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January 31, 2005
Frank Does Cat Blogging
Posted by Frank J. at 12:01 PM | View blog reactions | Comments (46)

I know this cat blogging thing is popular, but I'm a dog person. Still, I gots me a cat so I might as well blog about her.

Here she is eating from Minerva's food bowl even though I keep telling her not to.


"That's adult food not meant for kittens! Bad goober!"

(For the uninitiated, Minerva is SarahK's cat, and the beautiful SarahK is currently staying with me until she finds an apartment here in lovely Melbourne, FL).

Anyway, my cat is named Sydney. I named her after Sydney Bristow, the heroine of Alias, in an attempt to still keep some masculinity while owning a female cat. She's only a little kitten now, and still small enough for me to engulf her entire head in my hand, pick her up by it, and crush her if I ever tire of her.

Anyhoo, first thing I learned about cats is they ain't dogs. Like if you charge a dog yelling and screaming, the dog will understand it's time to run away in a game of chase. A kitten, on the other hand, will just stand there staring at you. In a way, a cat is more like a dog with autism. Sydney mainly ignores everything going around about her and attacks random little things with intense purpose. She suddenly darts to and fro, jumping from piece of furniture to piece of furniture, with no actual destination to her frenetic activity.

Incidentally, she hasn't quite got the jumping down, and will quite often just slam right into a wall. Or, worse, she won't quite make it by the jump alone and then I hear this desperate clawing to make up the difference. My furniture!

She does interact with Minerva, though, through the form of dive tackles. Sydney will find some high vantage point and then attack Minerva. Minerva, being a regular sized cat, is quite larger and will usually get Sydney in a headlock and start kicking her in the head. Good for Minerva. They'll fight everywhere, and it's a good thing I paid extra for that thick nawgahide cover for my pool table. Incidentally, I used to think Minerva, a year and a half old cat, was a bit of a spaz, but now she seem like a wise elder in comparison to Sydney (except that time I peed on her head and it was all her fault). Minerva moves slowly with purpose compared to Sydney randomly darting everywhere.

Can you train cats? Anytime I'm trying to eat at my coffee table, Sydney jumps up to try and steal some food. Now, with any dog, a good smack along with a shout of, "No!" is taken quite seriously. With Sydney, she doesn't seem to understand an angry tone of voice or even the meaning of being struck. If I hit her on the head and yell, "No!" and then point at her, she'll just try and bite my finger. No yelling or smacking seems to make her understand how totally un-hitler that is. Hey, Sydney, you only weigh like a pound. I could easily crush you. Comprehende?

What annoys me most about cats is how hard it is to gauge their moods. A dog has a variety of expressions plus different barks, whines, yelps, and growls. As I learned from Minerva, a cat has pretty much just one meow... which she uses for every occasion. Sydney, though, is mainly a mute. When she does make a sound - usually reserved for when I try to pick her up and be nice to her - she doesn't even have a proper meow. For some reason, that bothers me. I'm not a cat person, but I at least want a proper meow. Instead, Sydney has a little monkey squeak. No resemblance to a cat sound whatsoever. Actually, with the way she is always trying to grab at things with her paws, she seems a lot like a monkey. Sometimes I wonder if someone made up that story of finding her in the parking lot at work and was really just trying to get rid of a weird gray monkey.

The other sound Sydney makes is a purr. It's a constant noise that modulates with her breathing, making her sound like a car that's trying over and over to start. That noise occurs usually anytime I'm near her. My best guess is that's its purpose is to work as a warning beacon to keep me from stepping on the little thing in the dark.

It only works so-so.

The other noise I've heard her make is a little growl. This is only used at Minerva in defense of a dropped piece of avocado.

So, Sydney isn't much in the sound department. You'd think she'd make up for that by being quite expressive. Well, here are all of Sydney's expressions:


Sydney happy


Sydney sad


Sydney angry


Sydney confused


Sydney scared


Sydney realizing the purposelessness of life


Sydney gassy

I guess she also has some body language, such as arching her back to make her look larger. I've seen her do that and then run at Minerva sideways. It was one of the most awkward looking things I've seen; she was like some weird lizard they'd show on the Discovery channel.

When she's not bothering Minerva, Sydney follows me everywhere, always tempting fate as she runs underneath my feet. She even once tried to get in the shower with me (that was funny). Every morning, I'll find her on my bed trying to bite my toes. If I ever try to pet her or pick her up, she runs away, though. Fine, I didn't want to pet you anyway, you stupid cat.

All in all, these few weeks living with cats has made me even more of a dog person. One night I was woken up by some strange sounds. I turned the light on to discover that Minerva had learned how to open my gun closet by pulling at it from underneath with her paws. She still has to crack the safe, but that's only a matter of time.

I really need a dog to keep an eye on those two.

Rating: 2.4/5 (9 votes cast)

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