Thursday, November 11, 2010

Why my cat might be a bit more retarded than Allie Brosh's dog.

To begin with, please see Allie Brosh's amazing blog at Hyperbole and a Half.  Please read her post on her reasoning why her pet dog might be retarded.

Inspired by another blogger and her oh-so-funny post on why she feels that her pet dog might be retarded, I couldn't help but begin to wonder on my own pet cat, Connor.  Is my cat slightly retarded? 

Thom and I had adopted Connor from Lollypop Farms, an animal shelter out in Fairport, New York about 8 months ago.  He had seemed to be the most liveliest cat in the shelter with his very loud and outgoing personality and this was a trait that we wanted so badly in a cat.  (I had grown up with cats my whole life and I am 90% sure that they were all very quiet and lethargic; which I hated.  Thom, on the other hand, had never owned a cat in his life, just dogs, and was looking forward to the bright possibilities of pet ownership again, even if it were a cat.)  We couldn't get a dog at the time since our apartment complex wouldn't allow it, so we ended up adopting a spirited, loud and sometimes ferocious, orange and white male domestic short-hair.

Let me also say that we absolutely love our cat.  There is no question or doubt that both of us aren't capable of loving our cat.  Seriously.  We are those annoying and crazy people that tell other sane people about their cat and stories of said cat.  We have no shame.  WE WILL PULL OUT A CELLPHONE AND SHOW YOU PICTURES OF SAID CAT.  So when I finally begin to get into this post and explain my reasoning why my cat is slightly retarded, I mostly mean it in a funny, light and entertaining way.  Not a "survival of the fittest, why I must now put down my retarded cat" way.

So...with all that said.

Reasons why my cat might be retarded:

1.  He looks out the window.  When the shade is drawn.  I'm not sure if perhaps he is actually really smart and is imaging seeing squirrels outside (which he usually does when the shade is up) but he will sit on the edge of the couch and stare at the window with the shade down.  Perhaps it's muscle memory?

2.  He runs into doors.  Sometimes, during the day, we'll crack open the front door of our apartment to let Connor downstairs to lay at the front landing.  There's a lot of sunlight that comes through the windows there and he thoroughly enjoys laying in the warmth, like most cats.  We leave the door semi opened/closed though, mostly to keep in the upstairs heat.  Connor usually knows to snake in and out of the small space between the door opening throughout the day.  Sometimes, when we have to leave and run errands, he'll think that he can sneak his way back down the stairs when we're about to lock up and leave.  (This usually ends with him succeeding and us having to carry him back up the stairs.)

But one day, I got home and cracked the door open a bit to let Connor down the stairs to lay in the sun.  And sure enough, down the stairs he went.  It was around lunch time and so I began to get his regular teaspoon sized meal of wet food out in a dish for him.  Connor must have heard the rustle of his food being prepared and raced up the stairs to get to his lunch.  He does this for every meal, no matter where he might be in the house.

Except this time, instead of his usual meow for food, I heard a loud "thump!".  It seemed that Connor had forgotten about the very visible door that was opened a smidgen and had run at full cat speed right into it in order to get to his lunch.  Poor cat.

3.  He eats a lot of things that he shouldn't.  I've seen this cat eat everything from leaves to spiders to cobwebs to his own fur.  And what's even more ironic is the fact that he'll only eat certain wet foods.  (Chunky rather than pureed)  The other day, I came home and was mortified to learn that Connor had eaten one of my sewing bobbins.

Thom told me that earlier, he had noticed Connor playing but didn't think anything of it.  Connor does this often, like most cats.  Later he found Connor in his "throwing up" position and began to worry.  (Connor's throwing up position is just him sitting down all curled together, arms crossed, eyes closed and tail tucked in.)  Only this time he noticed a small yellow string hanging from his mouth.  I even drew an illustration:

Instantly curious, Thom began to pull the thread.  And I swear, it honestly was like something straight out of a cartoon show.  Thom kept pulling and pulling and pulling and realized after a huge wad of yellow string that Connor must have swallowed one of my bobbins from my sewing desk.  With that realization, Thom kept frantically pulling the string until finally taunt and he had to pull out a very gloppy, gooey and cat vomittity bobbin.  All the while, poor Connor was left looking very dazed and confused at what had just occurred.
4.  He's unaware of pet repelling products.  Did you know that cats don't like the sound of tin foil?  Or if you ever wanted your cat down from a counter, you could spray them with water?  Cats don't like getting wet either.  Sadly, these things do not work with Connor.  For one thing, Connor likes to drink straight out of the faucet.  And I don't mean cute, petite and small sips of water, I mean, he sticks his head directly into the water while simultaneously trying to lick a mix of water and air. Water doesn't really seem to repel him in anyway.  The other day I was putting wet dishes in the dishwasher and Connor just sat right under my feet where countless splatters of water fell upon him.  He never moved an inch.  And when he feels like being an explorer, we'll usually find him in the bathtub. 

Other things like pet repelling covers for couches do not work either.  I only know this because I'm a catalog photographer and needed to photograph said cover in my house using Connor as a "prop" or the pet that was supposed to be repelled by the pet repellent cover.  (In real life, I could care less if Connor got up on the couch.)  Anyway, I was getting ready to photograph this terribly crinkly and foil like cover and kept thinking how much Connor wasn't going to appreciate being the poor modeling victim for my shot.  I was sure that he would hate it.  But instead, like always, he surprised me.

I placed him on the cover and ran to my shutter to get him jumping off the couch but to my amazement, Connor just stood there looking confused like always.  He looked around him, pawed the strange foil like cover, turned himself around and laid right down on the cover!  Some pet repellent!  From then on, it was about 10 minutes of me pleading and begging him to come off the cover in order for me to try and get my shot.  Finally, with the promise of food and Thom's help, we got him to jump off the cover and I was able to get my shot.

Terrible pet repellent cover.  Supposedly to keep pets off of your furniture.
I popped this shot off right away thinking that he'd jump.
Instead he just pawed it.
And finally laid down.
So I'm sure that this list could just get completely out of control and animal rights activists would begin to wonder, so I'll just stop here.  But seriously, I love my pet and think he's just great...but perhaps a bit retarded.


  1. My cat is the same way. She loves things that crinkle. Plastic bags, tissue paper, sewing patterns, doesn't matter. She also instead of playing with the toy mice she hunts the always dangerous and ever elusive hair tie. Once caught she parades said hair tie around the house and drops it at our feet.

    At least my cat has figured out how to move/get on the other side of the window curtains to see out the window. she also sounds like a herd of elephants when she goes up or down the stairs

  2. Too, very true on the elephants part. Our downstairs neighbor is always commenting on the "ruckus" above her.