No jokes now, please, but old ladies and cats seem to go together. If you have lived with cats most of your life, you probably, like me, flatter yourself that you understand the obstinate little creatures. You would be mistaken.
Just when you think you’ve got their number, they come up with something so unfathomable to tease or irritate you, that you are humbled by their ingenuity.
Oliver has taken to his new home in Maine with enthusiasm. He has a lot more room to run and as the number of squirrels, cats and birds in our neighborhood appear to outnumber people by magnitudes, he spends most early mornings, ca-ca-ca-ing at them out the window while I post the day’s blog, answer email and read the news.
When he is not napping during other parts of day, he has a large collection of toys. Some are store-bought, others are small household items he has adopted as his own. There was a time he favored my fleece-lined, wooden clogs which he grabbed and threw into the air. I forestalled the possibility of broken windows by finding him his own scrap of fleece and fortunately, he seems now to prefer that over the clogs.
I bought this toy for Ollie because the leopard design matches his coat and he had previously shown great interest in feathers. This one has magnificent feathers and if I were a cat, it would be a favorite. But nooooo. I throw it and he looks at me like I’m nuts. I play with it more than he does.
Although I detest the icky green color of this toy, Ollie’s esthetic tastes differ from mine and he has many a good romp with “Marty Mouse.” He seeks it out most often in the evening than daytime. Maybe the color is less blinding then.
But Ollie’s all-time favorite is this little mouse covered in what appears to be and I hope is rabbit fur (otherwise, I’d rather not know) with three feathers attached to its ass and a rattle inside.
Fur, feathers, noise – what more could cat ask for in a toy – and I’ve been supplying Ollie with these for two years. I haven’t been able to find them in Portland pet shops, so I called Louis, the proprietor of my previous pet store in New York, and he sent about 25 or 30 of them which I thought would be a year’s supply.
I suspect now I’m wrong and we’ll need to call Louis again much sooner due to Ollie’s newest obsession.
For the past two months, I wake most mornings to at least one bedraggled mouse in his water bowl. What’s up with that? I guarantee you that fishing a drowned mouse out of the water bowl is not the most fun you ever had before breakfast.
On any given day, there are two and sometimes three mice drying out on the counter and Ollie doesn’t appear to care, later, whether a mouse has been drowned and dried or is new. They’re all the same to him.
Until a couple of days ago, Ollie had drowned the mice at night. Then, just this week, he switched from stealth mode.
I watched as he retrieved one from under the sofa. He walked purposefully to the water bowl, carefully set the mouse on the floor and sat down. After a minute or two intently pondering the mouse, he picked it up, dropped in the bowl, peered at it, poked it once or twice and settled down to eat some crunchies – apparently having completed his task - whatever the purpose could possiby be.
Now what do you suppose is going on in that walnut-sized brain of Ollie’s? Most of time, if you put yourself in a cat’s place, you can see the entertainment value in what they’re doing. On this one, I’m befuddled.