Friday, May 28, 2010

joy in the whiskers, day 5: on fat cats and kindness to animals

This is Phoebe.

You've met her before--- here, and here.

I don't always speak very kindly of her because she is annoying. That's the truth. She is annoying and always up in our grills at precisely the moments when we don't particularly want a fuzzy fatpants up in our grills.

Bean has taken to telling Phoebe to go away even when she's not in the near vicinity. I'll hear GO AWAY, PHOEBE from a room away and see Phoebe just sort of lazing at the doorway--- not bothering Bean in the least bit. But there it is: a gift we're giving Bean, one that I don't necessarily welcome. I've tried to say excuse me instead, but it's met with mixed results--- Phoebe doesn't get that it means I need her to move from the top stair or else she'll be squished flat, and Bean doesn't get that we are supposed to be polite to everyone, even our pets.

Here's what I don't understand about Phoebe: she doesn't deter from her task. She doesn't take no for an answer. She will come back again and again and again (and again). She pushes the limit of patience and does so with the sliver's chance that you will, one time in a thousand, turn to her and say come on up. Let me give you some scratches. Even if that one time comes directly after she has been ousted, bodily, from the kitchen--- here's Phoebe, purring already, glad to be of service.

Which is why I can't fault her. Despite the copious downy fur that sticks ON YOUR LIPS, despite finding her on our bed over and over again, despite the sheer fact of her COMPLETE DISREGARD to our house rules, she loves us. She loves us with the kind of love you want in a cat that's around a toddler.

Because Bean loooooooves Phoebe. I might hear the occasional GO AWAY PHOEBE from Bean, but more often than that it's me telling Bean to get off the cat or stop pulling Phoebe's tail or don't poke Phoebe's face or Honey, she doesn't like it when you try to kick her or DUDER WE DON'T SIT ON THE CAT GET OFF HER PLEASE KTHNXBYE.

I was watching the two of them on Monday--- Bean was chasing Phoebe underneath the kitchen table from one side to the other, weaving in and out of chair legs. I don't know which one was having more fun: Bean for the excitement of trying to catch the cat or Phoebe for all the loves and kisses she was getting (including tail pulls and face smashing).

This was the joy I pulled from my day, and I thought about it later when I ran across some pictures of a two-year-old me picking up a pack of kittens individually BY THEIR TAILS. And then there's me in the picture: grinning for ALL I'M WORTH. Seems she comes by it honestly.

I'm going to continue the joy ride until sometime next week... I figure it's a great way to round out a holiday weekend, yes?

Here are the bloggers that are playing along...
Eight Twenty Eight
One Day at a Time
City Mouse Country
Four Molnars
Midnight Rambler

You should play too. What's making you joyful these days?


Bethsix said...

I love this. It's just a perfect expression of extracting joy.

I don't have Day 5 up yet, but I'm working on it.

Rose said...

Hahaha, I love the way kids love animals!!! :)

I have posts planned all through the weekend, so feel free to keep linking me up!

Swistle said...

"Fuzzy fatpants"--hee!

At the animal shelter, the "Is the cat good with kids?" test is picking the cat up by its tail. This makes me kind of happy---not the idea of picking a cat up by its tail per se, but the idea that this is the test someone has devised, and that it is a test of being good with children, and that so many cats pass the test.

Bethsix said...


And I have to say that all this cat tail talk gives me the heebies. I had a cat once - a teenager cat, really, about 6-7 months old - who started pooping on himself one day. He seemed fine otherwise, but after about a week of what we thought was diarrhea, we took him to the vet, and basically, his spine had been severed at the base of his tail. We don't know how it happened, but the vet said probably a kid had gotten ahold of him and swung him by the tail, or an automatic garage door had closed on him. He had to be put to sleep. :( Was HORRIBLE. He was the sweetest, sweetest, sweetest cat.

Hannah said...

What a beautiful post, Whimsey. Phoebe sounds like such a wonderful girl. And I know I'm late to the game, but I'd love to join in. . .

Whimsy said...

Hannah: of course you can play! I'll be doing the joy thing into next week, so just stop by and tell me when you have a post up and I'll link you.

Bethsix: Thanks to you, every tail I've seen in the last 24 hours (and that's a lot, because we're in a somewhat-rural area in Utah right now) has reminded me of SEVERED CAT SPINE. Awful, horrid, terrible thing to happen to a cat. I can't even imagine. But yes I **can** imagine it... THANKS TO YOU. You know I love you and your cat-death stories, WAH WAH.


Rose said...

I was late getting my Saturday post up, but it's up now. :)

I also have a Sunday post scheduled.

I'll see you again on Monday! I hope you're having a joyful weekend! :)