A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Saturday, May 17, 2008



Yes, folks, it's that time of week again when we proudly parade the important felines in our life for all to see.

This week's star goes by the alternate monicker of "Chatters To Flies.

Why, you ask. Well. It goes like this. Zingiber, that's the orange lump reposing on the bed up there, and the background is green because we have to protect our bedclothes from Duuude-y-fur (that's another one of his nicks), of which more later, but where were we? Oh, yes, Zingiber. We find (based, of course, on our relatively limited personal experience) that orange cats tend to be just a wee bit ... daft. OK, stupid. Not overly blessed with brain cells.

Zingiber, unfortunately, is worse than most.

His sheer terror of anything even slightly unfamiliar has caused Gojira Helen Wheels (who has a big crush on him) to adopt his frantic, frenzied behaviour in rushing under the bed the minute anyone knocks on the front door downstairs. He doesn't come out until long after they're gone. Unless, of course, he forgets they're there, which happens quite regularly, and then he strolls downstairs &mdash no, make that waddles downstairs &mdash spots the invader, freezes with an expression of horrified panic, then shrieks loudly, shattering everyone's eardrums. He then either exits the house at high speed, yowling in terror, or he rushes back upstairs (also yowling in terror) and hides under the bed again.

Consider that the bed is a mere 4-6 inches above the floor. Consider that Zingiber weighs approximately 20 lbs. You begin to see that there might be some difficulty here. Yes, he drops onto his belly, flattens himself, and uses his powerful forearms to literally drag his flattened ass under the bed. Not being blessed with wisdom, he often leaves his entire tail hanging out. But we're much too nice to drag him out by it. Not above grabbing it and waving it around like a little brush, though.

Why he behaves like this, we have no idea. Zingiber was born to a teenage calico who lived with a very very nice lady (how nice? She would come home and cook scrambled eggs, chicken livers, chopped steak, broiled chicken thigh, and poached fish for the cats before sitting down to her own dinner). As far as we can tell, he never had an unpleasant experience in his yoof, being an indoor kitten and greatly loved and spoiled.

Never met a dog. Never met an unfriendly cat. Never met a stranger (till we showed up to cart him off). Never had an unpleasant experience. Nevertheless, the little fucker has only one brain cell and it is set to Terror Level Self-Destructing Scarlet. He's frightened of mice, fercrisake.

At any rate, when Zingiber first came to live with us, La Casa de Los Gatos was ruled (with an iron paw) by the late, dearly-beloved Faridah Peeples. Faridah was a handsome mediumhaired tuxedo kitty with a tail that really belonged between two stanchions. She was exceedingly smart, very clean and tidy (her litterbox had to be cleaned immediately after every use and washed monthly. She showed her displeasure with inadequate service by pooping and peeing discreetly over the bathtub drainpipe. Her white shirtfront was always spotlessly white, and the pink of her pawpads was the perfectly rosiest pink ever. Faridah would never ever permit schmutz to build up in her eyes or on her nose, paws, coat, or tail.

As you can imagine from his photograph, Zingiber is not, generally speaking, an active cat. In fact, apart from a brief foray outdoors in the evenings, he is usually found in the exact same position as above. All damn day. He is also quite the pigpen, needing his face and other bits cleaned fairly regularly because (1) it doesn't occur to him to clean himself, and (2) he's too fat to get to some of the choicer bits. We tried putting him on a diet, but had to bag the idea because he really does yowl nonstop if he can't find his 17th or 18th meal of the day.

Faridah did not suffer piggishness in Her Environment (and as far as she was concerned, that meant anyplace she was at, theoretically extending to the limits of the planet). She was not above punching anyone or thing out as a firm reminder of who set the rules.

One fine day, Zingiber betook himself downstairs to the dining-room, and, as luck would have it, a fly had somehow effected an entrance to the house and was busy buzzing about, as flies will. Zingiber so far forgot himself as to sit down next to the fly (it was resting on the floor at that point) and began chattering to it. It was the funniest sight. He wasn't chattering the way cats do when they see prey. It was more sort of an amiable, "let me sit next to you here and tell you about my day" chatter. And he seemed upset that it would not chatter back.

In comes Faridah, thick velvety tail lashing from side to side (the mere sight of the kittens irritated the bejaysus out of her, we have no idea why). She stopped to look at FurBoy, who was still chattering amiably. She turned to look at the fly. Then she hauled off and whacked him right across the face with a pawful of claws.

You could almost read her thought-bubble: What a feckin' disgrace to cats everywhere, ya stoopid eejit, talkin' to flies.

So that's how DingyFur became "Chatters to Flies."

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At 11:23 PM, Blogger Sandy-LA 90034 said...

Zingiber -- how do you pronounce his name?

You had me laughing out loud at this recitation!

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Christy said...

me too! i love caturday at La Casa de Los Gatos.

At 2:28 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Sandy, Christy, so glad you enjoyed it.

Zingiber's name is pronounced Zin, as in Zinfandel, jee, as in the letter G, ber as in purr. He really is huge. When he sits on our laps he can wrap his fat little paws around our necks and his sides hang over our edges. What a lump!


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