--go overboard.

    PS-rib me if you must, but don't commit to print just how large my herd is. I shall have to call cousin Vinny and have him pay ya a visit--after all, Big
    Brother is watching...

  4. Thanks for the carnival post. : )

    I loved it.

  5. Gawd, my cat pulls the same "I'm starving" routine, too. Dry food? C'mon, gimme the good stuff! Now that she's 17, tho, she is a lot more affectionate than she was, say, ten years ago. Still, I am her "staff" and it is imperative that I remember this.

  6. Cats can sure be snobbish, can't they?? She's pretty, though! Happy Carnival!

  7. See, this one of a dozen reasons NOT to like cats, which...I don't! I am totally a dog person. Give me the big slobbery, affectionate kind: Labs, Goldens, etc.

    I gotta admit, though, Desert Rat's cat has grown on me, but then again I've known Rat for 16 years, so I've known that cat almost her whole life. And Rat is right; that cat HAS gotten friendlier in the last few years. But really, who wants to wait that long?

  8. Hi...I am walking down the midway at THE BESTEST BLOG CARNIVAL and enjoyed your attraction...sounds like our cat all it ever wanted to do is sleep, go outside and annoy me..and when it was hungry it would not stop crying or butting my leg until he was fed

  9. Anonymous12:00 PM EDT

    hahah .. i know what you mean by "the nosiest" .. my cat, Lewis .. ( who is actually very personable ) .. is always getting into things he should not be .. .bring one new thing into the house and he's right there .. its kinduv annoying


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