Friday, July 14, 2006

Stupid Pet Tricks

Pictures for you

And, so, we reach the point in our story where you might start to wonder, "Hmmmmm. How are those new pets that you arrived home with a mere 7 months ago. They'd be, what now, about 8-9 months old?"

"Ah. Yes," I'd answer. "Mad-kitty is, as far as we can tell, since she was literally born in a barn, about 9 months and Maul-y-dog is about 2 weeks younger."

"And things are going.....?" you'd solicitously inquire.

"Never dull," I'd reply.

"Care to elucidate?"

"Well, ok, since you asked?"

Charles and I have come to the conclusion that Molly is like those white mice in The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy trilogy. You know, Frankie and Benji Mouse, the ones who were actually hyperinteligent, pan-dimensional beings, who ran the planet Earth as a huge experiment? (If you have no bleeping idea what I'm talking about, go read all 5 books of the trilogy and then come back. Now. I'll wait. At least read the first 3 books. You can finish the series after you finish this post.) I suspect that she's been conducting devilishly complex experiments on us using her chew-bones. See, some bones she chews, others, she keeps intact and places in, well, odd places. Like under our pillows. In our (Charles's) slightly ajar dresser drawers. Under the pile of laundry awaiting to be folded or in the basket of folded clothes. In Sara's bed, under her bears and dolls and such or between the sofa cushions, etc. You find it, toss it on the ground, and she spirits it off to yet another place. I've not seen her 'hiding' bone in a few days. I suspect it's either in the freezer under the bag o'chicken or on the closet shelf with my sweaters. If it's the latter, I won't see it for months. Actually, if it's the former, I probably won't see it for months, either, as I haven't dug into the freezer in a while, with all the lovely fresh stuff this time of year. She has many words and phrases down, including the invaluable ones of "oooooooooohhhhhh bad dog" and "Leave. The kitty. Alone." as well as its variation "Molly. Don't eat the kitty."

She's also becoming quite athletic, having caught a bird a few days ago. Literally. The bird (something small and brown) was taunting her. Really. The bird was dissing her and flying all over the back of the yard, at mouth height. If the bird got too far ahead, it would stop and taunt her, flying off at the last minute. "Hm," I mused from the deck. "What would she do if she actually caught the bird?" Seconds later, she found out. Yes she did. She caught it entirely in her mouth as it was flying away from her, just not flying fast enough and....oops.

She spat it out at once, clearly bewildered and a bit horrified, I think. It must be horrifying to find an entire bird in your mouth, nearly as horrifying as it would be to be the bird. I dashed to get my sandals (this be thistle country) and hurried over to find the foolish thing, but it was gone. Given the attention Molly was then paying the wiegela bush, 50 feet away from the incident, I'm thinking the bird was hiding in there for a little 'down time'. I called Molly away and that seems to be the end of the incident. The bird has not come back to taunt her further. Dead-dog, Emma, had a similar bird friend, a robin, who would 'play chase', but kept a healthy vertical distance away.

She hasn't yet given up her cave that is the space under our bed. To get in and out she somehow flattens her 70 lb body and scuttles, like a hairy crab. She then chews up magazines and plastic toys that kitty has supplied her with by knocking onto the floor. She has recently started making small moaning noises of the sort you'd expect if you were confined to a tight space of your own choosing. The clearance is only about 8" to get under the bed rails and only about an extra inch once you are under the bed proper. Someday, she's going to get stuck and I will have no choice but to ridicule her and poke at her with rubber bones. Then I will have to dismantle the bed to get her out. That won't be as much fun.

She is also rather fond of garden produce and has become quite adept at picking raspberries off the bushes, much to Sara's outrage.

Madison kitty is back to planning a prison break. After a several month hiatus of not trying to escape to the great outdoors, she's resumed her efforts and has actually managed a foray into the garage and another into the front flower garden. Fortunately, she was too giddy with her success, so she was easily recaptured, but this is concerning. She has taken to haunting the outside doors, drifting just out of your sight or behind the ajar door, waiting to make her move. She also has a disconcerting habit of writhing in ecstasy on the bathmat pretty much every time you use the bathroom off our bedroom. It's uncanny. She just appears, apparently euphoric that you are relieving yourself. Maybe she figures she had a role in our potty training and is demonstrating her praise? She doesn't do it in the other bathroom.

And then, there was the time, a couple of weeks ago, when she went missing for about 10 hours. We scoured the house and called and put out smelly kitty treats and searched the garage and called all over the yard and no kitty. We became seriously concerned and then downright worried and then bordering on frantic (we have hawks and coyotes and other cat-eating creatures, here). We tried to get Molly to help, ("Where's the kitty, Molly? Where's Kitty?") but all she did was tilt her head and then run in circles. I can't tell you how many times I used the bathroom off our bedroom in hopes of getting her to appear. Then, in sheer desperation, Charles began to look through his dresser and found her asleep in his sock drawer.

Yes. She'd gotten herself shut in the sock drawer and just napped all day and evening. I remember shutting all his dresser drawers that morning as I was vacuuming the carpet between the dresser and the bed, because if the dresser drawers are all open (ahem) the vacuum won't fit. So, instead of meowing like any normal creature needing rescue, she slept. Silently. Wish I could say that about her night-time antics. She still likes to play all night long, but, thanks to Leigh-Ann, she mostly leaves the plants alone. Sadly, she doesn't leave my knees alone and I've been woken more than once with all 18 claws and both jaws full of teeth embedded in my left knee. Damn cat. Too bad she's cute and otherwise affectionate. Make that downright cuddly.

So, there we are. We adore them, they submissively piddle on the carpet and chew up stuff that doesn't belong to them (Maul-y) or wake us painfully (Mad) and make us worry unconscionably (both). Not quite an equal relationship, but it has taught Charles to close his dresser drawers, so that's something.
Pictures for you

Aren't you glad you asked?



Blogger Karen said...

My kitty and dawg aren't nearly so entertaining.

You have a knack for funny stories. Thank you for the smiles. :)

How's the porch?

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

All 18 claws, eh? Is she a polydactyl? They are the coolest!

The animals, they are a strange bunch. I can just imagine Molly capturing the bird and then looking back at you like, "What the hell was that!" As far as the bone goes, that is such a weirdly common behavior. Our little scotty used to do the same thing, only he'd do it with nasty chewed bones AND new ones. The best was getting into bed and feeling a wet rawhide down by your feet...

The cats have apparently taken to sleeping on top of Erik in my absence. We now have a king-sized bed, so I guess he is sort of bewildered at their desire to sleep on top of him. Although I would allow this, he does not, and so I guess they're summarily tossed off the bed on a regular basis. Poor kitties!

Love your stories about the animules!

10:22 AM  
Blogger listmaker said...

They sound like such fun!

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Kate W. said...

Oh how I love your stories of your furry family members. I makes me thankful I have not had temporary insanity and purchased a dog yet. John locks our cats in his closet often-he says it's by "accident" and they are just too stupid and they will never learn. I say the same thing about him! :)

1:22 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

42 !! 42!! Slartibartfast sent me!!

Ok. He didn't. I was just being show-offy.

The beast exhibits some Molly-esque behaviors (god help you). 'Ceptin Maw says its on account of us not having a doggie door no mo'

So we gives her some bread or a bone and she'll take her an extra piece, pretend to dig in the closet (for 5 solid minutes she will ferverently dig whereas 'dig' = scratch wooden floor with paws) and hide it behind a shoe that's older than me AND her.

(Don't ask about the accent. I've not slept since yesterday and have come home from the doctor with a weeks worth of Aug-friggin-mentin and a case of sinusitis that would make the Elephant Man weep. And I am high on Nasonex and Life [the 42 sort of life not the cereal, I don't care if Mikey likes it, dammit]. Oh yes. I am feeling silly)

1:53 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

Oh yea--meant to say maybe its a German Shepard thing. The beast is part Shepard, part Akita and part some other dog down by the dock.

1:54 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

They are adorable and have fun stories!

My dog managed to walk into a closet one time when I was getting ready for school (years ago). Luckily, he managed to start making massive amounts of noise (whining, thumping, and barking) as I was leaving the house and I was able to find him before I left for the entire day. I felt so bad.

He also has a habit of hiding his treats. The other dog (the dead one) used to steal them from him, so he learned how to unmake a bed, hide the treat, and then remake the bed. It is a sight to see a small, 25 pound dog, tucking in sheets and placing pillows correctly.

Pets are such joys.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

I'm hoping that as they age they will be a bit less 'funny'. And I don't mean 'funny: Hahaha'.

Ariella- Nah, just the standard 5 claws on each front paw and 4 on each back two. Polydactyls are way cool. Gerah has one. His are actually like thumbs. They oppose the rest of the 'fingers'. Ew. Wet anything by your feet is just plain nasty. Kitty has taken to bringing a small prickly rubber toy of Colin's to bed and leaving it between some of the covers so I can lay on it at 2 am.

Listie- Except in the middle of the night.

Kate- Given your delicate condition (giggle) probably a dog would not be so much fun. But in the future...Mad frequently gets locked in closets, particularly the linen one, where you find her hours later curled up on the towels, quite disgruntled to have you toss her out.

Babs- You can't say "Slartibartfast" without giggling. "Come with me or you will be late." "Late? Late for what." "What is your name, Earthman?" "Dent. Arthur Dent." "Late, as in: The Late Dent Arthur Dent. It's a sort of threat. I've never been very good at them but I'm told they can be particularly effective."

Sorry. Couldn't resist. Damn, it's good to have you back. It must be the Shephered in them, indeed. Way too smart for our own good. You'd think we'd learn, as she's our third one. Raging sinus infection, eh? Well that might just explain a bit of the funk, eh? (She alternately raises one eyebrow and then the other in a silliness solidarity.)

Beth- No! You're shittin' me. I can certainly understand the unmaking of the bed. Even the 5 lb cat can do that, and quite well, but RE-MAKING IT? That's just scary. Unless you really are shittin' me. I'm very gullible and you are very trustworthy and I'd believe anything from you, m'dear.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Karen (part deux)- The porch. Forgot to answer the part about the porch. Ah. Well. It's sanded and waiting for the temperature and the humidity to both drop down to a reasonable level. Something about not painting in over 90 degree heat, as instructed on the can. I don't think it's going to get done before I return to work on Monday. Drat.

6:03 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Very funny stories about the pets. I can relate to the kitty ones, since our kitty is quite the little character!

Last week he snagged a roll of toilet paper out of the bathroom dragged to the living room and shredded the entire roll. It looked like mounds of fluffy snow had fallen in July around the dining table.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I love your kitty! I'm a feline girl and have had 5 pure black cats...there is something very special about sleek! Soot was the funniest (I let my Gr. 3 class at the time, name him and it must have been near Christmas! He lived till he was 16 and had such a personality! He used to "put himself down" at night in Dave's socks drawer and he snored so loudly, we had to kick him out often! Once the drawer fell all the way out in the middle of the night and scared the poop out of all of us! Dave's socks were so covered in fur, he just bought some new ones 'cause you couldn't upset him by having clean ones...they just wouldn't be all scrunched down the right way and smell like he'd been there! I think there's still fur in that drawer and he died 4 years ago!!
He had this weird habit of suckling earlobes, mostly my husband's because of his big beard. He must not have been weaned when we got him!!

I love my 2 calico girls but my next cat is going to be a black one!

7:53 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

I love the photos of where all the bones were hidden. Weird, weird, weird! Dog behavior is inexplicable, but cat behavior is even more inexplicable.

Why on Earth would Mad kitty want to sleep in a closed drawer? It don't make no sense. You'd think she's want to get out, since cats hate closed doors you'd think they would hate closed drawers.

Go figure. Glad she didn't get eaten by a coyote.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous christie said...

I often come home from work to find a feline trapped in the closet since 7:00 AM and rarely are they upset about the 11 hour prison sentence...Cats are weird. And yours looks exceptionally devious in that photo (that's more the "and now we take over the world" expression in my opinion). Molly is gorgeous! She looks all grown up and serious cop-doggy. Enjoy their weirdo childhood stuff, it'll be over (mostly) too soon.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Stace- Oh, what a mess! Kitty has done some TP dismantling, as has the dog, but it's been no more than 1/4 roll and stayed in the bathroom (or in the cave under the bed).

Ruth- I am a feline girl, too. I adore my dog, like dogs in general, but am rather potty about the cats. I love your Soot tales. (I had a black tuxedo colored kitty growing up, named Cinders. She was wonderful.) There's just something about a sleek black cat. So very cool. When we went to pick out Molly, Mad Kitty was there, and basically picked out us. I think the people thought we were silly to want her (and to insist on paying a bit for her as she was just a farm cat) but we wanted to make sure she lived to come home with us in a couple of weeks, and putting some monitary value on her insured that she meant something to them. She was so worth it.

Rozanne- I kept stumbling over them and decided to snap a shot whenever I found them for a couple of days. There were several more. I agree. She doesn't meow unless she's in an uncomfortable closet, like the one that holds the vacuum. If there's something soft to curl up on, she is happy to make us look for her without any assistance. Evil thing.

Christie- Doesn't she look like she's cooking up some plot? She's in Sara's booster seat that I put on the grimy floor because the seat was too yucky for the kitchen counter and needed a good scrubbing before going to someone who can use it. It took less than 5 seconds for her to materialize and claim it for herself for the duration of lunch. I think she's daring me to try and make her move.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

Has your kitty had a recent "insanity" phase? Maybe it's just our cats, but for the past couple of weeks they've been crazed with energy and it's horrible. It's well-beyond "cute" and has definitely progressed to "horrible". We were trying to eat dinner in front of the TV last night, but we had to eat with our dinner plates pressed against our chests, our heads hovering protectly over the food, as the cats attempt to use our bodies as trampolines. I think they're all possessed by the spirit of Courtney Love.

One of our cats loves paper towel rolls, so we have to hide them all under sinks. If he gets one, he unrolls the entire thing, separates the sections, and then dips the piece in his water dish.

As for dogs, we don't have any young 'uns like yours. My GSD kept growing and filling out until she was about three years old, so I think Molly going to be jumbo-sized :)

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

I forgot to add that our GSD had outgrown the "submissive piddling" thing by the time she was about 4. Hope Molly is twice as fast about it!

11:54 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Leigh-Ann- I could kiss you. Eli DID finally outgrow it? Molly has been especially bad the last couple of days. Can't wait to rip out the carpet and put in wood floors. Maybe next summer, if finances allow. Mad has definitely been the wild little thing the past week, ambushing us and racing around the house all night. I figured it was the heat or something. Maybe it's a stage, like your 3.

8:39 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I love the pet stories. They are so cute and adorable. I almost lost it over Molly catching the bird. That was hilarious.

Eddy will follow you into the bathroom and demand to be let into the closet. He adores the closet and will spend hours there or in Keem's dresser.

I've decided to start calling him Houdini because he will sneak up behind you and make a mad dash to get into the hallway. Every. Single. Day. It gets annoying after awhile but he's still pretty cute so I'll keep him around.

Loved the pictures!

1:28 PM  
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