Friday, August 17, 2012

The cat world view

The current cat lords and masters of the house are actually pretty considerate. Before our alarm goes off at most there is a bit of cat grumbling. One can sleep through this and ignore it. Previous cats have yowled like they expect to be raped any moment while they are starving to death. One cat, a big orange one, was much too dignified for that. There would be a few inquiring and polite meows to remind us of the duties that we are so clearly shirking. Then would come The Paw. It would whap against the door, causing it to rattle in the frame. The claws would come out, and slowly rip down the door, shredding wood fibres everywhere. That got us up. The only thing more effective that that for getting us up was the sound of a cat working itself up to spewing all over something. I still wonder why nobody has marketed an alarm clock with that sound.

Once they're fed we get on with our day. Thursday was a 40 minute swim that felt pretty good. For about half my swim I had the whole 50 m pool to myself. Not just my lane, not just the pair of lanes marked off by the lane ropes, but the whole darn pool! Lovely. There was some stretching in the evening. My shoulders and low back are vying for cranky bragging rights. Every massage therapist in town is on vacation.

Friday was an evening run in the heat. Nice! Limbered up, walked a bit, and started easy. The intent was to run zone 2, but I found it hard to run at that pace without plodding and thumping my feet down. Eventually I settled in, and wanted to run faster, but didn't. 50 minutes, nice and easy, with the run relaxing me. Good stretch after.

BBQ some marinated chicken afterward, with wine, of course. Now I'm musing about the cats. Right now I have Curtis trying to convince me he is in his last moments due to starvation. This is a cat that has probably eaten more than me today. Well, maybe not quite, but it's amazing how fast a cat can inhale food it likes, and how disdainfully it can ignore food it doesn't like.

I've figured out the secret to preventing Celina from slipping through doors. They are both determined to see what's on the other side, but Celina is more willing to leap for it, while Curtis is waiting for a bigger hole.

We keep the cats out of our bedroom. Not because we don't like sleeping with cats, because we do. There is nothing more relaxing that a purring cat. But it gives us a place to keep our stuff mostly free of cat fur, and there are all sorts of knickknacks that would do badly under the paws of a cat. We speculate that the cats desperately want in there because they think there are secrets behind that door. Secrets that could only make the cat world better. More servants maybe. Different, better food. Nicer toys. Something that they don't have now, and they want it. Badly.

If we're both in the bedroom, they will lounge just outside the doors, reaching under the door with their paws. I'm not sure what for, but they reach around, feeling for something. It's really funny to sneak up on them and touch the paws. One does have to be careful here; cats are pretty quick and it would be easy to get a finger caught between the claw and the door.

I've lived with cats most of my life, and they fascinate me in a way that dogs don't. Cats have clearly rationalized a world where they don't have the digits to manipulate our stuff effectively, so they work on manipulating us. Somehow they can project the air of the ones in charge instructing their lamentably incompetent staff on how to prepare the food. Even though we rarely do it right, the cats never give up hope.

We know they can hear things we can't, and I'm pretty convinced they can see things we can't. Haven't you seen a cat staring with complete fascination at what appears to be nothing? Watch, and you'll notice their gaze is slowly tracking as if the object was moving. Cats are very practical creatures. I don't think they are quite up to messing with our brains by pretending to stare at nothing. So what is it?

I like how they look at things. Very direct, very firm. There is no doubt when a cat is looking at you that you know what it's thinking. For fur covered faces that don't move much, they are remarkably good at projecting their thoughts. And maybe that's what it is, projecting their thoughts directly into our brains.

Mostly I think they disapprove. They were treated as Gods way back in the day in Egypt, and they've never forgotten. Right now ours hang around us more to keep an eye on us, and supervise, than to demand worship. That might change. All I know is that our live's are much more interesting now that they are around.

In other news today I tried the car2go thing. Perfect! This is a car rental service new to Calgary. From work I had walked a few blocks to a building to test some software. Sorry, it's a secret, I can't tell you any more than that. From there it wasn't far to my accountant's office to review and pick up my completed paperwork. That is after dropping it off on Wednesday! She is a champ! I used the app to find the nearest car only a block away. After a brief panic attack trying to remember my password, I got going, and drove a couple K back to where my own car was parked. At first I thought I was going to have to back my car out, and put the car2go in that spot, but there was an open spot a few cars down. Best of all, this is still free minutes from the signup! I'm going to be trying to figure out how to use the service more. It's a great deal.

One the way I saw this interesting union of two buildings and tweaked it in Snapseed a bit.


  1. Aw..I miss having cat overlords. I read recently that it's a sign of affection when they slow-blink whilst looking at you. I always interpreted that as a sign of extreme contentment. Close enough, really.

  2. There was a several month gap between the departure of Overlord Amelia, and the arrival of C0-overlords Curtis and Celina. Other than renovations it's the longest this house has been without cats, and it's just about the longest I was without a cat in my adult life. I think that's a sign of affection as well, unless they're calculating how many days you'll be good eating if they were to bring you down.


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