Friday, September 21, 2012

Knowledge In The Air

I receive around 30-40 email thingies per day from minions requesting my advice, knowledge or help in dealing with unruly minions. Most of these I answer privately, but on occasion I feel compelled to post my answer in my blog thingy.

Sometimes I do this because I believe my answer will serve the greater good. Sometimes I do this because it may cause embarrassment to the two leggers of the writer. Mostly, I do this because it amuses me.

What follows is one such piece of correspondence.

"Dearest Cujo, High Poobah of All Universes, (both known and unknown) Grand Pawed Potentate, Sheik of Shredding, Master of Mayhem and Crown Prince of Chaos,
    You have often described how felines communicate through the use of body language, vocalizations and liberal use of hairball thingies. However, I once read on the interwebs that some animals are able to communicate through their sense of smell. Do cats use this form of non-verbal communication as well?
    Thank you in advance for any words of wisdom you may choose to impart upon my lowly brain thingy.
                          Sincerely, your loyal minion,
                                                 Ching Pao O'Rielly-Martinez"

Dear Ching Pao O'Rielly-Martinez,
       First of all, your name is too long, so I will call you "Barb".
Barb, you bring up a very good question. As a matter of fact, a large part of inter-cat communication is indeed accomplished by use of olfactory processes. Our nose thingies are acutely tuned to pick up and interpret various scents emitted and spread by other felines.

These scents are called hairymones. Very subtle differences in the chemical make-up of the hairymones can convey different messages and are known by several different names according to the message they are intended to convey. Here are just a few:

If a cat wishes to communicate his displeasure, he will emit scare-amones. This is intended as a warning to others to bother him at their peril.

The annoying party is then expected to produce fear-amones and skedaddle immediately.

If he suspects that his scare-amones are being ignored, he may begin to give off don't-you-dare-amones.

If this warning fails to get your attention, the smell of your blood will be infused with the scent of tear-amones.

As the source of his annoyance lays there bleeding, he will saunter off reeking of I-don't-care-amones.

There are far too many hairy-mones to list here. From the common, everyday "how do ya do?" scents to the much more complex and scarcely known rare-amones.

However, there is one scent that those who love in close proximity to Ivan are all too familiar with. It is triggered by the sound of Ivan scritching in the litter box. It is commonly known as: Don't-breathe-the-air-amones.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rated Arrrrrggg

I have been informed that today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Never one to buck convention, I will therefore continue this post in a pirate themed manner.

Avast ye lubbers! Harken yer ear thingies and listen to me tale!

Today me mateys and me set sail upon a sea of chaos.

It began at four bells in the forenoon watch. Ivan (pirate name: Tabby McOrangebutt) awoke with a squall a-blowin from his stern and set a course for the litter box, but before he could beach himself upon the grainy shore, I crossed his bows, gave him a broadside, and distracted him from burying his bonny treasure. This set his hawse athwart and put him in a mood to pillage. He altered his course to starboard and set sail down the hallway.

With a prodigious following wind, he swept down the hallway where he encountered the HMS Whinetanic. Captained (sat upon) by Tiger Lily, (pirate name: Gray Squall) the HMS Whinetanic is actually a pillow thingy that was set adrift by the male two legger last night. Ivan immediately boarded her and after some paw-to-paw combat, forced her to strike her colors.

Like a corsair let loose amongst a Spanish treasure fleet, Ivan continued his marauding.

As the sun crossed the mizzen, Ivan came afoul of Jaq. (pirate name: Jack) The Scourge of The Hallway found himself facing a formidable foe. Though Jack be of smaller tonnage, her armament is not lacking in the least. Her speed and maneuverability allow her to sail circles around the larger, slower lubberly Ivan. Refusing the engagement, Jack set her sails aloft and alow and found refuge in waters unknown to Ivan. (under the bed in the guest bedroom, where she immediately began singing various sea shanties)

It was at this point that I felt it was high time for Commodore Cujo (pirate name:....duh, Blackbeard) to step in and bring him to a lee lurch.

I approached him under a flag of truce and requested a parley.

As soon as his defenses were down........I smacked him upside his buckin ears.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Veterinarian Affairs

As I mentioned in my FaceBook Fan Club, I went to see the vet thingy yesterday.

It was not my intention to write a post about it, but in retrospect, it was simply too amusing not to blog about.

For those Fan Club minions who are already aware of this, please consider it a review.

For those Fan Club members who are not aware of this, your inattention miffs me.

Anyway, I became aware that the two leggers were plotting behind my back when I received a post card from the vet thingy on Thursday. It was a picture of the vet thingy and his entire staff dressed in hockey pads, motorcycle helmets and welding gloves. They were also armed with tranquilizer darts and what appeared to be one of those "tazer" thingies. The card read: "We THINK we are ready for Cujo's appointment."

I found this somewhat surprising given the fact that I had never actually met this particular vet thingy, nor had I ever been a patient at his clinic. The mystery was soon solved when I overheard the two leggers talking about my former vet thingy referring me to this new clinic after my last visit.

Apparently my former vet thingy closed her practice after my last visit and chose to go back to the U.S. Army where she felt that her life would be safer and less chaotic serving in Afghanistan. However, before deploying, she felt it her duty to "advise" her successor on the best way to deal with small, unassuming tuxedo cats.

It was a slow day and I was curious, so I allowed myself to be placed in the kitty carrier and driven to my appointment. Ivan was worried, but I assured him that vet thingies do not intimidate me. Quite the opposite, I intimidate them. "Fear not my rotund, odiferous friend, I shall return and I assure you, I will never don the plastic funnel of recovery." I told him.

I arrived at the clinic and was immediately escorted into a private room. I felt that it was a bit excessive that they asked my two legger to bring me in through the back door, bypassing the waiting room completely, and quite frankly the SWAT team attempting to conceal themselves in the potted plants was just ludicrous, but if it made them feel better, who was I to question?

I quickly decided that a more subtle plan of attack was called for. They were obviously well prepared and a full frontal assault would only lead to massive bloodshed....


As my two legger carried me into the exam room, a voice came over a loudspeaker and said: "Put the carrier on the table, unzip the top and step away slowly."

My two legger did as he was told.

I instantly jumped out and proceeded to clean myself. This apparently startled one of the staff as evidenced by the tranquilizer dart that passed over my head and lodged in the wall behind me. I ignored the dart and continued my grooming. Finally, after fifteen minutes, I curled up on the table and pretended to nap. Another five minutes passes and I heard someone stealthily entering the room. Still "playing possum", I allowed the vet thingy to reach out and tentatively touch me.

I acted startled and stood up.

After spending 30 minutes under the exam table, I was able to coax the vet thingy out long enough to continue his examination.

I continued to play the part of "sweet wittle putty tat". (though it sickened me greatly) My strategy relied on convincing him that the rumors of my dangerous disposition were totally unfounded. Unfortunately, I may not have been as successful as I wished. I fear that he may have seen through my little charade.

As my two legger paid for my visit, I overheard the vet thingy referring him to another, ANY other, vet thingy.