Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: About a Cat

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  • Thrash Cardiom,

    You may be surprised by your cat's reaction when you get home. They often get miffed when the family goes away and can be quite stand offish when they come home again.

    I knew one cat that would make a point of crapping on its owner's bed whenever they went away. I found this out when I was their house sitter a few times.

    CHB • Since Nov 2006 • 55 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    yeah....
    one of our cats always snubbs us for a good few hours after we return from holiday - as if to say 'how dare you not take me on holiday with you' or 'no, I didn't miss you, you mean nothing to me'

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    A few months ago my parents went away on holiday and Mum gave the cat-feeding lady the wrong house key, so the lady had to buy her own food for the cats. When my parents came back, they were in soooo much trouble with the cats. One of the cats barely even came inside for a couple of months afterwards.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Addison,

    I just got back from a two-and-a-half week holiday, and my cat has gone all insane and needy. He'll run into the house and start wailing as though he hasn't been fed in a month until I alert him to my location (usually by shouting "quiet, you!") at which time he'll run over to me and start desperately whoring for attention.

    Honestly, if he were Glenn Close, I'd be terrified.

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    What exactly does he think he is?

    A cat? And he thinks you are too. It's only humans that __anthro__pomorphize. You have been felipomorphized.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    If we let him, he will tiptoe in and sleep on our bed, sometimes stretching out full-length between us to sleep, as if he were one of us.

    Lengthwise, or sideways? Generally, a cat can take up 3/5ths of a bed by stretching themselves sideways between their people, leaving said people 1/5th of the bed each.

    Our cat is due to fly from Wellington to Adelaide tomorrow, after seven weeks in a cattery. She's gonna love us!

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    i agree, cat's don't speak english.

    but i've found them to be incredibly responsive to clicks and shrill whistles.

    i had a cat in auckland that i trained by making nothing more than kalamari bushmen noises!

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    i had a cat in auckland that i trained by making nothing more than kalamari bushmen noises!

    I think you'll find it's Kalahari bushmen, not k/calamari; the latter being a seafood. (Though there was an early '90s Rotorua indie band called "Kalamari Bushmen" so maybe you trained it by making droney guitar noises? ;)

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Though there was an early '90s Rotorua indie band called "Kalamari Bushmen" so maybe you trained it by making droney guitar noises? ;)

    heh. that or just played a 'The Wedding Present' album to her.

    they were also identical anyhow...

    not that the cat realised it.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    If anyone can hook me up with a Kalamari Bushmen CD or whatever that would be great - my cassette tape is toast.

    Do you read me Hal? Do you read me?

    Our little guy definitely believes I am a cat. If I let him, he vigorously grooms my (number 2-clippered) head. Once, in a spirit of scientific inquiry, I decided not to stop him, and see whether he would do my whole head, but after he got about a third of the way I had to stop; it was just too weird. Exfoliated my scalp beautifully though.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brislen,

    Hey hey... don't dis the pigs Russel. We've got two (Lolly and Scramble) and while I was expecting them to be nothing more than hay eating crapping machines, they're actually quite sweet.

    They whistle to each other and to us, they're good pets for small children whose mother is allergic to everything else because when they get scared they FREEZE (evolution, you're a heartless bastard) allowing tiny hands to get a good grab hold and they're pretty hardy all things considered.

    I think your pig's problem might well have been loneliness. Kind of like having only one meercat, the guinea pig is a social creature who needs someone to bully/whine about/race to the food bowl and snuggle up to in the cold.

    Cheers

    Paul

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    We have a cat who, every time we go away, kills a rat and leaves it on the front lawn for the cat-sitter. These are the only occasions on which we've ever seen rats here.

    Jeeves, OTOH, doesn't notice we're gone, as long as he's got his Barbie dolls.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    ... he nosed around amongst my evaporating single malt collection...

    Evaporation, eh? Do you remember to put the lids/caps back on?

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Yeah, my cat (pictured left, my gravatar) only ever shits on the couch when I am away. It got to the point where I thought my flatmate was lying to me - "But he's never done that kind of thing before" - prompting her to leave one lying there for a day until I got home...

    Having just returned from a couple of months away it seemed Tonka had adopted my flatmates as his new owners. But after a day he's back sleeping on my bed, climbing onto my chest at night and licking my nose. Kinda gross, but reassuring.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Dellow,

    ...nuzzling our faces at 5am...

    Count yourself fortunate! Our Maxwell shreds any paper he can get to at 5am - or scratches the glass window to make a terrible sound. The other one merely pesters the cat flap until we submit or she slips a tab and opens it (towards or away from her...)

    Such is life for the 'owners' (ownees?) of smart kittenses.

    "Your problem, Colin, is that you think everything is for you,"

    Indeed true - cats believe this, which can lead to embarrassing feline kleptomania. Boy cat once stole a whole fish from a neighbour and dragged it into our lounge - the proceeds of a day's fishing, not a goldfish! Never found (nor sought) the owner.

    Our female feline just has a fetish for stealing hair ties and rubber bands from the neighbourhood and sleeping in anyone's car!

    Good luck should any quirkier 'oriental' traits make themselves known...

    West Auckland • Since Jan 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Max Call,

    our house in Auckland had no cat door so one of our cats used to let himself in to the neighbours every night and sleep on their bed instead.
    He even used to scare their cat off so he would have more room.

    Fruit Bowl of New Zealand… • Since Jun 2007 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Websta,

    Good luck should any quirkier 'oriental' traits make themselves known...

    What, like drinking from the toilet bowl if we've left the lid up, stealing neighbour's socks or small soft toys, sucking on woollens, preferring not to sit on one's lap but rather burrow up one's jumper, activly seeking to be put into the sheet that one is trying to fold and get swung around the living room...?

    Tonkinese cats are a blast :-)

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Cats are the best species for reforming pet-curmudgeons. My boss of many years ago, Brian, an active cat-hater, lived with a small cat who belonged to his flatmate. Brian said he was never outright cruel to David's cat but wouldn't feed her, would see her peering in the glass at the side of the door meowing to get in and he'd ignore her, and if she were sleeping on a chair he'd tip her off sharply, just to give her a fright. He hated cats.

    One night he came home badly injured - he'd been beaten up outside a club, and was too shaken up to go to the hospital until the sun came up, so he went home. He sat in an armchair because if he lay down he was afraid he'd drown in his own blood - so as he sat there mopping the blood with a towel and shaking violently, as you do in shock, his flatmate's cat jumped up and sat on one of the wide arms of the chair, looking concerned, meowing softly. He didn't say anything to her. She tucked her paws under her chest, started to purr and watched him all night. When he would drift off to the sound of her purring his head would drop and the cat would sit up, apparently startled, stretch out a paw and touch him softly on the arm and meow. He's say, "no, it's okay, I'm not dead" and she'd lie back down on her chest and tuck her paws under again, watching his face the whole time. He went to the ER the next morning and got patched up, but felt the cat had really helped him through the night.

    Brian said he felt incredibly grateful for her attention, and humbled because he'd spent a year being pointedly unpleasant to her. After that he became a devoted cat-fan, kept a picture of her on his desk.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Dellow,

    Tonkinese cats are a blast :-)

    Ours don't sound that extreme - but some of their more bizzare behaviour is most perplexing - the 'fetish' objects (eg kneading the carpet proudly in front of a freshly stolen, trophy hair tie and going nuts if it's removed), burrowing into strange spaces, "digging" the floor after finishing a meal etc.

    Ours are Ocicats - the oriental shines through in endearing (mostly) and equally perplexing ways.

    West Auckland • Since Jan 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    dylan that's a great story. even taken with a grain of salt (he was after all in shock and drifting in and out of consciousness), it's easy to see where the idea of 'familiars' comes from.

    they're wise and strange creatures cats.

    but then... otoh... sometimes they're brutal killers.

    i once knew some dealers here in wellington who used to marvel that their siamese would bring in mice, carefully remove and eat the victim's kidneys, then leave the remainder. eeesh.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    When he would drift off to the sound of her purring his head would drop and the cat would sit up, apparently startled, stretch out a paw and touch him softly on the arm and meow. He's say, "no, it's okay, I'm not dead" and she'd lie back down on her chest and tuck her paws under again, watching his face the whole time.

    So she never got to eat him then?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Rebecca Williams,

    i am experiencing severe cat cravings ... haven't had a cat for years, to my detriment i believe ...

    i don't know if this applies to colin, but this book looks nice ...

    http://www.compass.ac.nz/index.php?page=all-cats-have-asperger-syndrome

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Alistair McBride,

    You included

    If he wants to swallow a live cicada, that's his business.

    My problem with both our present cat and the previous one is not the eating of the live cicadas so much as the wandering around the house with the live beastie still chirping away in the cat's mouth while it looks for an unsuspecting room to release it in to have a lovely "guilt-free' play…

    Hamilton • Since Dec 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Cats understand English (and often other languages) but choose not to speak it.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • samuel walker,

    Cats understand English (and often other languages) but choose not to speak it.

    Rats too:

    although they cant tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards.

    __Linguistics – This Ig Nobel prize went to Juan Toro, Josep Trobalon, and Núria Sebastián-Gallés of the University of Barcelona for a paper titled "Effects of backward speech and speaker variability in language discrimination by rats". They found that rats could recognize the rhythmic differences between Dutch and Japanese sentences, but not if the words were replayed backwards (Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, vol.31, p.95).

    Biology – Johanna van Bronswijk of the Eindho__

    Since Nov 2006 • 203 posts Report Reply

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