Wednesday, September 07, 2005

On How I Was Suckered Into a Life of Servitude

Nine years ago this week, I made the mistake of going to the SPCA with Hulio to "look at" cats and "consider" getting a pet. I probably don't even need to continue typing this story out; everyone already sees the ending coming from a mile away. I could have gotten the sleepy little tawny kitten who looked like Simba. I could have gotten the grey tiger stiped kitty who played with my shoelaces. I could have gotten the little male calico with the blue eyes. But nooooo, I had to fall for the oldest scam in the book. She climbed right up into my lap and started purring and my head was instantly filled with visions of cozy evenings reading with a purring kitty curled up in my lap. Next thing I knew, I was at Petsmart, buying litter boxes and dishes and Kitten Chow.

And, of course, once we got home, she wanted nothing to do with me. Absolutely nothing. Except in the middle of the night, when she insisted on sleeping in the middle of my chest. The old bait-and-switch.

As a kitten, she was aloof and unfriendly, especially to my boyfriends, who she seemed to regard as intruders on her territory. She tolerated me-- after all, I control the kitty treats-- and I spoke German to her. In fact, my nickname has its origins in this habit, as I continually referred to her as Jenna Katze, making "Katze" one of the first and only German words that my friends recognize. To this day, there are certain words and phrases that she will only respond to if they are in German. No one ever believed me because

Her real, actual name is Genevieve. No particular reason, it just seemed to fit. Thanks to Hulio's intervention, however, it morphed into Jenna. Which has its own set of connotations, some negative, some positive, some just strange. The only time I ever call her Genevieve is when I yell at her or when I sing the "Whisker Song", which starts out "Oh Genevieve, Oh Genevieve, how lovely are your whiskers!" (to the tune of "O Tannenbaum", just in case you were wondering). There are several verses because I am strange and get punchy around exam time.

Over the years, she's mellowed considerably and turned into a very cuddly, snuggly cat. She loves belly rubs more than anything. But she still has a bit of the coquette about her, flipping over and arching her back to display the fluffy, long fur on her belly, only to jump up and run away when you try to rub it. Then she plops over again, just out of reach and does the same thing. My friends still fall for it. I've learned to just ignore her after the first time.

She's a very talkative cat, too. I think she may have some siamese blood in her. You can ask her questions or call he name and she will meow back as though trying to converse. She has a funny little chirpy meow that means "PAY ATTENTION" and when she gets upset, she sounds like she's yowling "NOOOO!" and "HELLO!". This amuses my friends and family to no small end and people will try to bait her into "talking" to them.

She's got a sweet tooth. Strange little beast will turn up her nose at fresh tilapia, but has stolen Hostess Apple Pies and Pocky, to name just two memorable occasions. And she will chew into plastic grocery bags to get at muffins or donuts.

Nine years of vacuuming cat hair off the couch and the midnight crazies. Nine years of purring and secret snuggles. It's been a good life together.

4 Comments:

At 11:31 AM , Blogger Kunstem√¶cker said...

I used to love cats and then one day I discovered how much fun dogs are. But seeing they don't have an "off" switch, I prefer cats again.

 
At 12:44 PM , Blogger EEP said...

A pocky eating cat! brilliant!

 
At 4:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna's still around, right? This isn't a eulogy, is it?

Luneray

 
At 6:44 AM , Blogger Finbar said...

All I know is that I offered to buy us a dachshund, but no, you said...

 

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