Saturday, November 17, 2007

The cat

We have a cat, and his name is Morty. I think he thinks we are calling him "Muerte" (which means "Death"). He is quite the hunter, but has little respect for scale, and considers Oscar (the human male in this domicile) to be in the prey category. Oscar is not a cat person, and tolerates Morty due to the fact that Morty is an excellent mouser and has done a pretty good job of keeping the house free of pests.
Morty gets along well with the dogs, but occasionally gets chased around the yard by Claris. He feigns fear and jumps up into a tree or on the fence to tease her until he gets bored and then struts away.
Morty enjoys eating the dogs' food more than his, and follows me around the house just like they do. His favorite place to nap is on Oscar's clothes in the closet, which leaves copious quantities of cat hair all over the shirts and sweaters (Oscar just LOVES that...). He also likes to roost above the cabinets in the kitchen or on the fridge for optimum hunting views (and an occasional paw-smack to your head if you pass by and do not notice him). He is a bit of a rogue...
I do not have a whole lot of experience with cats, but people tell me his behavior is pretty normal. I am not so sure of this, though. He likes to wait until Oscar has fallen asleep and runs onto the bed and starts gnawing on the back of Oscar's legs (which are under the covers-thankfully, bare skin seems to be off-limits) until he is tired of it, or until Oscar pushes him off. Morty never does this to me... I guess because I am the "feeder", which makes me indispensable to him. He seems to have his priorities well set.

The only trouble he gives me is when I have to take him to the Vet. I have completely given up trying to get him into a cat-carrier (I ended up donating it to a local rescue organization as it was impossible to get him in it, and even taking it out of the garage caused him to disappear for hours). I think his hatred of the carrier stems from a bad experience in his past. The Richmond SPCA says he was left in a small carrier in their front lobby by his previous caretakers (who creeped in and left him there without ever notifying anyone or doing the proper intake paperwork), and they did not notice that he was there for some time; that must have been quite traumatic for him. So, on the advice of my wonderful Animal Hospital, I now get two laundry baskets that I twist-tie together, and with some patience and a pair of welding gloves, I get him in for his shots.

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