There’s just been a spate of those “true facts about yourself” so-called memes flying about my localized Internet weather system. I ignore most of them, but thought I’d go on a bit of a tangent and confess some of my weird habits involving cats in general and my not-mean cat Ernestine in particular.

Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure from Archie McPhee

  • I have a compulsive habit of wiping away her eye gunk and it’s the way I usually “greet” her. Fortunately, she has a consistent buildup of the stuff (but it isn’t nasty or disgusting or anything like that).
  • I nibble on her ears; she seems not to mind unless I bite a little too firmly, which elicits a sharp, yelpy meow by way of warning.
  • I secretly like her bad breath and sneak a whiff if she yawns near me. It isn’t the stereotypical tuna breath or anything of that order, just some sort of generic malodor.
  • Sleeping cats = “furry hot-water bottles.”
  • Ernestine drools when she sleeps, but I don’t give her a hard time. It’s just that hot water bottle with a slight leak.
  • Cats in living rooms or dens = “carpet sharks.”
  • In front of company, I’ll place her muzzle inside my open mouth in a reversal of the perennial lion-tamer trick. No one is ever impressed by this feat.
  • I’m fascinated watching “kitty-quakes”– those tremors cats exhibit while in REM sleep– and will quietly observe them for as long as they last.
  • I also have a habit of fiddling with cats’ retractable claws. The cat invariably gets tired with it before I do,
  • I’m frustrated by the fact that Ernestine is resolutely not a “shoulder cat” and will not stay draped across the back of my neck when I put her there.
  • Also, despite my diligent efforts, the cat seems incapable of learning how to make coffee for me. In this one case, I believe she’s just being mean.

zhou-zhou-ernestine

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