The cat is a creature of habit. No really, if there is one thing the feline hates it is change in his environment. If you leave it to the feline house tiger home-improvement would never happen, furniture could crumple to dust for all he cares, as long as everything stays the same (and when it does crumple he’ll stare accusingly at the offending furniture for daring to change). He also abhors any change in his daily routine and will look at you with thunderous reproach in his lovely orbs when you forget that 5 o’clock means putting grub in his feeding bowl. Daily. He’ll also insist that until now you’ve always given him fresh steak or tuna, but that’s a ploy no self-respecting cat-servant will fall for. Nevertheless it’s worth trying I guess.
But did you know that cats can develop weird, inexplicable and strange personal habits as well ? And that these habits can be quite funny ? Sometimes even taking on the force of ritual ?
Bean Sidhe, from his youngest days, has always approached the water bowl in this fashion: he walks over to the bowl, scratches the ground a bit in front of it, then proceeds to drink, often while still scratching. Why he would do that is a mystery. But Hrimnir seems to have adopted the practice now as well, although with this minor alteration: he puts at least one paw IN the water. I really don’t know why these 2 felines should have developed that particular habit, since there are -as far as I know- no near-by sources of potable water in the neighbourhood, safe from what humans put out for animals to drink from and that’s usually in bowls or buckets. Is it instinct ? In Hrimnir’s case though it’s clearly learned from his elder house-mate. But the Brothers don’t exhibit this kind of behaviour.
What Zorro does exhibit is a disturbing penchant for precarious nap-places. For some obscure and no doubt sinister reason he prefers awkward perches and mad spots: edges, ledges… you’ll never catch him sleeping on the ground if he can help it. We have found him in gravity-defying poses throughout the House of Chaos on the most impossible-seeming spots. Like that time when he was napping on the side of a suitcase – which was standing upright. Or when we still had multiple couches and he would happily lay down on top of two of them – simultaneously.
His other hilarious habit is sitting on the windowsill at the huge window in the front of our house. Passers-by never fail to note the presence of a lovely feline lying in state behind the window (usually endearing himself to frail old -and sentimental- ladies) and said feline just loves to observe the hustle and bustle of the street outside. Especially when it’s raining, then you can really watch the Schadenfreude dripping from his smug whiskered face. But the really freaky thing is that he likes to sit or lie absolutely motionless for a while and then scare a passer-by out of his or her wits by suddenly jumping up and banging himself against the window. It never fails. Amongst the students of the technical school at the end of our street he has already gained some fame because of this. The girls fawn over him. The boys show proper appreciation for a fellow tough prankster.
Loup-Garou on his part has a lap-fetish. In his never-ending quest for the most comfortable spot to nap on the simian lap is his big-time favourite. Always on the look-out for the perfect opportunity he will scrutinize every hapless visitor to the House of Chaos and can barely wait for said visitor to sit down upon the couch. Then he pounces. Never mind that such irritant details like a laptop might be in the way, Loup-Garou will settle down and feel King Of The Hill. He will purr softly in almost-quiet bliss. No lap is ever left wanting for his august presence. But the hesitating visitor is stared hard at, his eyes overflowing with the silent demand of “sit down – NOW”. Many an innocent soul has been stared into meek submission.
The ordeal doesn’t stop when you finally comply though. Loup-Garou, in his infinite search for the ultimate comfort, likes to make sure he won’t drop off by employing his massive claws. It’s bad enough that he will “knead” with them, but he also makes a bad habit out of it by literally hooking himself up on your lap. Did I mention his claws are sharp as well as massive ?
Other funny habits the feline denizens of the House of Chaos have developed over time are:
– Homing in on The Mistress whenever a kitchen cupboard is opened. (Don’t ask why. It just happens.) For obvious reason the same thing happens when a can is being opened.
– Giving a free polyphonous concert when The Mistress walks about with a pouch of stinky goodness, the elder cats behaving with becoming gravitas but little Hrimnir bouncing all over the place in his eagerness. When you try to hold Hrimnir back while emptying said pouch in a bowl he’ll scramble with all fours like a madcat. The elder cats have learned patience.
– For some strange reason they do tend to converge at the bathroom door whenever The Mistress is in there. (They have however learned to stay out of the shower cabin.) If they are allowed in the bathroom they are wont to just sit there and stare in rapt fascination at whatever you’re doing. For my youngest brother, who cannot go to the toilet if he has an audience (he can’t, really), this can be quite the delicious torture.
– Hrimnir also has this amazing tendency to get himself locked up in the bathroom and any cupboard that has been opened recently. Despite the fact that this has already happened countless times he just doesn’t seem to grasp the logical conclusion of “go in there – be locked up – be thoroughly miserable”. One day he’ll either understand this or learn to open the doors himself.
– The cats will chase whatever moves. No matter how old, dignified and supremely relaxed a feline might be, the moment he opens his eyes and sees something -anything- moving he will automatically tense for the pounce.
Lord Of Toys: “Will you type the password ?”
Loup-Garou: “(grumble) Want lap…”
Lord Of Toys: “Oh well, then I’ll type it this time…”
Loup-Garou: “What part of <<want lap>> didn’t you get ?”
Oh well, he can always visit the Carnival of the Cats. Plenty of laps there… he hopes…