Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The cat

So I haven’t posted anything in a while. I guess I just didn’t really know what to post. Today’s topic will be cats.
For those of you who have had or do have cats, are all cats inherently dumb as rocks? I personally believe that Jersey’s brain is slightly larger than a grain of sand. (And only slightly, because somehow, she continues to breathe on her own). Also, are all cats inherently evil or possessed by the devil? I think Jersey has 3 or 4 demons living in the space that should have been occupied by her brain. Here are my reasons for these beliefs.
1) She doesn’t learn. Anything. Okay, I take that back. She knows her name, and the sound of her food being put in her dish. She also knows that if she hears the sound of the spray bottle, she is going to get wet. However, she has not figured out that she only gets sprayed when she does stuff that we don’t want her doing- i.e. jumping on the dresser, the kitchen table, or the kitchen counters. Basically, any surface above 3’, she is not allowed on. But she doesn’t get that. She just waits until I am not around to spray her. How do I know? I have had to quit using cups for water and switched to a water bottle, because every night, she would knock the cup off the dresser trying to drink out of it.
2) She is evil. She does things just because she knows they irritate me. This is what I think anyway. In the middle of the night, she starts playing with her straw. (This is just an ordinary drinking straw, she has somehow commandeered. She likes to bat it around. It makes quite a bit of noise for a straw, which is probably why she likes it.) Once I am awake and she hears me moving around, she comes running in the bedroom and goes under the bed. She goes up to the head of the bed and SCRATCHES THE SHEETS!! I have tried everything to make her stop. She doesn’t understand no, we have already discussed the problem with the spray bottle. So my last line of defense is to forcibly remove her. She has started to get around this by only scratching Alann’s side of the bed. So this morning, I am laying there, she is scratching, I am very upset. So I dive over the side of the bed to remove her. She runs away, I try to reach her, and I end up rolling out of the bed and I hit my elbow on the dresser. It really hurts, still. I think she has run out of the bedroom, so I close the door. Not a minute after I am all snug in the covers again, there she goes with the scratching again. This time, she does run out from under the bed, and I catch her and throw her into the TV room and lock her in. I feel like I only have a few options. I can close our bedroom door, but that shuts out the dogs and then Nicki will have issues. Or I have to lock the cat in the TV room, but then she is super crazy in the morning when I get up. So it is a no-win situation. My next step is Bitter Apple, but I don’t want to smell it any more than the cat does, and I am worried that it will upset the dogs too. And that doesn’t solve the getting on counters thing. Of course, if Someone who shall remain nameless would quit turning on the sink faucet when she gets up there, that might help.
3) These situations make me REALLY angry. She doesn’t really get anger though. The dogs do. They understand that Mom is angry and they either stop what they are doing or try to make me happy. (Tanner likes to bring me “presents” when I am sad or upset- usually his favorite toys, which don’t help me much, but it’s the thought that counts I guess.) The cat just keeps doing whatever it is she is doing. I am kind of lost as to what to do. I don’t necessarily want to get rid of the cat. She is endearing when she wants to be. And it is fun to watch her play with Nicki. But I really don’t want these things to continue. Maybe once we get her spayed she will be better. Some things I have read say that a spayed cat is a calmer cat. So maybe she is just in her rebellious teenage puberty years and we need to nip it in the bud and get her spayed asap. On the whole, the kitty was cute and fun, but I am in all ways, a dog person. Dogs learn. Dogs communicate. The cat seems to have ADD. I will be sitting there, petting her, she’s purring, and then all of a sudden she runs off to go eat.

I was watching a show last night about the difference in the way that chimps learn compared to humans. People teach. Chimps learn by mimicking. The really interesting part was when they talked about pointing. Babies learn to point before they learn speech. It creates a triangle. The baby points to show mom what he is looking at, mom looks too while interacting with baby. Chimps don’t do this. However, DOGS do. They did an experiment where a dog and a person are sitting on the floor. There was a screen between them. There were two cups with the person behind the screen. The person put a treat under one cup, moved both cups the same way, same amount of time, and then removed the screen. The dog just sat there. When the person pointed (no words) to the cup with the treat, that is the cup that the dog went to, every time. My dogs learn and communicate. Tanner knows more English than Nicki, but Nicki knows enough to go get Tanner when she wants something (which I think is really amusing). Tanner is Nicki’s interpreter. Tanner knows so much English that I was talking on the phone with Taunya one day, and said “okay, let’s go to the dog park” and Tanner got all excited. He knows dog park, car, ride, out (as in outside, but also as in leave the room), outside, potty, off the bed, leave it (as in stop doing that), off (in general), food, dinner, water, drink, eat, treat, cross the street, Kong (a toy filled with treats), ball, play, monkey (as in, “are you a monkey?”), not to mention the “tricks” of play dead, lie down, shake, sit, stay (sometimes). And he plays find the treat and peek-a-boo. He used to know turn left and turn right, but we don’t walk so much anymore, so he doesn’t use it as often. The cat knows her name. Not that she comes when called, but she will usually look at you.

What are your ideas about the cat? What should I do?


Anonymous said...

Please, for your cat's sake, give her to someone who obviously likes cats. You are not a cat person. You are trying to make the cat do something ALL cats do - jump up on things. Look at the jungle cats. The fact that you are so angry at your cat is not a good thing for either you OR your poor cat. I feel sorry for the cat :(

Bowles Family said...

I was debating if I should even comment on this particular post, but I thought I would give you my personal opinion then let you go from there. Let's just say that Ian once made me a shirt that said "I punt cats" and for a non-violent person I laughed hard and wore it. ;)

Becca said...

To Anonymous,
My husband loves the cat, and I do not mistreat her. She is perfectly safe and taken care of.