Monday, December 7, 2009
“Cats are dangerous companions for writers because cat watching is a near-perfect method of writing avoidance”
While I'm sure that is the case Spock the cat when he is not fascinated with the swirling waters of the toilet does spend a good bit of time watching me type. Not so much lately since with me on third shift and the associated duties of being a dad and a personal serf to my wife both the time and inclination to write has been greatly diminished. Right now Spock the cat is sitting on a very rarely used piece of exercise equipment watching me with an interest that if it was a person I was find extremely unnerving. If only Spock could be useful, or had interest in doing it, editing my prattle I'm sure the quality would greatly improve.
"I have noticed that what cats most appreciate in a human being is not the ability to produce food, which they take for granted-but his or her entertainment value."
Leaving the debate alone between fanatical dog and cat owners about which is the better pet this quote is very true. Watching Spock watch the normal activities of the family I often wonder if cats in fact are not only far more intelligent than humans suspect but in actuality more intelligent than humans themselves. True, most of the chaotic crap we humans have trapped ourselves into doing only raises our blood pressure or in a strange inverse relationship deadens our brains at the same time. The prime example of this is most people who are alternately driven to rage over the verbal garbage that issues forth from any Fox News show and come away after the fact losing several IQ points. Which explains that while channel surfing and momentarily stopping at Fox News during a Glenn Beck rerun that Spock begins watching me intently with the cat-like expression wondering when in the Hell I was going to turn that crap. Stay too long on such brain draining garbage he starts playing with the remote again seemingly saying that if he had an opposable thumb not only would he turn the channel but would beat me aside the head with it. On the other hand I have seen Spock enthralled by one of the fishing shows and from reactions when a large mouth bass is caught he could have been named Ahab.
“Watch a cat when it enters a room for the first time. It searches and smells about, it is not quiet for a moment, it trusts nothing until it has examined and made acquaintance with everything.
One of the things that has worked to increase the alliance between Spock the cat and myself is the obvious distaste Spock shows for many of the local residents of Rightwingberg, the town I find myself marooned in. A couple of weekends ago we were visited by one of the locals who through casual, and inappropriate, conversation informed us of her personal distaste not only with the president but with his wife. Both my wife and I looked at each other as this lady explained how she felt both the Obama's were bad examples for "true American values".
The lady was on what amounted to a recruiting mission for her nearby church and while I would have never let her in Dragonwife has had repeated talks with me about not being a complete dick, that I actually need to get to know some of the people before coming to a conclusion about how insidiously evil all these people are. Upon revealing her political views Spock, who until that moment, had been very comfortable laying in her lap and being stroked suddenly jumped up and leaped across the room digging his claws into her to get away. The howls of surprise and pain from the subconsciously racist lady promptly ended the visit with Spock not coming back into the room for several hours.
“Who among us hasn't envied a cat's ability to ignore the cares of daily life and to relax completely?”
The last thing that firmly binds the alliance between Beach Bum and feline Spock is that while everyone else in my house can have episodes of near panic on any number of items both he and I can calmly lay on the couch and watch in curious disinterest. In my opinion nothing beyond preventing the death of someone or the immanent destruction of the new 42 inch high definition television and the loss of chips, salsa, and beer is cause for panic. Truthfully this is one item that all people could learn something from cats. Quite frankly most of what people fret about to the point that they often need a pill to get relief from the daily fears and concerns that come close to overwhelming them are just illusions that Madison Avenue and social peer pressure impose in hopes of selling something or keeping us all tied up like unthinking lemmings.
Of course once the litter box needs cleaning even a cool, calm cat can get a little freaky. As for me the resulting look I get from my wife and kids about needing to clean out said litter box can get me freaky and nauseous.