Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Walls Have Noses.

Several of my minions have written to tell me that they are curious about Ivan and his propensity for slamming his head thingy into the nearest wall every time he is startled.

They accuse me of exaggeration or embellishment of the facts.

I assure you that quite the opposite is true. I have actually downplayed the truth out of embarrassment for the stinky, orange, wrecking ball of furred destruction.

It is my theory that everyone (excluding myself, of course) has their one great weakness. A weakness that no matter how they try to avoid it, seems to seek them out and lay them low at just the wrong time. Superman has kryptonite, Dracula has sunlight, Achilles had his heel, Nero had his depravity. Miley Cyrus has her total lack of talent.

Ivan has walls.

It is a curious phenomenon, but every single time Ivan is startled, his head seems to seek out the nearest vertically flat structure and slam directly into it.

Throughout my entire house, in the dining room, the living room, the kitchen, down the hallway, in every bedroom and bathroom there are small indentations about three quarters of a tailspan above the floor. It has reached the point that visitors often mistake the dents for part of the decor. Even the stainless steel door of the fridge thingy has several impressions of Ivan's tiny noggin. There are times that the walls of a room he enters will actually begin to shake in anticipation of another cranial assault.

Pondering this, I decided that this required further study and immediately set out to find answers to this minor mystery. Of course the first step in any investigation is to observe the event and chronicle the results.

Fortunately, Ivan is extremely easy to startle. Often, just whispering the word "Boo!" in his ear is enough to cause him to poof, bolt and slam. Placing a sock in a place that he doesn't expect it to be can result in sudden abject terror and the subsequent structural damage that invariably occurs.

Allow me to pause for a moment and clarify something. Ivan is by no means a coward or "scaredy cat". He is actually one of the bravest cats I know. I once saw him face a running vacuum cleaner and chomp it into submission without showing a single whisker quiver of fear. But in order to face the potential danger, he must be made aware of the peril very slowly, with ample warning and preparation.

Startling is another thing altogether.

Anyway, I began with a test that started with Ivan being startled out of a deep slumber. I found him snoring on the heated bathroom floor. I stalked up next to his ear and shouted "OH NO! THE TWO LEGGERS FORGOT OUR FOOD!!" As predicted, Ivan jumped to his feet, poofed and slammed into the wall next to the commode. From start to unconsciousness, the experiment lasted 2.174 seconds.

Next, I stood silently behind the bedroom/hallway door and waited for Ivan to walk by. As he passed, I gently tapped him on the hindquarters. With a skittering of claws on the hardwood flooring, Ivan flew down the hallway but failed to negotiate the turn into the kitchen and slid headfirst into the utility closet door. He wasn't knocked out this time, but he did wander in circles, twitching for a few minutes.

For my third trial, I waited until Ivan was using the litter box. I felt that waiting until he was completely distracted might provide further insight into why Ivan is the way he is. Last night, about 3:37 AM, I noticed Ivan heading into the computer room to "take care of business". I knew he was headed to the litter box because he was carrying his comic book with him (he has been reading the same comic book for three years now and is about to start page five). I gave him a few moments to get fully engaged and then I smacked the side of the hood with all my might. An orange puffy lightning bolt shot out of the litter box and lodged in the wall. In the eruption, the litter box was sent flying in the opposite direction toppling over and spilling its contents in the process.

The commotion apparently awakened both two leggers. They emerged from their bedroom shouting my name and casting aspersions upon my character. When they entered the computer room, the female waggled her finger and glared at me while the male attempted to extricate Ivan from the drywall.

After several days of experimentation, I confess that I am no closer to solving this mystery than I was when I started.

So I shall continue my investigation.

But as a wise two legger once said: "The journey is often more rewarding than the destination".

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Not a Leg To Stand On.

Last week, the male two legger came home from work with an apparent limp.

As the week progressed, the limp grew more and more pronounced. By Sunday, the female had completed her ritual of toe tapping, finger waggling and eye rolling that she must perform in order to convince the male to seek the advice of a physician.

When he returned home from the Vet thingy, he was walking with the aid of a stick and had a big dopey grin upon his face. The stick is called a "cane" and the big dopey grin was the result of modern chemistry. Immediately upon his return, the female planted him in his easy chair, brought him all 37 remote control thingies and issued orders that he was forbidden from any sort of movement or exercise until further notice.

Already I could see the benefits of such an order.

The male two legger is now at my mercy. He is immobile. His lap is now a permanent fixture in my living room.

He is mine to toy with....

However, I have learned not to blindly trust such an obvious windfall of good fortune. Though my two leggers are for the most part unimaginative and dull, they have occasionally been known to make attempts to entrap me. For instance, they once brought home a seemingly expensive vase thingy and placed it in the center of the dining table. Knowing full well the consequences of leaving such a temptation within my reach, they actually had the audacity to act angry and dismayed when the vase thingy met its inevitable end.

Anyway, the male's posterior was firmly planted in his easy chair, the female had retired to the bedroom, and I was ready for a little mayhem. However, as I approached the male, I realized that the female had made plans to enlist me in the recuperation of her mate.

She had brought out THE HEATING PAD.

Two leggers have known for centuries the healing powers that felines possess. No matter the injury or ailment, the placement of a cat upon the afflicted area will encourage quick and natural healing without the need for surgery or pharmaceuticals. The key is getting the cat to stay on the injury long enough for its healing benefits to work effectively. Early experiments with smearing tuna and catnip over the owie often had catastrophic consequences when the feline would simply eat the affected two legger thus defeating the purpose. With the advent of electricity however, the heating pad was invented. By laying the new device upon the injury, any feline within a five mile radius would be attracted and compelled to curl up, lay down and provide hours of purring power to the afflicted two legger.

I have spent the last six days healing the male's knee. Though it goes against my sensibilities to actually render aid to the two leggers, I comfort myself with the knowledge that whenever I shift my weight, it causes him much grimacing and pain.

In the meantime, Ivan has become bored with being a vacuum and has decided that he wishes to become a beaver. He has been spending every waking hour (about 1.74 hours per day) attempting to gnaw through the male's cane thingy.

Once he is finished felling the cane, he plans on damming the toilet and creating his own pond in the guest bathroom.