It’s hot, my eyes open and focus on the clock. ‘Oh no!’ I’ve slept in courtesy of Smudge waking me at 6.00am and having stayed up till 2.00am this morning. Since I changed his wet food, the big mog is obsessed with his breakfast and tortures me until I get up. (See previous post for methods of torture)!
I stumble out of bed and open a sachet of cat food, placing it in his bowl. Gobbling up three quarters of the fish pieces, there’s no sauce left. I cover the leftovers with plastic wrap and rush to get ready for work. Already on my bed, Smudge makes himself comfy.
The rest of the day it’s difficult to concentrate and others tell me I look terrible.
Last month, I caught-up with a friend who asked why I was so tired. When I told her about Smudge’s obsession with breakfast, she rolled her eyes and told me to close the bedroom door. I did—there was miaowing and scratching from the hallway. He’d then lunge at the door if it wasn’t securely closed, forcing it open…
The other night, Smudge snuggled on the bed with me. The next day I had bags under my eyes and my brain was scrambled. The furball had woken me up at 5.00am. To avoid ninja paws and a suffocating tail, I constantly turned over and ducked under the doona, but to no avail. My tormentor was diligent, showed no mercy, and was enjoying himself.
Twice a day for twelve years, Smudge would diligently scratch my lounge or dining room rugs, and then roll over expecting me to pat his belly. Being told off did not stop the scratching, so I resorted to squirting him with water and used a herbal spray on the rugs, but the defiant moggie was not deterred. Recently, I found two rugs on sale to replace my old ones.
At first, spraying the new rugs with an unpleasant, herbal spray caused Smudge to abstain from his daily ritual. However, the smell even put me off from being in the room. Luckily, after 20 minutes it dissipated. The smarty paws was now on the look-out for alternative scratching material, and much to my horror and consternation, the bedroom mats are constantly shredded.
Smudge has always had his own small rug in front of the lounge room heater. Currently, it is treated the same as the bedroom ones.
By scratching, I know the big mog is marking his territory, but there is a scratching post inside and a huge gum tree outside for sharpening his claws.
The evil fluff-ball is testing me and I caught him yesterday, heard him first, ripping fibres… His pupils were dilated and he was manically working those claws. Yes, it was one of my new rugs. I chased him off—this was unacceptable behaviour—but as usual, it didn’t make any impression and later he was trying again.
Grooming is important to me, but bringing up a furball is not fun and immediately I gulp it back down, so when the human wants to brush me, I am very happy. It is purrfect when she gets to that hard to reach place at the base of my tail. I drop to my side purring and reckon she has removed a furball or two, but if I try to groom her, she pushes me away.
The human throws me a ball and I swipe it back. Lying there waiting for her to find it—while she scrambles under furniture and crawls across the floor—is hilarious. Also too, when I hang around the front door she’ll come running. I saunter outside then quick as a mouse, I’m back banging on the mesh. The human groans and lets me in. I turn around again and whack the door.
Most of the time she obeys my commands, but sometimes she ignore me and doesn’t like me doing things, like scratching behind the couch. I love scraping my claws down and the sound it makes. The human wants me to use the post covered in rug pieces instead, and crouches on all fours to show me how to scratch it, but it’s more fun trying to swipe and pounce on her big mitts. She yells out when I get her, scaring me.
The human keeps me entertained and fits into my routine. I do miss her when she is away.
Last year when I returned from my trip I received an unenthusiastic reaction from Smudge. At short notice, I had found another house-sitter and was relieved. This sitter ticked all the boxes, except she wasn’t a ‘cat person’. Smudge tolerated the stranger and became rotund, because he hung out all day in the hall cupboard snoozing.
After 30 hours of travelling with little sleep, I had arrived home late minus my backpack. It was on a flight to another country. Tentatively, Smudge sniffed my hand, accepted a pat and then stomped outside without looking back. This wasn’t the welcome I had anticipated. He didn’t return until breakfast the next day.
This time after extensive selections and meetings, I found a sitter who loved cats. Upon returning, instead of Smudge’s disdain and refusal to play hide and seek chasey with me for three weeks, (last year’s punishment), I arrived home to a moggie who purred like a re-charged mower, circled my ankles and offered a sleek body for big hugs. Later, Smudge snuggled up on the bed.
It’s that time again when the human disappears, leaving me with a stranger. The new human calls my name, while holding out her hand. Wrinkling my nose, I look up eyeballing her and retreat to the cupboard. When I wake-up, she is still around. The newbie isn’t up to scratch, but I tolerate her. I get fed and let out, but she’s not ‘my human’, so I snooze a lot in a favourite chair.
After many moons, the human returns and shrieks, ‘Smudge, you’re so chunky,’ whatever that means? I nip her ankle and strut outside, and don’t come back till morning. I do not bat balls the human throws to me, or am interested in playing hide and seek chasey. The human is disappointed.
She has a new armchair that smells funny. Lounging in it, she breathes in the scent and pats the sides. I approach but she snaps, ‘Mine.’ Later, when she is not around I jump up. It’s a bit slippery, but bouncy and comfy. The human returns, ‘Hey, get off.’ I jump down as she throws a rug over the chair.
A few days later, she removes the rug. When she is not looking, I leap into the chair and plop myself down. Chilled, I dig in my claws and purr, but soon I’m sprung and the human yells. I open one eye, then cover my face with a paw. As I stretch out, my tail dangles over the seat.
After hanging out with the possums who are fun dudes, I met neighbourhood moggies, young Skip and Pandora. Pandora reminded me of my mum—big and soft. Every night, we would meet on the big hotplate— used for charing food – and talk about our humans and our day.
Skip would practise leaping and scaling the fence. His paws would wobble, so he didn’t get very far down the fence-line. I think he had trouble balancing because of his big head and skinny body. He told us how as a kitten, his brothers and sisters raced ahead, leaving him behind. The little guy didn’t have striking markings like me, but a plain, taupe/white coat and ginger ears. Skip wasn’t territorial and his elderly human adored him, even when she tripped over his tail.
Pandora shared her place with heaps of humans and a gi-normous mutt, named Corby. She kept him in-line by swiping his nose and skewering his tail. Cats Rule!
Us moggies became good mates, but then Skip disappeared and new humans took over his home. I still miss him… Not long after, Pandora’s coat became scruffy so she didn’t come out anymore. The moon was full when Corby barked, ‘Pandora is gone.’
I was even more upset when that mutt sprawled out in her favourite spot of the garden. Her humans brought back another mutt to live with them. Pandora would not have been happy and I wasn’t impressed.
Dogs are so pathetic – drooling to please. No dignity, but Cats Always Rule!
Miaow to Skip and Pandora.