Wednesday, September 03, 2008

My feline family

The smallest member of my feline family of three is Tucket. She and her sister, Lindy, will turn one year old at the autumnal equinox.
Tucket is a wobbler, like her sister. Unlike Lindy, Tucket has other problems, too. If there is such a thing as autism among cats, that may well be among her disabilities. She avoids eye contact, for example, and is adjusting, gradually, to being handled. It took about four months for her to allow Housemate to handle her. She seemed to find him overstimulating what with his beard and large (to her) teeth and hearty manner. But now Tucket loves Housemate, and makes frequent bids for his attention. When he comes home from work and relaxes on the sofa, Tucket puts on a show of strength, might and derring-do just for him. She thrashes her mousy, she runs, she tumbles, she leaps - - and she glances his way frequently to make sure he notices.
Tucket seemed to have found all sensory stimuli overpowering, but she is getting used to them over time. I felt that way when I was small, and still do, though not as much. We allow her to take things at her own pace, and that seems to be the right touch.
Lindy and Tucket have what we call mousies. They're covered in fake fur, with little, red, felt ears and little, pink, felt noses. They rattle. The kittens love these things. Tucket, in particular, loves hers so much that she puts them in her food bowl, and then, showing perfect logic, into the litter box. One morning I found that they had skinned a mousy and thrown its fur into the litterbox, leaving the plastic body on the floor like some barbaric warning to the other mousies. On another occasion, Tucket was so sure I had a mousy as we lay on the bed that she "watched" it fly into the air and come back down into my hand. The thing was...there was no mousy, just her vivid imagination as I mimed flipping the toy.
Tucket is fond of visiting things around the house. She can be found gazing at the glowing, blue numbers on Housemate's digital clock, patting the telephone or gazing at her buddy, the toilet plunger, as it stands in the corner. Whenever we can't find her, we look in the bathroom.
Tucket got a dollop of ice cream on Housemate's birthday this week. She lapped it up in the kitchen while we adjourned to another room. Minutes later, Tucket charged into the room where we were, hollering in her distinctive voice and shaking head briskly - - another victim of an ice cream headache, we figure.
Sometimes she's called Inspector Tucket because she watches everything and everyone intensely. She likes to look directly into the air vent in the bathroom and checks frequently to see if air is coming out. We always know when she's been doing that because she comes out blinking and dry-eyed. Housemate and I figure the Inspector is trying to solve The Case of the Air From the Hole in the Floor.

No comments: