Sunday, August 28, 2016

News flash: cats rule the world

I read an article that said the common house cat is a direct descendant of wildcats.
“Domestic cats can be traced to wild progenitors that interbred well over 100,000 years ago, new research indicates,” said a CNN website.
And if CNN says it, it must be true.
So house cats come from wild cats..... well, there’s a shock. Let me guess, dogs are somehow related to wild wolves and a budgie is the long-lost cousin of a condor.
I am more of a dog person than a cat person, but when my son was much younger, he wanted to get a pet so Gilbert the Cat entered our lives.
Although he technically belongs to my son, from his point of view we all belong to him.
The fickle feline will come when he wants, go when he wants, eat when he wants and, in general, act very much like a teenager all the time.
And could someone please tell me why he has to stick his butt in the air when you pet him.
It is most unappealing.
A dog would not do that. Mind you, I have seen a dog eat its own barf, which is something a cat would never do.
A dog looks at it and thinks, “Hey, where did that tasty treat come from?”
A cat looks at it and thinks, “Somebody better clean that up.”
We were kind of reluctant to get Gil at first, because I can’t stand the spastic, hyper-freak cats that go through the roof at the slightest sound.
If you are going to have a pet, it might as well be one you can interact with. As far as I am concerned pets are something to, well, pet. That’s why they are called pets.
If the cat clings to the ceiling every time you walk pass, it likely will not be the best critter to have around children.
Some friends had a monstrous black tabby name Figaro. The cat was a freak of nature. It was not only big, it was mean.
“Uh, you better not pet him. He’s not real friendly. In fact, you should try to keep a couple feet away from him at all times,” was often what the owners told people who saw Catzilla for the first time.
Figs, as he was called, would take a swipe at you just for walking by. Only one of their daughters dared touch the beast that, for reasons only a cat can understand, was as gentle as a baby fawn with her.
With the rest of the world, he was more like one of his wildcat ancestors – only meaner.
They endured Figaro for 12 years. I think they were too afraid to touch him, which is why they never got rid of him.
He was the only cat I have ever seen with a tattoo and leather jacket.
Gil on the other hand, could not be any more mellow if we fed him valium. Nothing fazes him — not loud noises, sudden movements — nothing.
And that is a good thing.
When he first came to his home (it used to be my home until he moved in and declared it his own) he was an adult, so we missed all the clawing and stuff kittens do.
He is also an accomplished hunter and a killer through and through.
Within a couple weeks of his arrival, mouse and bird carcasses (or what was left of them) began popping up in our yard.
One day, he left almost an entire mouse on the front steps. My son was proud of the hunting ability of his furry friend and I explained it was an offering from Gil to him declaring they were part of the same pride.
I told him it was a cat thing.
He thought that was pretty cool, until I told him in keeping in the tradition of the cat kingdom, he had to eat the mouse.
His jaw hit the floor and his eyes bugged out until he realized I was, of course, kidding.
Gil was also a bit of scrapper when he first showed up. He and a few neighbourhood cats quickly established a pecking order and as far as I can see, he is pecking the heck out of the other cats.
Gil is now a senior car, he's getting a little slower, a little greyer, but he is still the king of all he surveys – just like every cat in the world.
Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh

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