Friday, February 15, 2008

The Perversity of Cats


... or "How I spent my Valentine's Day date night"

Hi knitters!

I've been meaning to post a few Florida photos from our late January trip before going on to daily life back at home (yes, it was fab - both the bird photography and the niece photography portions of the trip).

But sometimes the present is more compelling than the past. Just now, it's the story of Mr. Big and the Missing Date Night.

Most of this week I've had a cold settled in my chest and I've been at home nearly all day, instead of out working on my database and babysitting projects. This has given me a chance to observe the integration of the two new cats - Sierra and Mr. Big (birth name: Jasper) into our household. You can see them in the photo -- guess which one is Mr. Big?

Anyway, Wednesday I was home all day working on swatches for next Monday's Knitting Guild topic - "Mystery Yarn Marriages: stitch patterns and techniques for combining yarns of different gauge" - and doing chores. Mostly cat-related chores. SOMEONE peed on a laptop bag and it had to be washed. SOMEONE barfed on a hand-made quilt (!!) on top of the piano (@#&%!) and that had to be washed as well. And Klaralund needed blocking before I can convince myself to go on knitting - a measurement of 21" was not going to cut it if this was going to fit. Jeni said it would definitely relax if I washed it.

As I was knitting & cleaning & weaving in ends on Klaralund, I got to see many Stations of The Cats. They tussled over favorite lounging spots. They investigated what I was doing and played with toys I threw them. They observed the shifting of sunspots and the squirrels in the yard. I felt very connected to the new kitties. "Awww, new kitties. Look how they are thawing," I thought.


I gave them a special treat -- bits of lettuce. The new kitties *love* lettuce. The sound of tearing leaves off a stalk brings them running and it's the only food they will take from my hand. Seriously. If we are cooking dinner and have to get leaves off some cauliflower, the kitties come immediately to see if it is lettuce. Every time. Oh, and they will chew through any plastic bags left where they can get them, just in case there is lettuce inside.

So I was feeling all connecty with the new kitties and that's probably why I freaked out when we came home from Heart Day dinner out to find Mr. Big had gone missing. A whole day of friendly interaction, passing in the halls, and now he's GONE. Nowhere to be found in the house, and his sister is mewing pathetically, like she's lost her best friend. I could only imagine that he had oozed out the front door as we were leaving for dinner - or was hiding in the garage and got startled when the big door opened after our date.

The hunt was on, but it wasn't going to be easy. The new kitties do not come when called (mine do!) and they don't seem to know their names. They never, EVER go outside and Mr. Big does not let me touch him if he can see me coming. The only thing I could think of that might attract him was the sound of lettuce.


We walked all around inside the house with a bag of lettuce and a flashlight, looking everywhere for Mr. Big. Sierra kept coming after us to get more lettuce and mewing. She's got a big voice, that one. Mr. Big is more the strong, silent type. We stood in the garage tearing lettuce and listening to every little creaking noise. Sierra came out there, too, even though she kind of hates the garage. We got out the kitty harness and took Sierra out on the front porch to meow & attract her lost brother. We walked round the block rustling our bag of lettuce. 8:30 to midnight, this went on, with breaks for tea and coughing fits.

At this point, we decide we can do no more, we'll have to go to bed and start searching at first light. We're planning what to say when we have to call Mr. Big's former owner to help us hunt the neighborhood for his beloved cat. We're completely bummed.

And that's when Mr. Big is seen walking out of the hall bathroom. A 9 x 6 room with no hidey holes, which we had checked over and over again. HE WAS IN THE HOUSE THE WHOLE TIME! But he wouldn't come to his mewing sister, to the sound of lettuce, to the rattling of the cat food decanter. Nope. Just not interested. Gaaaaaah! And where the hell was he?? We can't figure it out. Little weasel. Comes *every* time we're cooking with anything that sounds like lettuce, but can't be bothered to come when we want him.

This morning, everything is back to normal. Two big kitties are pressed against the window at the Squirrel observation post. They are moving normally from room to room and checking in on each other. My three Klaralund pieces are drying - and they are the right size, so I can keep knitting - Jeni was right!

But I want my evening back. Mr. Big, you owe me one Valentine's date night, dammit!

2 Comments:

Blogger margit said...

=( Glad you found him though!! Hope you're feeling better!

February 15, 2008 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worry about Buddy getting out. He is very quick and wants out in the worst way. One day I went into the garage and the door to the kitchen swung open. Buddy jumped up on the screen door and tore it from the frame(repair job for a warmer day).I did get him a collar when I got him and wrote my phone number on it in marker and I had to get him a tag (a requirement in Champaign it seems)that's on the collar too. Glad your missing kitty turned up OK. Mom

February 16, 2008 12:53 PM  

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