It was a quiet evening at the House of Chaos, as the Mistress has retired to her Nest and Grumpy Man has happily gone off to spend another lovely night of plentiful fun at work, it allowed Bouncing Psycho to settle down in the Library of Chaos and enjoy a nice movie. Or try to.
*trundle* … *trundle* …
Rhythmically obscuring Bouncing Psycho’s view of the movie images is the steady to’-and-fro’ movement of a massive furred form. Overwhelming the sounds of the movie is the steady patter of velvety padded paws, competing with the thunderous rumble of a throaty purr with its volume knob apparently not only opened wide but entirely lost in the void to boot. It is clear that Bean Sidhe wants some attention. At the least he is trying to convey some message or other but it does involve attracting Bouncing Psycho’s full, complete and utter notice. It may involve food. But it could also be that Bean Sidhe hates having Bouncing Psycho’s attention fixed on something other than his august purrsence.
The ways in which our furry friends make their intentions clear to their underlings are maybe not always as clear as the above illustration maybe make it seem, but on one thing all can be agreed: the cat is a master at the use of body language, interesting sounds and charades. Millennia of patient observation and careful conditioning has allowed the feline species to get a grip on his communication with the simians and usually a well-pronounced and strategically placed mew can do wonders. It is just that we simians are so dense about it that infuriates our feline overlords. Clearly they still have to work on our priorities !
Hrimnir, at the tender age of 19 weeks, has already mastered the imperial MIEW which is needed to urge on the hapless simian to feed his bowl with stinky goodness NOW. But the frantic repetitions of said MIEW during the feeding process somehow diminish the command presence the sound was supposed to convey. His steady utterance of demands is just hilarious and instead of having the simian underling rushing to do his bidding the poor kitten can only look on in sad fascination at how his underling collapses in helpless laughter. It doesn’t help that he tries to apply the imploring paw-on-your-arm trick, certainly not when he tries to do it with all four.
Now picture Bean Sidhe trying to do this with all the dignity of his 1 year and 4,5 kilo body and you can imagine how many a day at the House of Chaos is spent in joyous merriment.
Zorro, on the other paw, is the master of understatement. He is fond of a more laconic approach and quite frugal with the gestures and sounds that comprise his message technique. The slightest flick of an ear conveys entire volumes of messages. The look in his eyes is enough to send a simian scurrying. And the twitch of a tail-tip is the equivalent of a story told during a long winter’s night. It is amazing therefore that he can stoop to the same tactics as Hrimnir when it comes to acquiring stinky goodness and the sound of a can or pouch being opened is enough to send him into a frenzy of miews and a plethora of jumps, climbs, crawls, and trampling the other feline denizens of the House of Chaos underfoot. Note that in his urge to get to the good stuff he forgets to claw at the others. For which I’m eternally grateful and burn a candle to Divine Bastet.
But when it comes to getting your attention at 3AM in the morning you can bet Zorro shames Bean Sidhe into nothingness and wakes up the neighbours as well. There’s nothing you can compare to that distinctive MOOW-sound with which he is wont to convey upon us, his simian servants, the important news that the True Master Of The House has arrived home and could do with some service thankyouohsoverymuch. It is when the MOOW is repeated with some urgency that the Mistress is instructed to fetch a towel because The Master Of The House also happens To Be Very Dripping Wet. He has indeed trained us very well.
Loup-Garou, in his infinite laziness, is more sedate and yet quite eloquent with his body language. No frantic calls from him, nor the frenzied undulating of his furred 5 kilo mass, but a solid paw resting gently on your knee with the unspoken promise of needle-sharp claws resting gently in their velvety beds that could spring out and wreak terrible havoc any moment now unless something pleasant happens – like stinky goodness being dropped into a bowl. When the others call out in hurried miews for a pouch of stinky goodness he will only add his own IEW when he feels it would contribute to the aesthetic value of the experience. And next throw in all of his 5 kilos to make sure he’ll get the most of the stuff when it does arrive. The same way he gets your attention for other important matters. You won’t notice he’s there until you feel a solid mass of fur and purrs leaning into your leg in order to have it descending upon your lap shortly or else. You can only comply. You don’t want to find out what happens or else.
All in all, our cats are truly masters at attaining our attention and after you’ve done your furry overlord’s bidding -again- you are left to ponder how 4 kilos of fur and purrs can so solidly govern your actions.
Zorro, in one of his finer moments