Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is there a Rosetta lesson for Cat?

Part of me doesn’t even want to mention this, for fear it might jinx something. But BW came home this weekend.

BW is a Sylvester-colored tom-kitty, dapper looking in black with a white chest and white feet. He’s always been a people-kitty, and desperately wanted to be a HIT (Housecat in Training) ever since, as the teensiest kitten, he figured out there was a world beyond the patio door.

He’d slip in, giving new meaning to “silent as cat feet,” and hide away under the dining room table. BW was so quiet and discreet, he was positively invisible.

Pretty soon, we let him have full HIT privileges. He stayed in more than out, lounging around the house, falling in love with our fridge. It was the weirdest thing to see a cat curled up next to our side-by-side, occasionally reaching out a paw and touching the cool metal of the door.

And then one day about a week ago he didn’t come back in. I didn’t worry too much, because tom kitties will roam, and I figured that The Husband had let him in and out without me knowing it.

But when The Husband asked me if I’d seen BW around, I had to admit that I hadn’t. My concern grew and grew as the little fellow didn’t return. The Husband and I would have whispered conversations about it at night, because we didn’t want to upset The Kiddo.

Sunday night, as a storm blew in, I heard this awful yowling. At first I thought it was The Kiddo and The Husband, pretending to be a cat in some weird game called “Let’s-Annoy-Mommy.”

After The Kiddo swore that it was not her, and after I realized the yowling was still carrying on while she was talking (pretty persuasive evidence, there), I opened the front door.

There on the front porch, skinny as a six-o’clock, was BW. He dashed in the house like a pack of Dobermans was after him. He proceeded to eat three bowlfuls of cat food and lap up a small ocean of water.

And then he started yowling again.

I thought maybe he wanted more food. Or more water. Or to go out.

But no. He just wanted to yowl.

Once I decided that he wasn’t sick and he wasn’t hurt and he wasn’t twining his hind legs together in anticipation of a long wait to go outside, I figured it out.

He was telling me all about the privations of being apart from us for a week.

And he told us, all right. Yowl, yowl, yowl, YOWL.

Eventually, after we “listened” to his story, he got settled down, curled up by the fridge, and reached out to touch a paw against the cool metal.

Boy, I sure wish I knew how to speak Cat. The stories BW told me that night – stories that I completely missed.


Al said...

I am pleased BW came back safely.

His talking to you reminded me of our dog Molly.
When you came home at night she would contentedly greet you with happy little sounds was is she was saying "hello happy to see you".


Publish or Perish

Piedmont Writer said...

I had a cat like that once, Roger. He'd go on his adventures and when he'd come back he'd yowl and cry, so I'd scoop him up in my arms and go sit in the 'big' chair with him. He'd curl contentedly, purr, and lick my fingers before falling asleep in my lap. I think the yowl was the same as a baby's cry, "pick me up, pick me up".

I'm glad BW came back safe and sound.

Toby Speed said...

Poor baby. He said much in the simple gesture of reaching out his paw to touch the fridge!

Linda G. said...

So glad he came home safely!

We have a part-time cat ourselves. "Miss Kitty" comes by every day for a few treats and some heavy-duty cuddle time, then continues on her rounds. I suspect our house is not her only stop.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Glad he made it back!

If you learn Cat let me know. I have some choice words for my cat. She's the spawn of Satan. Seriously.

L. T. Host said...

Glad he made it back :)

I wish I could learn Rabbit right now... my bunny is sick and talking to her to tell her she needs to eat and drink still would be great. Also finding out what's wrong.

Some days I wish I was Dr. Doolittle.

Cynthia Reese said...

Al, how sweet! I had a collie once that had a special yip for, "There is something in the yard that shouldn't be there, could you please come out and move it so I won't be scared?"

Anne, I think you may be onto something. When I picked him up, he stopped.

Toby, he must have learned his lesson -- he hasn't left home since! Crossing fingers that he won't. I love that little guy.

Linda, cats have big hearts. They can love many, many owners -- at least the ones that feed them the good stuff, and I'll bet you do.

Stephanie, just yowl back to her what she's yowling at you. I figure it's some pretty choice words. ;-)

Oh, L.T., hugs on the bunny situation. I sure hope she gets better soon. Sending bunny pats and the juiciest of carrots.

Angie Paxton said...

Glad BW is home! Sounds like he had quite the adventures while he was out.

Tawna Fenske said...

Glad he made it home safely!

Matt the Cat (our thieving kitty who routinely steals things from around the neighborhood) has a very distinct yowl that means "I've brought you something." You know when you hear it in the middle of the night that you'll be waking up to some sort of "gift" on the floor. Usually a glove or a piece of paper or a dead rodent...doesn't matter. But the gift must be announced (and announced at 2 a.m., no less).


Elizabeth Ryann said...

Oh, what a great story! It perfectly encapsulates what it's like to live with a cat and feel like a footnote in his/her adventures, as s/he deals with the trial of trying to train us to be proper caregivers. My favorite cat quality is their rich interior life. :)

I have a cat that keeps coming to visit me (who startles me every time because he'll somehow manage to silently get on the 1" window ledge of the giant picture window in my living room, and he'll knock on the glass to get my attention). He's adorable, and charming, and so clear about how he wants to come inside. Once he's sure he has my attention, he walks to the front door so I'll let him in. And he must think I'm pretty dumb b/c his intent to move in couldn't be more obvious, and I just keep providing him with food and snuggles but no residency. If I didn't have two other strictly-indoor cats and a fear of the bills taking him to the vet would introduce into my life, I'd adopt him. Because cats are completely awesome.

Incidentally, my girl cat ignores this visitor as beneath her notice, since she knows I'll do the right thing and not bring him into her house. And my boy cat (who is bigger and dumber than both of the other cats) is both terrified and fascinated by him. Visitor cat is pretty unconcerned about their presence in the home he intends for himself, though.

Paul C said...

What an interesting tale! We have a cat that does something similar. She will want to come inside for several days and spoil herself on food and attention. Then she'll not return for 3 or 4 days. We live in the country, so there are plenty of frontiers out there.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Oh the stories they like to tell, and tell ... the wee kittehs are almost as talkative as my kids. The latest involved a midnight thunderstorm and one small kitteh climbing right up to my sound asleep face before starting in about her deprivations, startling me halfway out of the sheets. The kids found that story hilarious.

p.s. At least BW found his way home. One of mine got stuck in a dresser and couldn't find her way out.

Mia said...

LOL, I'm convinced pets try to talk to us. Um, I'm not a cat person at all. But my two dogs love to 'talk'. And they're secretly little (if 80+ pounds is little) con artists. Barking at absolutely nothing to get my attention. Pretending that they are STARVING and haven't been fed in weeks, even though they just ate. Manipulating me with those puppy eyes. *sigh* Pets. You gotta love 'em ;)

And I'm glad BW made it home safely! The touching the fridge with his paw made me smile. He knows what's important in life. LOL.

Jamie D. said...

Glad your kitty made it back. :-) The cats in our neighborhood exist solely to tease our Lucy dog, who has a deep hatred of them (she got scratched up pretty good chasing one out of our yard one day).

Wouldn't it be interesting if all these roaming cats had tiny video cameras attached? I wonder how different the story would be than what we assume it is?

MOLLYC said...

You must read "The Fur Person" by May Sarton. You must.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

OMG Cat-Cam! Believe it or not, this was actually done. Just to show you there's no topic too mundane to research.

p.s. I put a chair in front of the window to facilitate my kitteh's needs to look outside. :)

Lickety Splitter said...

Yeah BW found his way home! I don't have cats and never have, but I have had the "pleasure" of making the acquaintance of a few, including one named "Piece O Kitty." Piece of Kitty belonged to a friend of my before Piece O Kitty finally succumbed to all the ailments that gave Piece O Kitty her final name.

Cynthia Reese said...

Angie, I think he must have, for he is still exhausted!

Tawna, I'm thanking my stars that BW didn't bring any little gift home except for himself.

Elizabeth, I must remember this: what it's like to live with a cat and feel like a footnote in his/her adventures. This sums it up perfectly!

Paul C, I'll bet your girl kitty is a sailor at heart, and finds a home in every port ... but isn't it neat that she does come back?

Susan, kittehs, as you put it, are LOUD little buggers. I remember bottle-nursing a pair of Siamese kittens and how they would wake me up with their, "Feed me NOW" yowls of indignation. I swear, The Kiddo wasn't a bit more indignant for her three am feedings.

Mia, pets are con artists, that's for sure!

Jaime, your Lucy sounds like a peach! And yeah, I've longed for a cat-cam to find out what is so interesting to our feline friends.

MollyC, I am writing that title down to include on my TBR list. If you recommend it, then it's gotta be good!

Susan, now I want a cat-cam of my very own!

Lickety-Splitter, hugs about Piece O Kitty. Even if she didn't belong to you, it sounds like she was a full time friend.