Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What I learned from my brother Gerald

Pardon my sleepy look but it’s been a very long day. Daddy was really sleepy this morning and he didn’t notice that I was pawing him for my first breakfast so it wasn’t until about 4:00 a.m. that I managed to persuade Daddy to get up and feed me and then I decided to wake him up again at 5:00 a.m. for my second breakfast which is earlier than I usually do but he didn’t give me my drink of water out of the sink but I decided he needed his rest so I watched the sun rise about 5:45 then waited for Uncle Kevin to get up at 8:00 and he gave me a drink out of the sink and third breakfast and then a drink out of the tub and then a second drink out of the tub and then I got half an hour on the Kevin Pillow and then I was finally satisfied so I decided to wake up Daddy and when he was finally up and about around 9:15 I meowed for my mid-morning snack and he gave it to me because he said he wanted me to be a good boy today because he had a lot of work to do since he decided not to go into the office today because he still feels very sad after Gerald died and doesn’t feel like talking to anyone yet, but he has a lot of paperwork to finish at home and I get to keep him company all day and if I eat now then I won’t pester him later, and so on, but I said, “Just shut up and feed me!”, and when I finished my snack I licked my paws and got ready for my morning inspection of my garden.

And while I was inspecting my garden, I started thinking about all the things my big brother Gerald taught me, and in my last blog I talked about the night that he passed away, and that was five days ago now, but in this blog I think I’ll talk about what a great teacher my brother Gerald was because he taught me all sorts of important kitty lessons. The first thing Gerald taught me was how to lick my fur all over, or what people call “grooming,” because it’s very important to keep one’s kitty fur feeling tight and comfortable and all in the right place, otherwise we kitties will catch a draft, and I think that’s why when Gerald didn’t lick himself during the last two weeks of his life, that was a sign that he was so ill. Here are some pictures of us licking ourselves:

Gerald taught me how to lick my paw with my tongue and get it all wet and then stroke the back of my head so I can clean the spots I can’t reach with just my tongue, and here’s how Gerald got his paw ready:

but I still could go ahead and use my tongue for fixing my belly and my legs and my tail and my little kitty butt. Daddy says cats look really funny when they lick themselves because they can reach places on their bodies that humans can’t reach on theirs, and I always think, well, how would you like it if your body was covered in fur and you didn’t have movable thumbs and no toilet paper, Daddy? In any case, grooming is one of the most important things for a kitty because it keeps us clean and healthy and means that humans don’t have to bathe us as much as they bathe dogs, but I have to admit sometimes people can catch us unawares:

And then of course brother kitties need to lick each other, because sometimes Gerald could see a part of my fur that wasn’t quite right, so he’d reach the spot that I couldn’t reach:

Another thing Gerald taught me was how to insist on attention from people, and I think I’ve learned that lesson and developed it into an art form because I wake up Daddy at least twice each morning for my breakfasts and he always obeys me. But Gerald explained that meowing doesn’t accomplish very much because people are so used to hearing noises like TVs and alarm clocks and cars and sirens going by and other strange sounds that they tend to ignore kitty cats, especially if they have meows that sound like alarm clocks, so the best way to get attention is to just crawl on a person’s lap or chest, especially when a person is lying in bed trying to sleep or sitting in a chair working on a laptop computer or reading a book or otherwise ignoring us, and if kitty cats are insistent and put themselves right in the peron’s way, then we get noticed:

and if that doesn’t work, we should stick our tail in the person’s face and keep it there for a long time as if to say, “Do you like my furry little kitty ass?” until the person says something like, “OK, cat, you win,” and then we’ll get a massage or a treat. And Gerald said that if the person is stubborn and just makes us get off their lap, then we should sit right next to him, preferably behind him, and tap him on the shoulder with our paw, and it works best if we lick our paw and make it wet and stick our paw on the person’s neck where the clothing doesn’t cover it, or we can sneeze on their neck, or if nothing else works, we can lean forward ever so quietly and bite the person’s earlobe with the gentlest kitty bite, just enough to annoy them, or we can lick the person’s hair with our tongues, or purr really loud and try to act cute and adorable, and that usually makes the person cave in, and this was especially true of the Kevin Pillow, so here’s some pictures of us after we finally managed to get into the Kevin Pillow on some nights when he was resistant (and as all kitties know, resistance is futile):

And Gerald taught me how to sit up like a proud cat which means sitting on our back legs and pulling our front legs up straight so we look very regal, and he called this “the Bastet pose,” and when I asked what that meant, Gerald told me that in ancient times cats lived in Egypt where there was a cat goddess named Bastet who always sat like this, and a proud cat always takes a Bastet pose when he’s thinking deep thoughts, and every once in a while I would have a deep thought and I’d try sitting in the Bastet pose too, but Gerald was better at it than I was:

And Gerald taught me how to sit in the sun and he said that cat fur is designed to sit in hot dry weather because all our ancestors used to live in the burning sands of Egypt where it’s very hot and dry, and there’s nothing more fun than sleeping in a nice warm sunbeam, and that even though my fur is black and gets hot in the sun, I wouldn’t burn because if I groomed myself right then my fur would deflect any bad sunlight and I had no idea what he was talking about but to this day I love sleeping in the sun even though it does make my black fur very hot to the touch. So here are some pictures of Gerald sunbathing:

And Gerald taught me how to take catnaps in all sorts of different places and body positions, but one of my favorites was with my chin on my paw, which was one of the very first he ever taught me, since he said it was good for the air flow to the lungs and the blood circulation and it made us look especially cute:

Gerald taught me how to yawn like a cat, which is different from the way people yawn, because people usually yawn when they’re talking non-stop and they run out of air, or they yawn at night when they’re feeling really sleepy, and so yawning is just something that happens when their bodies are feeling a certain way, but for kitty cats, yawning is another art form, and we yawn to show our superiority and to demonstrate that we haven’t a care in the world, and sometimes we yawn because there’s a moth flying around or a birdie outside the window and we want the moth or birdie to think that we don’t notice them, so we yawn to give the impression that we’re lazy and that makes it easier for us to pounce on them later (but of course I never succeeded in pouncing on birdies because I’m an indoor kitty and I always bonked my head on the glass door whenever I tried to pounce on a birdie that was on the other side of it). So here are some pictures of Gerald and me yawning (before we had our teeth out):

And Gerald taught me how to explore anything and everything that’s new, especially at holiday time when people like to put up decorations, and of course that means ruining our kitty spaces, and Gerald said that people have no idea of how important it is for cats that their kitty spaces remain unchanged, because kitties are creatures of habit, but sure enough people will put a Christmas tree right in a kitty cat’s favorite corner without asking the kitty cat’s permission, and then they’ll start baking turkeys or cookies or other yummy foods for the holidays without thinking about how it will drive us kitties crazy because of course we deserve to sample some. And every year when Daddy or Popo would put up a Christmas tree at their house, Gerald would have to inspect it like this:

and Daddy and Popo learned not to put garlands or breakable ornaments at the bottom of the tree because Gerald and I would always play with them and we were very good at teaching Daddy that there was no point in saying, “Now Gerald and Oscar, don’t you play with the glass ornaments,” because all Gerald and I would ever hear was, “Blah blah Gerald and Oscar, blah blah play with the ornaments.” Because honestly, if people are nice enough to leave toys at the bottom of a tree, of course we’re going to play with them! And one time at Popo’s house in Toledo, Ohio, Gerald grabbed a hold of the garland which Daddy forgot to hang up high, and he held it between his teeth, and he ran as fast as he could and pulled the entire Christmas tree crashing to the floor, and then he let go of the garland and ran as fast as his little paws could carry him up the stairs to the bedroom…or was that me, oh dear, it might have been me that did that, but it was so long ago that my memory is selective…anyway, here’s a picture of Gerald doing something similar in Daddy’s house a long time ago, when Gerald was only 1 ½ years old, and that was even before I was born, but Gerald didn’t pull the tree down:

And here’s a picture of Gerald under the Christmas tree at Popo’s house that same Christmas:

And now it’s time for my dinner and I’ve been such a good kitty cat all afternoon, I didn’t bother Daddy once while he worked and worked at home all day, so now I deserve some of that leftover turkey from the Thanksgiving meal, and if I don’t get any, I might just have to put some of Gerald’s lessons to the test and put my furry little kitty ass in Daddy’s face to get his attention.


1 comment:

Quinvale AstaLaVista Baby said...

G'day Oscar,

Welcome to the Blog-o-sphere. I've linked to you. I know you must be missing Gerald, so you're going to be seeing a lot of me and my hooman during the Cwistmas Holidays.

xxx, your neighbor, Asta