Thursday, February 21, 2008

Talking cat bowl?

Buzzfeed has links to a new product for pets making the rounds on the Web - a pet food bowl that allows you to record your voice and plays it back when your pet goes for a snack.

Considering that Socks only seems to recognize two words - "Treat" and "No" - I'm not sure if this is something I'll be getting anytime soon...

Chatterbowl at Buzzfeed

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Reasons Cats Are Like Boyfriends

The other day I started thinking about how the similarities owning a cat has to relationships. Cats aren't exactly like some piece of furniture or glass bowl you get as a home decorating accessory - they have a life and personality of their own that has to mesh with your own. So, in celebration of Valentine's Day, I present my reasons that cats are like boyfriends.

-Very possessive of "his" toys.
-Takes your possessions and uses them in unexpected ways.
-Very good at hiding your stuff so you can't find it.
-Can be very territorial.
-Fascinated with mechanical things that move.
-Can run around and play in the house too much.
-Hard to get him to sit still for a good photo.
-Always tracking dirt in on the carpet.
-Cuteness hides his primitive interior.
-Can often act like a two-year-old.
-Innocent and childlike, but can be destructive if angered.
-Good at hiding when he's done something bad.
-Always has his feet up on the tables and furniture.
-Can somehow scratch up a nice table or ruin a good chair.
-Never helps out with the housework.
-Never fixes dinner, but always wants what you're eating.
-Prefers meat over vegetables.
-Prefers fast-moving objects on television.
-Usually goes to sleep during a romantic movie.
-Always leaves a mess and covers it up, knowing that you'll find it and clean it up later.
-Frequently wants to kiss at times when he has bad breath.
-Can sometimes produce unpleasant body odors.
-Can be very sensitive about hair loss.
-Often hyperactive and wants to play just when you want to go to sleep.
-Takes up most of the covers and pushes you out of bed as he sleeps.
-Somehow, he'll start out with his head in your lap, but wind up with his butt in your face.
-Can wind up living with you after needing to be rescued.
-Can have a mysterious past you know nothing about when he ends up in your home.
-Acts up when friends visit.
-If allowed to roam, can stay out all night, but usually winds up at your front door in the morning.
-Personal grooming only a priority when he wants it to be.
-Frequently sprawled out, adjusting his privates.
-Communicates in one or two word phrases.
-Shows frequent confusion about or disinterest in what you're saying.
-You never fully understand what he really wants.
-You really don't know what he does all day when you're at work.
-Spends most of the time sleeping on the couch or in a comfy chair.
-Easily distracted by shiny objects.
-Safest in a controlled, indoor environment.
-Periods of cuteness and cuddling make up for his faults.

Socks, Drug Fiend

When I first welcomed Socks into my home, I bought a cardboard "scratchpad" for him to use. It came with a little Ziplock baggie containing leafy green stuff. At first, I thought a rather hip clerk at the store had slipped a little extra bonus inside the box, but it just turned out to be catnip.

I don't think anyone quite understands the appeal of catnip to our feline friends. It seems so simple - a leafy, slightly minty-smelling substance - but it causes cats to behave in strange ways. Or sometimes not.

That's the odd thing about catnip. Some cats seem to be hypersensitive to the stuff all the time - rolling around in kitty bliss, chewing and covering their furry bodies in the stuff while others sniff and rub on it a bit with no hint of being slightly interested. Some only show interest once in a while.

Socks seems to fall into the latter category. The first few times I put some catnip on his scratch pad, I swear he acted like he was tripping - rolling around on the floor, his eyes wide, just the slightest stimulation would provoke strange behavior.

One time, after he sniffed and rolled around in the stuff, he jumped up on my bed where I was sitting. He saw part of the flannel sheets exposed at the head of my bed and just stared at them, very slowly moving his paw over a folded part of the sheet, over and over again. I touched him on the side of the neck to rub him a bit and he jumped with a start, his eyes wide. Then, he went back to pawing very slowly, over and over again at the flannel sheets.

He must have done this for a good ten minutes, leaving me to wonder if he was seeing some pretty colors and patterns coming off the fold in the sheet. A few minutes later he was back to normal, exploring around the apartment and staking out his usual place at the window.

If only mind altering substances for humans were so simple ...