Saturday, December 29, 2001

Katherine, who is certainly the most acrobatic of my two cats, has always loved to jump on top my dresser, which stands over four feet high. Sleek and muscular, she easily leaps to the top edge, grasping it with her front paws, which she then uses to pull herself the rest of the way up. The unfortunate side-effects of this feat are all the deep, telltale scratches she's left behind. Up until now, this has never really been an issue, since the dresser is the same one I've had since early childhood and has at least three handles that have long since broken off.

However, I recently acquired a new dresser, which is a full seven inches higher than the previous one and is made of solid oak. Suddenly, I'm realizing there's no way I can allow Katherine to continue this sort of climbing. Though I've tried sitting her down and explaining to her the importance of not damaging this new piece of furniture, I fear I'm not getting through to her. Katherine simply stares up at me blankly and, surmising that I will soon reveal a plate of tuna, answers, "Meow?"

Already I've seen signs that she is attempting to climb the new dresser, so I've resorted to placing a heavy cloth over the top to deter her from jumping up. It won't last. Thankfully, my girlfriend has stocked me up with a variety of scratch-hiding material.

Saturday, July 28, 2001

Movie Review: "Cats and Dogs"

If you have not seen this movie by all means keep it that way! "Cats and Dogs" is 1.5 hours of wretched silliness and relentless cat-bashing. The fact that it sweepingly depicts all felines as duplicitous, scheming villians is truly reprehensible. But perhaps the worst insulting aspect of the film is how it regards canines. The script was obviously written by a dog lover; the movie actually attempts to convince the audience that dogs --infinitesimally stupid creatures who think a good time involves drinking out of a toilet bowl-- are the dominant species, secretly using their profound intelligence (I'm trying to stifle a snort) to protect humans from the vile deeds of felines. Ridiculous!

Don't buy into the hype! Avoid this movie at all costs! By banding together in protest, we can...

"Kat! What are you typing on my computer?! Get down from there now!"

Wednesday, April 12, 2001

While Katherine is utterly jealous whenever my girlfriend, Gina, comes over to visit, Calypso has found in Gina a close, personal friend.

With Calypso I've learned there are set limits to the amount of time I'm permitted to pet her --usually about 10 seconds. Anything beyond that, and she gives me a rather disdainful look before batting my hand away with one paw. "Leave me alone now. Come back when you've got tuna," I hear her mutter as she then leaps from my reach.

Gina, however, gets a far different reaction. She can scratch Calypso's head, pet her, pick her up, play patty-cake, and just about anything else without fear of reproof. Is it her scent? Is it that special girl-girl bond that we men will simply never understand?

Obviously, it ticks me off to an extent. Here I am, the provider, the protector, the litter box cleaner and seafood giver, repaid for these thankless tasks with a swift brush of a paw.

Calypso, you are MY cat. Gina is not your pal, despite what you believe. She doesn't do for you what I do. She talks about you behind your back. She mentioned something about you having a pronounced bum, and that your breath smelled like chicken by-products. Hey, would I lie to you?

At least Katherine's on my side.

Sunday, February 18, 2001

It's incredible how fast time flies. February 20th marks the two-year anniversary of bringing Calypso into the household. My brother's friend had owned Calypso the prior year, picking her from the same litter I had looked at in 1997 when I sought my first cat (My brother owns Calypso's mother, one of Calypso's sisters, and THREE other cats!)

Calypso's former owner had to give her up due to his apartment's strict "NO PETS" policy, much to his sadness. He sought someone who would take the level of care he had given Calypso, and coincidentally I had started looking for a second cat that same year.

The transition to a new owner was hard on everyone, especially Calypso. Unfortunately for her, Katherine became more bully than friend and it has been a very slow process for them to even tolerate each other. I'm not sure if Calypso has always been so skittish -she likes to be petted on her own terms and absolutely hates being held- but I can't help but wonder if it was the move and the trauma of dealing with Kat that made her that way.

As a result of Calypso's fear of Katherine, she frequently hid underneath my bed and would not venture too far out, even to use the litter box or to eat. This became quite a headache when she ended up relieving herself under and around the bed to avoid Katherine. It was a slow, frustrating process for me to start off with the litter box in my bedroom, then gradually move it farther and farther away as Calypso's courage grew until finally the litter box and food dishes were in their original areas.

Today, Calypso and Katherine seem to get along to a degree and even play from time to time (usually their playtime entails chases back and forth, which inevitably end after Kat starts to get too rough). While they don't sleep together or get too close to each other (except when their tuna dishes are side-by-side), they aren't exactly mortal enemies, either.

Happy anniversary, Calypso.

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