Darqstar (darqstar) wrote,

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Further mumbles on the subject of cats...

Cats are great, I highly recommend them. In fact, I have three and I'll be happy to give you one. Really, I will. Everyone should know the joy of having cats, damnit. Everyone should know the joy of having fur all over them and claw marks on their body. And life is just not complete without waking up at 3:00 in the morning to go to the bathroom and stepping into a wet, coughed up hairball. It's something you just won't forget....

And speaking of forgetting, today I'm going to address the issue of cats and their memories. For years I've heard that cats, like most animals don't have very good memories. There is a great deal of evidence to support this, mostly in the fact that you can tell a cat a billion times he is not allowed on the sofa, right down to the point where when caught within five feet of the sofa you practically beat him senseless. Yet, the moment your back is turned, guess where kitty will be? That's right, on the sofa. Now, you could say he's just being willfully disobedient, but how do you explain when you yell at kitty, that look of total shock. "Why are you yelling at me? What, you don't want me on the sofa? Well geesh, this is the first I've heard of that, why are you shouting?"

Well, through a lot of careful scientific research I've conducted using a lot of scientific equipment, consisting of tools such as a window, a can, a plastic bowl, a pair of sneakers, two feet, and of course, a cat, I know now that cats have awesome memories. We should have memories as good as cats.

Evidence one... Remy has been living with us for eight years. When we adopted him, we had Zaphod.... a cat that always ate with his tail curled around his body. Not Remy, Remy kept his tail out, on the floor, no doubt to dust it. (He's such a helpful cat!) Well, I wasn't used to it and one morning when fumbling around in the kitchen, attempting like a fool to show off my domestic skills I accidentally stepped on his tail.

Eight years later and when I come out in the kitchen when he's eating, he gives me a terrified look, and scuttles around the food bowl to the other side, where he can press his backside against the wall. Remember, this was only one incident. I have never stepped on his tail since, at least not while he was eating. But he remembers that one incident perfectly.

Not convinced? Or, maybe you think Remy is brilliant, a cut above cats? No, not really. Remy is a twit. But, I have three cats right? Let's look at evidence two...

Goten is my wildcat. Former street cat turned reluctant housecat, who thinks he's the baddest ass in the world, but in truth, he's a big old pussy cat when it comes to some things. Sure, he'll rip the flesh off my bones and grin while he's doing it, sure he struts around our place like we didn't have him fixed and they hang to low for him to walk properly, but let a sharp noise or something come along and he's got the greatest defense you ever saw. We call it, "run and hide like a scard little girl!"

Well, when Goten was a street cat, there were these two cats that used to pick on him. One was a grey striped cat, who was the most vicious, meanspirited cat I've ever met in my life. I haven't seen him for over a year, I'm assuming he finally met his demise. This cat got great joy in picking on other cats, but ones that were younger and weaker than him. Healthy cats of same size were not his thing. The other cat to pick on him is one of a pair we call the "Bobsey Twins" Now, with the Bobsey twins, one is a mean little rat, the other is a fairly nice kitty, a bit skittish, but keeps to himself. Never causes any trouble. You can tell them apart by the ears. Mean Bobsey has a chewed ear, nice Bobsey has two good ears.

Goten, when he was just this sweet, innocent little kitty that lived on the streets and wuved me to the point where when he heard my car driving up, he came running to greet me, was a favorite target of the mean duo. They would pin him in a corner and wail on him, until I rescued him. In fact, it was this picking on him that led me into bringing him into the house perminantly.

Okay, so we have a fair number of stray cats in the neighborhood and they do walk by our house on a very regular basis. So, we have Goten, who likes to sit on window ledges, because hey, he's a cat, right? Well, whenever a cat walks by, he gets the tail flick, and shows a bit of interest, not much though. I think he's more concerned with showing off. "Look at me, I was once you, living on the streets, now I have a house, a chew toy that feeds me, and I'm getting FAT, life is good, sucks to be YOU!"

Until Mean Bobsey walks by. Then Goten becomes positively pissed off, growling loudly, and making weird noises, tail going a mile a minute. Not only that, but he knows the difference between Nice Bobsey and Mean Bobsey. But he still remembers that Mean Bobsey picked on him. That's a damned good memory.

Now, lets look at the third cat, Psycho Chrissy, who has changed more than any cat I've ever known. She came to me a hateful, spiteful, little troublemaker and has turned into my little love kitty. She sleeps on my bed, sits next to me, and when I got to bed, she insists I must pet her for five minutes or so, before she'll curl up again and go to sleep. And she's gone from looking pissed off when I walk into the room, to looking at me with this expression of sheer joy, as if my mear presence has the power to make her day a happy one. Yes, she's good for my ego, even if I do suspect it's all asskissing in an attempt to get red meat and cheese, her favorite foods.

Anyway, Chrissy has also shown examples of having a pretty good memory. Mostly when it comes to running water. Almost two years ago, she got herself into a jar of peanut butter and later into a basement. These incidents lead to her being bathed, something she expressed extreme dislike for. And, even though I have never even attempted to bathe her since then, if she hears the water running in the sink, she runs away. I must run the water a thousand times a week, and have never tried to grab her. But she still runs off, remembering those two incidents.

So, clearly, cats have wonderful memories, but only for the things they want to remember. Remembering the sofa is forbidden is not something they want to remember, thus, they don't. Besides, if they remembered that, then they wouldn't have a chance to sleep on the nice, comfy sofa.

In that sense, cats are a lot like people.

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