Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Some months ago, I wrote about how Captain demonstrated that he wanted
me to follow him so clearly, that he couldn't have made it more obvious
if he'd watched a marathon of Lassie reruns.

This morning, it was Stanley's turn to impersonate Lassie.

As I ate my breakfast, Stanley meowed at me, which is a rarity for him,
and stood tall enough to brace his front paws on my lap. He has an
unusual meow, probably because it's so rare that he uses it. He sounds
more like he's squeaking, "Aow!"

Just the fact that he'd used his voice to produce more than his usual
faint peep got my attention, for sure. If that hadn't been enough to
attract my notice, however, his next behavior did. Normally, he follows
things like putting his front paws in Mark's or my lap by hopping INTO
said lap so he can receive the attention that is his due. This is
generally followed by his purring his little stripedy head off. Stanley
LOOOOVES attention.

But instead of jumping into my lap, when I reached out to give him a
pat, Stanley moved *away* from my hand. He edged just out of reach, sat
down, and looked up at me.

I was perplexed. "What's gotten into the cat? That's REALLY out of
character for him!", I thought. But since all he did was sit nearby and
look at me, I finished my breakfast without getting up. I figured that
if he was ducking being petted, that he'd only move out of reach if I
got up to approach him.

Then it was time for me to go upstairs and get ready for work. And when
I did so, Stanley followed me enthusiastically. This is normal... he
can't get attention if he's all by his fuzzy self on the first floor,
and his Meowmy's upstairs.

When I reached the second floor, I noticed that the door to the
computer room was closed. Stanley sat down in front of the door and
pointedly focused intently on it. I thought, "I didn't close that door
when I was in the room last. And Mark rarely, if ever, closes that door
either. Hmmm... how'd that happen?"

That's when it dawned on me that Captain and Stanley like to use that
door to play "Swat My Brother". They can fit their paws under the door,
so they sit on opposite sides of the door and bat vigorously at one
another. Occasionally, they get a little bit too enthused while playing
the game, and the cat behind the door will wind up pushing at the door
so hard that it closes. But until now, they've only shut the door on
themselves when Mark or I were actually IN the computer room, so we
could reopen the door right away.

I had a feeling that Stanley's interest was not so much in the closed
door, but in the fact that Captain was shut in the computer room. I
opened the door. Captain's orange-and-white face peered up at me from
inside the room. "Meep?"

"Get outta there, you insane furball!", I exclaimed, as Captain
strolled nonchalantly out of the computer room. Sheesh. Cats. As if
getting ready for work and getting out the door on time wasn't
challenging enough without feline help. ;o) It's a good thing that
Stanley called my attention to the door, though, or I'd have wound up
looking all over the house to find Captain. Gosh only knows what time
I'd have gotten out the door if I'd had to play "Search for the Cat" first.

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