4 July 2011
So this morning my walking partner and I told Jill and her owner that Jill looked very festive in her Fourth of July red harness and leash. Turns out Jill’s usual leash and harness are red, not yesterday’s fancy pink. Seems the pink was worn yesterday because the red set was drying out.
Seems when Jill’s person went swimming in the neighbor’s pool, so did Jill. A surprise to Jill’s person, who didn’t think her little dog could swim. Oh, yeah.
I laughed remembering when we had a backyard pool, and I decided for their own safety I had to know that our cats could swim. Uh. huh. At that point I’d owned cats, or rather been employed as servant to cats, for twenty years. You’d think I would have known better.
My best excuse is that I had a young daughter, and was fully into “everybody needs to be able to swim, or we fill in the pool and make it a giant planter.”
So one at a time, I rounded up our four unsuspecting cats. I balanced each on the pool float and pushed it a foot or two from the pool edge. Far enough I figured they couldn’t just leap back on land. Which I needed not just to make sure they swam, but for a head start. Cat teeth come only in sharp and angry cat Samurai sword slice a hair in mid air sharp.
The cats all swam. And true to form, I made my second and fatal mistake. I laughed at the clowder of four soaked to the skin ‘wet rat’ cats.
I don’t care what the cognitive scientists say, Cats NEVER forget.
R.T. took up vomiting loudly, next to my side of the bed, from 2 a.m. to dawn every night for the next eight years. Russell decided on the “if you don’t use it you loose it” concept. He doled out bites, to me, regularly and unpredictably. Chester went with the “if she wants water, I’ll give her water.” and peed on almost anything, including the kitchen counter. Although he put real effort into taking down the outdoor pedestal gas grill. He peed on that pedestal until it corroded and the whole thing crashed. Impressive if you think about it.
The lady cat, Pyewackett, bided her time. Which of course left me completely unhinged waiting for it. And trust me, she came up with a doozy. I ended up driving her back and forth to Auburn University for thyroid treatments. If I could have found the bumper sticker, a year before my only daughter went to Vanderbilt, I would have applied this to my car “ My Cat and my money go to Auburn.”
So what did I learn? That cats do not forget, ever. They are creative. And they are waaay better at water torture than I could ever dream of being.
Happy Independence Day, America, Kath