Screw Your Courage To The Scratching Post

I have resigned myself to having Two Pairs Of Cats. Mr. Ferguson and the redoubtable Nickel Catmium are now the “seniors,” being all of six, and they live upstairs in my private rooms for most of the day and come down for a turn on the first floor in the late afternoon and evening. The juniors, Agatha and Torvald, spend the night in the laundry room with a palatial cat tree boasting a ground level window view; a director’s chair full of fleece blankie; rugs, toy mice and all their necessities, but get their first floor turn from breakfast to tea-time, greeting clients and thundering up and down the cellar stairs.

Everyone wants to pick up Torvald, who is big, chunky and fluffy, not to mention inestimably pleased with himself and shamelessly flirtatious.

A gentleman who recently began coming for biweekly wring-outs of his shoulder girdle asked if I would like a cat-tree that his cat had spurned, nay sprayed upon and never approached again. It took a little elbow grease with the bottle of Dumb Cat and an afternoon of autumn sun, but installed upon the porch, the new tree became the place to hang.

I think I’m getting old and dotty: I shot those pictures a few seconds apart, discovered that I could toggle between them for the illusion that I had created a .gif or flipbook sequence, and spent the next five minutes doing just that.

Fergie, meanwhile, has been sniffling again — neither of us like the ragweed at this time of year — and I was so concerned lest he stop eating (cats won’t eat what they can’t smell) that I gave him carte blanche to snaffle up whatever he could smell. He picked the dish of Romano left over from last weekend’s linguine al vino bianco, a quick dinner involving arugula and a reduced wine sauce.


I know I give him a  pass on this crap because I feel guilty about the disgruntlement he feels at having to share the house with two whippersnappers, and I wish they would all just get over it, but I can’t screw up the nerve to referee the screeching collision that happens every time they come face to face. It’s easier just to let them all get away with murder, or at least with walking around the dinner table. It’s not like I entertain. Humans, anyway.


12 thoughts on “Screw Your Courage To The Scratching Post

  1. You have a great cat family! Lucky you have a somewhat roomy house so they can have their space. Living in a one-room efficiency with a large cat, one is my limit.

    Fortunately, I also have access to a shared back porch and then a deck, and then a small fenced yard. Lola loves to be outside, watching and listening to the bugs and birds and squirrels. In urban areas, most cats have to be indoors for their own safety. Fortunately, Lola doesn’t realize she could jump the fence, or maybe she just likes the security of being in her own territory.

    Main problem with a cat who sheds heavily in a small space is cleaning! I have OCD, so housekeeping is a bit of a problem for me. Hair, there, and everywhere. Sounds like a good idea for a musical. Plus of course, she tracks in all kinds of sand and mud from the yard — but of course, I track in more than she does.

    The Eastern Shore of MD is practically infested with cats! Our motto: Who BUYS a cat?

    • Yeah, I get away with a lot because of this rambly old house, though I am still probably going to have to replace the cellar door that came off a year or so back because of the sectarian rivalry. An extra door will make it kinder for the juniors, who will have more territory — the whole basement level.

      I have a handheld Dirt Devil vacuum that is my friend. My dear friend. I go around sucking up wads and skeins of hair from every angle in the house.

      I once had a client ask me with a straight face how people get cats — she was from Thailand and probably really meant that she needed help navigating English language information to find a shelter or rescue, but my first reaction was “How do you avoid getting cats?”

  2. Thanks for that tip about cats not eating what they can’t smell. It may account for Misty’s continued bouts of fasting. Now I’m old, there is not a lot I can smell, but I still eat, you’ll be glad to learn.

    • It’s almost a problem the way everyone who comes in the house wants to pick him up and hug him. He likes attention, so mostly that’s okay, but sometimes I feel like he gets a little harassed feeling. He will nip from time to time.

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