Sunday, February 28, 2016

Adult Stuporvision

Last week, a most unusual occurrence happened in my Kingdom.

The female two legger took a week-long trip and left the male to fend for itself.

In my experience, this has never happened before. My two leggers are a matched pair and seldom part company for more than a few hours. While I would not describe their relationship as "co-dependent" (that term has too many negative connotations and their relationship could never be considered in a negative light), a better description would be "symbiotic". Two organisms that rely upon each other, thus forming a union that greatly benefits both.  

However, recent events have conspired to force this small separation upon them. In January, one of my two legger's female offspring gave birth to her first litter. The birth of the "Grandtwins" caused my female two legger's "Grandma Gland" to kick into overdrive, thus flooding her bloodstream with grandmorphins. These mind-altering hormone thingies caused distinct behavioral changes in the female. She began suffering from an insatiable desire to transform my yarn balls into baby blankets. She began buying miniature clothes and developed an unnatural obsession with something called "baby booties". Worst of all, she had a sudden craving to travel to a faraway land called "Colorado".

Very little is known about this remote region of the United States, but from the sparse information I could gather, it seems to be a mountainous land, filled with nothing but mountain people, Bronco's fans and alpine squirrels. However, it is also the habitat of the newly-hatched Grandtwins which explains the female's desire to visit such a forbidding land.

Be that as it may, the sudden appearance of a suitcase served as a harbinger of an impending journey. The fact that it was a single suitcase denoted that only one of the two leggers would be embarking on said journey. The fact that the suitcase was packed and ready two weeks before the impending journey indicated that it was the female who would be traveling (the male prefers to do all his packing approximately 35 seconds before embarking).

Apparently it is my fault that the male was unable to accompany her. Due to my special dietary and healthcare needs, the two leggers can no longer leave me unattended for any extended period of time. Were I capable of feeling guilt, I might almost feel responsible for this inconvenience.

The big day came. The female migrated to Colorado, leaving the male behind to fend for himself. She recommended that he "take it easy and enjoy a little time off". He informed her that he was planning to "use his time off to complete a few projects around the house".  Knowing his propensity toward clumsiness, for his own safety, she left a list of instructions and restrictions:
1. No usage of power tools.
2. No open flames anywhere on the property.
3. Avoid use of any implement consisting of or containing a sharpened edge.
4. Any cooking, while not prohibited, is strongly discouraged.
5. Electrical work is strictly prohibited.
6. Any "good ideas" or "inspired thoughts" should be first submitted, in triplicate, to a responsible adult before being acted upon.
7. Emergency Services were notified and placed on standby status.

So the female was gone..........

The male was left here alone..............

Just us and the male............MWAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!!

I determined that we must first put him at ease. We all put on our "good wittle kitty" faces. We must convince him that we will be on our best behavior while his mate is away. I curled up on his lap, purring softly. Ivan lay at his feet, asleep and drooling. Jaq lay sleeping on the bed and Tiger Lily, with her only ally halfway to Colorado, was seeking asylum in the computer room.

Our first amusement came at exactly 10:57 pm. The two legger, having just watched his third "Monsters & Mysteries In America" was just starting to relax. On a predetermined cue, Jaq, Ivan and I suddenly poofed, hissed and bolted from the bed. Somehow, we had neglected to inform Tiger Lily of our plan. However, in her panic at our mass poofing, her natural whine reflex only served to add to the chaos and confusion.

The male's reaction was all we had hoped for and more. He jumped from the bed, sheets and remote control thingy flying, instinctively shouting the two legger battle cry of "WHA? WHA? WHA?" and with legs tangled in bedding, fell in a heap to the floor. By the time he had disentangled himself and managed to reduce his heart rate to slightly higher than that of an over-caffienated gerbil, we had all re-established our places on the bed and were acting as though nothing had happened.

The next day, we decided to get serious...............

To Be Continued.........

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lost In Translation

True inter-species communication is rare at best. Communication between animals that possess different vocal or physical attributes, not to mention motivations or philosophies can be challenging if not impossible. However, scientist thingies often believe that they can "crack the code" or "find the Rosetta Stone".

As usual, they are wrong.

Don't get me wrong, with time and patience, one can often get the general idea of what another species is trying to say, but true, verifiable communication will always elude those who attempt it.

Take dog thingies for example, after much study it has been determined that if you see a dog sitting in the yard, licking itself, in effect it is saying "I am a dog, this is what I do. Perhaps later I will chase my tail or bark at a shadow, but for now I will sit here and lick myself". We can be confident of this translation because we have observed the dog thingy and have reached the conclusion that that is simply what they do. However, what we cannot know is the dog thingy's motivation. Is it a physiological requirement that they sit and lick themselves? Is it some kind of doggy tradition or ritual? Is there something in their microbrains that is constantly receiving a message that its nether regions are perpetually dirty and require frequent cleanings? We will never know. 

Even more study has been dedicated to trying to understand feline communication. It is virtually impossible to surf the internet for more than five minutes without coming across an article or video claiming to have unlocked the secret of "what your cat is trying to tell you". I have even blogged about it (much more accurately than the scientists) several times over the years.

This is all well and good. However, it is also extremely anthropocentric. With all the studies and websites dedicated to discovering what cats are saying two leggers, there is not an iota of information regarding what two leggers are saying to us.

Once again, it is up to me to rectify this oversight.

I have had much time to study the two leggers and I feel that I am imminently qualified to provide such a translation.

Like felines, two leggers use a combination of vocalizations and gestures to communicate with their four legged masters. Though their language is complex, I will now provide a few of their most commonly used messages.

When entering a room, if a two legger stands with legs spread in a wide stance, and point with a single finger, it means that they see you and are very happy to be graced by your presence. If they waggle the finger, it indicates that they wish to give you a scritch under the chin.

Often, upon returning to the house after work, they will scream your name in joy at the sight of a broken glass or lamp. This is a sign that they missed you during their absence and wish to congratulate you on your decorating skills.

Every morning, as they leave for work, they will turn and say "Now you cats be good". This is a running joke and proves that they have a sense of humor.

General communications
 Hopping on one foot while furiously brushing at the other is an indication that they have just found the fresh hairball that you left in a darkened hallway. The Hairball Dance is often accompanied by the traditional Hairball Chant which basically goes "Ohmigod! Ew ew ew, ew-ew ew, ew-ew-ew.........ew". This dance/chant is so common and varies so little that I have reason to suspect that it may have religious undertones.

When a two legger places an object on a shelf or table and then turn and waggle a finger at you, they are telling you that they have placed it there for your amusement and expect you to leave it on the floor when you are finished with it.

Occasionally, the two leggers use a compound gesture that involve taking two fingers, pointing them at their own eyes, and then pointing them at me. Though complex, the meaning of these gestures is obvious. They are saying:
1. "I see what you did there, and I honor you for doing it"
2. "I am eagerly watching to see what wonderful things you may do next".

One of the most common vocalizations that two leggers utilize is the word "NO!". Some believe that this is a negative word thingy, however after much research, I have discovered that the word "NO!" is actually derived from the Latin phrase "Nolo contendere" which translated means "I will not contend". Therefore they are actually condoning your action and telling you that it is perfectly okay to continue with what you were doing.

This is just a small sampling of the much broader translation I have developed. There are many more gestures and vocalizations that I am still working to interpret. Since I am such a generous soul and am dedicated to the education of my minions, I shall continue my work in this field and update you when applicable.

In the meantime just remember......."No" really means "Okie dokie".