I’ve had cats in my life ever since I can remember, starting with Blackie, who died, I think, and followed by Bunsy, Abigail, Collier, Maggie, Salem, and, now, Emmett and Sarge. Every single one of these cats was weird. I don’t know now whether all cats are weird in their own ways, or if we just tend to get the weird ones. But Abigail lived in two rooms for most of her life, and Collier ate the string from those old plastic drawstring shopping bags. Bunsy tried to steal an entire Thanksgiving turkey and only liked my father. Salem had a nervous stomach and couldn’t bring herself to poop in the litterbox. Maggie was just a good true cat, and when she passed, Emmett and Sarge (aka the Chaos and Havoc twins) came into our lives.
Emmett is a Very Bad Cat.
He is a thin, spotted, Bengalish kind of cat, with a freckled face and muddy colored eyes, and an enormous plaintive yowl that doesn’t match his slender frame. He is prone to bursting out any open door and making runs for it, into the garage to hide under my Camry or onto the front porch or garden. Luckily, he doesn’t entirely know what to do once he gets where he is going, and tends to stop and MRRROWWWWW his confused triumph, allowing me to snatch him back up. He jumps on people’s shoulders (including a hapless appraiser visiting the house) and climbs curtains and chews plants and finds his way onto narrow ledges and the tops of open doors. He is also charming and affectionate and a lap cat and just wants to be close to people, and I love him enormously which allows me to tolerate his most recent fascination with pictures hanging on the walls. If he stands on his hind legs, he can push framed pictures hanging on my stairway and make them swing and sway, rattling them against the walls at all times of the night. For a long time I laid awake in bed cursing silently because I was NOT going to chase him around the house (he finds this very merry) at three AM and I was NOT going to be reduced to taking MY PICTURES off the walls because of a SMALL EVIL CAT.
Yeah, so, I took the pictures off the walls.
Sarge is a big, fluffy, mellow dude with some unfortunate habits as well. He is a fetcher cat, so his passionate love is little fur mouties (mice) that he chases around the house when thrown, and brings back to be thrown again. He can do this all day long. I wish he WOULD do this all day long, because the alternative is him feeding his slightly addictive chewing behaviors. Once he shredded up all of the flip flops in the house, he started in on the rubber floor mats under the treadmill and weight bench in the basement. I’m afraid his stomach and intestines are full of noxious chewed rubber, although from the number of times I hear Miss L shriek from the basement “MOMMY I SEE BARF” he fortunately doesn’t seem to be able to digest it.
They look sweet in this little kitten picture, don’t they. This was the second day they came to live with us, almost a year ago. The thing I remember most about this picture is that Emmett is quite damp because he had just taken a leap into Miss L’s bath and then freaked out and zoomed around the house spraying water.
This week saw the first snow. Nothing stuck, but once again, the view from my office window was grey, scudding clouds and blowing snow. It feels like the majority of my life in that office is spent looking at that same weather, with just tiny fleeting intervals of other landscapes, summer blues and greens and autumn golds. So my outside work is done. Last weekend, Miss L and I gathered up the last of the leaves, repaired the compost bin and winterized it with layers of newspapers and mulched leaves. We trimmed back most of the garden beds and moved the woodpile from the old spot in the back corner of the yard to the new steel log rack on the back patio, two steps from the back door. She was a grand helper and helped me with birdfeeders and raking and gathering. I spent an anxious day calling snowplow companies and finding most of them booked up, and had just resigned myself to a winter of do-it-myself snowblowing when one company called me back. So let it snow.