Category: Feline Weirdness

Floppy Fish II: The Floppening

I promised an update on Buddy and his new Floppy Fish toy, confident he would get over his trepidation and start playing with it eventually. More than half a dozen attempts later I’ve succeeded only in making him more skittish.

Our readers will recall Buddy got his first look at his new toy last week, and he was terrified of it.

He stepped back warily as I flipped the on switch and placed the flopping fish on the floor. When it stopped thrashing — which it does after a few seconds to save battery life, relying on a motion sensor to tell it to move again — Buddy slowly, cautiously edged his way over.

With a wary eye on the toy fish, Buddy gave it a nudge with his paw, then jumped back as it sprang to life again, making a mechanical SWISH-SWISH sound as it thrashed.

floppyfish3

I tried to get him interested in the fish the next day and again the following night. It was late. Buddy hopped up to the coffee table and padded over to me, nuzzling me with his cheeks in hello.

He’s relaxed, I thought. Good opportunity to try the fish again!

I should have kept the power off. He wasn’t playing with the fish, but he wasn’t hissing at it or running away.

Stupidly I allowed impatience to get the better of me. I switched it on, and he freaked out and ran away. After that he wouldn’t even go near the thing even as it sat dormant. He probably thinks it’s like Ssscat, the motion-triggered compressed air spray that startles cats to keep them off kitchen counter tops, tables and other surfaces.

Come to think of it, maybe I can find a use for the fish yet. If I want to protect a fragile item on a flat surface, all I need to do is place the fish in front of it and Bud will never go near the thing. 🙂


A Cat’s Revenge!

Back in July I wrote a humor post about Buddy “generously grooming” me while I slept:

“It was early and I hadn’t started meowing into my human’s ear at 106 decibels yet,” Buddy recalled. “Big Buddy looked so peaceful as he snoozed, so I decided I’d let him sleep and catch up on grooming myself.”

It was then that the spirit of altruism struck the normally selfish gray tabby cat.

“As I was licking my butt I thought, ‘Buddy, why are you being so selfish? Doesn’t your caring human deserve a little grooming too?’ So I stopped licking my butt and started grooming Big Buddy’s face with my tongue. Got it nice and clean while he slept, so he wouldn’t have to wash when he woke up.”

Satisfied with a job well done, Buddy hopped off the bed, walked to the corner of the bedroom and stepped through the flap of his litter box for his 8 am bowel movement.

After burying his business like a gentleman, the considerate cat quietly climbed back into bed.

“I looked over and realized I’d missed a spot right on Big Buddy’s lip,” Little Buddy recalled. “I’m nothing if not thorough and a perfectionist, so I promptly corrected my mistake, licking my human’s lip clean.”

It is, of course, completely disgusting and precisely the sort of dry, absurdist humor typical of this blog. Readers can draw comfort from the fact that their own cats, whatever their faults or annoying habits, don’t groom their humans’ lips. Because that would be gross.

As for me and Bud, well, he mostly contented himself to grooming my beard. The problem? I shaved it off just the other day.

buddy_upsidedown

So last night I was a dreaming a dream whose details have faded from memory, but one thing remains distinct: In my dream, fat wet raindrops began to fall on my face and lips.

I woke with a start to find Buddy grooming my chin, lips and right cheek, blurted out an “Ugh, Bud!” and vigorously wiped my mouth dry with a tissue.

I can unfortunately confirm it’s not nearly as funny when it really happens to you.

How Do Your Cats ‘Misbehave’?

Cat shaming is back, and it’s better than ever!

Despite the name, people aren’t really shaming their cats so much as they’re celebrating their unpredictable, amusing and, yes, sometimes destructive antics and sharing them with other cat lovers.

“Cat shaming” can include photos of cats with handwritten signs listing their crimes, or it can be as simple as photos of cats in action, doing what they do best. Like this little guy, who is presented with evidence of his malfeasance and responds with a look that says: “Yep. I did that shit!”

Or this cat, who waited until the coast was clear to hop up on the kitchen counter and turn a bowl of rice into an improvised litter box:

catrice
“Not a litter box, you say? It is now!”

Then there’s the classic cat-shaming, the handwritten signs confessing things like “I gave all the furniture the distressed look,” or “I folded the carpet over my poop to make a poop sandwich, then sat on it”:

catshaming1

 

There’s even a variety of cat-shaming calendars:

I don’t have a good cat-shaming photo to hand. I know I’ve got at least one of Bud caught red-handed as he’s scratching the couch, laying there frozen with his paw against the fabric and a “This isn’t what it looks like!” look on his face. It’s likely in the bowels of an old hard drive in a folder of unsorted photos, so I’ll have to do some hunting.

Aside from infrequently scratching the couch (even though he’s got a massive tower scratcher and he uses it all the time), Buddy’s biggest “crime” is his unwavering commitment to swiping every moveable object off of all existing flat surfaces at home.

We’ve reached an uneasy sort of truce in which I don’t hassle him about swiping less important, usually unbreakable stuff — like bottles of water or hand sanitizer — as long as he doesn’t swipe anything fragile. And by fragile, he seems to understand objects made of hard material with a bit of heft to them are not to be swiped. For the most part he gets it.

So, my friends: What about your cats? How do they misbehave?

Cat Defends His Territory From An Elephant In Thailand

So this story about a cat fearlessly staring down an elephant in Thailand has gone viral, and the photo is admittedly pretty incredible. Bud would’ve soiled himself and bolted, but this cat is truly brave.

“This is my territorah!” we imagine the cat declaring. “Find your own trees!”

The cat’s name is Simba, he’s three years old, and the photos were taken on the night of Nov. 17 in Thailand’s Nakhon Nayok province, about 112 km (70 miles in the Proper American Method of Measuring Distance™) northeast of Bangkok.

Beyond that, though, it’s actually a sad story: You know things are truly dire when we’ve destroyed so much wildlife habitat that elephants are coming up to people’s houses and eating the trees and shrubs in their gardens. Elephants usually do everything they can to avoid humans, and for good reason: Conflicts almost always end poorly for the elephants.

We hope this photo draws the attention of the right people, who can perhaps mitigate the situation or put resources into moving the elephants to a more suitable range.

catandelephant

P.S. Buddy disputes any and all allegations that he would have soiled himself or run away from elephants. In fact, the elephants are lucky they don’t share a continent with Buddy!

Real Life Cats Are The Villains of Nintendo’s Newest Game

Nintendo’s newest game has been out for all of one day and already cats are like “Nuh-uh.”

The idea behind Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is clever yet simple and seemingly tailored for the pandemic era: Using a Nintendo Switch, players control a tiny Mario Kart equipped with a camera and race it around courses they design in their homes. Because players are controlling the kart through a screen and seeing things from the kart’s point of view, the game augments the race course by generating obstacles to dodge, coins to collect and opponents to race against.

It’s called augmented reality, because it adds layers of computer-generated imagery over things we can see with our own eyes. It’s the same concept behind smart glasses and floating heads-up displays.

But there’s one wild card Nintendo’s designers may not have anticipated: Felis catus.

Nothing grabs a cat’s attention quicker than a small, fast-moving object, and the little karts have been triggering the predatory instincts of countless cats.

Some cats go all “You shall not pass!” Gandalf-style on the karts:

Others aren’t sugar coating what they think of the invasive little cartoon racers:


Finally, some cats just don’t know what to make of it:

The best part about this is that, from the kart’s eye view, house cats look like furry kaiju — giant, lumbering beasts hell bent on sending the racers careening off course.

It also begs the question: Is there anything in existence that cannot be improved by adding cats?