I wonder whether cats would be able, like humans, to lay so many different meanings into one single expression. We use words, and words are nothing more but sounds that have a meaning we all previously agreed upon. Some of those words, though, tend to acquire several different meanings, depending on the subject, context and the mood of the utterer. And the word we are examining today is the wonderful sound that goes: “mine”.
1.) A mine is an explosive device that has been hidden somewhere in order to do its nefarious and destructive work. It’s usually something you are to trod upon, or bounce against. It can be triggered by tugging at a trip-wire or these days by a ray of light being obscured when you pass through it. It usually contains explosives but sometimes also with little pieces in it that are designed to shred you to pieces were you so unfortunate as to be passing by at exactly that moment when the mine decides to go off. Most of the time a mine will lie dormant, hidden, a silent menace designed to bring excruciating mayhem the next moment.
And that description brings us to Zorro. Who can only be described as some sort of feline claymore-mine. A “this side towards enemy” explosive that knows only one thing and that is to go off in that direction with devastating results. Never -ever!- try to wake up a sleeping Zorro if you can’t do it with a 10-feet pole or a firecracker. A Zorro being rudely waken up is akin to an explosive going off. And if he doesn’t find a victim within immediate claw-reach you may rest assured he will saunter away and bl**dy well find one.
Which explains why during a moment of perfect bliss and peace in the House of Chaos, a moment when 3 of the 4 resident felines present lie softly snoring someplace comfy, Zorro can enter the room and suddenly attack one of said snoozing felines. Yesterday he attacked Bean Sidhe who was having a nap on my computer chair, just like that, out of the blue: bam-bam-bam-bam with his forepaws and next a cowering Bannikins retreating to a corner furiously trying to understand what just happened to him whilst the culprit sat down on his haunches and sedately -delicately even- started to lick one of his forepaws. Only later did Bouncing Psycho confide to me that Bean Sidhe had taken the habit lately of sleeping with him in the Attic of Chaos, which was hitherto Zorro’s exclusive domain.
Which proved again that a mine will never go off without sufficient provocation.
2.) Mine is the utterance that clearly expounds to the entire world that the object just described is belonging to you. When you declare something to “be mine” you make a statement about the possession of said object or person being yours. Yet it depends on your ability to defend your statement whether it is true or be challenged by other wanters. It does not become a law when you say it, but it may become a law by custom when you hold on long enough to it. So it always comes back to the old trusted “it’s mine coz I have it” and whether you can successfully withstand the “gimme back”.
Which brings us to Loup-Garou who is the master of taking possession by the simple expedience of lying down his rather substantial form onto it. Once he’s settled down it takes a disaster of earth-shattering proportions to get him back off, or the sound of a tin can being opened but then that’s a magical charm that works for any cat for any purpose – except chasing them away. The point is that when you try to challenge Loup-Garou’s possession of -say- your lap he can become very pointy about it. So pointy in fact that his massive claws tend to shred your jeans to ribbons and the flesh underneath will get covered in lovely blood-red pearls of blood slowly bubbling through the scratches. It would be beautiful if it wasn’t so painful.
3.) A mine can be any kind of excavation or tunnel of sorts. One can mine there for resources and prizes unimaginable. Mines are often rich and rewarding, yet as often disappointing and devoid of the coveted materials. Nevertheless one cannot find gain without working for it and thus mining has become a lucrative business throughout the world. But, where the simian is an untiring worker and is not loath of dirtying his paws when digging in, the feline prefers a more hands-off approach and waits for his minions to complete the digging and leave the reaping of the riches to the overlords.
Hence the cupboards in the Kitchen of Chaos tend to become irresistible to the resident felines. Especially Hrimnir has become quite obsessed with the contents of the cubboards and never passes up the opportunity to slip in and explore whenever I open one. The problem arises when I close it back again of course and little Hrimnir finds himself locked up in a dark space the door of which he is still not strong enough to open all by himself. After a short while one can be entertained by the pathetic little mews emanating from said cupboard and the faint “bonk bonk” of a kitten’s head feebly trying to butt his way out of this predicament.
When it happens to Zorro though you get the entire sentence right… “that mine was mine but I will explode when you open the door again”.
“What are you going to do with a purse Hrimmikins ?”
“Dunno. Mine anyway.”
We’re near the end of the week again and that means all cats, dogs, and other assorted vertebrae and invertebrae are to board the Friday Ark next Friday and visit the Carnival of the Cats next Sunday (the latter is hosted this week by Samantha and Tigger of Life From A Cat’s Perspective). Enjoy the parties !!!