Tag Archives: demon

Xena the Tattletale

Published / by Kim / 1 Comment on Xena the Tattletale

I once read somewhere that the smartest cats learn that humans communicate through verbal means, so those cats start doing the same. That’s probably true, because I’m pretty sure my own anecdotal evidence would show that the smartest cats I’ve had have also been the most vocal. I think that the smartest of the smart cats, however, also learn to mimic the sounds the humans around them make.

Demon, for example, the smartest cat I’ve ever known, learned how to whine. He learned it from me, okay? I can admit it. I’m not proud. He did, he learned how to whine, and when he was really getting going good, at his absolute bitchiest, the intonation and pitch he used sounded just like me when I’m in a particularly petulant mood. He didn’t do that when I first moved in with him and Scott. He developed that trait over years.

Now Xena seems to have developed a certain vocal habit common to human children, and I cannot figure out where she would have picked this up.

Xena has two places she considers hers: the top of the cat tree and my desk chair. if one of the boys is in the former spot and I’m sitting at my desk, she gets quite put out. That’s when she decides she needs loving and she needs it now. She jumps in my lap, she gets cuddly, she becomes starved for attention. Is all of this really because she wants me to snuggle her? No. It’s all because she wants to annoy me so much that I’ll move and she can take my chair, because how dare I be sitting there when that chair is so clearly hers?

One morning a few weeks ago, I emerged from the Cat Free Zone to be greeted by Xena waiting for me right outside the door. As soon as I set foot in the hallway, she started in on me. Meow, meow, meow.. meow. meow, meow… non-stop, a continuous stream of loud, whiny meowing. As she bitched at me, she kept running a few feet ahead of me down the hall, then stopping to look back to make sure I was following.

When we got to the living room, she glared up at the top of the cat tree, where Goblin was sleeping peacefully, then turned back to me and let out a particularly shrill yelping meow. Then she glared at my desk chair, where Joxer was laying in equally peaceful repose.

Then it occurred to me: she was tattling. The boys were in HER spots, and she was not happy about it, so she was telling on them. With a great deal of outrage, too.

She followed me into the bathroom, and into the kitchen when I started the kettle. The complaining never stopped, though it took on a slightly more demanding tone as she realized I wasn’t going to do anything about her situation. When I finally made it back to my desk chair to scoop up Joxer and dump him onto the floor, the meowing got excited for a moment, until I sat down in the chair myself. She finally shut up and started sulking instead.

I think Xena may be the smartest cat ever. She not only learned that humans communicate through vocalizations, but she learned, all on her own, how to tell on others. Whiny and brilliant. I sure can pick ’em.

G Is for Boogie

Published / by Kim / 2 Comments on G Is for Boogie

Well, really, G is for Goblin, but that means it’s for Boogie, because Goblin doesn’t know his name is Goblin. He thinks it’s Boogie.

G Is for Boogie

All of this is my fault for confusing the poor guy and rarely calling him my his given name over the past 11 years. This cat has more nicknames than a GWB cabinet meeting. Boogie, Boogie Buns, Boogie Bonanza, Gobbyboullabaise, Boogins, Gobbybuhlin, Boogie Butt, Gobble, Gobbldegook, Goblinka… those are just a few of his nicknames, and that’s only a short list of those I’ve used this month. Funny thing, while I was writing this, I remembered that I once, years ago, before Xena and Joxer existed, posted a list of some of the names we used for Demon and Goblin, which you can read here in the older archives. It’s funny how a couple of those have stuck, and also that we weren’t calling him Boogie yet then. I’m not sure when we started calling him that, but it stuck pretty hard, and now he thinks it’s his name.

G Is for Boogie

Goblin is my stalker kitty, with a strong need to always be within eye-shot of me or Scott. Fortunately for him, we spend a lot of time in the living room, which means he can plant his wide furry butt on the chaise – as in the above two photos* – and keep an eye on us all day. He does this sort of creepy thing where he stares at one of us and purrs. He can do this for 15-20 minutes at a time, which gets disconcerting.

Over the past year or so, but particularly since Demon died, we’re starting to realize that maybe Goblin isn’t as stupid as we once thought he was. I once compared him to an elephant crossed with a goldfish, but I’m not so sure now that that’s a fair assessment. For example, he frequently shows signs of basic cognitive thinking, in that he can plan several actions in advance in order to achieve a goal. We often see this when he’s trying to decide how to get to the back of the couch from the floor, when he knows we don’t want him there and will block him. He sits there and you can obviously see him plotting his path. He looks at the back of the couch, then at the chaise, then at the windowsill, then back at the chaise, then to the arm of the couch, then back to the back of the couch. After careful consideration, that is exactly the path he takes: floor to chair to windowsill to back of chaise to arm of couch to back of couch. Sometimes he makes a stop on the side table, too. Just to keep it fresh.

We call these maneuvers his Rube Gobberg machine.

G Is for Boogie

As you can see from the photo above, Boogie’s a fairly portly little fellow. He’s meant to be rather a small cat, maybe 10 pounds or so, but he does, in fact, weigh slightly over 16 pounds. At a recent trip to the vet for a checkup, we were worried the vet would yell at us for letting him get so large, but to both my and Scott’s surprise, the vet was fine with Gobble’s weight, because it’s stayed constant. So at least he’s not ballooning. But as you can see from the second photo, his fat is so copious that it rolls up around his eyes. Alex dubbed that “eye fat,” which has become another of Boogie’s nicknames. Somehow, I don’t think he’ll ever come running to that one the way he does to Boogie.

*Note the fine patina of cat hair on the throw pillows in those photo, too. I kept those pillow away from the cats for years, which also meant keeping them from the people, so I finally decided to start using them. They were covered in a grey mist of cat hair within days, and I’ve never been able to get it off. Turns out, cleaning cat hair off beaded dupioni silk? Doesn’t really work so well, even with a Dyson.