A couple of weeks ago life at the Martin’s was fairly serene. Then we got a cat. The reason for the cat was purely utilitarian. We have mice. The last time we had a cat was when we lived in Maine. It drove me nuts. I kept sitting on the cat when I didn’t know he was napping in my desk chair. I kept stepping on him when I walked around the house. I decided I didn’t like cats.
A couple of weeks ago Jim adopted a little cat named Cheeto. Cheeto is about a year old and is mostly orange with brown mixed in. Remembering what happened with the cat in Maine Jim wisely got a collar with a bell on it. We placed Cheeto in his carrier and brought in the dogs, one by one, to meet him. Cheeto hissed at Kismet and Lukas but touched noses with Sirius. Lukas is part Malamute so there’s no question about letting him anywhere near the cat if he’s not restrained. Cheeto could bloody his nose and he wouldn’t care. Malamutes are hunters, plain and simple. Even with a bloody nose he’d still go after the cat.
For the first two days Cheeto didn’t eat and stayed under a bed upstairs. We put him in the garage at night. Gradually we worked out a system. Cheeto’s food water and litter box are in Jim’s man den, upstairs. We keep the door at the top of the back steps closed. We have a child gate at the top of the main stairs to keep the dogs away from Cheeto’s food etc.
After a few days Cheeto started coming downstairs and looking for affection. There’s something about a purring cat that is just delightful. I thought I might just like this little guy after all. It was so cool to see him be happy and playful considering that he would have been dead had we not adopted him.
The trouble started as I sat on the floor with Cheeto in my lap. Sirius approached. I wasn’t worried. Sirius and Cheeto seemed to get along just fine. It happened in an instant. Cheeto became a blur of slashing claws and snapping needle sharp teeth. When it was over I had five deep cuts on my right hand and was bleeding freely.
I have to admit that it took a little courage to interact with Cheeto after the bloodying of my hands episode. I still try to be a little careful if he and one of the dogs are in close proximity to me at the same time. That kind of thing seems, hopefully, to have been a fluke.
Last weekend Cheeto started jumping in my lap as I sat before my computer. Sometimes he’d just lie on the chair behind me and that was fine. Then he started getting more assertive in his request for my attention. I’d let him sit in my lap for a bit and rub his head on my hands and purr for a while and then I’d gently place him on the floor. He’d jump back in my lap. I’d place him gently on the floor. He’d jump in my lap. I’d place him, not very gently on the floor. He gave up on me and tried the same routine with Jim. Jump in lap, place gently on floor, jump in lap, place gently on floor, jump in lap, place, nott terribley gently, on floor.
Yesterday my computer activities turned from not very arduous to work. I was having a heck of a problem with something that I had working a week ago. I just couldn’t figure out what was going on. Cheeto in lap, Cheeto placed gently on floor, Cheto in lap, Cheeto placed, not very gently on floor. Cheeto on lap, Cheeto tossed across the room. Loud indignant meow followed by scampering off to another part of the house.
Next Kismet and Cheeto started playing tag. They’d dash all over the house after each other. I’d walk through the house and find rugs shoved up against the wall from their mad dashes. I’d straighten the rugs out. Mad dash, straighten rugs out. We used to keep the inside water bowl on a small rug. However, said small rug seemed to be the main target for the mad dashes. The fifth time said small rug went flying and an entire bowl full of water became a small lake, the rug had to go.
One night last week, Cheeto demonstrated a strong reluctance to spend the night in the garage. The reluctance came in the form of five perfect holes in my neck from Cheeto’s right front paw. He got his way. We let him sleep in the house. That was fine until last night when, The house, took on a meaning similar to, The garage. Cheeto jumped in our bed. Jim, sleepily, “what do you want to do with him?” Me, sleepily, “Maybe he’ll settle down?” Cheeto, fully alert, “Here I am, don’t you want to play with me?” Jim, sleepily, “Take him upstairs and close him in the man den.” Me, “mutter mutter mutter,” while taking Cheeto to the man den. Cheeto, with claws digging in, “No way, I’m not going to sleep up there all by myself.” Me, “You’re a cat. Sleep where I tell you to sleep, so there.”
This morning I went up to let Cheeto out. I figured I might as well feed him. Not necessary. Deciding he was hungry he had simply opened the bag of food and helped himself. I cleaned up the food that he had spilled during his evening of pillaging and came downstairs in time to witness a game of tag ending in yet another bowl of water becoming a small lake on the kitchen floor.
As I write, Kismet and Cheeto are curled up together on the rug in front of the glass door. Cheeto is purring. What the heck? Maybe our lives had become way too predictable and boring. What’s a little serenity when your dog and cat are curled up together purring? Cheeto! Stop that at once! No, no, that computer cable is not hanging there just so you can play with it! No Cheeto, no, don’t step on that surge suppre