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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, August 18

Cat Lovers

I don’t mean to start a fight, but then, why not, at least with a little aid from this recent study of dog and cat people: “It turns out that ‘dog people’ and ‘cat people’ are very different. A study from Carroll University in Wisconsin found the personality traits of cat lovers and dog lovers couldn't be more different than . . . well, cats and dogs. The study suggests that those who prefer dogs are seeking companionship, and are generally more energetic and outgoing. That makes sense as dogs are more lively and interested in playing outside and socializing. Dog people also tend to follow the rules. Those who prefer cats, on the other hand, are more likely to be non-conformists, introverts, want affection, and be sensitive home bodies—as cats also like to stay inside. Researchers surveyed 600 students and asked them to classify themselves as cat people or dog people. Sixty percent said ‘dog people,’ eleven percent said ‘cat people,’ the rest were either both or neither. They then asked participants a series of questions about their personalities. But before we start a cyber-war between cat and dog lovers, it should be pointed out that researchers only surveyed 600 participants and they were all college students, so it's unclear if the results apply to other age groups. That being said, the study also suggests cat lovers are more intelligent than dog lovers.” Get that? CAT LOVERS ARE MORE INTELLIGENT THAN DOG LOVERS!
That being said (and, yes, we’re cat lovers), I think it’s time to tell you again about our three children, Charlie, Tiger, and Tuffy. We spend much more time with them than we ever did with any of our other cats. In our past lives, we both worked full-time and had other activities that kept us away from home, so our cats were more on their own than these three. Also, they were outdoor cats, with a cat door at the back for them to go in and out of the house (along with assorted other critters, like an occasional raccoon, rabbit, or skunk that used that door). Now that we’re no longer working and these three are strictly in-door cats, we find them to be much more sociable fellows, wanting to be with us no matter where in the house we are. If we’re out on the back patio, they’re out on the back patio. If we’re in the living room watching tv, they’re in the living room watching tv. Yes, they really do watch the tv action, especially if it’s sports action.
Here's Tiger watching Tiger.
At night, they spend most of their time out on the back patio, watching all the night activity, like moonlight bunny hops and coyotes passing through. But around 5:00 a.m. they all decide we’ve had enough sleep and will come into the bedroom, hop up, and do their individual thing. Tiger is the most aggressive and happy, leaning on my shoulder to get my attention if I’m lying sideways, sticking his head under our sleeping hands to demand an ear scratch, wagging his tail as fast as he can. Tuffy is much less demanding and will lie quietly in the crook of my right arm waiting for a belly rub. Charlie is aloof and remains at the foot of the bed, disdainfully watching the other two. But when I get up to shave in the morning, he’s right there with me to eat the dozen or so kitty treats that Rosalie leaves on the bathroom counter for him. When they’re all sure we’re awake, they leave us to revisit the back patio. We’ve had the two twins Tiger and Tuffy for two years now, and only now can we easily tell them apart. Tiger is the alpha cat, with slightly darker coloring, a face that’s almost square, a tail that wags all the time, and eyes that dare us with a squint. Tuffy has lighter stripes and a vee-shaped face with eyes that always seem to be wide open, as though in surprise or shock at what Carlie or Tiger are doing. Then there’s Charlie, our three-year-old tuxedo cat. He’s the handsomest cat either of us have ever seen, large, regal, with round owl eyes. Rosalie occasionally calls him beautiful, but that would make him out to be effeminate, which he definitely is not. They all have their favorite places for napping in the late morning or early afternoon—Charlie sort of hiding near the end of the sofa, Tuffy under the coffee table, and Tiger on the back of our recliner (or almost anywhere else he decides is his, like the top of our dining room hutch.)
They take turns sleeping on the window seat near my computer.

Tiger would be the David Beckham of catdom, spending hours kicking a plastic ball around the house, especially up and down the tiled kitchen and laundry room. Tuffy prefers the quieter mice that he can flip in the air. Tuffy is also in love with a shake toy that he coaxes Rosalie to get for him. It’s a foot-long stick with a three-foot line and a mouse on the end that squeaks and lights up bluely. Tuffy will jump three or four feet in the air trying to get the mouse, doing back and side flips coming down. If Rosalie isn’t doing the shaking, Tuffy will lie on the toy giving her the most soulful, pleading looks until she relents and takes it in hand. The other two will get involved now and then, even sedate Charlie, but usually it’s just Tuffy. They all have their claws, which get trimmed now and then (but never Charlie’s, which would simply be impossible) and they all fight and wrestle, but never with claws out. They all seem to love each other dearly, as we do them. Too bad everyone can’t be cat lovers. Just think what that would do for our overall intelligence.

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