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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

B is for -- Banana.

You think I mean THIS, don't you --

Well, I don't. I'm talking about a felt cat toy packed tightly with dried catnip, like this --

Yes, it looks amazingly like a real banana, a few brown spots and all. In fact, I've caught myself picking up our cats' catnip banana off the floor and wondered how a banana jumped out of the fruit bowl that's on the kitchen counter. Online stores also offers catnip pea pods, catnip carrots, and catnip mice.

Two years ago, Santa (aka a dear friend in New Jersey) had blessed our cats with this catnip banana. We hadn't even finished removing the packaging on Christmas morning, and they were on it like dogs with a meaty bone, tussling and clawing for first sniff. Kuro won and promptly spread his chunky body on it so no one else could claim it. He finally tired of this (after inhaling catnip for a while) and moved to his favorite spot on the recliner for a well-deserved nap. That left the catnip banana as fair game.

Princess Dido moved in and batted it around a bit, then pounced on it a few times, causing the catnip aroma to fill her nose. In a drunken stagger, she headed for her favorite napping spot.

The along came Deborah (now renamed Matilda a.k.a. Mattie). Two years old and still full of kittenish curiosity, she immediately pounced on the banana, lay on her back, juggled it over her supine body, rolled on top of  it, and batted it around on the carpet. As far as Mattie was concerned, only she and that banana existed.

Finally, exhausted, she too staggered off to some corner for a nap.

Now it was Little Debbie's turn. She had gotten too fat to do much playing (too many treats from my husband, her person), so she did what Kuro had done -- simply snuggled down on it in that typical cat position of sitting on her brisket, as Lilian Jackson Braun describes it in her Cat Who books.

The rest of the morning was taken up with the sound of cats snoring.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A is for -- A mouse. In my house!

All four cats were vying with each other to get at something that was making skittering noises in the corner next to our dining room teak china cabinet. Kuro won and emerged with a struggling little grey body hanging out of both sides of his mouth. He proudly marched into the living room, bushy black tail erect, as if to say "Looky what I found!"

My son Daniel (Kuro's person) was horrified. Daniel rushed into the kitchen to get his Mason jar, the one he uses to scoop up wandering spiders and other critters that belong outdoors. "Drop it, Kuro," he commanded.

A look of chagrin crossed Kuro's face, but he dropped the mouse onto the living room carpet, and Daniel promptly scooped it up into the jar before it could scamper away. (Actually, the mouse wasn't moving too well, but Daniel wanted to snag it before Kuro changed his mind and began eating it.) Daniel then took the mouse outside and released it to die wild and free, or more likely as some other creature's snack.

We don't know where that mouse came from. It was probably brought upstairs from our unfinished basement by one of the cats but then somehow managed to escape and was looking for a good place to hide. I wish I had thought to grab my son's digital camera and take pictures to post on this blog entry. Maybe next time -- if there is one.

Moral of this story: If you are a little grey mouse, don't come into a house in which live four rescued cats that grew up outdoors eating your relatives.