This was taken a while back. You remember Snowpocalypse? Then.
To the subject of now, which is, Bugsie playing claw-launch on my person at 3:30 a.m.
Of all the theories all y’all came up with to explain what he could be doing, the one theory that made the very least sense to me was that he was, simply, playing.
By me, my friends, nuh-UH he was NOT. The way I was feeling, no way could I hear that. To me it was clearly predation. Foraging. You know. Nature red in tooth and claw.
This just goes to show that all the heady-info in the world can’t help a Bean who’s laboring under the burden of fear and worry. I knew, intellectually, that cats practice their predation and foraging by play. I knew that. But again, until Bugs and I got to the place of me feeling some freedom from the constant fear and worry I was under
Well let me stop from going on with the philosophical point I wanted to make. One more piece of information I’d like you to know.
This morning Bugsie was even sweeter than I’ve been reporting over the past couple of days. This morning he dispensed totally with the claw-launch and even so much as mere gestures in that direction. He just skipped right over it. He went straight to the walking (not charging or leaping, I said walking or shall we say sashaying) over, and purring and head-butting and tail-wrapping. At 6:30. Not 3:30 or 4:30. 6:30.
Pause for frenzied celebration.
Next he walked down my legs and tapped my foot. At this point I said, “You know, Bugs, let’s not go there (Jackson Galaxy’s ‘no’). Let’s think of something else. Like – oh gee, I don’t know, what about something to eat?” (With Bugs, you can just imagine what a big “yes” this is, where this food-monster is concerned.)
So that’s what I mean, when I say we’ve got me some freedom from fear and worry. Like:
:: YES! ::
So now, halleluyah, I can contemplate the play concept.
The other day I was over at PetSmart. They had kittens. Oh my yes, they had kittens. So I spent a while hanging out with the kittens.
Three little scraps of neuro-ballisto-crazypantsness in particular. I mean these guys tore UP their cage. Everything was flying. Litter-box, water, fur, bed wadded up in the corner, man, it was total wild kitty-chaos.
What I saw, though, was that no matter how hard they
fought played with each other, they stayed safe. I saw one guy on his back and the other guy standing over him. The guy on his back was doing the bunny-kick thing on standing-guy’s belly. Standing-guy was raking bunny-guy with his paws, all over bunny-guy’s face even including ears and, scariest of all, eyes. The third little guy was playing slap-shot hockey with whichever tail showed up in reach.
And then presto-chango – bunny-guy became paw-guy became tail-guy and so on, round and round we go.
Here’s the thing: No hissing, no biting. No blood. No detached body-parts.
Just all-out neuro-ballisto-crazypantsness.
So, I thought. Play. The concept of Play. Maybe Bugs really was playing. Maybe he just never had the experience, to
fight play with his age-appropriate, species-appropriate litter-mates. Maybe he was just stuck on crazypants-play, with me. With no possible way – with me cowering in fear and worry – for poor Bugs to get that he couldn’t fight play with me like he could have done with his littermates. Or, as commentator OldCat said on last post: “Cats roughhouse with each other and our lack of fur can throw off the bite force calibration.”
Don’t you just love the authoritative ring of that? “Bite force calibration”? Sounds like NASA! Don’t you hear how it really works, to convey this picture: Fur-less, naked, skinny-skin me! Bite-force calibration! Yow!
But now, these days, with Bugsie getting the message and me getting happy –
We’re working this thing out. Or maybe it’s already worked out. After a year and a half, an overnight success.
Enough with the words. I went back to PetSmart, after I knew I was going to write this post, and took some pictures of some kittens. Stills, unfortunately, and no way can they possibly do justice to the crazypantsness of it all. But you know cats, so you can fill in the blanks.
I shot these while I was still hoping that continuous-shoot might work kinda-sorta.
Then I gave that up and just took snaps. Here’s a gallery. Prepare to faint from total cuteness overload.
And Mr. Bugs. Given he’s the star in my firmament. This time with yellow accents, to pick up the gold in his eyes.
And the shadow theme?
I dedicate this post to my dear friend and NVC colleague Pattie. Pattie probably invented the “play” concept. This morning the following phrase, lightly accented in dulcet Texas overtones, just popped on out of her mouth:
“Why, she’s just jumping over her own shadow.”