Saturday, November 21, 2009

The cat's brain (and yes, they do have one)

I was raised with cats. My mother probably didn't have a day of her life without a cat, preferably a yellow tom. She would, in fact, absolutely love Pyewacket, our light oak ginger boy. He can nestle himself on the stairs and be quite invisible because he is the color of light oak. We now know his trick and try to remember to turn the light on and thereby confound the fact that he wants to trip us and make us slide down, landing on our rears. And one of these days, he may do it. What he hasn't considered in that tiny brain of his is that we'll be sliding down atop him.

But that's not the topic. Besides overworking their brains in order to beg and stay well-fed (the two of them are now watching me because their inner clocks--their very accurate inner clocks--know that it's time for their special mid-day lunch treat), they are masters of geometry.

Ever tried to pull a cat out from under a bed? He is exactly one fingertip length further from you than you can reach. How about that exact spot you want your feet to go on the bed at night? The exact spot--and he's on it already. I simply put my feet under Tuxedo. Stubbornly, he stays put. Pyewacket will move, but slightly. And, of course, watching them take aim at the kitchen counter and do a four-flat-feet vertical jump (and rarely miss) is a delightful thing.

I suppose there's room in their brains for length and width and depth because they don't read. Except... when I'm reading the newspaper. Then, there they are, prone upon it. I scoot the offender and he ooches back, sometimes just his tail, thump-thumping across the bare edge of the top. Just a little kitty annoyance to make sure I haven't forgotten his existence.

Like that would ever happen. I was raised with cats.

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