COLUMNISTS

Mischievous feline keeps Susan on her toes

Susan Manzke
The older but wiser Sunny enjoys special treats and quick walks with Susan.

The day started at sunrise, quietly with hardly a twitter outside. Sunny needed his morning constitutional, so I donned my orange vest and took him for a short walk. Sunny doesn’t take long walks anymore. Age and arthritis have him taking longer naps instead of cavorting down the road.

When we returned to the house it was time for breakfast. Before making my oatmeal, I tended to my critters. Sunny whined because I wasn’t fast enough dishing out his food, but he’s not the first on the list. That position goes to my cat Car-E.

It’s not because I like Car-E more. It’s because he harasses my other cat, Cruella, as she waits for her food.

Car-E’s food dish goes into the bathroom, where I can lock him away. Cruella gets her breakfast on the stairs, again this is a spot I can close a door. Sunny would eat her food if I didn’t put it out of his reach.

Breakfast for Sunny is set on the floor between handing out the cats’ bowls. He gobbles everything and is ready for more. His ‘more’ comes when I let him lick the crumbs from the bucket I use to give food to the outside cats. Being able to lick it makes Sunny happy.

After the cats and dog are fed, I make something for myself.

As I said, my day started quietly, but it didn’t stay that way. Car-E saw to that.

First thing after breakfast, he jumped up on the counter to help me wash dishes. Not really. What he did was stick his paw in the running water.

If I’m filling my teapot with filtered water, Car-E has to be right there. He’ll even stick his face in the water stream. If he’s real adventurous he’ll splash. I’m the one who gets wet when he does this.

Susan and her 15-pounds of mischief,  Car-E.

As I began to type on my computer, Car-E jumped up and walked across the keyboard, typing as he went. His best was lllllllkkllll;;; before I shooed him off.

Really what the cat wanted was my attention. I scratched him behind his ears and he turned and bit me. He wanted to play, so I took out his laser pointer. He chased the red dot around the room. I hoped that would tire him out. It didn’t.

When I put the pointer down, Car-E came looking for it. He probably thought he could work it himself—he’s a smart cat as he knew where the dot was coming from.

Car-E knocked the pointer off the table and pushed it around the floor. When that didn’t work, my cat jumped on the chair by the table and looked for other things to knock on the floor. Down went a pencil, a nail clipper, and a tube of lip balm.

One time when I wasn’t paying enough attention to Car-E he even knocked over my Portal—I had been visiting with my friend Joyce in Illinois, having some face-time together. But Car-E ended that. After his antics, I had to reconnect the machine and reconnect with Joyce.

Currently, Car-E has opened a kitchen cabinet. He is searching for a sponge he loves. Multiple times, I took him out of the cabinet and closed the door. He’s pretty determined and returned again and again for his play toy. Of course, he never wants real cat toys. They are not special enough.

Cruella is not fond of her youthful housemate Car-E.

Still, this crazy cat is good company. He entertains me and makes me laugh. Too bad Cruella isn’t so fond of him. Car-E gets on her nerves and though he doesn’t hurt her, Car-E does harass Cruella. She then screams her displeasure and he backs down, for a little while or until she turns her back. Eventually, she goes into hiding.

Now it is quiet again. All the critters are sleeping. I have a chance to finish this column without Car-E’s help. I wonder what mischief he’ll get into when he wakes. Maybe he’ll try looking into the refrigerator for a snack. I wouldn’t put it past him.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net/blog.