Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cold, clear morning with Roger the cat

Roger, AKA the Might Hunter Hampered by Stupid Humans

Currently, it's 12 degrees here in the Nashville area, and yesterday's light snow is still on the ground in all it's sparkling beauty. We've opted, somewhat due to laziness, somewhat due to lack of desire to freeze our hind ends off, not to attend church this morning, which we will both miss. But, today, comfort wins out over spiritual sustenance in a community setting. For me, my spiritual recharging will come in the form of the birds who feed outside my kitchen door, and our cat Roger, who spends hours enjoying, and probably fantasizing about his domination over, these some 40 species who've gathered on our deck at one time or another. It is a supreme joy to watch him try to find some way, yet undiscovered, to get at the little critters. He clearly understands that he cannont beam himself through the windows, nor can he make the birds come in to him. I am not sure what he'd do if he did come face to face with another creature -- he seemed quite terrified of my then-toddler niece when she tried to play with him here, so I think he might also not be so cool after all if he came face to face with the terrifying Goldfinches or Cardinals. But watching him ponder and maneuver is truly a highlight of any day.

Roger was a birthday gift to me from a "friend". "Friends" don't give you live animals as gifts, unless you expressly request them. So when Roger was dropped into my lap, and I fell in love immediately, Hubby was none too happy, to say the least. But I think it took about 45 seconds for him to fall in love with said kitty, and we've lived happily ever after since. Roger is about 18 months or so old -- we don't know exactly, because he was a stray someone found and was feeding outside their door. But he has a very mellow disposition, which is very helpful in this house. That does not mean that he can't be a hellion -- oh, but he can, racing about at what seems to us to be no provocation whatsoever, playing with anything, and I do mean ANYTHING, that he takes a fancy to, even for a few seconds. Yes, he has "real toys", and sometimes he plays with them, but he's just as likely to play with a bag, or box, or pencil, or whatever else he can get his paws on. I bought a large braid of sweetgrass while on vacation in North Carolina, and I must not have realized that these are, in their real lives, Native American Cat Toys. Color me surprised! Well, at least it's natural? That's my best excuse/explanation for Roger's penchant for dragging this off the table to where he can roll around and bat it about for whatever length of time he feels like.

On the other hand, he loves to lie in our laps, and he sleeps in his own little bed at the foot of ours. He curls up so innocently in front of the fireplace, surrounded by his 'babies', i.e. the stuffed animals he's stolen from us. He has puppies and kitties, and even a little teddy bear. He may choose to toss them up in the air, wrestle them, or curl up and sleep with them, and maybe even all of the above in the course of 5 minutes. You can never tell what will happen next when Roger is awake.

One of the things he seems to really enjoy is when we are packing a suitcase to go somewhere. He believes that the open lid of the suitcase is an invitation to play hide & seek, just like he thinks that making the bed is also an invitation. For the suitcase deal, he will scoot underneath the opened lid, and wait for you to call him, or to tap the top of the lid. This is his signal to "attack" you with his paws from underneath. When making the bed, he prefers to get involved before you put the mattress cover on, and stay in place until you make the entire bed, with him in it. If he only catches you straightening the sheets/comforter, then he likes to dash under the covers, lie on his back and let you play with his feet, also by tapping and scratching on the top of the covers, saying "Where's Roger?" There's also the Laundry Game, which basically involves you dumping nice warm laundry on him as he lies in the middle of the bed. He doesn't play with it -- he just likes to tunnel in it and leave his cute little head sticking out for you to admire. Ah, the joys of a kitty.

It must be time for coffee, so off with me for now. Looking forward to spending the day reading, straightening up our office, and trying to work on Hubby's website with my very rusty knowledge of Front Page and HTML. Oh, and catering to the real king of the castle, Roger the Cat.



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