Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Catricidal Maniac

There's the sound of a jake-braking semi coming from under my kitchen table. It is coming from Albert the cat (alternatively known as "Albertus Cattus" in the Tiny House of geekery).

Albert is not one little bit thrilled that the dogs are here for a visit. Oh, it was going fairly well the first two hours or so, when he was just getting to know them, but it's apparent now that he's got no love for the canines. He'd be happy to ignore them, as cats are wont to do to all lesser creatures, but there's a problem with this.


Skeeter is an Australian Shepard.
She herds things. She takes her job very very seriously. Skeeter loves to pay attention to her herd, right up close and personal. She will hunt DOWN her herd and stare them in the face to ensure that they know that she's on the job.

Albert, to his dismay, is her new herd. Not surprisingly, Albert does not cotton to being a herd.

When Skeeter's doing her herding thing to Albert, he gets irritated. Frankly, so would I, because Skeeter's mode of herding is to get no more than six inches away from the herdee and bully them into immobility
with the sheer weight of her intensity .

If you've ever been stared at by an Aussie, you know what I mean.

It's kind of unnerving. I cannot blame Albert for taking issue with being the focus of so much Aussie attention.

(This is not Skeeter, but it's a fair representation. She is, if anything, even MORE intense.)

I mean, those eyes. They bore right into you with their their need to control, don't they?

I'll go ahead and state the obvious here: Albert, as a cat of much dignity, is not all about being controlled. Albert would, quite honestly, be much happier with being left the heck alone, thanksverymuch, but Skeeter does not know this and therefore keeps pressing her suit.

And pressing, and pressing, and pressing, until poor Albert is perched on a kitchen chair pushed under the kitchen table waaaaay in back by the wall, twhich is sort of blocked off by the other chairs pushed under the table, thereby establishing a zone of safety around himself.

Or so he thinks.

Tragically, Albert is not much for thinking. As one friend has put it "most of Albert's brain has gone into whisker-growing." He has lovely long whiskers, it must be noted.

Skeeter, having marginally more thinking brain than Albert, and a herding drive that could power a small city if it were electricity, isn't fooled by the "hiding under the table" trick, oh no. She keeps close watch on Albert under there, then sidles around the table in closer and closer arcs until she is UNDER the table and, once again, staring Albert right in the face.

Which is right about when when the jake-braking starts.

The low rumble of a pissed-off cat would frighten me off, but not Skeeter. She will edge close to the fascinating noise coming from her herd. She will edge right UP to the herd, marvelling at the wonderful grumbling emanating therefrom.

Albert will growl louder, and puff up as much as a cat who is trapped under a table can puff.

Skeeter comes to within striking distance, the growl deepens. One more inch closer, and then all hell breaks loose under the table, the jake-braking noise replaced by what can only be described as what it might sound like if one were to cross as bagpipe and a rabid pig, then put that animal in a bellows with a 2-second repeat cycle. Snort-wheeze-snort-wheeze! Albert's gone mad!

Oh, it is ferocious, and would cause a lesser being to back off in a hurry, but not Skeeter. Skeeter knows her herd needs her, and stays her ground. Skeeter is maybe not very smart about this part of herding.

Eventually, I'll call her off. This is usually about 1 minute or so after the pigpipe starts a-bellowing, because I need that much time to recover from the hysterical fit of laughter the uber-ticked-off kitty noises cause me to have.

I am a bad kitty mama, and for this I am most apologetic. I don't see me changing anytime soon.


Right at this moment there is peace in the Tiny House, but once I lock that door behind me and go to work it's anybody's guess as to what will transpire within the confines of the small square home. I try to not think about it.

As long as there's no blood spatter when I get home, it's all good.

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