Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Opposable Thumbs (Adventures of the other voluntary cat)

"SEKHMET:Ancient Egyptian CAT/GOD Is On Left"
My wife and I were in the living room watching a movie, one that I didn’t review, when we heard the sounds of the world’s most inept cat burglar .  First, our front door was unlocked.  Second, this guy was so loud that we couldn’t hear the dialogue through the television.  A few days earlier, we had come home to find the front door left wide open but nothing valuable in the house seemed to be missing.  The only sign of actual entry was that a dish of cat food in the entry way had gotten knocked over.  Before, I could go to the kitchen to grab my airsoft gun and call 911 , our front door popped open.  My wife instinctively pulled the sofa pillow in front of herself.  I headed to the spot behind the entryway table where I could see, but whoever was coming in our front door couldn’t necessarily see me.  Cat, of course, was the operative part of cat burglar. It was our gray cat with the E.T. alien eyes, Luna, who has figured out how to open a closed front door without human assistance

As you can see from the photo above, we have door hardware that makes it possible to open the door without benefit of opposable thumbs . Having thumbs would make the task much easier, but all the cat has to do is jump thirty inches in the air, land on an inch long flange with enough force to disengage the latch mechanism ( amazing how many everyday objects don’t have everyday names , then push the door forward at exactly that moment with enough impact to clear the latch from the slot in the frame.  I have a hard time getting our border collies to play fetch and we have this cat who could be in the housepet Olympics.

Personally, it would be much more fun than most of the events in these last Winter Olympics. Opening doors, dog teasing, leaving dead vermin parts on front doorstep,stealing food off counters, hiding spore behind bookshelves, disappearing into closets, finding the one loose thread in master’s favorite clothing. Those are just the cat events. Add in the dog events like getting out of closed backyard, knocking things over, barking continuously, and you’ve already got something more interesting than say curling or cross country skiing. Some of you may remember, that for several months we dealt with our voluntary cat my daughter rescued from the pound. That cat never wanted to stay in our house and would wander to different parts and homes in town where someone else would adopt her, rename her in one case, and then have the vet identify her as ours through a microchip implanted in the back of her neck I suppose the reassuring thing about Luna is that this cat obviously wants to be in our house.

You see, we’re in a bit of a bind.If we leave the door, unlocked she gets in and the front door gets left open until she figures out how to quietly close it behind her as she lets herself in for the sake of food and warmth. If we use the deadbolt, she jumps on the door handle for hours making so much racket that none of us can sleep through it. In other words, she not only figured out how to open the door, she’s figured out how to make us open the door for her if we try to keep her from doing it herself. I started looking for pet doors in one of those online catalogues.

They’re not cheap and a lot of them are seriously unattractive and it takes actual carpentry skills to install them without leaving gaps in your doorframe. Besides, if it lets your cat or dog come in and out, what’s to keep raccoons, rats, and skunks from figuring out the same trick? Our pet door not only looks better, it makes for a much better story. Last week, I left my car window cracked open and found the other cat seated in the driver’s seat staring through the windshield. Fortunately, my car has a manual transmission. In the meantime, we came home the other day to find Luna on the couch with the TV on and my digital video recorder set to play. I just don’t remember recording all those Little Friskies commercials back to back like that.

Human beings are killing each other in sectarian struggles, abusing the environment, invading other countries for trumped up reasons. After Dick Cheney was implicated in a pheasant holocaust, I pointed out that those quail probably set him up down in Corpus Delecti, Texas. My neighborhood is filling up with flocks of wild turkeys. As I mentioned, the movie The Birds was filmed about 15 miles west of where I live. I’m pretty sure that these animals are telling me something here. Back in Egypt, in the time of the Pyramids, they say that cats sort of had a joint tenancy over civilization with the humans.I suspect they kindly stepped aside to let us evolve a little for our own good. My guess is that they’re not happy and the eviction is happening sooner than most of us think. (yikes, I’m turning into pogblog here)
link to more voluntary cat stories



At 2/28/2006 07:58:00 PM, Blogger benny06 said...

Cats to earthlings..

Not good thing for any of us to have any closure other than you feed us felines on a regular basis...

At 3/01/2006 10:16:00 AM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I know you had the post about animism and past life reincarnations from other species, but are cats really now posting on the internet through you?

At 3/01/2006 01:34:00 PM, Blogger pissed off patricia said...

So did you find a new cat in the house?

At 3/01/2006 02:49:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

it's our cat, she just comes in and out as she pleases whether or not the door is open. In the meantime, she hasn't invited any dates or held any cat parties in the house, at least not to our knowledge.

At 3/01/2006 04:44:00 PM, Blogger benny06 said...

Oh, yes, I am a big time anthropomorphist. Perhaps I should explain something about the Illini-orange tabby as my avatar. I picked Benny because he is my alter ego. He's funny, loving, and curious. He's into equality, etc. He reminds me of Little Jack Edwards (son of John Edwards, the former senator of NC): always into something and very social.

I have another cat, Elmora, who represents another side of my personality. She is what I called in 2004 "the Kerry cat" because she is more introverted, sophisticated looking since she is a tuxedo cat, and more intellectual. To date, I do not know of another cat who has read Kant's Critique of Pure Reason all of the way through along with my first spouse, who read it late most nights when slumber would not arrive easily. :-) But after reading it, she seemed just as confused as the rest of us, and never speaks anything of it, only to say she understood David Hume when he commented on Kant's joke.

Incidentally, my former spouse and I are very close friends today, and he visits once a year to see Elmora, as well as moi.

In other news, if you get a chance--check out John Edwards recent podcast that was released this afternoon.

At 3/01/2006 05:11:00 PM, Blogger Chancelucky said...

I assume you don't know this but our older daughter was an athlete at UNC, and I'd forgotten that both the Edwards's went to UNC law school and are Tarheel fans. The latest guy on the Bachelor went to Duke, can the contrast be any clearer?
Your blog may be actually achieving its purpose. I like the Edwardses, though would almost rather vote for Elizabeth because they actually strike me as people of actual character.
thanks for pointing me to the podcasst or in this case was it a a podCAT?

At 7/08/2010 11:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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