Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chats du jour: Straitjacket

Are any of you guys a pet psychiatrist? We need one. Shirley is the oddest duck I have ever seen.

She has OCD tendencies, or, at the least, she has rituals that cannot be interrupted. Every evening, she comes into the bedroom. She scratches the legs of the chair I got from my grandmother's basement. (Better a wooden chair than SH's speakers, which are her other favorite target.) She jumps onto the chair. From there, she jumps onto the dresser, looks for something to knock down, of which there is not anything as I resigned myself two years ago to keeping all my jewelry in a drawer out of her reach instead of in the cute little bowl I got in Morocco.

After walking the length of the dresser, she hops to the top level and sits in front of the mirror for a while, admiring herself. After enough time has passed, she evaluates the distance from the dresser to the bed, which has not changed in the 2.5 years we have had the cats (has it been that long? wow), and after calibrating her liftoff force and the angle of ascent, launches herself onto the bed. Upon landing, she saunters over to my side, hoping I will give her some kitty crack, aka shea butter vaseline, which I dole out in little dibs and dabs in an effort to keep her system slick so hairballs do not come out of her mouth if you know what I mean.

That is Part I of the Evening Ritual. It's not so bad as rituals go. This is not the ritual that concerns me.

The ritual that concerns me is Part II of the Evening Ritual.

That is when Shirley has her daily existential crisis.

Or whatever it is. I don't know what to call an event that includes forlorn, despairing, loud yowls. Very loud, even by Laverne standards and Laverne does not shut up. The most we usually hear from Shirley is a little bit of chirping now and then. She lets Laverne do all the talking. But the P2ER yowling is loud. Very loud.

So here is Part II of the Evening Ritual. Tell me what this means, please, because it has puzzled SH and me for over two years now.

Shirley goes into the kitchen, jumps onto the counter (yes, the counter where we prepare food - if you have any suggestions about how to keep cats from going where you do not want them to go, please, advise me - I am all ears), grabs Laverne's leash in her teeth, jumps to the floor, releases the leash, and yowls inconsolably.

She does this even if Laverne is next to her, so it's not something where she misses Laverne.

She does not do this in front of SH and me. We do not always come out to see what's going on. Sometimes, she does it in the basement if I have been dumb enough to leave the leash looped over the basement stairs. She drags the leash into the basement, which means I have to go downstairs to get it in the morning when Laverne is demanding to go out.

I hate going up and down stairs. I am lazy.

So. It has nothing to do with where the leash is. It has nothing to do with Laverne's presence or lack thereof. It's usually in the evening or at night. Not in front of SH or me.

What does it mean? Tell me, please.


MrScribbler said...

Is Shirley driving you crazy with your behavior? Are you wasting time and losing sleep trying to figure out what she needs? Do you get little pangs of fear at random moments about her health/well-being/happiness?

If so, her Plan is Working. To a "T," I might add.

It's a Cat Thing, you know....

MrScribbler said...

Meh -- that should be "her behavior." I sound more like a spammer every day.

John0 Juanderlust said...

It means you are of the subset of people whose pets set the rules and are, in your home, at the top of the food chain.
Sorry, but it is true. It is especially evident because the part of the ritual that bothered you most was the part in which you were not being inconvenienced and your property was not threatened.

Most cat people enjoy being controlled and tortured by cats. I like cats and find it possible to do otherwise. The aforementioned cat people do not believe me and suspect I am a meany.

Christa said...

I have the same kind of cat you have. And Lincoln is a bit insane. I know exactly what you mean by the cat having a routine and the world ends if something is changed. Almost every night Lincoln goes into the dark dining room and yowls as loud as he can for about 10 seconds. We call him and he only yowls more. We go investigate and he is sitting by himself in the middle of the carpet and gives you a surprised "Oh,Hi!" look when he sees you. Strange beast. I can't explain any of it.

Class factotum said...

Shirley is gaslighting us, for sure.

John, it is pretty clear who rules the roost in this house. Nobody is picking up my poop is all I have to say.

Christa, maybe Lincoln and Shirley are neutered soulmates.