Monday, December 7, 2009

Feline Fixations

“Cats are dangerous companions for writers because cat watching is a near-perfect method of writing avoidance”
Dan Greenburg

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."
Geoffery Household

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.
”Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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?”
Karen Brademeyer
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.


Laura said...

Haha! Love your cats name. Does he do the "Live long and prosper" sign or what? PLEASE tell me that you have a dog named "Jim". :)

If I catch our cat (Mysterio) staring at me with such extreme intent as you described here,I simply stare back. It becomes a battle of wills as to who will become uncomfortable with the situation first.
I always win. Muwhahahaha. My kids tell me my stare bothers them too. I can sit and stare without blinking for a LONG time.
Freaky eh?

Have a fun day!!


MRMacrum said...

Cats become even more intriguing when they are found in groups. The dynamics in our house with six cats is quite interesting.

Animals can feel your vibes. Next time racist woman stops by, kiss her full on the mouth and see what Spock does. Of course you might have to see what your wife and ms Racist do, but consider it all in the cause of understanding the natural world better.

Laura said...

I didn't realize that was a video of your cat until now.
Hmmmm.. weird cat. ;P

Kentucky Rain said...

Outstanding post Beach. Even though I am a dog person I do like cats. I would have one except that I am not sure how long it would last. I have mixed cats and dogs before but almost always the dogs were raised with the cats. In this case they would be viewed as invading aliens and a serious battle would ensue. I am with Sunshine: Love the name:-)

Kentucky Rain said...

P.S. My new puppy, Taser, displays the same interest as Spock with the swirling toilet. You would think they would have better things to do:-) Then again in their world this might be one of the best things to do.

Commander Zaius said...

Sunshine: My only problem with the cat is when he jumps on me while I try to sleep and puts his butt right in my face. Its distrubing.

MRMacrum: I think one of the reasons Spock and I get along so well is that he does feel my vibes. As for Racist-Church lady, I'm sure the neighbors have told her about me by now so she won't be coming back. I keep wanting to buy and fly a commie flag just so they would get the idea even before knocking on the door but my wife stops me, go figure.

Sunshine: Actually I usually have to close the lid to stop him from getting any deeper. By teh way the toilet was cleaned before I made the video.

Madmike: At first there was a serious issue between Spock and Sparky the dog. Now they play all the time. I keep trying to catch them on video but when I get the camera they stop.

Marja said...

What a most amusing post. I like cats. We've got two cats but one is attached to my son and the other only follows and sits with my husband. Maybe cats have more in common with men :)
About the couple. If that would happen in Holland it would end up in a great conversation (read confrontation )
to work things out. But collecting souls for the church doesn't happen
anyway anymore. They just close the churches.
Couldn't watch the video I am in my break at work and they haven't flash drive or something installed.
have a nice day Here it is hot

Me said...

Spock hates fundies?

I do believe I love Spock!


p.s. Vid is hilarious.

Oh yeah, if you get another cat, you simply must name him "Bones."

...or Uhura.


Commander Zaius said...

Marja: Spock does spend more time with me, of course it may be for protection since my daughter loves to chase him down and put hair clips in his fur. And like a good trooper he goes along until he can runaway.

Hill: Actually I almost got a small parakeet with the intention to naming him Bones. Wasn't able to swing the deal.

Mike said...

Your cat's politics seem very different from my cat's. My cat seems to be a libertarian hermit. She's a grumpy little thing who dislikes nearly everyone else besides me, her absolute best buddy. Thankfully, her inability to speak English means we won't get in political arguments. That's a good thing. One bad thing: She never laughs at my jokes.

Oso said...

Our calico dulce was lying on her side and pulling herself across the rug with her front paws.I poked her side and she trilled,jumped up and ran out of the room-switching to hyperspeed upon spotting the older male cat walking gingerly down the hallway.
Early last week I saw her standing on her hind legs with her arms at her side,like a meerkat. Gazing out the window.I watched her for almost a minute while she stood there. When I moved to get a camera to take a pic, she turned and looked at me and then dropped to the ground and trotted off. Probably to pick on the older male cat some more.
Odd little animal.

Randal Graves said...

This post further demonstrates why cats are supreme among pets.

SJ said...

Come to think of it, toilets are kind of amazing. Spock probably wants a small one for himself.

As for cats and dogs, all I can say about them is this:
When your pet dog is alseep on the floor kicking his little paws: He's dreaming of you.
When your pet cat is asleep on the floor kicking his little paws:
He's dreaming of hunting you.

I've had four pet cats and only one dog in my entire life, all of them great companions.
BUT Any of my cats would've eaten me alive if they had the chance.
I love cats, but it's kind of a one-way street.

Rhiannon said... finally posted your cat video! This is so cute. Maybe your cat is trying to understand how the water goes around one way in the toilet? Or maybe Spock is trying to convey to you if you could somehow put Glenn Becks head in the toilet things would "just be fine" for you!..he he...sorry bad joke.

I have a cat "Lizzie" named after the character "Ms Elizabeth Bennet" in Pride & Prejudice. She is all black and long hair, with big yellow eyes. I've had her since she was 6 weeks old..she is now 7 years old. She is a bit less affectionate last year or so. She was always a "lap cat" so every time I sat down she would lay like a frog on my lap, legs spread out...she always does this. I also taught her how to roll over like a dog! She knows a lot of a dog does. I also have a spray bottle that all I have to do is just hold it in my hand and she stops whatever she is doing "bad"...she remembers what that spray of water way back in the past.

I must admit she is like my "kid" as I don't have any...sooo..she is my only family.

We've got to figure out how to get Glenn Beck out of the limelight. But how do we get people that seem to hang on his every word and "abide" and do all his bidin? They believe whatever he's just mind boggling. When Lou Dobbs resigned from CNN I was so glad as I participated in a petition to Cnn to get him off the air! Thought he could get a job at "Faux" channel, holding the chalkboard up for Glenn Beck or something. Instead he is now talking about running for president? Or the Senate? Wow, he sure thinks he's got a lot of power. Bow to the "idols" what it's like these days with these "out of control paranoid" people..weird huh? I just don't get people are so very naive...and never look up the "Facts" for themselves. Well, see you got me started...your fault? I better end this while I'm ahead. Or behind..whatever.

Good post! Thanks for sharing your cat video.


Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Isn't there a cat out there who actually flushes the toilet himself? I don't know, I seem to recall something along those lines (not that your guy isn't totally awesome, too, of course).

Oso said...

I think Rihannon's idea of putting Beck's head in a toilet, or I guess she was thinking it might be Spock's idea,is a darn good one. I'm all in favor of it.

Commander Zaius said...

Stimpson: I just wish to God that Spock would not stick his butt in my face while I try to sleep in which afterward he finds my hand with his head telling me he wants me to pet him. Now the strange thing that I'm sure no one will believe is he does this exactly between 2:45pm and 3:10pm every workday. I have no idea how he knows the time but I honestly would like him to be a little more like a hermit in this instance.

Oso: Spock does something close to standing like a meerkat at the dining room door. The door is French style with lots of small windows and my wife uses the room to store her cllection of boxes and junk she sells on eBay.

We don't allow the animals in that room since there is some fragile stuff inside. But when we go in, shutting the door, Spock will stand up at the door and paw the window looking at us. Its a curious behavior.

Randal: All things considered like someone said, I don't feel I own a cat but I sort of feel the cat knows it owns my family and me.

SJ: I completely understand and agree. Spock likes to play bite me on the hands and arms and I know he is holding back.

Rhiannon: Because I didn't want to make anyone sick I left out some of Spock's stranger toliet activties. As for Beck and Dobbs, I'm afraid that they are not going anywhere for a while and may yet cause far more damage than i want to talk about, in short I'm a little worried.

Will: Yes, and I saw the video years ago. It was long before You Tube and the cat did jump on the seat, do his business, and then he pushed a special lever down that was attached to a solenoid valve that flushed the toilet. The guy was suppose to market his equipment and training method but I never heard anything more about it.

Oso: Like I mentioned in my response to Rhia's comment. I'm very worried that Beck's influeance is only going to increase and he will cause some significant damage to the country.
Someone said recently he will self destruct at some point but that, in my opinion, is hoping for a miracle.

lime said...

hhmm, i am not generally a cat lover (mainly because they make me sneeze, wheeze, and itch) but you do make some fine points.

MRMacrum said...

You are now among the tagged.

Another Meme

Commander Zaius said...

Lime: Haven't been big on cats myself till Spock.

MRMacrum: Sounds like fun. My wife restricted the credit card forcing me to cancel my trip to the coast this weekend. So I will hit both you tage and Randals.

Distributorcap said...

spock might like carlos - who is fascinated with the toilet and the glass show er and why he cant jump in when i take a shower.

carlos also like cooking shows, as he jumps on the furniture every time he hears the iron chef

Unknown said...

I've stayed in Carolina Parrothead land reading for a while... I was reading Splotchy and as I was engrossed, unseen by me, through my open patio doors a feral cat (many in our neighborhood) casually strode in and sat down looking up at me until his tail twitching back and forth caught my eye I turned to see poor fellow and screamed in surprise and he / she scat away out the door and presumably out of my life... a sweet soul lost to me ... I am dog people, but cats are sacred something... upsets me I scared the cat and then scrolled down to see this entry and
synchronistically it
created an understanding
that's just that.
Great post on cats! Beach.

MRMacrum, really... you are a gem.