Tag Archives: Jingles

Feline Showdown

2015-12-12 11.06.22

Here’s the thing about cats – you introduce a new one to the house and it starts a minor war. I feel like our cats are modeling their conflict after the 100 Years war. It’s overly pessimistic of me, but I’m not seeing much progress in their attitudes on the situation.

So I kept Jingles inside all day yesterday to force her to acknowledge we have a kitten: Nimoy. Is that not the best name ever for a kitten? She’s a gray tabby with medium length hair that I’m praying will be shorter as she matures, but have a sneaking suspicion will fill out and she’ll be a cat with long hair that we have to brush to keep it from turning to feline dreadlocks. *takes deep breath after horrible run-on sentence*

Anyway, I kept Jingles inside. The cats have met face to face a few times, but thanks to humanoid intervention, bloodshed has yet to ensue. I’m concerned that they will meet without one of their humans nearby and then there’ll be a problem. Hence my attempt to gain a feline peace treaty, or at least form a lasting truce.

So they met. There was growling from Jingles, and stunned silence and wide-eyed caution from Nimoy who moved tentatively to the protection of my side after being cornered by the fireplace when The Boy plopped himself down with Jingles in his arms.

I should probably take a moment to describe the relative qualities of the contestants in yesterday’s competition for … whatever they were trying to convince the other of. Nimoy is a 2 ½ pound ball of fluff that meows as loud as a car alarm when lonely (all night, also like a car alarm). Her attempts to communicate can be heard in every corner of the house (but not through headphones if she’s downstairs and you’re upstairs with the door closed). Jingles is a sleek and muscular 8 pounds of furious, cat-shaped angst. There really is no contest here about dominance, which was the reason why The Girl has a kitten instead of a cat. I would rather not wake to a cat fight under my bed at 2 am (again) when the cats run free at night. At the moment, we’re keeping them separated with almost pathological desperation.

What did each cat communicate yesterday? I don’t speak cat. However, from what I could tell, Jingles sent forth a concise “I don’t like you” vibe. Nimoy responded with “I’m harmless.” Jingles rebounded with “I still don’t like you.” Nimoy edged to my side, widened her eyes, and proclaimed she was “cute.” To which Jingles responded with “I will cut you.” About that time, The Boy got tired of sitting on the floor and took Jingles back to his room.

I should also point out Hubby’s role in the feline dramas. Jingles blames him for everything bad that has ever happened to her. Everything. Even if Hubby is the one who saves the cat from – oh, say the time The Girl tried to give her a bath, it’s still his fault that The Girl had the idea in the first place. Jingles knows Mommy (me) wouldn’t do anything so unforgivable as bathe her, and I know she understands the kids are our offspring, so The Girl clearly got that obnoxious tendency from Hubby (it’s how genetics works) and therefore it’s his fault. Until now, The Girl has never been held responsible for her own actions. Neither has The Boy, but his widespread immunity holds.

Now let’s look at Nimoy’s view of Hubby: He has a beard. She likes his beard. It’s fluffy. *bat, bat, bat* Not a big thinker, that one.

While Jingles has declared my pillow to be her new nighttime bed, it’s usually only on the outside edge, away from Hubby, or along the top. I’m really glad we have a king bed so there’s room for the three of us. I added another pillow just for her, on the edge of the bed and shored up by the nightstand. She’s good with this arrangement because I make an effective barrier between Hubby (who is seriously in trouble for this kitten nonsense) and her. As a rule, Nimoy isn’t allowed in The Boy’s room, or mine. I see this as allowing Jingles a couple of safe havens that are hers to allow her to escape the obnoxious furry car alarm and depressurize before she kills something. (Jingles hunts, Nimoy can’t hold onto a ribbon.) So it was a really bad situation last night when Jingles precedes me up the stairs into my room, to find the door was open, and Nimoy was curled up on her pillow!

Jingles jumped up on the bed and froze, staring at the naughty fluffball. I shifted the laundry to one him and grabbed Jingles in the other arm before something unfortunate happened, and began yelling for The Girl and mentioning phrases like ‘child endangerment,’ ‘call feline social services,’ ‘custody battle,’ and ‘going to be grounded’ before starting to count backwards from ten, in German.

Note to parents out there: if you really want to freak out your kids, don’t just count – do it in German. The language itself sounds angry so it really adds punch to those numbers.

The Girl showed up, rescued Nimoy, and I made a big show of changing the pillowcase for Jingles. It’s going to be a long winter.

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Sea Kittens and Snuggle Sharks

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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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