How can a creature weighing so little in comparison to myself command so much respect? Are cats reincarnations? Is Edie of royal decent - a manifestation of some past princess sent back to earth in furry ball form? Sure as hell would account for the way she behaves if it was true. Look, she is eyeballing me right now as if she knows what is on my mind. I mean who is considering who here? I feel as if I'm in the presence of an entity of superior intellect. Something about her seemingly all-knowing stare unnerves me. Still want to cuddle her up though all the same, which is a little twisted on my part - all that yummy, smooth fur being so silky to the touch. And then we have Jasper - the perfect gent.
What a contrast. Jasper is sweet - endearing. I could be wrong but I feel some sense of anguish in his demeanour, as if he is harbouring hurt of sorts. His past is unknown - well, some is, but, still, going by instinct I become a little sad, concerned even when he makes his presence felt. Yet, I know he will be able to handle it fine if his confidence is kept as high as it possibly can be. I try to boost it as much as I can. Strange isn't it, but I am useless at inspiring self-assurance in people - pathetic really - well, with those I am romantically involved with anyway. Whoa - branching off again, but am I? Not really, because believe it or not such thoughts cross my mind and have crossed my mind when paying attention to the 'Main Man' as I like to call him.
OK, this story was meant to be light-hearted - easy going, but I have to lay the foundation - beef it up some to show where I'm coming from. How can I paint a picture of these quite wonderful creatures if I don't pump them up to their full splendour? because in my mind's eye they are far more than their outward appearance suggests - far more than that: these are two full blown characters in their own right.
I hold the belief a form of language is universal to all creatures - those who negotiate their way through life in a similar fashion to ourselves, that is - maybe all creatures down to a cellular level come to that. Just because we can't connect with animals verbally doesn't mean we don't on any level - for goodness sake human speech is way down the scale with regard to this. Does a raging animal have to construct a sentence or two before you get the point? Do you just stand there and take it without realizing its intentions beforehand? Of course not. So there we are. Edie and Jasper have as much earthly right and standing on this planet as I - or you - or anyone for that matter.
So, in the household I sometimes share there are not just two adults vying for attention but four - from my viewpoint anyway. It can get a little strained at times as a result, especially when one is hell bent on reaching an open bedroom cupboard at 3am in the morning by first of all balancing precariously on a clothes rail. Just watching the balancing act is unsettling enough. Should the disturber of the peace be successful in acquiring a foothold on the ledge above her there is no way you can ignore further proceedings as the decent is even more precarious and doesn't always go to plan - it can be a noisy landing. So, you wait with baited breathe out of the corner of a weary eye. Still, to see such energy and inquisitiveness lifts my spirits somewhat - makes me smile even though I pay a price for it in the morning.
I haven't mentioned the Main Man's nightly habit yet. The time we hit the sack is the Main Man's time - his moment to pounce - to take control. I'm absolutely sure it is the highlight of his day. He likes to move in quickly before Edie lays down the law. What the hell am I talking about? If you have ever had a cat you will have some idea as to what comes next - the face to face encounter - nose to nose, eyeball to eyeball staring match. As soon as I have stretched out on my back he moves in. Once he is in position I can't move an inch. There I am with a dead weight of over 4 kgs on my chest with its chops so close to my own I can feel its breathe on my skin. What the hell, I look forward to it, so presumably it is my time of the day too, though I don't let on to the fact.
How about we consider how WE - that is my girlie and I - appear to these two bundles of cuddliness? Do they see us as on a level footing? This is where I think such creatures have an advantage over us, because they are not bogged down with abstract thought - they merely feel and act according to the moment. Does this make them 'less' than us? Does it hell. Our arrogance knows no bounds. Just because we can string some silly words together we think we are somehow vastly superior in this department - but what are words based upon? Well - bleeding thoughts innit - and pussy cats must have plenty of them - the ones they need to think at the time and no other. No inconsequential nonsense causing emotional conflict with them - they simply go with the flow. So, what DO they think of us?
No hardship here to think what this could be, because, as I have already pointed out WE are four adults sharing the same space - not two adults with two pets - not in my opinion anyway. So, Edie is not Edie at all, in the sense of being a cat - I see a rather sexy, femme fatale before me with incredibly seductive eyes contemplating me whilst smoking a cigarette attached to a long holder. What? She fancies me? Don't be silly. We are like flat mates who converse about our lives whilst keeping many facets of our lives open for discussion only but never for mutual participation. So Edie sees me as an amusing innocent - one far less experienced about everything - and I mean everything. I know this and accept it. I listen and learn from her all the time.
Jasper, on the other hand, might have impeccable manners, but he is as barmy as any other male who is in the prime of their lives. He has his 'moments' when his energy holds no bounds and where he just has to let off steam - as any full blooded male worth his salt has too. Wonderful to see and reminds me of how I used to be when so full of vigour. He also demands attention to the point you have to play with him - outside! If he had hands he would escort you out to the garden by physical insistence, as it is you still have to go along with him regardless. Standing outside in the cold in my pjs whist throwing balls high over his head is fun - well, he sure thinks so anyway. Other times he is just happy for me to sit on the bench watching him be silly rummaging through the leaves or other. I know he enjoys my company and needs me to be a witness to his antics as he constantly looks for me after every daft move he makes. Quite delightful. I feel needed even though I might be freezing my wosnames off.
Funny how writing 'stuff' down can clear your head and also make you realise something you might not be fully aware of. Plainly obvious life without these two colourful characters would be a lesser life to lead. But, just like all stories, and people come to that, there is a flip side, which I feel I should make clear. Best not to misrepresent something, but to be honest and truthful so whoever follows your words has all the facts from which they can draw their own fully informed conclusions. When it comes to pets then it is best not to go off half cocked, to think life with them is a bed of roses at all times. They need responsible owners who are fully aware of the downside to pet ownership.
Edie's turn to lie on the psychologist's couch. She worries me at times. Being stuck in her company, unable to get away from her, means I have to tolerate her bad behaviour and mental disturbances - and she is disturbed, there is no-doubt about it. Edie is a British Shorthair, and like many of them has breathing difficulties. She snores as a result - LOUDLY! This doesn't bother me all that much as ear plugs is an easy remedy; no, it is how she wakes from a deep sleep I am far more concerned about.
Look, I am not an animal doctor. It appears many cats suddenly wake in a panic. Then again I have never owned another animal like it. I knew something was amiss, but it wasn't something I took too much notice of when the cats were in their usual abode as Edie slept downstairs most of the time, but then we moved them to my own home. I witnessed this first hand one night when she fell asleep on the back of the armchair and I was working away on my computer. This was in the early hours of the morning when I was half asleep. When she suddenly awoke and screamed her head off I nearly had an heart attack. It was the cry of the tormented. I felt for her, but it also scared me to such an extent I shouted out for her to shut the hell up. I mean - wow. Worrying. What the hell is going on in that head of hers? And apart from this she can be very cruel too.
Edie is a lovely animal. For all her foibles she is a delight to be around, but this isn't always the case for the other cats who SHE allows to be in close contact with her. I am surprised she even allows Jasper to exist in the house at all! Even so SHE is the boss and gets her way at all times - demands it. Doesn't matter who the other cat is as she breaks down their resolve by being so single minded and relentless - one track minded - she wears the trousers - simple as that. How does this pan out? In the form of bullying, which is quite ugly to see and be witness to. By making sure Edie is never neglected and shown as much love as Jasper I think a tin lid is kept on her dominating ways. This just shows you how owning pets can bring into play aspects of life you might have never had to consider before - including aspects of your own. A degree in psychology would probably help - maybe not, but you have to dig deep sometimes to work out why they behave the way they do.
They are lovely though. Always there for you when you get up in the morning - well, unless they have vanished out of the cat flap at some point, but you know they will appear at some time as they need company as much as you do - it is reciprocated love in its purest form. They say cats help keep depression at bay; also dumping one on the lap of some poor old codger in a nursing home is guaranteed to lower their blood pressure and bring a smile to their face. If it works for them it will sure as hell work for you too.
Where are we with this now? Oh yeah - four bodies sharing a house, with one a mentally, deranged psychotic, one an outdoor enthusiast and the other two whose soul purpose in life is to provide the necessaries for their complete comfort. Who is the owner and who is the pet here? I have a sneaking suspicion cats can talk amongst themselves and hold regular meetings on how they can exploit the human race. Whether or not they can life goes on and the bills keep adding up; but, what the hell, to consider Edie and Jasper as mere pets is an absolute insult, as they are as much a member of the family as we are, so money is not an issue; though a trip to the vets can be a sobering experience.
That reminds me, I have to move over and free up some of this couch for Edie as she is due to show sometime soon. She is going to pass judgement on my behaviour for the day beginning from the time she enters the room until she has walked over me to get to her spot. I have to acquiesce at all times else who knows what she will do? I can feel the vibes from a long ways off. I think I have been pretty good today so far - not quite sure, though. Lemme think? Oh well, too late now. Same feeling I use to get when it was time to hand in my homework. And where is Jasper - playing on his playstation again? Oh wait, no, he can't do that can he - bet he is having fun somewhere, though. Why didn't he take me with him if that is the case?
Cats - who needs em?