Monday, March 28, 2011

Moving Cats

I have heard tell that getting some groups to go where you want them to go is like herding cats, which, I suppose, truly is impossible. Moving them comes close to that. When we moved into our new house, the cats were quite unhappy.

Murjan let us know his unhappiness. For two days, he stomped through the house, yowling. He would not let us touch him, and when we got near, he would yowl again. He hissed at Intrepid and Simone whenever they approached, which had very different effects on each of them. Then, finally, he got his revenge. I had opened the window a paw-crack wide so he could have a breath of fresh air. Somehow, he managed to push that big heavy glass plate open wider, wide enough to slip out and jump the twenty feet or more to the ground. Intrepid, not being intrepid at all when it comes to the outdoors, was balancing on the windowsill, wanting to follow his big brother but a bit hesitant, when Donnie walked by, instantly understood what was happening, and swooped Intrepid back into the room, and closed the window. Then, he went looking for Murjan. He did not have far to go. Murjan had found what he was looking for: mud in the back yard from all the rain. He had rolled around in it until his pure white coat was pure grey and was standing at the door to be let back in so he could let us know of his unhappiness at the move.

Intrepid would have moved easily. He is an easy-going cat and quite independent. He had to be. He was found as a tiny kitten, looking more like a bird than a kitten, after his mother had apparently died. We don't know if there were other kittens and, if so, what happened to them, but Intrepid is a survivor. He approached the inhabitant of a near-by house, and sitting in the grass outside the door, squawled until someone (a professor at the university in Jordan where I was dean) picked him up, and gave him something to eat. The professor had no idea what to do with a cat, so he brought him to me, and I could hear Intrepid meowing hungrily all the way up to our third-floor flat. Murjan, the alpha cat, raised him. So, when Murjan, after the move, started hissing at him, Intrepid was not about to be intimidated. He kept trotting after him, tapping him lightly when he was ignored, and sitting beside him, which prompted Murjan to hiss and move away and start the whole routine over again. Ultimately, Intrepid won out, and we found Murjan cleaning him as so often in the past. How Murjan got clean, we don't know, but it did happen.

Poor Simone, however, was completely traumatized by Murjan's hissing. Herself a rescued feral cat, she has just very recently, after two years, stopped hissing when someone picks her up. She returned to her old defensive habits and spend entire days hidden under the sofa. Once Murjan returned to his old self, however, she timidly moved out from the sofa and started exploring the rest of the house.

The cats seem to like the new house now. We have also purchased cat-proof screening and Donnie is in the process of rescreening all the windows. Sheesh! Had we known it was so important to the cats, we might have asked their permission (or at least opinion) before buying the house!

All's well that ends well. Our grandson likes the house. At least, he likes the lemon tree. That's something!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Golf Afficionado Cat

I thought I might take a light approach and share pictures of our cat, Simone, who loves to watch golf. It is the strangest thing because Donnie and I neither play nor watch golf. However, one day as a news item on a local gold tournament was playing on the television, Simone, the feral cat we trapped and tamed two years ago, stopped in her tracks as she was passing the TV and sat watched the entire ad. Now we turn on the tournaments for her, and she will watch for 20-30 minutes. She loves chasing the golf ball -- stands on her hind legs and reaches for it with her paw. Her little head goes back and forth, watching the ball ping around the golf course. For a smile, here are the pictures.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hitchcock Comes to the Mahlou Residence

Yes, indeed, it was a Hitchock-like affair at the old Mahlou residence earlier this week. Donnie and I have moved (one of the reasons I have been absent from the blogosphere for the past month -- that and the fact that I just this past week received my replacement computer after three months of repair effort failed, along with a heavy travel schedule, about which I should mention that I am currently traveling, taking a respite for some work in North Carolina before heading to Qatar tomorrow). Perhaps someone out in blogland has a better explanation of what happened to us than my assumption that Hitchcock came to visit. Actually, it was a rooster that came to visit.

After purchasing a new home and moving everything the six blocks south and up to a hilltop, we returned to our old home to clean and pack out a few final items. When we drove up into the driveway, it was already evening. First, we turned on the light in the shed and divided the few items still there for trash or final moving later in the week when we would have a truck. Then we headed to the house. That is when I saw the really big, white rooster strutting into the shed. Shooing him out, I turned off the light and locked the door.

Assuming that the rooster would disappear, not ever having had any visit us before that I could remember while living in this particular house (although we had raised one in our former house), Donnie and I walked up the stairs onto the deck and into the house. As we were cleaning the floor, I heard a knocking at the door. I went to open it, and, to my surprise, it was the rooster pecking at it and urgently wanting to enter.

"Go away now," I tried to shoo him off and closed the door. That did not deter him. Soon, we heard beating at the window. It was the rooster, wanting to come in. Suddenly, it was as is we were being besieged.

Unsure of how to handle the situation and concerned that perhaps the rooster was rabid or crazy, Donnie and I sneaked out the front door and came around to the back, where the deck is, to get into the car. We hoped that the rooster had gone, but no, there he sat, patiently or impatiently waiting. For what?

We think that perhaps he had made friends with our cats and was now missing them. But who knows? We are willing to consider other possible explanations if anyone wants to offer them.

In any event, we drove away. Out of curiosity, I asked Donnie to drive around the block. He did, and when we drove past our house again, the rooster was in the same spot. I suppose, though, he has since left!

We have not returned. Our new house is on a hill overlooking San Ignatio. We are looking forward to some peaceful days and evenings there. At the same time, it is walking distance from the mission, a requirement that made the decision whether or not we would buy a house. This house has it all: proximity to the mission, sweeping views, spacious living (although I am not sure why we need spacious living now that all the kids are grown and gone). Still, it was the house that fell into our hands, so I think we are supposed to have it. At least, I am taking it that way. Besides, crazy roosters don't make it that far up, so we can rest assured that we will not be besieged again.

Search This Blog