At this time of year, birds and small mammals are distracted. They’re busy fighting over territories, building nests, and mating. There are young, naive animals fluttering, scurrying and hopping about.
So it’s no surprise the cat catches more prey in spring. English sparrows, mice, rats, rabbits–he brings almost all the major vertebrate pests home and leaves them on the porch for us.
I don’t mind, really. It doesn’t bother me to have to dispose of his kills–I’m not squeamish about it, and I’m happy he’s dealing with at least some of the animals that destroy my garden and wreak havoc in the sheds.
But there’s something that worries me.
I’m afraid the cat is a zombie.
Rodents, birds, rabbits…they all show up headless. The cat doesn’t seem interested in eating anything except the head. Even on a succulent rabbit, he ignores the meaty legs and flank, and goes straight for the head.
Maybe it’s just the crunch he likes, but I think it’s more sinister than that.
Now every time he gives me his wild-eyed look, I can almost hear him say, “Braaaaaaaaaaaains.”
Jedi cat: The fence is empty.
Me: The fence is empty.
Jedi cat: You do not see me here in the sun.
Me: I do not see you here in the sun.
Jedi cat: You do not wish to pet me.
Me: I do not wish to pet you.
Jedi cat: You want to walk on past and bother a dog instead.
Me: I think I’ll walk on past and bother a dog instead.
The cat, however, thinks it’s time to hibernate.
He has distinct winter and summer behaviours. In summer, he spends day and night outdoors, coming inside only to eat or for the purpose of irritating us by demanding to come in and go out every three minutes.
In winter, he spends his days sleeping on my daughter’s bed or in my office, and his nights in front of the fireplace, going out only briefly so that he can demand to be let back in again once we’re comfortably engaged in something else.
The past few days, he’s been spending time on the couch and, last night, he stretched out in front of the fireplace, though there was no fire. Today, he claimed my office chair before I had a chance to sit down.
Never mind that it’s still warm enough to have the doors and windows open. Never mind we’re still eating summer vegetables from the garden. Never mind that autumn has hardly begun. The cat says it’s winter.
Unfortunately, he’s not anywhere close to dying—we’re likely to have to put up with him for another 10-15 years.
But I think the Malevolent Beast from Hell is beginning to appreciate comfort and companionship more than he’s willing to admit.
As I type, he is sitting on my lap—a place he has steadfastly refused to ever spend any time before.
And a couple of weeks ago, the evening after I came home from several days away, he jumped up onto the couch with me, and curled up as close as he could—practically on my lap–purring loudly.
This from the cat who has always viewed humans as unclean. He usually tolerates being picked up, but clearly hates the experience, and struggles to get down after just a few seconds.
If he didn’t appear entirely healthy otherwise, I’d think he was sick.
But, then, just this morning he ambushed me in the yard and tried to disembowel me, and he did give me the evil eye when I picked him up, so he must be feeling okay.
But he’s going soft. Next thing you know, he’ll be choosing to be in our presence, maybe even jumping into our laps unbidden.
Or, maybe he’s just lulling us into a sense of security before he eats us…
I have just one chair in my office. Sometimes I sit as I work. Much of the time, I stand. If I want to sit, though, I’ve got to get there quick, because the cat thinks that he has dibs on the chair. If I stand for even a moment—to grab a book off the top shelf, or to open the window—he’ll instantly leap from the floor (where he’s been happily asleep for hours), and take my spot.
He’s always very smug about it, too. He purrs in a self-satisfied way, knowing that he’s got something that I want. In fact, I think if I never used the chair at all, he would completely ignore it.
Nice to know he loves me.
My husband got me a bean bag chair a couple of years ago. I suppose he wanted to encourage me to sit down now and again.
The chair ended up in my office, where the cat claimed it as his own. The chair grew hairier and hairier. After a while, no one else would sit on it.
A few weeks ago I needed the chair out of the office because I needed the floor space for a project. I took it as an opportunity to clean the chair.
Once it was clean, I moved it to the living room, thinking it might be welcome there over winter, when we spend more time indoors.
I expected the cat to use it too. But he scoffed at it. Instead, he spent weeks in his pre-bean-bag favourite spot on my daughter’s bed.
We’ve used the chair heavily in the living room, and it’s remained delightfully cat hair free.
Until two days ago.
That’s when the cat decided it was time to reclaim ‘his’ chair.
Yesterday, I noticed my cat allergies kick in when I sat in the chair. I did my best to occupy the chair long enough that the cat chose to sleep elsewhere.
This morning I was sitting on the floor when the cat came in. He made a beeline for the bean bag chair. I moved to block him. He attacked with an angry hiss—ears back, claws out.
He backed off, but I couldn’t’ guard the chair all day, so eventually he gained it, and added another layer of fur to it.
This evening I am in the chair, and I intend to stay in it.
The bean bag wars have begun.
No one likes to have their routine disrupted. And no one hates it more than a cat.
I recently took the bean bag chair out of my office. The cat was the only one who sat on it there, and the build-up of cat hair on it was triggering my allergies.
I cleaned off the hair and put it in the living room, where we’ve been enjoying it.
Well, everyone except the cat.
He used to spend all day sleeping in the chair in my office. Now he doesn’t quite know what to do. I’ve provided him a basket in the office, but he doesn’t want anything to do with it. He also won’t sleep on the bean bag chair in the living room. Instead, he prowls from one spot to another, spending no more than a few minutes in each spot. In between naps, he sits at my feet and howls his indignation at me, punctuating his howls with vicious bites (it’s a good thing I wear jeans).
He’ll get over it, eventually, as we all do when change happens. At some point, we’ll get tired of the bean bag chair in the living room (it takes up an awful lot of space in there), and it will move back to my office. Then the cat will be pissed off at me for putting the bean bag chair into the office, and we’ll have to deal with his disruption all over again.
Change is tough.