hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Monday, September 16, 2013

Employment for Cats

As regular readers may recall, we obtained for our life a 4 y/o cat last December who was named, before she reached us, Zoe.  We are extremely pleased with her.  She has spent her entire life indoors and that has given her, I believe, some unusual characteristics.  For a long time, I thought this was why she was so standoffish, so suspicious, so reluctant well, to engage.  She does consent to be petted but she would certainly not sit next to us on a couch or in a chair, nor sleep next to us in bed, or, god forbid, actually sit in our laps.  She likes to stand on the seat of a tall chair or table so that we can pet her: everyone with all their available legs firmly attached to a solid surface.

Recently, however, I think I have figured out that she has a secret job: she is a Homeland Security IED investigator.  Her job, apparently, is to ensure that nothing in our house explodes.  The best way to do this, since nothing in our house is currently exploding, is to prevent or at least discourage anything new from coming into the house.  The logic, obviously, is this: nothing is currently exploding; anything new might explode.  Prevent the new.
Zoe eating a little grass while inspecting what turns out to be a non-exploding object.

Unfortunately for her, she does not control what comes into the house because she does not ever leave the house and we do, forever bringing new things into her and our lives, things that might explode.  A new chair or lamp or even a book moved from one place to another must be investigated at great length, for several days.  Long enough either to disarm it or to ensure it is not an explosive chair/lamp/book/whatever.  Given that she sleeps 18 hours a day it is amazing how much investigating she is able to do in what is left of the remaining 6 hours of her active work day (into which she also must cram 4 or 5 meals each day--but she's a very fast eater).

You may wonder how she disarms explosive things.  Good question and we had an excellent example of it yesterday.  Zoe is very fond of oat grass and so I grow pots of it and bring a new one in every few days which she promptly consumes down to the little green nubs.  Yesterday, however, I had none growing adequately, so, upon the advice of my cat-raising daughter, I dug up some lawn grass and put it into a pot, then brought it into the house.  Zoe recognizes a pot of grass when she sees it and knows it's safe because it's food not an explosive device.  She rushed up to me and, as I put the pot on the floor, she pressed her mouth into it and proceeded to discover that it was not grass as she knew it but an explosive.  She disarmed it by rising about a foot into the air, landing 180 degrees away from the direction she had been facing, and then rushed off, racing up the stairs and immediately back down in order to discharge all that explosive energy.

And then we were all safe, although the grass was still not acceptable because it apparently still contained minute amounts of dangerousness.  So it was sent back out to the unknowable world of outside.  And we settled down to a quiet afternoon knowing that we were, once again, safe.  That's what real homeland security can do for you...

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