Well, Ollie isn’t really old yet; his second birthday is not until August. But he has his little habits and now they are changing in our new home.
All cats dislike closed doors, but there weren’t many in our New York apartment for Ollie to complain about. Now he’s got plenty of them. A couple of days ago, I investigated a new sound – thump, thump, thump. It was Ollie trying to open the coat closet door.
The same thing happened at different times with the closet doors in the two bedrooms. But then I heard a different kind of thump, more of a deep rattle, rattle, rattle in the study. A fact-finding mission disclosed a cat with his tail wrapped neatly around his front toes looking as big-eyed innocent as a newborn babe. No source of the sound was evident.
A day or two later, I was already in the study when the same, deep rattle, rattle, rattle occurred. Turning around from the desk to check it out, I spied Ollie trying to open a door on the sideboard and these, unlike closet doors, don’t latch so he was having better luck.
So far, he’s got the knack of pulling the sideboard door toward him, but his little, walnut-sized brain hasn’t figured the next step of sticking his head in to wedge it open and get the rest of his body into the cupboard. He's been practicing, for the past couple of nights, at 3AM which makes the deep rattle sound more like booming thunder. Fortunately Ollie's attention, like that of most cats, can be easily redirected.
Sometimes there is no explaining the wonder of cats. In the past, I’ve used paper toweling under Ollie’s food and water bowls to make cleanup of stray food easier. But the towel looks particularly messy in the new kitchen, so I had a little chat with Ollie who gazed into my eyes with what appeared to be real understanding as I spoke:
“I’d rather skip the paper towels,” I said, “so perhaps you could make an effort to be tidier at mealtime than you have before. I don’t think it would be hard to do. Why don’t you give it a try…”
In the four or five days since our talk, I’ve picked up one crunchie from the floor. Go figure…
[EDITORIAL NOTE: I know, I know. As several of you have pointed out, photos are in order. It wasn't just the cable I didn't have during the move; it was also the camera software which I hadn't loaded onto this new computer before I packed the disc with the rest of the computer peripherals. It's now unpacked and soon photographs will be flowing forth.]