Monday, November 8, 2010

All's right with the world ~ now

Scene of the crime
Kiki came hurrying down the hall to where I was on the computer, meowing loudly all the way.  It was a plaintive cry of distress.  Something was terribly wrong in her world, and she wanted me to know.  It was not her usual scratching-on-the-baseboard way of telling me it's time to eat.  It was distress, plain and simple.

I knew in a flash (to quote a certain Christmas poem) exactly what the problem was.  While Kiki had napped away a Sunday afternoon, someone -- some dastardly person -- had stolen not only the food she had left in the bowl for later, but also the blue-and-white bowl itself, her water dish (um, well, it isn't exactly a dish), and even the blue mat under her dishes.  Clearly a problem of the first order!  And I was the culprit.  I talked to Kiki as we hurried to the kitchen to survey the terrible scene, where I had taken up all her things to clean them.  The mat was drying over by the sink.

Look quickly at the fresh food in her dishes, wet food, dry food, water. Now you see it; soon you won't.  Here's Kiki snarfing it down before it disappears again.  Yes, that's a people-style "glass" for her water.  A cat can sit regally before it and sip daintily without even needing to lower her head.  The tall "bowl" is too narrow for a cat's head to dip into, so I have to be sure the water is topped off.

After my friend Donna and I closed our bookstore, we lived in an apartment together with our two cats as we paid off our business debts.  Her cat is Sammy, female like Kiki.  Having always been "only" cats, the two didn't really like each other, but they watched and learned things the other cat knew.  Sammy became more vocal, like Kiki, and now regularly talks to Donna.  And Kiki learned this neat way of drinking water from Sammy.

One day Donna was watching TV with water or tea or cola in that very pink plastic "glass" set on the ledge that ran beneath our picture window next to her chair.  When she turned to reach for her drink, Sammy was sitting there, pretty as you please, lapping away at it.  She began to do it so often that Donna had to protect her drinks and keep an eye out for cats.  Finally, she gave them what they wanted.  The cats thought it was marvelous to have their own pink water dish like the humans used.  Donna happened to have two of those pink glasses among her rainbow-colored plastic dishes, so when we moved into our own places again a couple of years ago, she kindly gave one to Kiki.  And today it went missing, just when Kiki was ready for a leisurely bite to eat -- and maybe a sip or two.  Reason enough to meow pitifully and complain to me.

I've written before about Kiki's talkativeness.  She is quite good at lying for a good cause, but sometimes we had to laugh at her.  Occasionally when Donna would get home from work, Kiki would tell her she hadn’t had her afternoon treats yet -- and Sammy would come running to jump up on the piano and watch the action, hoping Kiki could convince the human that they were poor, pitiful, starving kitties who never got their treats on time.  The only trouble with their scheme was that I was usually right there in the room.
Donna would glance at me and say to Kiki, "But you already HAD your treats."

Kiki meowed plaintively, "Maiow, mew, mew."

Donna would say, "Yes, you did."

Kiki replied, "Meow miahow mew!"

Donna would say again, "Yes, you did."

Kiki got more assertive, saying, "Meow miaow MEOW."
The cats never seemed to notice that humans communicate with each other as well as with them.  Finally, Kiki would give up and plop on the floor with her back to Donna, and Sammy would sigh.

Cats have such a difficult life, trying to keep their humans in line.


Helen's Book Blog said...

Very cute. Our dog is similar in that he'll go to my mom and "talk" to her. She follows him and it's always to me. He wants us in the same room. Once we are he plops down happily.

Beth said...

I'm glad Kiki forgave you for your "dastardly" act, Bonnie! :-) I love that she drinks from a glass...and I love the story behind it.

So funny that she would try to manipulate Donna into giving her more treats! Meow!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Yeah, Beth, and it's a true story! It really happened just that way.

preschool said...

Nice to hear from you,and to read about your lovely cat.

My Sammy is a rescue cat. He was found 2 years ago, during one of the worst snowy winters we have ever had in the Pacific NW. He had been attacked either by a coyote, raccoon, or large dog - his left tear duct was damaged, so that he "cries" most of the time. He had a huge injury on his back, along his inner ear near his left eye, on his legs - but he survived!
He is the softest cat we have ever had, and the silliest! I was the only person who showed any interest in him, that saddened me, however, I love him more then I could ever have imagined.