Cats have this strange but utterly compelling fascination with enclosed spaces. I have yet to encounter the feline who is not mesmerized by the presence of a cardboard box or a sack. A hole leading to somewhere forces their attention towards it and the snugger the place the more irresistible it becomes. They must explore it, they must stuff their not-too-insubstantial furry forms into it, they must fill it up. No matter how small, if a cat can stuff any part of his body into it he will do so. And will look up with great pride when you greet him as if he wants to show off his prowess at space-filling. Or maybe he’s just immensely satisfied at his latest acquisition ? For what a cat touches is his, you know.
Amongst the feline denizens of the House of Chaos is not a single feline who does not like to cram his furry self into an enclosure. All love boxes, all adore baskets, all crave crates. The smaller the better even. Often has the Mistress come home after an arduous bout of shopping, delivered her boxes and crates to the Kitchen of Chaos before closing the door and upon returning to the Kitchen found one or several felines already firmly ensconced in one of the receptacles. Never mind that said receptacle is filled to the brim with purchases. The cat simply tops it off.
Size does not matter. In the picture below you can behold a very proud Bean Sidhe having tried to enter Grumpy Man’s slipper. He loved it. He didn’t mind the obnoxious odour emanating from it, maybe he even relished it for all I know, but he surely loved the snug fit. Zorro has been found crawling into Grumpy Man’s footwear as well but he is wont to stuff his head inside them, not his paws. But boxes and crates are their favourites. Be it a low box or a high box, a plastic crate or a wooden one, they have no real preferences but the requirements are: having at least 4 walls and a bottom. A top is optional and if it moves even makes for greater fun.
Once a box has been possessed, though, company is not appreciated. A respectful and admiring audience can be tolerated, enjoyed even, but the presence of a potential contender must needs be objected to. Firmly. Hence the presence of an empty box has in the past sparked some memorable cat-fights and we are looking forward to the sequels. Our furry friends are quite territorial and whenever something nice has been taken into ownership their instincts kick in and the paws lash out. It’s automatic, you can be assured that it will happen. And the ferocity employed is by no means any less than that of the wild lion defending his turf. For the hapless visitor who has entered the House of Chaos for the first time such fights can look horrible and utterly menacing but for the resident denizens it’s a source of great entertainment. Simians and felines alike line up for a good view and some even cheer on the fighters.
But once the dispute over ownership has been settled to satisfaction the victor can enjoy the comfort of his box and engage into whatever he was planning to do with it. Most of the time this involves a serious bout of napping. Often has Grumpy Man picked up a box, meaning to place it outside for the trash-collectors to haul away, and found to his surprise that the supposedly empty box had -in fact- a substantial weight. And content. Which would subsequently yawn and emit a soft growling meow in response to its rude awakening. Or it would spring up like a Jack-in-the-box and startle poor Grumpy Man to within an inch of cardiac failure.
Other activities that can take place with a box or crate are playing Jack-in-the-box, ambush, and Venus fly-trap. The first speaks for itself and was a favourite passtime between Zorro and the late woofie Fenris. The Venus fly-trap is a beaut and related to the Jack-in-the-box, involving a cat being as silent as he can and waiting for another cat who thinks the box is empty and can be claimed by simply jumping in. Need I say more ? The ambush is more straightforward: the other cats are not interested in the box but fall prey to a sudden attack from it when passing by.
The cardboard box itself can be the subject of attack too. Zorro especially loves scratching entire bits out of it while Bean Sidhe is more wont to bite little chunks out of it. One can also jump on it, over it, scramble underneath it, push it all over the floor, trample it (which makes a funny noise) and demolish it. Sadly for our furry friends the plastic crates are more resilient and have failed to be destroyed to this date. But the cardboard boxes, oh boy !, come and go and the supply is as endless as the Mistress’ shopping runs.
Fortunately the cats don’t apply the destruction part to our slippers and shoes. They only toy with them. Sometimes even when said footwear is still firmly wrapped around our feet… “This slipper ain’t big enough for cat and foot boyo, one of you has to go…”
Picture below: Ain’t he the cutest about it ? But now Grumpy Man complains his slipper smells of cat.
And a new Friday is arriving and again the Friday Ark is sailing off to vistas unknown and adventure anticipated… Are you coming too ?