afraid I’ve raised a couple of divas.
pampered, demanding and mercurial — often charming,
love to sleep. They demand the best.
and Nelle are princesses — especially Nelle, who has a
habit of perching prettily on our throw pillows and has
a surly side that seems to say, "I am
doubt, the fault lies with their humans. They arrived in
our home not long before our nest emptied, when my
husband and I needed something to focus our parental
like indulgent grandparents. We let the cats get away
with all manner of misbehavior and find it all utterly
charming. My son swears we take more pictures of the
cats than we do of him. He may be right.
become thoroughly spoiled and, truth be told, pretty
seem to lack some of the most basic feline instincts.
Nelle has no interest in the outdoors, and in fact once
spent a couple of hours cowering under our deck after
she slipped out a door that had accidentally been left
open. Both have a penchant for lolling on their backs
without the usual cat fear that some predator will
launch a surprise attack or some human will tickle their
it was the mouse incident that made me think they’re
in danger of having their cat cards revoked.
happened one evening a couple of weeks ago, when I saw a
mouse make a break from beneath my couch and scurry
across the room. Either its mouse senses failed to
notice Scout and Nelle parked within inches of its
destination, or it was one gutsy rodent.
mouse took a right turn and started racing along the
baseboard, headed for cover under the TV stand.
cats sprang into cat-alert status, bracing to pounce.
They’ll get that mouse, I thought.
they turned confused circles, as though they just couldn’t
figure out where the mouse was headed. A mouse traveling
in a straight line, I might add. Their reaction time was
so bad that it almost looked like someone had videotaped
the scene and played it back at slow speed.
one of our previous cats caught a mouse when he was 20.
That’s, like, 100 in human years. These cats just
think they were under the influence of some pretty
potent catnip, but unless they have a secret stash
someplace, that wasn’t the case.
just seemed addled, as though some wiring in their
peanut-size brains told them they should take action,
but they didn’t quite know what.
husband had to come to the rescue. Clad in work gloves
and armed with a broom, he flushed the mouse out from
its hiding place and swooped down to catch it.
cats went back to their lolling, showing no signs of
guess I should cut them some slack. After all, they’re
out of practice. They’re indoor cats, unaccustomed to
the demands of stalking birds and ferreting out moles.
Thankfully mouse incursions are rare at our house, so
their hunting forays are usually limited to their toys,
which don’t put up much of a fight.
a good thing, considering Scout routinely brings her
prey to drop near me when she wants attention. Better a
stuffed mouse than a beheaded one.
in their defense, I have to say they’re pretty good at
some other cat behaviors. They make that funny chirping
noise at the hummingbirds that visit the feeder outside
our window. (Do they really think they sound like
birds?) They have excellent navigational skills when it
comes to plopping down on newspapers, precisely
targeting the article the attendant human is reading.
They follow the cat code that stipulates that when
someone opens a door in response to their cries, they
will respond with inaction for at least a full minute
before proceeding across the threshold and then stopping
leap after a fly or pounce on a spider?
no. Divas don’t do that.