I’ll tell you one thing about a cat in her prime: she can go from zero to sixty and back to nonchalant in less time than it takes for a Christmas tree to fall down. We know this because of a particularly arresting display during Tater’s first Christmas with us. We were two rooms away from the tree when she barreled in like a sentient pipe-cleaner and sat down and started licking her paw. Then came the thump of the decked-out tree in all its jangly glory. That puts her at not quite 9.8 meters per second per second, because the tree stand was probably doing its level best to hang on before throwing in the towel.
In any case we have a good idea how fast a motivated cat can travel. The speed of the feline sympathetic nervous system in engaging the arrector pili muscles to produce horripilation (a.k.a. pipe-cleanerage) is, if anything, even faster.
No Christmas trees since that first Year of our Tater have been so much as glanced at by that cat, but the entire scene came back in vivid memory this last New Year’s Eve. We were observing our New Year’s tradition (ignoring New Year’s) when there came a tremendous if muffled thud from the other side of the house and the cat showed up totally pipe-cleanered. Our Christmas tree this year was only two feet tall. The cat was now two feet wide. You could clean out a dryer vent with her tail.
“What was THAT?” Dave wanted to know.
I didn’t want to know. Only thing I could imagine was there was some sort of rodent incident in the other room and something big got thumped down, and I did not care to speculate on the size of the rodent that might have been involved. I can barely contend with ants; I do not want to have a house capybara situation.
My solution was to ignore it and maybe it would go away.
And that might have been the end of it, but it was New Year’s, after all, and the next morning I actually remembered to look for my First Bird of the year. It’s a birder thing. I can prepare for this without getting an accidental fly-by because we don’t have any birds in our yard until I put on my glasses. The most likely possibilities are crow, gull, junco, Anna’s hummingbird, and lesser goldfinch, but I wanted to go for glory and see if Studley would be my first bird. So I covered my eyes and walked into my writing room, where he frequently perches in the cascara tree just outside the window. And opened my eyes.
There was no tree at all. The cascara, a pretty sorry specimen by any non-bird standard, was entirely in a heap between our house and the neighbor’s. Nothing on either house got clipped or mashed. It was a little miracle, and not one, Tater says, that she had anything to do with. Tater was all alibi. Tater contends she was nowhere near that tree and, in fact, can’t rightly remember anything about a tree being there in the first place.
The tail said otherwise.
My cats often look guilty even if they are NOT to blame. I do have to remind one that my leg is not for climbing, though. Then there are things that go bump in the night, but I know the little darlings are totally innocent. Except when they give you "the look" that betrays them.
You have very refined lap mammals.
Tater STARED a tree into falling over?! Well done!
She swears she had nothing to do with it.
Well, if she actually does have a "death stare", please let her watch Fox news when Trump is on and tell het to go for it. Please.
Which one of the Democratic primary candidates do you think has a "death stare?"
Can't think of any! But I'd vote for one. Any arrow in the quiver…
I bet Tater was just jealous of your fondness for Studley and his future family.
She has expressed an interest in meeting him personally.
Toilet brush tail is a dead giveaway.
That's the word for it.
Had a cat once who specialised in "the domino effect". I'd lined up the cards along the mantle piece, itself resplendant with holly swags.Cat raised a gentle paw and tapped the front card.Whish fell back, toppling all the others and as they fell, cat leapt over the falling cards and her tail clipped a bauble. Tim-purrr is the best expression.
Oh no! Where will Studley perch now the tree is gone? While Tater may or may not have had anything to do with the tree coming down, you need to examine all the angles. Is Tater even a little bit jealous of the amount of time you spend with Studley? Hmmm?
She would like to meet any of the Windowson family.
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