Thursday, April 22, 2004

Damn It, These Cats Are Smart!

Anyone who knows me knows about my five cats. One of them, Claude, recently shocked the hell out of me and I figured I should write about it.

I first got Claude when I worked at Fargo's. I was behind the counter on a cold sleety day when my manager's voice came over the intercom: "I need someone with a soft heart to come to the office." I went, along with 2 other hostesses. There was Barry, holding a baby kitten in his hands. She was soaked from the sleet outside, shivering and crying. I immediately took her from Barry; she fit in my palm, she was so small. She was pure black with big greenish-yellow eyes. We put her in a box in the back stockroom and tried to give her some milk. When Barbara stuck her milk-covered finger in the box for her, she hissed and swiped her little baby paw at her. She got her name right then: Claude LeMew, after the rough Avalanche player. It didn't matter that she was a She. The name fit.

It still does today. This girl is mean. Even motherhood didn't make her into milk toast. She's had three batches of kittens...we still have one of her babies, Alice Cooper LeMew, and Claude HATES her. She swats at her whenever she walks by. Claude also beats up Murphy who is 12 pounds of cat when she only weighs about 5 at most.

For some reason, as mean as she is, she loves me. I think it might be because I sat with her while she was in labor. Whatever the reason, whenever I go to bed, she's hot on my heels to get to sleep with me. She spends the first 15-20 minutes purring and nudging at my hands to get petted. After I hide my hands under the pillow or the blankets, she calms down, crawls up on me and zonks out.

The other day, I had woke up briefly and decided to go back to sleep. Claude realized I was awake and tried to get my attention. A little history real quick...this is pertinent...when I first got together with my husband, he started this thing he calls Kissy Face. He blows kisses at me, making the smacking noise with his lips and I have to return it. I didn't realize that a cat could pick up on that little ritual but apparently Claude has. To get my attention from under the covers, she jumped up on my shoulders and made the kissy noise! I thought maybe she was just licking her lips loudly so I ignored her. A couple seconds later, she did it again, louder.

I looked up and she was staring at me. "SMACK SMACK SMACK," she said, looking intently at me. I did it back to her and petted her a little bit. She started purring and laid down. It was bizarre!

Cats never cease to amaze me.

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