Babylonian Captivity

We are on Day Three with Torvald, and while he objects to a good many things about the situation — linguistic barriers prevent my understanding the exact nature of his objections — he doesn’t object to the food. He has a lot to say, though.

He’s spending most of his time in the laundry room until all his labs come back (so far, no worms; two more to go). He’s figured out the litter box, and discovered a new vice — brushing. I don’t think he’d ever been groomed, judging from the mats that the Engineer (who has a specially deft hand with cats) occasionally extracted from his tail and belly; his coat was always full and healthy looking but a little rough and elflocked. Yesterday I had an inspiration and found an old hairbrush that Patty Twinkle the Tuxedo Mouser used to love. Torvald went nuts, rolling ecstatically from side to side and setting up a thunderous purr. He is looking silkier and glossier by the hour.

He has had a chance to do a little exploring while my troops chill out on the top floor.

Torvald reviewing my fee schedule

He still doesn’t understand why I won’t open the doors to the outside, but he’s finding more to interest him in here. For all I know he may end up as my business manager.


12 thoughts on “Babylonian Captivity

  1. I never realized how talkative some cats can be. Mine has a large vocabulary. I don’t know the exact meanings, but her tone of voice is usually unmistakable: Greetings, Petulant, Impatient (What took you so long?), Bored, Feed me now! Content, Sleepy, (Leave me alone).

    • The facial expressions are striking, too. Mr. Ferguson has the most eloquent reproachful glance seen in any species. It clearly conveys that you have let him down — after all he’s taught you (about the timing of food, the celerity with which the door to upstairs is opened, and so forth).

  2. Business manager! No – Torvald will not accept any kind of employment. He is merely selecting his course of treatment.

    At the same time he is ensuring that your neighbours have permanently vacated.

    • He will probably advise me to raise fees. He strikes me as vividly impressed by high-end cat food and grooming tools.

      The neighbors in question are fortunately out of direct sight line. I haven’t seen a sign of movement on that property since the weekend, passing as I do a couple of times a day.

      But the good news is that he has no communicable diseases and can meet my guys any time!… the bad news is that the predictable dance of feline territoriality has commenced, and will probably not go well till he has his little noogies off, in three weeks. I could get it done a bit sooner, but I want one of the vet partners I know to do the job. It really is too callous to farm something like that out to a complete stranger if you can possibly avoid it. So there will be a lot of body-blocking and door-closing for a while, but I’ve done this before.

      When Taffy the Terrible first saw Apricat he screeched like an outraged virgin, and a few years later he made a daily habit of coming up to Apricat and dipping his head to request grooming, so I know they can sort it out. I must tell Taffy’s story some time.

      When young he was a cat of parts
      Who left a trail of broken hearts
      And made Night shudder with his call,
      walking with a big-balled swagger
      that said, I’m here to do ’em all,
      the beauty queen and the two-bagger.

      So mighty was his amorous fame
      That humans beat their fists in shame
      To hear their women voice the prayer
      That such mates could be found for them —
      So virile, yet so debonair.
      He was the Grand Caliph of cats:
      goddam, it hurt to neuter him.

    • Having no TV, I’ve only been exposed to an episode or two of that and can’t remember what the voice is like. Must check YouTube.

      He actually sounds pretty whiny and sharp, unlike Mr. Ferguson who makes melodious little chirps, and Miss Nickel who squeaks and coughs in an ominous jungly way.

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