Cats seem to always find a way into my life. I usually say I’m a dog person, but the cats keep coming. For some reason, they like me. If I take a walk around the neighborhood, at least a half dozen cats come running up to me, just knowing that I can’t resist giving them a scratch behind the ears. I have the same effect on dogs and babies, but it’s the cats that have me under some kind of control. I have accepted the fact that I have become a complex cat whisperer.
ME (whispering): Ca-a-a-a-t…
When I was much younger, I used to have a job driving a forklift at a local wheel & rim company. Every morning I would get up, shower, get dressed, then snap my fingers. When I would snap my fingers, my cat Munchkin would jump onto my shoulders and go to work with me. I worked just a couple blocks from my house, so it wasn’t too bad.
Let me describe Munchkin. He was the runt of the litter of six kittens and the only one we kept. I claimed him because I felt bad he was so small and even then I knew cats liked me. In true “runt of the litter” fashion, he grew big. He was black and weighed in at about 25 pounds. He was like a miniature black panther and we were inseparable…or perhaps I should say, he followed me everywhere. If I left in my truck, I usually took him with me, but if I didn’t, he would sit in the yard until I came back. Then after a few minutes of pouting, he would rub and purr all over me until I couldn’t stand it.
Anyway, one winter day we walked to work like usual. We went through the wheel yard and entered the building where everybody greeted me and Munchkin. Even the owners liked him and never asked me to leave him at home. After all, we provided the entertainment. You see, when I climbed into my forklift, Munchkin would climb on top of the cage covering the forklift. The rest of the day I would load and unload trucks while he surfed just above me. I guess it was so much fun to watch, the owners would often bring back business people and sometimes customers for the show. It was especially fun to watch when I would roll in and out of the truck, that’s where Munchkin would crouch like he was really surfing to avoid hitting his head. Good times.
I’ve had other cats through the years, although only a few stood out. There was Munchkin. There was Maynard (not my cat, but my son certainly laid claim…please read my post Herding Bees). We had a diva Calico cat named Pumpkin. Oly, a unintelligent grey tabby who was loveable and endearing because of his ignorance. Then there’s Good Girl, my current cat. I whispered to all of them…
Oly’s greatest adventure came during a rainstorm late at night. I went to the door to let him in for the night and he wasn’t there. I checked a few more times before I got worried. Then I heard a far off yowl when the rain subsided for a bit. I followed the yowl as I walked up the wooded road. About 200 yards away, I heard the yowl off to my left. I had no choice but to climb the embankment and go through the woods. About fifty feet in, I heard the yowl from above my head. There he was, about 10 feet up into the tree, caught in ivy. I could just catch his little face poking out. So I whispered:
ME (once again, whispering): O-o-o-o-l-y…
There was no doubt now. He was stuck. Oh, what I didn’t mention was that my left arm was in a sling from dislocating my shoulder. The cat was 10 feet up. I didn’t feel like going back home to get a ladder. So I climbed the ivy, one arm dangling until I could just reach his little nose. Then I reached around his neck and pulled…nope, he was really stuck.
ME: You’re really stuck…
Then I saw the twitching tail. What goes in must come out, right? I felt like a dentist as I said my next words:
ME: You’re going to feel some discomfort…
It was a long uncomfortable walk for both of us going back home. Oly kept giving me looks to say he was sorry and I had to keep pulling my shorts out of my butt crack because I was soaked. That was Oly.
On the opposite end of the intelligence spectrum is my current cat, Good Girl. She might be the smartest cat I’ve ever had. Someday I’ll blog about her, but until then, I’ll give you an example of her smartness:
ME: What’s the square root of 144?
GOOD GIRL: Meow
See that? I should’ve named her Einstein!