Monday, October 22, 2012

Head Games

My cats like to play head games with me as their target.

One or more will sit at the sliding door staring out past the covered porch to the yard and forest beyond. They will have all the rapt attention of a pointer. Eventually, I will notice their focused stare and sidle over to peer into the void myself while asking, "What's out there? What are you looking at?"

The answer, of course, is usually nothing, nothing at all. Sometimes there's a breeze causing the aspen leaves to quake or the goldenrod to sway j-u-s-t enough. Sometimes there's a squirrel or a bird hopping about. Sometimes there's a deer or turkey. Once there was a bear just on the other side of the screen; nose-to-nose with Chester who just wanted to play.

Then there's the times that a "stray" cat (meaning one not belonging to US) comes walking through the yard looking to take advantage of the buffet of birds, squirrels, chipmunks, mice and voles hitting the sunflower seeds. That's when OUR cats get vocal and animated as they race from window to window hissing and howling. Perhaps they (OUR cats) think that we have enough mouths to feed as it is and even if they (OUR cats) never, ever intend to go outdoors to do a little hunting of their own, they certainly do not want any poachers about.

But most often, there is absolutely nothing visible going on out in the yard. There are no creatures about and the air is still so not even the aspen leaves are shaking.

I'll stand there peering into the yard looking with all my might for what may have attracted the cats' attention. Then, with what I swear is a smirk on their face, the cat will get up and stalk off in the opposite direction leaving me still looking out into the yard. I can sometimes see the little bugger chuckling as it walks away.

That's when I feel had. Just like the guy on the busy city street looking up at nothing at all will get others walking by to stare up into the sky for no reason at all, my cats will have played their little practical joke on me. And succeeded in getting me to come over and stare into the yard at nothing at all.

Nothing but head games.


Little Miss Kitteh slipped out of her beautiful red collar with the rhinestones on it this afternoon. It was a tad too large for her anyway. Twice I've had to pull one of her front legs out of it as she had managed to wear her collar like it was a bandoleer over one shoulder and across her chest. We looked for that collar for half an hour (I even shoveled out the kitty litter--just in case) but we can not find it anywhere.

We did find a swollen tick on her neck, however. That was probably irritating her into scratching that collar and making it go round and round and jingle, jingle, jingle. Might also explain why she preferred to have it slung over her shoulder.

We smeared some Vasoline on the tick in hope that it would suffocate enough to detach itself. Works on a human but they tend to be a bit 1) less furry and 2) more stationary.  When next I catch Miss Kitteh, I will have to see if the tick is still there. If not I'll have another thing to worry about.

Made an appointment with the vet to have Miss Kitteh given a check-up on Friday afternoon. Find out if she needs shots, how much and when she should be "fixed," and, if it's still there, have the tick removed.

Meanwhile she's eating more than her fair share. She'll finish her bowl and then go on to the others. Julie is the only one that can keep up with her in that department. The other two, Chester--nearly 20 pounds and Shadow--somewhere north of 15 pounds, give way as Miss Kitteh approaches and yield their food rights to the little (less than 3 pounds) cat. Miss Kitteh then cleans BOTH their bowls and starts eyeing Julie's. She may not have a lot of muscle on her yet, but she's got a firm, round belly. I hope that tick is the only parasite she's harboring.
One of my daughter's friends suggested Miss Kitteh might be a Maine Coon Cat and I have to say that Googling that particular breed produces several pictures that look just like Miss Kitteh. Such as this one or this one.


Ruth said...

Petco carries them, and my vet sells them too. Makes removing the things MUCH easier and marginally less gross...

joated said...

Ruth, I bought one this morning at my local Agway and I have to say the Tick Twister works great!

It took me two minutes to get the tick out. (It would have been quicker, but little Miss Kitteh has got some fine, long fur!) And, since I was doing this near the sink, I was able to crush that sucker immediately and send it on its way down the drain.

I then spent an hour running my fingers through her fur (and tickling her belly) to ensure there were no more hitchhikers. I couldn't locate any, thank goodness.

Ruth said...

She's a cutie, glad there was just the one!

joated said...

You and me both! As I said, we checked with the nearest neighbors but none of them claimed her. For there to be only one, means someone must have just dropped her off, which is kinda sad.

She has a definite appreciation of human contact and is quite the purr machine when she gets attention.