Inspired by a cartoon (which I can’t find anymore) which hit home.
By popular request of a single fan who asked me today privately: “Where is the f@*ing cat?” After I told him that Henry was fine albeit not f@*ing anymore since he had the snip we had a chat and then I started to look around – where in fact was Henry?
We had been lazy today and ordered food (If the prophet can’t go to the food, let the food come to the prophet, I say.) and I admit that amongst paying the delivery guy and salivating in anticipated pleasures I forgot to pay attention that the door was open. Had Henry slipped out?
He is an outdoor cat but we have been careful never to let him in the stairwell. We don’t want him to leave through the front door because of the road with cars and dogs. He has got the whole back yard to roam. True, if he really is interested in the other side of life we won’t be able to stop him but I wouldn’t want to encourage him.
I called for him behind the house – no answer. I walked up and down the stairwell and except for a curious neighbour – no answer. I checked in the garage – no answer. I finally ventured outside (in my slippers, my old baggy pants I wouldn’t be caught dead in normally – just the curlers were missing) and called for Henry. Just when I was about to give up, he appeared high up on the garage building, looking down on me and scolding me. Presumably for disturbing the neighbourhood in the middle of the night.
Back in the flat I let him in and gave him some treats. Was that cat psychology – make him appreciate coming when called? Or was it “how to train your human”? No idea.
Somebody posted this meme on my facebook site. 120 commands – that’s impressive.
Henry only needs to remember 3 commands (and adhere to them): Don’t run over my face when my eyes are open. Don’t scratch my chairs to such an extent that they’ll break when I sit down. Don’t get your claws hooked in my earrings.
I’m in trouble. Not only are these all negative commands and include a condition, he also ignores them, more often than not.
Now that Henry is allowed out he has started a new training phase (him training us, of course). I open the bedroom door and he goes out. I leave it open but it’s cold so after awhile, when I notice that he has long come inside again, I go to close it. Whoosh! Henry dashes outside. I leave the door open, just enough for him to come in and the moment I turn my back, he does. I go to close the door and — whoosh! – he’s out again. Now I close the door and I have a kitty outside complaining loudly that we are horrible people who banish him outside even though it is freezing.
I remember our first cat in South Africa (Lady Baby Cotton Socks) who would always miaow when she wanted the door opened do that she could go outside. In spring, when it finally rained again after the completely dry winter months on the Highveld, she would stick out her paw, catch a raindrop, shake it of and disgustedly turn back into the house. She would repeat this performance at all our doors leading outside, not believing that it actually rained on every side of the house. It took her at least a week or two until she remembered the phenomenon “rain”.