Heinlein’s Cat

One of our cats understands English and can walk through walls and locked doors.

sleeping cat

Foster-cat: happy and dreaming of the seagulls he can chase

Foster Cat had to go to the vet today to get his broken fang removed under general anaesthetic, and have the second of his vaccinations done. The poor old boy had been starved since 6pm the night before and he was a bit confused as to why his life of luxury had changed. He protested loudly at the indignity of having to use a litter tray. He told us in no uncertain terms that he was hungry. Last night he lifted his tail and sprayed on The Boss because he’d said the V-E-T word aloud in Foster Cat’s hearing. This morning he peed on me for daring to put him in his cat basket.

Assessing the weight-velocity ratio of the local seagulls, and likelihood of catching one

On the 10 minute drive to the vet, Foster Cat amused himself by pretending to be dead: he miaowed plaintively, then gave a long, loud, truncated howl, then made no noise until I stopped the car and ran round to check on him. Then he started up the cycle again. Me and the minxes got to the vets, nerves in tatters.

I think I’m now looking for a new vet. Two weeks ago when I took him initially to our usual vet, I was told that he needed to have a complete primary vaccination course again (ie 2 jags, some weeks apart), a fang out, and a scale and polish. I agreed to the extraction (he was in pain – can’t have that!), but explained that he gets really stressed travelling – could we save him a journey and get everything done at once? The vet agreed, said that he could have the 2nd jag 2 weeks later whilst he was having his tooth sorted, and so we booked in for today. You can imagine, then, how grumpy I got when I was told at lunchtime when I phoned to check on him that he in fact *couldn’t* get the jag, and would have to return next week – there needed to be a gap of 3-4 weeks. I tried to pressurise the surgery to have the vet visit him at home to do it and save him some stress – her mistake, so surely it was the least she could do? Non. And don’t even start me on the impact this almost had on a last minute short little holiday I’d booked, with the cats at a friend’s new cattery. The owner and I pored over a flow diagram explaining when cats were safe to go to a cattery. I’d rather miss the camping trip than put Foster Cat’s health at risk, but we both think he’s fine to go. Phew!

When he returned home tonight, he looked a bit groggy, so we gave him his favourite dinner: pouch of chicken cat food in gravy (he’s no connoisseur). He settled at the top of the stairs and looked a bit out of sorts. I stroked his big, panther head for a bit. He stretched right out and put his head on my lap, purring like a lion, rubbing his chin on my knees. We had a bit of a moment, there, me and the old boy. He’s never let me tickle and rub and stroke him for so long – he’s strictly a “60 seconds and that’s enough of all that nonsense, thanks, where are your standards, stiff upper lip, what?”, kind of cat. I’d been a bit worried about him having an op, but I hadn’t realised just how much till then, when he was safely home and had forgiven us for bundling him in the basket! I think giving him second dinner helped with that…

“Bow before me, Furball” said King Cat

I guess that’ll be him back to normal, then, letting himself in and out. He can open any door on a mortice lock by balancing on his hind legs and pulling down the lever handle until the door opens. At night, he regularly scares the bejasus out of me by suddenly appearing at the sliding doors, up on his back paws, mouth open and front paws squeaking eerily down the panes. Foster Cat? More like Zombie Cat!

And the claim about walking through walls? Well, how else can a massive cat lumber from room to room totally unseen and unheard? Although his favourite spot in the house is at the end of Midi Minx’s bed (aye, he recognises a kindred rascally spirit in my 4 year old!), sometimes he goes missing. Then, The Boss will start at one end of the house, I’ll start at the other, but despite searching everywhere, we regularly can’t find him. Only to have him appear a minute or 2 later from somewhere that it’s *impossible* to hide in, eg the bathroom.

His owners (my brother and his family) are abroad for a few years and miss him terribly. They call him the Terrorist and say he’s always been like this. Today I’m reflecting on how much this tricksy, wilful, gentle, funny old cat is loved, and by so many people: Maxi whispered that she loves him even more than Killer Cat (shhhhhh, her real name is Daisy).

PS In case the title is bothering you, Robert A Heinlein wrote a book titled “The Cat Who Could Walk Through Walls”

2 thoughts on “Heinlein’s Cat

  1. Pingback: Page not found « (Reasons Why I'm a) Grumpy Old Trout

  2. Ah J, how I laughed reading about the Terrorist! It sounds like he’s very much his normal old self. We all miss him terribly but the fact we’ve you and your family looking after him so well makes such a difference. A world of a difference really. Love ya 🙂 xxx

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