Tag Archives: black cat

Sea Kittens and Snuggle Sharks


I woke this morning, like I do on many weekend mornings, to the cat being tossed on the bed and The Girl scampering away before Darth Jingles could gather herself to give chase. As usual, by the time I rise to see what’s up (as if I didn’t know) all I see is a splay-legged black cat in the middle of the bed and the retreating backside of my eldest offspring.

Jingles looks at me, a look of complete disgust with the situation. Hubby snores and she grants him a passing glare. I check the time: 8:45 am. All right, I got to sleep in a bit. Everyone in the house has a cold, and I’m starting to feel the effects myself, so I wasn’t really ready to get up.

I look at Jingles and try to decide if she’s going to let me roll over and go back to sleep. I decided it was worth a shot. Long story short – I was wrong. She was willing to let me go back to sleep, but not able to. She prowled around the foot of the bed for a moment, which I expected. I figured she’d find a nice place on the down comforter – her blanket because it smells (I imagine) like baby ducks = prey – and then settle down. It’s her spot, therefore she should like it. No. She circled like a restless tiger. Then she found my feet, but didn’t attack them amazingly enough, and followed my leg upward. All right, so she was heading for another favorite spot – the back of my knees.

She landed there and perched for a while, long enough for me to almost fall back to sleep. Then she decided to move up to the small of my back. Fine. Almost asleep again, she turns on the purr motor. What? Why? Whatever, fine. Concentrate on going back to sleep. Now. No, wait, she’s moving again – and takes up position on the pillow beside my head.

Okay, just no. Sweetheart, I love you, but no purring in mommy’s ear. I pick her up and pull her in front of me, snuggling her in my arms. Right, back to sleep. Scratch the cat behind the ears, then back to sleep. Let her get in a better position. There you go. Right there, with her nose tucked up under my chin. Jingles, I’m trimming your whiskers when I get up. And knock off the purring. Right, scratch behind the ear – no, sweetie, I can’t scratch under your chin, it’s under my chin. There’s a logistical problem with my arm doesn’t move that – oh, you’re going to move again to make it easier. Thanks.

And so on.

Somewhere in this long, drawn out, not-being-able-to-go-back-to-sleep process, I decided Jingles could be classified as a snuggle shark. This shows you how my sleep-deprived mind works. That naturally made me remember years ago when PETA decided they could get people to stop eating fish if they made over their image. The fish, not PETA. They devoted a website to this venture, and it was so absurd of course the news picked it up and helped them along. They proposed rebranding fish to be called “sea kittens.” True.

This flitted through my mind as my own little snuggle shark decided to start attacking my feet after all. I mean, I doubt Jingles would really care about it either way if her tuna were labeled sea kitten, she’d still find it a tasty treat and beg for it on a regular basis. And I vaguely remember mentioning this ill-conceived idea to the kids in a moment of weakness, to produce the expected outcome: The Boy asking for sea-kitten sandwiches and The Girl giggling while she took a marker and crossed out “tuna” on the cans in the pantry and wrote in “sea kitten” instead. Eventually that blew over and things returned to normal, just as my morning settled down as soon as I let snuggle shark outside to search for more suitable prey. And now I’m up, so I may as well get some things done.

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Darth Jingles

ImageLet me tell you about our cat. You know supply and demand economics? Well, she’s a little black cat of no particular pedigree that we picked up from the pound for $5 during the ‘kitten giveaway’ season. That’s when many households have ‘Free to good home’ signs posted in their yard with a picture of kittens or puppies. You know what I’m talking about. Of course $5 included getting her fixed, so hey, that was a bargain.

She never took to Hubby but did her job scampering around and keeping the kids entertained. Then she’d come settle on ‘The Mommary’ for love and quiet time. Yup, right there on my chest. When she outgrew that, she’d hang out on the back of my chair and chew on my hair. The cat has a thing for hair.

The cat has a thing for a few oddities. First, she doesn’t care for moist cat food. A bit odd, but fine. If she doesn’t appreciate the hassle or expense, I’ll just feed her bulk dry. It makes her happy. Second, she doesn’t like leftovers either. If I’m making stew, she does not want a bite of beef, either raw or cooked, but will lick the gravy off it. Ahem, cat, you’re a predator, you eat meat! No, she really doesn’t.

Actually, she likes ham. If you cut it from a ham roast, if it comes from a ham steak, she’s not really interested. This is unfortunate for her because we fry ham steaks fairly regularly for breakfast for The Boy, but we rarely just buy a ham to cook. Occasionally, but rarely. And she doesn’t like ham lunch meat either.  

She does like baby food. Occasionally I’ll put a little in with one of the lizards and we caught the cat begging, so . . . Yup, loves it. Weirdo. She also likes dried seaweed. Yes, it’s true. Begs for it. And Cheerios.  And fake plants with long, grass-like, leaves. They’re her favorite cat toys until she destroys them. I’m so happy I can get these at the dollar store.

We have a theory that, when we got her as a kitten, she imprinted on my son. This would explain her disproportional preference for ham, taste for seaweed (he eats those thin sheets you buy for sushi like they were chips), and also her hostility toward Hubby. The Boy fights with Hubby (he’s almost 14, so this is normal, loud, and irritating) therefore the cat shuns the man of the house in support of her boy. She also sleeps with The Boy more nights than not, usually in a little Easter basket that she can just fit in – snuggly – and stays in there all night.

She has bells on her collar and jingles as she scampers through the house. You know that quote from It’s A Wonderful Life – “every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings”? Well, in order for there to be angels to get wings, people have to die. (Yes, we’re a morbid household to realize the truth behind that sweet thought). When our cat jingles through the house, we imagine she’s wiping out entire villages in some poor country you hear about on the news a lot. She’s ‘making angels’ – there, that’s a nicer thought, isn’t it?

So, our cat, jokingly called ‘Darth Jingles,’ is a seaweed and baby food fixated grim reaper wrapped up in black fur and purs. Now you know our dark secret.

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The Curse of The Little Black Cat.

ImageThe great thing about having a black cat is that she’s pre-decorated for Halloween. Of course that doesn’t stop us from dressing her up anyway, much to her annoyance. Right now, as the season kicks into swing, she’s all about posing as a ‘black cat shadow.’ She’s been practicing for the role all year.


The not-so-great thing about having a black cat is that she’s really just a cat. And she wants to go outside and play when The Girl leaves for school at 6:30 a.m. Actually, she wants to go outside and play when The Girl gets up at 5:00 a.m. but she shows a little restraint. By 6:30, she’s ‘singing’ at the front door and getting underfoot.


So let her out, right? 


No. It’s still dark. In the early days of the blog I mentioned a significant loss of cattage in the cul-de-sac due to a family of foxes residing in the nearby golf course. They’re still building houses between us and the golf course, so there are more barriers for the red assassins, but there is also more prey. The rule that the cat stays in after dark still applies. Or in this case, before light.


Keeping her in, is a challenge. Actually, no, it isn’t. She’s hovering by the front door, so it’s easy to catch her, if not hold her, when The Girl leaves. She can safely go out an hour later when The Boy leaves.


All right, so keeping her in isn’t really the problem, it’s keeping her happy that is. The Girl wanted to give her kitty-snuggles this morning before she left. It went like this:


Mournful meow.

“Stop it, I’m snuggling you.

Another mournful meow.

“Here, let me pet your tummy.”

Mournful meow accompanied by wriggling.

“Don’t you want to be held like a baby?” She switches and puts The Cat over her shoulder to pet her.

Meows to hide the fact she’s digging her claws into The Girl’s shoulder in preparation for launch. The Girl clamps down to hold her in place.

“Hold still.”

Low growling.

“But I love you!”


I sighed. “Give her to me.”


The Girl passed The Cat over. The Cat fell silent, although slightly huffy, in my embrace. I pet her. The Girl put on her shoes then walked over, hands on tiny hips, and demanded to know why The Cat wasn’t meowing and wiggling with me.


“I have her in a headlock.”




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