25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.The Holy Bible, New International Version, Genesis 1:25 & 31, 1973, 1978, Zondervan Publishing Corporation
By now, if you are familiar with this blog, you must be acquainted with our daughter’s two cats. Meatball and Spaghetti. Both have black fur and are American Shorthairs. Spaghetti is most easily identifiable because when she “found us” she was sadly missing all but about 3 inches of her tail. (Which has finally healed. Hurray!)
These two wonder cats have set up school in our household. Here’s some of the things Meatball and Spaghetti have taught us. (Lessons in no particular order.)
CATS ARE INDEPENDENT ANIMALS. It is true, cats are independent animals. In the wild they fend for themselves. As people we’ve domesticated certain animals to be “pets”. Initially though, in the beginning of existence they were wild. Their DNA is hardwired for self-preservation without humans doing the job. Nothing wrong with that, being who and what they are meant to be. We as humans forget that way to often, but cats will remind you. (Humans will too but that’s a subject for another days blogging.)
THEIR NAILS ARE ALWAYS SHARP: Meatball will kind of, maybe, sort of tolerate a very quick mani/pedi. My job is to do the actual snipping. Never too far up the nail. Never while Meatball is still moving. Our daughter holds the cat, captures and recaptures paws and gently positions each nail so I can clip it.
Forget those electronic “grinders” though. At the sound of one she will rip your internal organs out through your mouth. Seriously, do not think I am over-exaggerating. To accomodate Meatball’s preference (cough, cough) we clip.
As for Spaghetti, she was accustom to outside living when she came to us. Living 20 feet from a very busy road along with some other safety issues for her, she resides on our back screened in porch. (Which is larger than our daughter’s bedroom.) One of us brings her in when the outside temperature drops or bad storms roll in.
However, needed or not, none of us are brave (or insane enough) to clip Spaghetti’s nails. They resemble talons, embed in the carpet when she tries to walk on it and she has known great pain at someone or something else’s will. (Her tail didn’t naturally fall off.)
Because their nails are always sharp, they can accidently scratch you. Cats play too and will play with you. If you do something to them that frightens, threatens or hurts them though, their claws and their teeth will make their presence known.
THEY HAVE A UNIQUE LANGUAGE: I promise you if cats have curse words in their language then Meatball and Spaghetti will put the foulest mouth to shame. There are times when our cats get along beautifully. They are playing together or curled up, even grooming one another and then the fight is on. They hiss, they screech, they yell.
IT IS TRUE, THEY DO NOT LIKE WATER: Because of that the feline bath spa is not open for clients here. Spaghetti has, however, been subjected to one bath since her arrival. It was only because she had been injured. Two adults and four hands were little match for one cat, her teeth and four paws with razors on them.
Once though when Spaghetti was in the bathroom while my husband showered she did stalk the shower curtain. Just at the edge of the floor (its a roll-in, wheelchair accessible shower) he could see her walking one end to the other. Amazed, I guess, that anyone would willingly enter a “room” where it poured rain.
CATS DO NOT SUBMIT WELL TO LEASHES. Our daughter has tried, starting especially with Meatball when she was younger, to train both cats on being on a leash. Guess what? Cats are not dogs. Cats have instincts that refuse to submit to being on a leash and “walked”.
Owner: "Look Spaghetti and Meatball. See? Other cats can be walked on a leash."
Cats: "If all the other cats jumped off a cliff, do you want us to jump?"
Owner: "Of course not. Other owners have taught their cats to walk on a leash is all I am pointing out."
Cats: "Ah. Well, you are not those other owners, now are you?"
Meatball simply sits or lays down and stares at you like you have grown two heads, maybe three. Instead of walking while you hold the leash, this one lifts up on her tippity toes and refuses to move, or allows you to pull her along.
Spaghetti? In a split second she can get out of a harness and be gone before you put her on the ground. (Hence her runaway gig a bit ago.) She’s a harness and leash Houdini.
CATS ARE NOT QUIET ALL THE TIME. Our felines are like kids in that when you do not hear or see them, you should jump up to investigate because they are into something. Recently my husband and I were in our room doing our own thing. Outside it is cold, and rainy so both cats were in our daughter’s room. Our daughter is at work. Then my senses hear the silence.
Me: "Honey, what are the cats doing?"
Husband: "Oh, I'm sure they are fine, probably having a cat nap."
Splat! Something or some feline is greeting the wall in a personal way. Crash! There goes whatever they’ve managed to knock off or over. Bang! Hiss! Crunch! Louder hiss. Crash! Again with something bouncing off the wall.
By the time my husband reached the bedroom it was too late. Food and water bowls empty, contents everywhere, water mixing with the food and some litter into a truly disgusting sight. Litter box close to empty of all unused litter. Items from our daughters shelves laying helter-skelter in her floor. Cat condo knocked over. Toys scattered. Dirty clothes have been thrown out of the clothes basket. It was a mess. So cats are not always quiet and they are not neat and tidy.
CATS TREAT YOU LIKE YOU TREAT THEM. If you are kind to a cat, you have a much higher chance that the feline will be nice to you. If you aren’t chasing it, pulling its tail, or bullying in some way cats aren’t likely go to return the attention. Rough housing has its place but it isn’t with an animal (even one with talon claws and vampire looking teeth). Its one thing to play with your pet and another to bully.