Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Master of Disguise

In a world filled with adoration of my humble self, I often need to find a quiet space in which to have a nap or organize my profound thoughts. Obvious hiding places are easily found out by the humans, so I have had to become quite creative. Even to the point of disguising myself among ordinary objects.

Take, for instance, my attempt to blend as a roll of paper towel in an empty bag labeled thus. This one withstood for fully five minutes.

Unfortunately, even with my supreme powers of the brain, the humans are often able to seek me out. While I naturally appreciate this concern for my well being, it can be quite frustrating.

They have found me hiding in a box under the guise of an apple.

They somehow discovered that Stetta and I were having a nap cleverly disguised as balls of yarn inside a couch drawer ostensibly placed there for that purpose.

They caught me one day sneaking into the dishwasher, though I clearly looked like just another clean plate.

And they found me asleep in a drawer in the bathroom, somehow picking me out from among the other hairbrushes....

But there is one trick, one hiding place, one disguise that the humans have yet to decode. The highly complicated and incredibly rare art of "If I can't see you, you can't see me." Something to do with increased invisibility. I won't bore you with the details. You wouldn't understand.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

How does your garden grow?

As King of this humble establishment, I demand certain amenities that are fitting to my station. Everyone knows that Kings have large, perfectly manicured gardens that they may wander through and gaze upon at their royal leisure. Gardens meant to bring some gentle aspect of the wild into their space in a way that is pleasing to the eye, and if possible, to the pallet.

Thus, I felt it well within my rights to demand such a garden be created and maintained on my back porch so that I may enjoy it as I see fit.

The humans acquiesced, procuring some barrels and tubs and filling them with good, dark dirt so that I could choose which plants and seeds would be most pleasing to me. As with most tasks the humans take on, this one required my close supervision to ensure that it was done properly. They would have, in all probability, forgotten the basil completely had I not reminded them of its necessity. After all, what is an herb garden without basil?

It took quite some time for the humans to finish planting and watering. I kept a close eye on them, pointing out which flowers should go where and nudging them towards items that needed more water. I'm quite particular about the placement of my greenery and I like a pattern to my flowers. They're more pleasing to the eyes that way, which is one of the major purposes of a garden, after all.

After a few long hours of hard labour on my part, I was finally able to take a well deserved rest. And now I can enjoy my fabulous garden for months to come.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The art of the game...

As any normal, warm blooded feline, I deal with a great deal of boredom on a daily basis. Yes, some of it is feigned boredom for the sake of the humans - we wouldn't want them getting too comfortable, now would we? But then there is the legitimate boredom that affects a cat with a lot of time on his paws and no ready access to the outside world. We must find new and different pastimes to entertain ourselves with. Pastimes worthy of our intellect.

One such activity which I recently discovered is the somewhat complex game of backgammon. Games of the board variety are not often left out for me to stumble upon, but this one just happened to be sitting out (quite coincidentally on one of those lovely days when a human decides to take my picture - my glorious, gorgeous picture). I gave it a good look over, instinctively picking up on the rules of the game.

There are dice, those funny little cubes with the bug-like spots on them. There are coins, just like human money, but seemingly useless when applied to the purchasing of turkey treats... There is a box that opens, lined with soft felt that I like to put my feet on. And there are markings for where the coins go. It's a two cat game, one colour per cat.

Learning to roll the dice and move the pieces took a bit of concentration, but with my generous helping of gray matter, I mastered that in no time. My feline friend and companion, Stetta, also picked up on the rules and the art of piece moving, and we were ready to play.

A few rousing games later, and it became clear to me that my feline companion had seemed to grasp the rules and skill of the game rather too well. If the scores are to be believed, she was victorious three times out of four. I maintain that she cheated, though I haven't quite figured out how...

However, there is always a weakness in any opponent, and I intend to keep at it until I have figured out hers and soundly beaten her. A day which will surely come swiftly given my dedication and supreme intelligence.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Gift That Keeps On Giving....

I don't pretend to understand the humans. They have habits so strange as to be beyond the conception of even unusually intelligent beings such as myself. They submerse themselves completely in water for a bath rather than using their perfectly good tongues, they use strange instruments to deliver food to their mouths rather than going the easy route and just putting their face down to the meal, and they sit for hours at a time staring at a colourful box in the corner that speaks to them in their own language.

These are not habits that a cat can understand, and certainly not ones that he can participate with. Luckily, however, there comes the odd behaviour that can be quite entertaining to a feline. One such behaviour that comes to mind is the act of "gift giving." A strange ritual that the humans engage in on a seemingly random basis.

Now naturally, when offerings in any form are brought out, one must assume that they are for me. With opposable thumbs, humans can get whatever they want whenever they want it. But felines, while a superior race, are somewhat limited in the thumb department, so occasionally we must deign to accept something from the humans. If we're lucky, this includes food, catnip, and intellectual stimulation in the form a training device that rolls quickly across the floor emitting a bell-like sound.

Strange then that my offerings would be presented to me in a paper bag that I am told I cannot play with. And this wooden frame that I am told I cannot bite. Buried beneath this very light, crunchy paper that I am told I cannot tear apart with my exceptionally strong, white teeth.

What game are these humans playing at? Who offers an esteemed being catnip and training devices and then conceals them within items that they claim are not for his amusement? It is this brand of mind games that sets the humans apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. If a cat has an offering for their human, they tend to leave it somewhere visible and easily accessible, and they don't bother "wrapping" it, or disguising it in any way. A dead mouse is a dead mouse, you can't pretty that up. Perhaps it's not the most desirable gift (and humans rarely seem grateful for it), but at least it's honest. Not that I like mice, dead or otherwise, and thankfully have never seen one up close, but that's beside the point.

The point is that after all of my detective work, trying to find out how to claim my bounty without upsetting the humans by chewing their "wrappings," I am informed that these gifts are in fact not for me! What levels of deceit these humans will stoop to. To lead an innocent cat on for so long and then crush his hopes at the very end. To not even throw him a piece of crunchy paper to play with. How can they sleep at night?

Oh yes.... sleep at night. Of course. The time when humans are at their most vulnerable. Well then, I shall plot my revenge to fall upon this time when they are helplessly cast upon my mercy.... And my vengeance shall be swift.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Same CAT time, same CAT channel.....

Not everyone can be a super hero. Oh sure, you can save a kid from drowning or help a little old lady across a busy street, but that's just regular every day stuff. Super heroes have much more dangerous, secret, and impressive lives and duties. Things like redirecting asteroids to save the planet and holding up falling buildings. That is the kind of super hero I am.

A big part of being a super hero is keeping your true identity a secret. That is, of course, how a super hero maintains a sense of normalcy and keeps the throngs of paparazzi at bay. Recently, however, I made a slip up and was seen in my cape.

With a bit of quick thinking and ingenuity, I was able to turn this otherwise catastrophic event into something seemingly harmless. I located the nearest box and settled in, giving the humans the illusion that I was merely resting and enjoyed being covered in a "blanket" for warmth.

This seemed to work well, no uncomfortable questions followed, and I think (for now) my super hero identity remains secure. But I'll be keeping one eye open, just in case.....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Always eat your greens....

Fickle eater though I may be, there is always room in my tummy for anything full of chlorophyll. I can't get enough of green, green, green.

Generally, I prefer my greens to be freshly grown grass, spring is best, summer will do. However, in this new house I have yet to be allowed outdoors, and can see through the dining room window that there isn't a blade of the delicious greenery yet sprung from the mud.

How then is a cat of my nutritious needs to find his chlorophyll? Green beans. Yes, green beans. I realize that to most the thought of a cat wanting and actually enjoying a green bean is a strange thought. But bear in mind the factors that brought me to this state. I haven't had any fresh greens (excluding house plants, of which there aren't many remaining alive after the meals I have made of them) since last summer. Locked up in a house with nothing more than a few shredded plants has made the sight of a green bean a tempting one.

The green bean offered to me a few days ago was frozen. Contrary to popular belief, which would hold that a cat would not like a green bean and especially not a frozen one, this bean which a human held out to me was like a chlorophyll popsicle. I gnawed it until it was soft and then pulled it apart bit by bit. It was wonderful.

Thus, I have decided that until there is grass up and about and I am allowed a supervised trip outside to pounce and consume it, green beans will be my staple form of greens.

And in the meantime, I will dream back to the days when a carpet of grass was always at my ready....

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Box of a different colour.

One box that I forgot to mention in my previous post is the ice box. More commonly known today as a refrigerator, this most glorious box is truly in a class of its own. It doesn't have that delicious gluey scent or the soft, rippled sides for picking at, and I certainly can't curl up inside it for a nap, and yet it is perhaps the box of all boxes. For inside this box That's right, the all important source of feline sustenance. Food.

Not just cat food either, though it does contain a little can of wet cat food. This magical, mystical box contains "people" food of all varieties. I will openly admit that my chief favourite amongst these are the carnivorous selections. Be it frozen or defrosted, marinated or plain, raw or cooked, anything meat will catch my interest immediately.

Patience is key to a satisfying fridge related reward. The large doors on this box are far to heavy and awkward for me to open myself (though heaven knows, I've tried). Thus, I must sit and wait for a human to decide that therein lies something of interest to them. Once they have made their selection and set it down, my dearest hope is that they become distracted elsewhere leaving their (hopefully meat) selection within my fiercely concentrated sights.

If I were to guess at how often this actually happens, I would say it's a disappointingly low - once a day. More perhaps than my other feline brethren around the world are privy to, but still far less than I am most sure I deserve. Because of the infrequency with which the opportunity arrives, I must make the very best of every occasion.

The main requirement is stealth. If the humans hear a thud or even a rustle from the other room, they'll be back to yell and shove me away from my bounty. Yes, stealth is the main skill required in a successful food-retrieval mission. And because I have stealth in spades, my missions are most usually quite rewarding.

My patience and skill pay off and I snack contentedly upon meats in all their glorious forms. Why just yesterday I happened upon an ill-watched-over leg of chicken. I had it all the way to the floor and halfway to freedom before I was caught. But that's alright. There's always a next time.

A patient cat knows how best to bide their time, and can find a watchful perch in a warm and cozy place. Perhaps atop a large, white box perfectly situated for optimal surveillance.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Boxes galore!

What is it about boxes that attract cats so predictably? Is it the strange, gluey scent? The rough, rippled texture? The way our claws sink deliciously into it with every pick? Or perhaps it's the fact that most boxes weren't intended for us and are therefore "forbidden?" Maybe all of the above?

Whatever the reason, the allure of these cardboard delights is indisputable. I have myself partaken of many such boxes, both with and without the permission of my resident humans.

There is the Chiquita banana box that I found in the basement. Or the "light box" that I found with the sides cut out. Even a very small box I found in the kitchen once. I am probably most proud of that box. It was rather smaller than my usual boxes and required quite a bit of dedication and talent to squeeze myself in.

Score = Cat: 3 Boxes: 0

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A'tunneling we will go...

Like any cat, I enjoy a nice warm nap now and then. In the absence of a conveniently placed sunbeam, a cat must be creative in seeking a spot appropriate for a lengthy slumber.

One of my favourite spots is between the quilts in my human's bed. She doesn't make it very easy for me, however, and this is where my tunneling skills come into play. It takes a bit of talent to lift up the corner of one quilt and wiggle down in between them both.

Once situated, I could nap for hours. In fact, I often do. However, now and then even I will have the occasional trouble getting the right corner of a quilt up and will have to resort to whatever I can manage. Like between the sheets. For some reason this is not something my human approves of (fickle humans...) and I am often admonished when found between the sheets.

To appease my incomprehensible human, I sometimes tunnel into someone else's bed. I am often caught out at this too, though (see photo above) and am removed forcibly. I do consider the warm, soft nap to be worth it, however. And if I am clever enough (and I usually am) I can even disguise myself as a pillow and avoid detection for an even longer period of time.

I wasn't always a tunneler, I'll admit, but once my feline friend, Stetta had introduced me to the comforts of a human bed, I could not resist spending many a cold winter day in such a delightful spot.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bath time.

For millennia, cats have cleaned themselves using only their own tongue. They would wash fastidiously until they had smooth, fluffy fur ready for stroking and loving. In fact, many cats today still use this technique for their daily ablutions.

Silly buggers.

There is a better way. My human is quite particular about my cleanliness, as well she should be. I am a bit of an explorer when it comes to dusty boxes and high shelves. I enjoy peaking into dark places and squeezing myself into small spots. The journeys that I go on often leave my shiny coat dulled by the dusts of adventure. To take my delicate tongue and run it over all of myself would surely be unpleasant. And I should not have to subject myself to such unpleasantness.

Every evening, before bed, my human finds me and carries me to the bathroom where she scrubs me down with a warm, wet washcloth. It's surprisingly soothing, though I do occasionally put up a fuss. For show, you know. It wouldn't do for my human to be thinking that I will placidly be subjected to any whim she may have. Secretly, though, I adore it. It's such a fresh, clean feeling to be washed all over so thoroughly. My tongue never having to be raked across my sullied fur. The taste of my day left on a rag rather than on my palate.

Sometimes, and this is my favourite part, she will pull out a brush and gently remove some excess fur. Kindly sparing me a hair ball or two in addition to the flavour of exploration. It feels so good to have those bristles dragged across my cheekbone that I can't help but emit a grateful purr. I'm not shy to show my delight of this particular task, for it would not pain me to have a good brushing more frequently.

Once I am all scrubbed and clean, there comes the very best part. Treats. Sure I have to give her my paw so that she can "shake it" before she hands me a delicious, crunchy, turkey flavoured morsel, but it pleases her when I do so, and I am simply happy to eat between meals.

So I urge all you cats out there reading today... do not subject yourself to the task of bathing, find a human to do it for you. After all, that's what they're for.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cat's best friend.

Though I do have a very useful human companion, every cat of my standing requires a beast of their own species with which to commune. My human is a bit slow to understand the feline language and also (quite inexplicably) has never been interested in skittering around on the floor in the middle of the night, chasing each other up and down the stairs or wrestling. Of course, this may not be a bad thing as she is rather larger than I am and could possibly crush my delicate self.

Luckily for me (I do live a golden life, do I not?), when I was brought to this house there was a feline companion already waiting for me. Interesting that though the humans had only just learned of my existence, they had already thoughtfully obtained a playmate for me. They call her Stetta. She wasn't as thrilled to see me at first as I felt she should be, but with time and a little coaxing, she was finally won over by my irresistible charm.

She is a few years older than myself, but where other older feline companions may have rejected the floor skittering of their youth, she retained a love of such things as wrestling, chasing and paw batting (which most often dissolves into biting and more chasing) and is in fact more energetic than some cats half her age. I can only imagine that this determined retention of such tomfoolery is a tribute to her high esteem of my humble self, for there is no other reason I can see for a cat of nearly 12 years in age to still be so sporty in nature.

What, you may ask, is the secret to her youthful longevity? For this I have but one answer. Sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. Where most cats will sleep 70% or so of their lives, I would estimate that she quite probably sleeps around 85% of her life. She finds the insides of a soft warm bed and naps all day there, coming out for food, the occasional peak to see what's going on, a drink of water or two, but it's always right back to bed for her. It is only at night after the lights are out and the humans are asleep that she and I will skitter and wrestle. But she does not spend all night awake, not at all. After a good amount of running around, it's back to that soft, warm bed for her. She cuddles up to a human and continues her "fountain of youth" treatment.

I suppose I don't mind too much. I personally am a 70% sleep sort of fellow. So while I am awake at times and would like to play, she is asleep. Now, if I were incredibly bored, I could wake her up, that is always within my power. But I dare not cut her life short by interrupting the sacred sleep cycle too often.

So it is in these times of boredom, while my feline friend is napping, that I turn to my human for entertainment and affection. And it is in these instances that my human becomes most useful, and is why it is clearly necessary that I should have them both.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


There came in the mail the other day many mysterious padded envelopes. Quite shockingly, they were not addressed to me, but rather to my person, Sarah. I patiently waited for them to be opened so that I could explore the contents (someone has to watch out for the girl, after all) and was delighted to find that they had delivered to me quite a large pile of shiny and enticing objects!

I at once commenced my inspection of them (to make sure that none would be harmful or possibly deadly to my person... I still need her for food, water, cuddling and so on...) and found them to be quite suspicious and thus claimed them for my own. If some of those smaller beads and clasps were to fall into a human's irresponsible hands there is no telling just what they might choke on. Poor simpletons.

I collected the stash together into a pile, the better to watch over it all, and thoroughly examined each piece. There were red ones and pink ones and black ones and white ones. Shiny and dull, glass and stone. I particularly enjoyed the taste of the blue/green azurite.

However, for some ridiculous reason beyond any intellectual understanding, my person was not as thrilled with my plans for keeping all the shiny and colourful beads. She removed them from my watchful care and placed them in a box beyond my reach.

I was understandably offended.

Obviously whatever it is that she plans to do with this delectable assortment of goodies will not compare to how I could have used them to beautify my living space. And she is therefore not worthy of them.

But try telling a human that. Hmph.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Invasion of the paper towel roll.

I was laying on a dining room chair the other day, minding my own business, when out of nowhere an empty paper towel roll attacked me! Before I was even aware of reacting, my killer feline instincts kicked in and I was at once in full battle mode. As fierce protector of the household, I couldn't allow this intruder any ground. It was a fight to the death. Only one of us could make it out alive, and it was my job to make sure that it was I who lived to fight another day....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fan mail.

I am a modest cat. Well, maybe modest isn't the right word. What do you call it when you have an unerring sense of self importance unshaken by others' doubt of your awesomeness and you can't help but acknowledge that you are without a doubt this century's most valued treasure?

Well, modest or not, my rise to fame has been quite recent. Even a cat with such a healthy amount of self esteem and dignity as I may now and then be shocked and quite happily surprised to discover that my fan base is indeed present and full of adoration (any why shouldn't they be?). Just over the past week or so I have received two separate, non-commissioned pieces of literary homage to my humble self, and I present them here for you gaze upon. I hope that you will enjoy them as I have.

The first is from my dear friend, Kim:

"I'm in love with a kitty with eyes of blue,
He's got me fooled, this much is true.
He seems to be so sweet and kind,
Proof that my love for him is blind.
I don't even see all that he does wrong.
That's why I immortalize him in song.

Come play with me, Arthur, and I'll be your friend.
I bet you wish your song would never end.
You make us all so happy with the things you do.
I bet you can even do "cute" on cue!"

Quite marvelous, isn't it? Thank you, Kim.

The second is from my dear friend, Carolyn:

There once was a kitty named Arthur;
A Canadian kitty with white fur;
He cleaned in the sun,
Taught his people to run,
And Fetch what he m-e-o-w-e-d his heart 'fer!!!"

Lovely, don't you think? Thank you, Carolyn.

And there you have it! My first pieces of fan mail. Many more to come, I'm sure.

Monday, January 28, 2008

One-cat show.

As I mentioned previously, I am a one-cat show. I photograph best when I and I alone am the star. Most cats will either ignore a camera or run away from one, but I am drawn to them as a moth to a flame. My performance in front of a lens is nothing short of genius and it would be a crime to deprive the world of such creativity and entertainment. In the spirit of sharing, I present to you one of my most recent and favourite shots.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

They call her Sarah.

I just call her, "You there!" or "Hey, you!" Not that she always responds to either. She can be quite obtuse sometimes. And humans think they have a higher intellect. Ha! I'm not saying that she isn't a good caretaker, in fact she has many positive attributes, but let's face it, there's always room for improvement.

The job description for my perfect person is really rather simple. Someone who cares devotedly about my wellbeing, someone who is available to me 24 hours a day, someone with a keen intuition to my communications, someone with a liberal hand with the food, and someone who will keep me company while I sleep without being overly affectionate. It really isn't much to ask, is it? I don't think so.

Luckily for me, I found someone who quite nearly fits the bill. You may remember her as the slightly taller girl who took me home, and it was her birthday cake in which I indulged just a few days ago. She does things like that, leaving food out for me. It's sort of a bonus, really. The other humans figure she's just forgetful, but I know the truth. No one would leave food out that often if it weren't on purpose for me.

In return for these services, I put up with the sometimes strange things that she puts me through. Like smushing me into a photograph that I wanted no part in (I photograph better alone, I'm a one-cat show), or the 'bath' that she gives me every night with a facecloth. I don't pretend to understand these behaviours. As long as I'm rewarded with treats, I can be a good sport.... usually.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Cheesecake.

As you may have noticed in my profile, one of my main interests is unattended food and drinks. So you can imagine my delight when a fresh, warm cheesecake was left out on the dining room table as I happened by. I hopped up to explore further but was sadly spotted in my reconnaissance efforts and rudely shoved away. No matter... there are always other chances.

I carefully bided my time, keeping a casual eye on the delectable treat. This cake was quite incredibly not created for me and my sophisticated palate, but rather for my person and her birthday. Therefore it wasn't going to be handed to me, I had to get it for myself. Luckily for me, the birthday meant that there were activities occurring which took the people out of the kitchen and dining room, leaving that rich, luscious snack completely unattended... my favourite way to find them. A patient cat is well rewarded.

I snuck up onto the dining room table, crept carefully over to the cooling rack, and treated myself to a generous helping of the scrumptious treat. Oh, heaven, this is what you must taste like...

Needless to say, the people are not as thrilled with my talents for scavenging as I am, and there was quite an uproar when they discovered that foolishly leaving such a delicacy alone had laid it victim to my ways. But believing that I, like most lowly pets, have only a five minute memory, they were remarkably easy on me. Foolish humans.

You can see in the photo above the nice sized hole that I made.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A new home.

After two weeks of trying my best to be a good feline companion to the man, there came a knock at the door. Prior visitors to the house had held no appeal to me, and since there wasn't a clear path to the door (being born in a barn, I was perpetually in the quest of some outdoor time) I instead opted to hide under the bed and observe the interaction from a dark corner.

Three people entered. A tall man, a small girl and a slightly taller girl who peered around as if searching something out. Call it feline intuition, but I knew immediately that they were not here for the old man, and since no others took shelter in that little home they could only have come for me. I dashed out from under the bed and skittered around on all four feet with my tail spiked and ready for action. Displaying my talents for quick movement, I dodged a few bits of furniture and made a pass by the lovely new people. The two girls bent down to catch me, but I was too fast for them and plowed gracelessly into a wall.

The people spoke amongst themselves for a few minutes, while the tall girl, clearly taking note of my adorable charm, shook a set of keys in the hopes of enticing me closer. Perhaps no escape to the outdoors was needed, I thought. I would simply leave with these people who so clearly intended me to go with them.

The meeting ended, the people headed for the door, and I followed, tail high and proud. Then suddenly the door closed on my tender nose and the people were gone. I was somewhat confused, as I'm sure you can imagine. I had been so sure that they were my destined ones.

I spent a troubled half hour pondering my future, before there came again a knocking on that humble door. In came those same people again, and this time they scooped me up and carried me out with them. Though I was sad to say good bye to the man, I was glad to have these girls to play with, they seemed very kind. The explanation I was given for the wait was some ridiculous nonsense along the lines of checking with their mother that I was suitable. As if there could be question! Hmph.

Stuffed inside a sweatshirt, I was taken to the vet, given a warm bath and fed big meal. The slightly taller girl concentrated much effort upon me to ensure that I was cleaned thoroughly with a wash cloth and had a comfortable place to sleep. It was a nice big house full of adoring people. I felt very at home with these people and silently thanked the old man for choosing such a lovely family for me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Introduction to King Arthur.

I was born but a simple barn cat. Many siblings had I. And only so many food receptacles on poor mummy. Food and life were paramount, I wasn't going to get my needs met by accident. Some would say that I was pushy.... perhaps they are right. Whatever you call it, I made sure that I was amply fed, and that's all that matters, after all. A well fed cat is a happy cat.

After six weeks in the barn, I was adopted by an elderly man who lived alone in a small house in a small town. He wanted a companion and chose me from the litter for my spunk and charm. He named me Top Knotch in reference to the dark spot on top of my head and his high esteem for my person. He seemed to be in poor health and had braces on his legs which made loud noises as he walked. Though he seemed to care for me a great deal, he was unable to provide for me in the way that he knew a cat of my stature required.

After two weeks together, he called upon a trusted acquaintance of his to come and take me away to a household that was better set up for the care of a cat.

To be continued.....