Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cooking Up Chaos

Sometimes, when you least expect it, something wonderful can happen.

Of course by "something wonderful", I mean chaos, mayhem, two leggers running in panic and the semi-monthly two legger ritual known as "The Bandaging of The Wounds".

Last night just such a fortuitous phenomenon occurred.

As per usual, it started out innocently enough. The two leggers arrived home from work around half past dark. They must have stopped by the place where they gather their food because their paws were laden with bags full of the stuff.

SIDE NOTE: Two leggers carry their food in bags that were not actually invented to carry food. They were invented to amuse cats. Evidence of this lies in the fact that they break if burdened with anything heavier than a tomato and two grapes, yet they provide endless hours of entertainment for any bored feline within a five-mile radius. (I prefer paper over plastic for its noise making and bushwacking potential.)

Anyway, as I was saying, the two leggers came home and began sorting their foodstuffs, placing them in various cabinets and cupboards. Some they placed in the fridge thingy. As per their ritual, they left a few items that belong in the fridge thingy on the table. (They do this every time so they can make an offering to the garbage gods the next morning.)

Upon turning a knob on the oven in preparation for incinerating their evening meal, the two leggers offered us food and retired to their bedroom to change their clothes.

Now begins the fun.

As I ate, I noticed a fog bank begin to form in the hallway. Though I have often pondered the fog outside my bay window on many an early Autumn morning, I had yet to witness fog banks within the confines of my home. Curious, I decided to investigate.

I soon discovered that the fog was rolling in from the West, or to be more specific, the kitchen. It would seem that the oven thingy was the source of this unexpected weather event. As I sat there pondering, an extremely loud BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPP!! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEPP!! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPP!! sound began issuing from the two small round thingies that sit upon the ceiling of the hallway.

Jaq immediately jumped into the nearest box and began singing "Burning Down The House" by The Talking Heads. Ivan jumped up from his meal and with his stubby little micro-legs all a blur, skittered down the hallway, tripping the male two legger who was rushing toward the kitchen. Ivan misjudged the turn to the bedroom and slammed into a closet with a resounding crash, leaving a permanent impression of his nose and forehead in the wood of the closet door. Tiger Lily, who was in the litter box at the time, found her visit somewhat redundant at this point and retreated under a bed.

I watched eagerly as the male two legger opened the oven door. A large flame shot out of the oven followed by a large billow of fog. He quickly grabbed a pan and using some tongs, he pulled a small flaming mousish shaped ball of burning material out, carefully placed it in the pan and ran out the back door. The female scurried through the house opening windows and turning on fans.

Unfortunately, peace and tranquility soon returned to my kingdom. 

In the aftermath, the two leggers reached the conclusion that a silicone grippy thingy had fallen from a pan and onto the heating element.

I am unconvinced.


By examining the evidence, I have reached another conclusion.

The evidence:
A. The smell of burned catnip still permeates the air.
B. The mousish shape of the burning lump that the two legger extracted from the oven.
C. The apparent absence of one of my catnip mousie thingies (Larry)

And finally.......

D. The fact that I may have "accidentally" dropped Larry down the oven vent when I was playing atop the stove about five minutes before the two leggers got home.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cujo's Collection of Curiosities (Concealed in The Corner of The Closet)

I have noticed that my two leggers have a propensity for "collections".

My female collects glass vases and art. My male collects aviation memorabilia as well as old tools used in his profession as a goldsmith. I enjoy the female's collection due to the fact that expensive vases seem to make a much more satisfactory sound when I knock them down and break them. The sound of a Chihuly piece shattering is so much prettier than the sound of a vase purchased at Walmart. Trust me, Ivan and I have experimented with this extensively. The male's collections are not nearly as entertaining given the fact that they are mostly metal and not so easily destroyed.

I have also noticed that my two leggers are not alone in this compulsion to gather things that have some symbolic meaning to them. The talking box thingy is chock full of shows that seem to celebrate the joys of assembling large piles of seemingly useless items. Some collect for sentimental reasons. Some collect in the forlorn hope that their collection may make them wealthy someday. Some collect because of an obsession with a particular person, show or event. Some even take it to the point that other two leggers are forced to step in and hold an intervention thingy.
Alas, I am not immune to the allure of a well thought out collection. However, I restrict my collection to things that have real meaning. My collection consists of various items that either amuse me, or represent trophies of my mayhem causing activities. The other difference is that my collection is not put on display. No, my collection is kept hidden, concealed and under wraps. It is strictly for my own enjoyment. That being said, I am willing to share with you Dear Reader some of the contents of my menagerie. I shall present them according to their classification:

A sliver of glass from the very first wineglass that I broke during The Great Wineglass Massacre of 2007
A mummified mousie thingy tail from the first mousie thingy that I ordered Ivan to slay.
Eight straws that I have purloined from the female two legger.
14 dress socks of 14 completely different types that I have removed from the dirty clothes hamper. (These are not really trophies, but it confuses the two leggers and they continue to blame the dryer thingy)
Threads from the 37 sets of drapes that the two leggers have replaced since I came to rule them.

Three gray stripes that I have smacked off of Tiger Lily over the years. (see also "trophies")
Two obsolete keys that I leave out on occasion causing the two leggers to attempt to use them without success on every lock within my kingdom.
A Lego that serves to maim any bare-footed two legger that chooses to walk my halls in the wee hours of the night.
An old smoke alarm with a dead battery that chirps intermittently. This results in the two leggers performing a fruitless search for the source of the sound.
Glitter. Once glitter is introduced into an environment, it can never be eradicated. The only cure for a glitter infestation is the burning of the contaminated structure.

A dried dust bunny that bears a striking resemblance to absolutely nothing. I find this curious because like clouds, dust bunnies coupled with an active imagination can always be found to resemble something. However, this particular dust bunny defies this theory.

A hairball in the shape of Miley Cyrus. Now I know what you are thinking, it is true that most hairballs resemble Miley Cyrus, but in this case, the shape of the hairball coupled with the fact that Ivan sounded exactly like Miley Cyrus singing when he produced it made the resemblance uncanny.

But the Pièce de résistance of my collection is this:

A small picture of my male two legger when he was in kindergarten. He thought he had destroyed it, but I "rescued" it. He basically looks the same as he did when he was five. Granted, he is taller now, he has less hair and his stomach is a bit larger.

But the main difference: His mustache is much grayer now than it was then.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Unintelligent Falling Object

Two leggers never fail to amaze me.

Just when I think that they have reached the apex of the pyramid of folly, they build another level and continue their climb.

Their most recent attempt at summiting Mt. Duh came this weekend. The entire population of two leggers watched as one of their own climbed into a balloon thingy that was then released. This balloon thingy rose until it reached the approximate altitude of Jupiter at which point the two legger in question let go of the balloon thingy and.........get this............


And fell.

And just when you thought it couldn't get any better........

He fell some more.

 Oh yeah, he pulled a string thingy which deployed a sheet that brought him gently to the ground. And the world gave a collective gasp and applauded him.

My male two legger jumped up and yelled "This guy is incredible!"

I disagree. He was not incredible. He was simply a law abiding citizen.

He was obeying the Law of Gravity.

Big fat hairy whoop.

I admit, if he'd suddenly sprouted wings and performed a rendition of Swan Lake at 86,000 feet while simultaneously playing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony on the accordion, I may have been somewhat less nonplussed, but he didn't, and I wasn't.

Once the balloon thingy was released, the bravest step of his stunt was over. From that moment on, his options were somewhat limited. He could either fall, or he could float around the stratosphere until he was shot down over an Arkansas trailer park by a guy with a high powered rifle fearing that another UFO was attempting to abduct his dog thingy again.

Was this done for the gain of scientific knowledge? If so, what did he learn? We already knew that if taken to a great altitude and then released......things fall. If taken even higher, they fall....faster. Cats on knock knack shelves have proven this time and time again. Two leggers have launched themselves higher and fallen further and faster. So we can rule out "science".

 The two legger in question has jumped from many high places and must have already reached the same conclusions.

Did he do it because no one had ever reached that altitude? No. Two leggers have been going higher and  faster for over 50 years. So we can rule out "exploration".

Did he do it for fun? Perhaps. Two leggers often put their lives in mortal peril for kicks. They jump off bridges with rubber bands wrapped around their legs, go over waterfalls in barrels and the bravest have even been known to bathe cats.

But, I have a theory.

I believe that this particular two legger is inflicted with a certain Ivanish logic. I'll explain:

Last Winter, I began noticing that the lights in my kingdom would suddenly flicker at odd times during the day. This flickering was often accompanied by a zzzzzzzzzzzzzztt sound and the odor of singed hair. This phenomenon remained a mystery until one day when I caught Ivan licking an electrical outlet thingy in the hallway.

After he regained consciousness, I asked Ivan "Why are you licking the electrical outlet thingy in the hallway? "

"Because all the ones in the bedroom taste the same." He replied.

"Why should you care how they taste?" I inquired.

"Ummm, because they might taste different."

I considered this and reached the conclusion that it was time for a nap.

This theoretically suicidal two legger seems to use the same philosophy in his hobby of testing gravity.

A couple of days after the two leggers caught Ivan licking the electrical outlet thingies, they installed little plastic guard thingies. This put an end to Ivan's "power naps".

 The fuses were becoming expensive.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ivan's Hobby

Ivan needs a hobby.

Now that my subjugation of the two leggers is complete, his talents as an enforcer are being greatly under-utilized. Though he wakes every day at the crack of noon, bright-tailed and bushy-eyed, eager to chomp the insolent ankle or smack the sassy six legger. He often finds himself at loose ends with nothing to occupy his day.

Make no mistake, this idleness does not bother Ivan in the least. On the contrary, it allows him more time to devote to his other occupation, namely that of being a large, stinky orange rug that the two leggers often mistake for a large, stinky orange bathmat.

However, I find that Ivan is setting a new standard for lethargy. At times he is so relaxed that he would require five shots of espresso to rise to a level of consciousness where he'd be considered "comatose".

Granted, he is not completely insensate, within .692 seconds of the sound of the cupboard door opening, Ivan instantly appears next to his food bowl. As a matter of fact, two legger scientists who are trying to construct a teleportation device thingy have been studying Ivan in an attempt to discover how he is able to accomplish this.

He still participates in our nightly chaos causing escapades, but I sometimes get the feeling that his heart just isn't in it. He can still break a lamp or chew a pillow into submission with the best of them, but he seems to lack purpose.

He needs a hobby. A way to stimulate all three of his brain cell thingies.

So I promoted him.

Ivan is now the Official President of The North Whidbey Island Wild Elephant and Wild Giraffe Spotters Association (Oak Harbor Chapter). As President of the NWIWE&GSA it is Ivan's duty to spend at least 7.2 hours a day watching for any wild elephant or wild giraffe that may wander into my yard. Tame elephants and giraffes do not count. He is then to observe and report their behavior to me at once.

Those of you familiar with the Pacific Northwest may be aware of the fact that wild elephants and giraffes are exceedingly rare in these parts. They are so rare that the Washington Department of Unnatural Resources has declared them "endangered and ludicrous".

And so Ivan now has a hobby. He spends most daylight hours sitting in the bay window peering through his binocular thingies, (actually, he has no binocular thingies, but he thinks that if he cups his paws around his eyes and squints, it works just as well) keeping constant vigil.

So far he has yet to spot one. He got excited yesterday when he was sure he spotted a wild giraffe.

But alas, it was tame.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The High Life

Today I tackled my Mt. Everest

Anyone who has ever been subjugated by cats is well aware that we will always seek the highest vantage point within our kingdom. There are many theories explaining why we do this. Some believe that we feel less vulnerable, in effect "taking the high ground". Some assert that it enables us a better view of our kingdom. Many are convinced that it is a physical manifestation of our natural tendency to philosophically look down our noses at all creatures we feel are inferior to us.

Basically, everyone.

All of these theories are completely inaccurately accurate.

They are so totally wrong that they verge on being right.

Wrap your head thingy around that one. I dare you.

While it is true that I prefer the higher altitudes within my kingdom for napping, observing and bushwacking unsuspecting gray, whiny, large-faced girl tabbies, that is not the whole story.

Two years ago, at my request, my two leggers completely gutted the back half of my house. They doubled the size of their sleeping quarters as well as the bathroom where they keep their porcelain litter box. At my direction they installed heated floors suitable for napping and all new wooden cabinets suitable for the sharpening of my claws. They generally frown upon my marring the wood, but as always, their opinion matters not. They also installed a new vanity. Next to the vanity, they built a tall cabinet to hold their bottles of stinkum, medicines, grooming implements, (why they don't use their tongues for grooming is beyond me and I will probably address this in another post) and various other arcane objects.

Now we come to the point of this post thingy.

The cabinet which I just described presents a unique challenge. The cabinet rises approximately four tailspans from the surface of the vanity. Between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling is a space that measures .75 tailspans.

Now we come to the point of this post thingy. I must reach this space.

I have spent the last two years studying it. Every night while the female two legger takes her nightly bath, I sit upon the vanity and ponder this space. It is not the height that concerns me, four tailspans is nothing compared to some of the jumps I have made. The Great Refrigerator Leap of August 2011 was at least six tailspans. It is not the small landing area that gives me pause, Last December I stuck a landing on the shower rod from the cabinet. (This jump caused the bathing two legger to have a mild cardiac event.) It is the awkwardness of the transitory area between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling which is causing me trepidation.

     The vanity and sink negate the possibility of a running start. Therefore I must begin this feat standing at the base of the cabinet, jump vertically four tailspans, judging my altitude and momentum perfectly and moving horizontally .278 tailspans, clearing the crown molding at the apex, and stick the landing.

I have worked this out mathematically:


Unless there is a stray crosswind over the shower curtain and then my calculation would have to be altered to:


After much pondering, it is time to make the attempt.

Like any good leader, I decided to ask my "team" for any advice they may offer before I take my life into my own paws.

Ivan asked me to look for noms while I was up there.

Tiger Lily claimed dibs on my catnip mousie thingy after I fall to my death. (I'll smack her later)

I found Jaq sitting inside the box that the new satellite receiver arrived in, softly singing the soundtrack from the Broadway musical "Rent" and decided not to bother her.

The time had come. The female two legger was bathing. The male was sitting on the bench next to the tub thingy talking to her. I assumed my usual position next to the cabinet, gazing at my goal. All the conditions were right. Two years of planning had boiled down to this moment. My muscle thingies tightened......... my tail adjusted just so........ a quick check of the wind....and to the accompaniment of my two leggers screaming "CUJO NOOOO!!!" I leapt.

Finding myself atop the cabinet, completely unscathed, I surveyed my new perch. Other than a single small dust bunny whose growth had been obviously stunted by the thinner air at this extreme altitude, the space was completely empty. Though the view was magnificent, the two leggers looked like.....well I can't honestly say ants, they certainly looked shorter from such a lofty height, I quickly realized that the opportunities for amusement were somewhat meager. Though my forepaws are longer than most, they are not long enough to lay a smack upon any minions from up there. (Unless the male two legger is standing while using his litter box) The best I could hope to do was glare at the two leggers from on high when they go to use the porcelain litter box.

I can do that just as easily from the vanity.

Do not misunderstand me, I consider my day and all the planning that went into it to be an unqualified triumph. Not only did I claim the last undiscovered territory within my kingdom, I showed my minions what I am capable of.

Plus, now the male two legger will never be totally at ease on the porcelain litter box knowing that I may be lurking just above his head.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Curiosity Killed The Two Legger

My male two legger watches many programs on the talking box thingy. The topics of these programs vary widely: sports, history, drama, comedy, bad science fiction and even a little Disney Channel when he thinks no one is looking.

But the one topic he seems to gravitate to (pardon the pun thingy) is science.

Mostly I am indifferent to his choices, but last night he watched a couple of programs that peaked my interest.

The first program was about "Schrodinger's Cat". According to some egg-headed two legger named Schrodinger, if you place a cat in a box and seal it up, the cat could be considered both "dead" and "alive" at the same time due to the fact that the two legger conducting the experiment would be unable to observe the state of the cat.


No, I take that back, what I meant to say was: "STOOOOOOPPPPIIIDDD!!!" (with a tail twitch at the end)

First of all, it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that no two legger ever born is capable of forcibly placing the smallest kitten or even most geriatric cat inside a box.

However, for argument's sake, let us suppose that Schrodinger realized this before beginning his experiment and instead placed a box in the middle of a room and then told his resident feline that under no circumstances were they to be allowed inside the box. This of course would result in the aforementioned resident feline immediately jumping into the box.

Okay, now we have a cat in a box.

Now the cat must be sealed inside the box. This would take at least six lab assistants as well as a syringe of industrial strength tranquilizer stuffs. After Schrodinger sleeps off the tranquilizer stuffs that was inadvertently injected into his own thigh during the melee, Schrodinger is now free to observe the theoretical cat in a box.

What Schrodinger would observe at this point is a box that has suddenly become animated. It is bouncing across the floor while emitting a great squawling and hissing sound that would make any squirrel thingy within a five mile radius drop dead in fright. Within two minutes, a claw would appear along one of the seams of the box, quickly followed by a ripping sound that would herald the "releasing of the beast".

This would not end well for Schrodinger.

So what has Schrodinger learned?

While one may not be able to determine whether a cat sealed inside a box is alive or dead, one can safely assume that it is highly miffed.

The next show the two legger watched was about a Russian two legged scientist named Pavlov.

Pavlov figured out that if he rang a bell every time he fed his dog thingy, the dog thingy would begin to associate the ringing of the bell with being fed. He "proved" his theory by ringing the bell and observing that his dog salivated.

Apparently, Russian science had yet to discover one basic fact.


It is what they do. It is the one thing that they excel at. Pavlov's dog didn't drool because he heard a bell ringing, he drooled because he's a dog. Pavlov could have just as easily played a minuet on the bongos and the dog would have still drooled.

However, this particular show had a happy ending.

Pavlov was later eaten by a polar bear while attempting to ring a bell at it. It seems that bells make polar bears hungry too.