Violet as a kitten in 1999
They say cats have 9 lives.
Do cats have second childhoods?
Violet will be 16 years old this coming August, 2015.
Despite a diagnosis of renal failure (based on some very high numbers), she is still purring and glowing.
Last week she started recalling some of her antics from her youth.
Needless to say, I’m happy she’s feeling good, although some of her antics can be very annoying.
Pressing the speaker and redial buttons on the phone.
I was sound asleep around 1 a.m. the other morning, and suddenly a loud dial tone jolted me and Starlight (under the covers) to instant wakefulness. Starlight bolted out and jumped off the bed. Violet sat primly on the nightstand, pleased as punch with herself, as I sought to quickly find the speaker button to turn it off.
This is a favorite antic of Violet’s. She seems to understand several different buttons on the phone on my night stand, including the redial. To prevent her calling my friends in the middle of the night, I always have to reset the last number dialed to 2 numerical digits that won’t call anyone.
Violet has been waking me up this way every night for the last 10 days. One night I grabbed the spray water bottle I keep handy for these occasions, and Violet got a little shower. This did not especially deter her. She tried to come under the covers a few minutes later while still very wet.
VIOLET: “The easiest way for me to get you to let me into my favorite spot is to wake you up.”
NEDDA: “Other times, you tap me with your paw. That’s much less startling and I will lift up the covers for you, as I have over the years.”
VIOLET: “You take the fun out of it. Besides Starlight was in the way.”
NEDDA: [No comment.]
NEDDA: “The game of Catch the Cat.”
VIOLET: “It’s called Chase the Cat.”
Apparently, this game must be played while I’m in the middle of doing something that should not interrupted, such as while I’m making up a mix of raw cat food for the freezer.
It’s not good to leave raw food sitting out on the counter. Of course, knowing this, Violet is in the mood to play.
“Catch the Cat” is played by me chasing Violet and attempting to catch her.
VIOLET: “Not at all!. The game is for you to chase me and NOT catch me — until I’m good and ready to be caught.”
NEDDA: “Then where’s the fun in this for me?”
“Chase the Cat” requires that I chase Violet and TRY to catch her. She pretends to be “shy” by hiding under things where a human won’t fit and staying just out of reach.
Then, when she’s good and ready, I’m allowed to pick her up and cuddle her. When I put her back on the floor, we’re supposed to begin again.
This game became much more complicated after Starlight arrived 3 years ago. Starlight wants to chase Violet and would be happy to be chased by Violet. Unfortunately, Violet doesn’t want Starlight in the our private game.
I’ll leave to your imagination the chaos that results when Starlight decides to join in.
Knocking down the lamp.
Years ago, whenever she wanted attention, Violet would sit on the back of a chair in the living room, reach over to the lamp shade on a very tall table lamp, and threaten to knock it over.
If I didn’t respond immediately, she would knock it over.
This is Violet’s idea of how to get my attention when I want to read, or nap, or do anything while she wants to play with me.
The lamp shades and the lamps were quite old, and she eventually demolished the shades completely because I wasn’t always fast enough to prevent disaster.
Luckily, I was able to replace the shades a few years ago after Violet had stopped attacking the lamps.
One day last week, out of the corner of my eye, I see Violet poised to attack the lamp. She was looking right at me. She was waiting for me to notice.
VIOLET: “Wow, did that ever get your attention. And you thought you were too tired to get up.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m delighted to see my somewhat elderly gal having a second childhood. Nevertheless, I’d prefer she doesn’t teach these tricks to Starlight.
Starlight, please don’t be listening.
STARLIGHT: “I’m not listening.”
NEDDA: “Yup. Definitely listening!”