The weary warrior

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Imagine the fiercest warrior of the tribe: he’s huge, he’s a towering giant, his overflowing mane of hairs flares out in an impressive arc around his noble head. Bulging muscles quiver under his smooth skin and his temper is feared by all. He’s a veritable killing-machine, body honed to perfection. There he walks -no- prowls, prepared for battle, with all of his weapons ready and poised to strike. Silently he approaches the enemy. And then… he lies down.

That is more or less what Bean Sidhe does whenever Hrimnir invites him to play. He’s a lot bigger than the tyke, who has been the runt of his litter and shows little promise of having inherited his Dam’s Norwegian Forest Cat genes. Bean Sidhe, on the other hand, has certainly inherited his Dam’s impressive Maine Coon built, but do you really think he would flaunt it ? Not for nothing are the Maine Coons called the “Gentle Giants”. As with everything else, Bean Sidhe is wont to approach the serious business of fight-play with a certain laid-back attitude and he means the latter literally. He does lay back. At leisure.

Now, cats can adopt this stance (or is that “lie-ance” ?) when cornered and forced to rely upon their most formidable weapons: the powerful and well-clawed hind-legs. Many a bulkier and stronger opponent has backed away carefully when presented with this formidable arsenal and tactics, unless he was a dog who regard this kind of behaviour as the sure sign he has vanquished the prone one and got a nasty surprise when he closed in for the ritual neck-bite of dominance. The cat will recognize this as a most dangerous situation and make himself scarce. Hrimnir however is a bit on the dense side and still plagued by youthful exuberance and sense of immortality, so he doesn’t take the message when Bean Sidhe goes supine. Much to the larger feline’s chagrin of course, who is now forced to continue to exert himself. And Bean Sidhe hates exercise above all other things.

Seldom have I witnessed a lazier cat. Apart from Loup-Garou, who has elevated the art of couch-potato to hitherto unimaginable levels of expertise and excellence, Bean Sidhe has to be the most faineant feline I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness in all his grandiose slothfulness and majestic indolence. He’s the Über-cat of Otiosity and no mistake about it ! His disdain for physical effort has been noted before, as has been his fear of heights, but you can rest assured that, if there is a way to have his way with the least possible resistance, Bean Sidhe will already be using it.

Observe how he indulges Hrimmir in a little play-fight: how he lies there like the paragon of sloth. While the tyke is jumping up and down, running to and fro’, being everywhere at the same moment and generally making a momentous nuisance of himself, the elder and far more substantial playmate will idly lift a paw and swap his opponent with a mighty blow that comes from everywhere but the rest of his body. Bannikins is so strongly built that he rarely has to use more than the utter minimum of muscles required for the movement. His exterior may seem flabby, and his excessive amount of short fur certainly gives him the deceiving appearance of a cute cuddly teddy-bear, but like a Sumo-Wrestler there’s quite a lot of power hidden underneath that chubby demeanor and it is at moments like this that he manages to elicit gasps of surprise from the hapless visitor.

Hrimnir does all the work of course. But then, he’s a kitten. Kitten have an excess of energy that they absolutely must needs burn off else they explode. Bean Sidhe is quite aware of this, and it is only his absolute disdain for filth that urges him to comply with the kitten’s all-too-frequent requests for a good romp. Exploding kittens tend to leave quite the mess you know and it would be too much work for poor old Bannikins to go and clean it up. He’s having trouble enough already with the filth that tends to solidly congregate on his hind-paws and behind his ears so you can be assured that if he can avoid the mess he will certainly move.

I think I found the reason for Bean Sidhe’s sloth. He does have this massive amount of fur on his rather substantially corpus and all of that needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. For some arcane reason his fur also functions as a supreme filth-magnet. And an even more worrying tendency has developed for this filth to become a rather solid mass clumped around the fur on his hind-legs. Not to mention the semi-permanent presence of car-grease behind his ears that can only be explained as Bean Sidhe having the firm conviction that lying under a car that’s just arrived might be comfortably warm. So yes, poor Ban-Ban has his work cut out for him and it is usually with a profound sigh that you can witness him starting on his daily grooming labour.

Hence the tiredness that forces our majestic moggy into forced faineance. It’s not of his own choosing that he spends most of the day cozily ensconced (and hopefully safe from Zorro’s usual ire) in the Nest upstairs, nor has he voluntarily submitted himself to fighting prone. He’s the victim of his daily hygienic routine and must needs recover from this ordeal as much as he can. Much to the eternal puzzlement of Hrimnir, who can’t understand why such a great warrior would stoop to gross indolence.

Picture below:
Hrimnir inviting Bean Sidhe for play. Bean Sidhe’s usual reaction.

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Witness his problem… substantial surface, clotted filth on the paws, grease behind the ears. Bean Sidhe as we have come to know and love him.

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On this lovely Sunday what better activity than to visit the Carnival of the Cats and engage into some frolicsome fun ?

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