Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cryptic Chaos

The two leggers are fascinated with mysteries.

All mysteries......

Not just the typical whodunnit, somebody done went and kilt somebody else type mystery. They are interested in anything that makes one scratch their head thingy and wonder "What could it mean?".

One type of mystery that they love involves "cryptids". Cryptids are basically a class of critter that are suspected of existing despite the lack of any tangible evidence. Anytime there is a strange sound in the woods, a shadow on a roadside or a dead cow found in a field, someone steps forward and claims that there is a cryptid on the loose.

These shy monsters vary greatly in size and form, from the small, dog thingy-like Chupacabra of the American Southwest, to the huge, aquatic critters of Lake Champlain and Loch Ness. There are also an inordinate amount of hairy two legged cryptids like Bigfoot, Sasquatch, the Yeti, and Howard Stern.

 Every single sighting of a cryptid involves at least one of three common traits:
 1. A grainy photograph that could be interpreted as either an animal walking upright or a large, mobile vegetable, possibly of the tuber variety.
2. An eyewitness who invariably speaks with a Southern accent and could also be interpreted as either an animal walking upright or a large, mobile vegetable (though probably not of the tuber variety).  
3. Consumption of alcohol, recreational pharmaceuticals or bad sushi.

Now the reason I bring this up is simple.......

Two leggers spend bajillions of dollars to mount expeditions to remote locales in search of these elusive creatures while totally ignoring the cryptids that live in their very own households and back yards. Mysterious beings stalk and cavort throughout the night within a knock knack's throw of the blissfully sleeping two leggers. They are found in every society, in every country and upon every continent on Earth.

After an exhaustive, catnip-fueled, sleepless period of research lasting several minutes, I have collected several examples of such "domestic cryptids".  In my Kingdom alone I have discovered no fewer than four such beasties.

Evidence exists of a mysterious beast that frequents bathrooms in the still of dark, moonless nights. Quietly, it stalks from shadow to shadow until it spots its natural enemy.......the toilet paper roll. Then with silent ferocity it attacks, shredding its helpless (but extraordinarily soft and absorbent) prey. The Potty Paper Shredditator (PPS) leaves nothing but torn and mangled detritus in its wake. For many years, this was blamed on a species of over-caffeinated hamsters, but recent forensic studies have been released that indicate feline activity may be responsible. Some researchers have begun to suspect that the PPS may be adapting to human encroachment upon its habitat and migrating to the kitchen where it finds larger, more robust prey in the form of huge rolls of paper towels.

Another domestic cryptid had been reported in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It appears to be a very localized phenomenon restricted to the Puget Sound area. The only evidence that it exists is the sound the it makes. The  call of the North American Whinebeast (NAW) can be heard at all hours. The irritating sound it produces can defeat even the most state-of-the-art of sound-reduction technology. When the NAW is in full throat, those within its audible range find it impossible to concentrate on even the simplest of tasks. Those who hear the sound are often filled with an inexplicable rage and irresistible urge to strike the nearest gray tabby cat. little is known about the NAW owing to the fact that the scientific community at large find the subject too annoying to study.

Probably the strangest domestic cryptid is the mythical "Butter-Licker". Not to be confused with the "Common Butt-Licker", which is simply any dog thingy that has ever roamed the Earth (usually in circles, aimlessly looking for a potty spot). Butter-Lickers are fairly common and have been reported in most societies where butter is regularly consumed. It is known by many names. In France it is known as "Zee Beurre L├ęcher". In Germany, it is called "Buttenlickenbeest". In Arkansas, it is "Thatdangcritterwhatsbeenlickinthadangedolebutteragin".

As its name suggests, the Butter-Licker is drawn to any butter or margarine products that may have been carelessly left out in the kitchen overnight. popular theory suggests that the butter does not serve as a food source because the butter is never fully eaten. It is simply licked enough to make it unsuitable for human consumption. Often, particularly slippery barfies are found for several days after the visitation of a Butter-Licker.

Oddly enough, Butter-Lickers are not to be found in Canada. However, a cousin of the Butter-Licker seems to exist. The Maple-Muncher behaves in a very similar manner and is the only creature on Earth that Canadians have been known to be rude to.

There are many other domestic cryptids that I could write about. However, I have just heard the sound of the NAW and Tiger Lily needs smacking.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Lord of The Rungs

The female two legger is at it again.

Early this morning she banished the male to the yard, pulled out tape, plastic sheeting, various brushes, rollers, trimmer thingies, stirring sticks, putty knives, old bed sheets and several fifty-gallon drums of paint.

Apparently, paint has a lifespan of approximately three years in my Kingdom. While the female seems very tuned in to this, the male appears to be blissfully unaware that all walls must be repainted on a regular basis. Not only must they be repainted, the color must be completely different with each application.

The process of color selection is a very complex, arcane and scientific process known only to the females of the two legger species. It begins about three months prior to the expiration of the existing paint. The female begins by rearranging the furniture within the room in question. She moves things around to various positions before deciding that the original arrangement was the most aesthetically pleasing after all.  She then pulls out the "Holiest of Holies", a large semi-portable catalog of color swatches. This catalog contains samples of approximately 15,937 different colors all with different names and shades (on a good day, the male can name four of these).  Amazingly, the female is able to discern the various shades, hues and tones of each sample. For instance, she can name no fewer than 86 varieties of chartreuse. The male, by comparison, believes chartreuse to be a French brand of motorcycle. This fact illustrates his severe lack of knowledge in both colors and the auto industry.

Once the new color is chosen, the next step is to purchase new curtains, rugs and other accoutrements to match the new color.

Now the day has arrived to begin the actual painting process. She has learned from prior experience that the best way to avoid unforeseen calamities, is to remove any creatures that are prone to cause messes or general chaos, so, with the male safely tied up outside where he can cause only a minimum of damage, and us feline types locked in guest bedroom, the female spreads out the plastic sheeting, tapes all the molding and commences to enjoy a day spent in joyful painting.

To be honest, none of this particularly interests me. The opportunities for mayhem are severely limited by her vigilance and she never allows us into the room until the paint is thoroughly dried. However, there is one aspect that I have found quite enjoyable:

The ladder thingy.

Being rather small in stature, the female requires the use of a ladder to reach the higher regions of the wall. Though she usually finishes painting by early afternoon, she requires the male two legger to return the ladder thingy to its place in the shed. Giving this responsibility to the male means that the ladder thingy will remain in the newly painted room for a span of time anywhere from a few days to several months. Often, tools that the male intends to return to the shed will slowly migrate from room to room, gradually over time reaching the living room before finally completing the final leg of the migration that terminates in the shed.

Back to the ladder thingy. Whoever invented ladders must love cats. They are a veritable playground for felines. Eight different levels reaching an altitude of 12 tailspans. The levels rise at a steep angle with a small platform at the top. Made of wood, it is perfect for clawing and provides great traction for climbing. The opportunities for ambushing are endless. The uppermost level works wonderfully as a platform from which pouncing is optimized. "Death from above!" can often be heard as we play upon this incredible device.

Ladders are truly the ultimate in cat toy technology.

However, I have a plan to turn it to a more nefarious use. It will take time. It will require patience. But, I know that someday it will happen. Given the male's track record, it is only a matter of time before he leaves the ladder thingy just a bit too close to the shelf that holds the most valuable and treasured knock knacks within my Kingdom.

Someday they will fall.....until then, I wait.



Friday, June 5, 2015

Journey Into Madness (Part 2)

Let's see, where were we?

Oh yes, we had just arrived at the vet thingy in Seattle.

However, I quickly realized that this was no ordinary vet thingy. The building was larger than any I had ever been in. There was even an ambulance parked in front.

I was carried into a large lobby filled with the smells of all sorts of animals. Performing a quick olfactory survey, I detected the scents of other felines, dog thingies, guinea piggers, mice, rats, two parrots and at least one snake (or politician, it is difficult to discern the difference). The walls were covered with artwork in bright, cheerful colors. Pictures of happy four leggers stood out in stark contrast to the very unhappy four leggers awaiting their appointments.

Well, perhaps that last statement is not entirely accurate. The felines awaiting their appointments were unhappy. The dog thingies, clueless as always, were happily roaming around, sniffing each others squatters. Tongues lolling, tails wagging, running hither and yon with complete disregard for dignity or self-respect.

Being the only cat present at the moment, I felt it my feline duty to glare at them in a malevolent manner. I considered hissing, but that only encourages them.

Finally, after wasting 45 minutes observing this lickfest, a small female two legger came out and announced that they were ready to receive me.

I was taken into a large exam room where the new two legger introduced herself as 'Chelsea" and informed me that she had the honor of being my vet tech. She opened my kitty carrier and for the first time I was able to see my surroundings. Next to the exam table, there sat two black leather chairs. In the opposite corner there lay a large, poofy doggie bed. Viewing this as an opportunity too good to pass up, I jumped onto the doggie bed and relieved myself in a most prodigious manner. Not only had I been cooped up in a kitty carrier for over an hour, but I felt it poetic justice after having been subjected to an afternoon of canine capers.

As an overt act of defiance I didn't even attempt to cover it up.

Chelsea then picked me up and placed me back on the exam table. The table was five tailspans long by three tailspans wide. Though it was covered with a soft padded mat, I could see the two cushy leather chairs. I decided that the exam table was obviously intended for dog thingies and other lower lifeforms. Chelsea initially felt that I should remain on the table, but after observing the twitching of my smacking paw, she wisely chose to conduct my examination on my newly acquired throne away from home.






Remarkably, Chelsea finished her examination with little or no bloodshed. She had a gentle and respectful manner and therefore I deemed her acceptable. With a smile and a pat on the head, she left the room.

In her absence, I resumed my reconnaissance of the room. Above the sink, I discovered a series of shelves filled with several items of the knock-knack variety. Just as I was about to "cull the herd", the vet thingy entered the room.

Dr. Alice Huang was unlike any other vet thingy I had ever met. She was not wearing hockey pads and a football helmet. She was smiling, calm, and not prone to nervous tremors like all my other vet thingies. She didn't seem apprehensive or fearful. Even my two leggers were amazed. They asked her if she was aware of who I was. She replied that she was well aware of my reputation (warnings have been posted in every veterinary blog in the state). But she felt that a new approach was in order.

"You attract more bees with honey than vinegar" she said.

I was too shocked by her fresh approach to show her that bees sting.

In a very calm and deliberate manner she quietly tucked all the doomed knock-knacks safely away. She then prceeded to conduct the gentlest and least invasive exam I have ever experienced.

Most annoying.

So I jumped down and anointed the doggy bed again. No response but an affectionate grin.

I jumped up on the counter and smacked some sort of veterinary instrument across the room. Dr. Huang just smiled and cooed "Oooh, he's a little character, isn't he?"

I made an astounding leap onto the window sill and menaced some artificial flowers! She clapped her hands together and said that she simply loved my spirit!

Where was the chaos?? Where was the mayhem? Where was the great screaming and gnashing of teeth (the male two legger can be quite emotive at times)?  Where was the water squirty thingy?

Finally, I jumped back in my kitty carrier and ordered the two leggers to take me back to my Kingdom.

Now I am not generally the type to sulk, but I admit that I had a world-class sulk going for the entire three hours it took to get home. I sat quietly in the back of the car, watching as the scenery went past the window. No yowling, no scratching and no jumping in the two leggers laps.

Finally we arrived back at my house. Ivan, Jaq and Tiger lily each greeted me with a good sniffing. Ivan was happy to see me, Jaq was non-plussed and Tiger Lily hid before I could smack her.

That night there was no peace in my Kingdom. I smacked everything smackable, broke everything breakable and slayed everything slayable.

While I am extremely thankful for the treatment that my vet thingies have administered, I fear that Dr. Huang has discovered my one and only weakness. I can accept the needles, I can take the poking and prodding, but she has found the one treatment that I simply can not tolerate.......

Tolerance.