Nola just wants to play, but the cats have other ideas

Published 4:16 pm Thursday, May 17, 2007

Buddy, the big, fluffy, yellow, male cat came and plopped on my lap the other morning as I was getting dressed to come into the office.

Poor fellow, he needed a little stroking. The night before had been a little rough for him. Nola had rolled him around on the floor and — Gasp! — licked him. Worse than that, she licked him so that the fur went the wrong way!

Poor Buddy. He’s a big, long-haired, fluff of a cat that is a rag doll, Creole coon cat. What all that means is that as a rag doll cat, he sleeps on his back quite often and can be held upside down without getting nervous, as long as Nola isn’t present, that is. As a coon cat, he quite often dips his paw into his water and then licks if off his paws. Sometimes, we find food in his water, so I think he sometimes tries to wash it, though we have never seen him do that.

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Basically, though, he is the king of a little harem consisting of two female cats, both of whom are neutered, as he is. He has problems with them, too. He says they never show him the respect that a male cat such as he deserves.

As I’ve mentioned before, the true chauvinist of the animal kingdom, besides man, is the male cat. Nothing even approaches a male cat, especially a dominant one, when it comes to chauvinism.

Buddy says his life is one frustration after another. Nola, a dog, and a female one at that, treats him like a play toy. Our grandkitty, Rosie, and the church cat, Tiger, won’t do his bidding and Tiger fights back when he tries to chastise her for not showing him the proper respect.

He wants to know what is a self-respecting male cat supposed to do in such a household.

I had no real advice for him. Nola thinks I’m her personal potty servant. I take her out when she has to handle business. Also, she thinks my trouser legs and shoelaces are play toys. We are working on breaking her of that, but she is one stubborn little — but growing — beast.

Buddy says I’m not telling him anything he doesn’t already know. He says he tries to be gentle with Nola because he knows she’s just a baby, but now she is bigger than he is. Can’t I do something?

I sit there and rub his back — with the fur going in the right direction — and try to think. After all, it’s not yet 4 a.m. Already, we usually close off the living room and let Buddy have the room to himself. He’s not nearly as good at jumping up onto high places as the two girls are when Nola comes nosing around.

I mention that to him and he says that being put in the living room is preventing him from teaching the female cats to have the proper respect for him. Besides, he likes being with his family, just not with Nola, at least not yet.

Buddy acknowledges that he understands that when she grows up, she probably will be a fine dog just like his late friend Hunter.

His problem is the here and now.

I point out to him that he appears to have lost a little weight, which he needed to lose, since Nola moved in.

He gets indignant. After all, he is king of the household and kings need to have a little weight on them to look imposing.

I tell him he would look a lot more imposing if he just lost a pound or two. He responds that I’m one to talk. At 16 pounds the last time he was at the veterinarian’s, losing a pound or two wouldn’t hurt him in the least.

Also, if he lost a little weight, he probably could jump higher and wouldn’t have to hide out in the living room when Nola isn’t in her kennel.

Frankly, he would like it better if she never left her kennel. Sometimes he sleeps on top a blanket we have on top of kennel when Nola is in it — just to tease her, he says.

I stroke his back a little more and tell him I have to finish getting dressed so I can go to work. He’s not impressed. I tell him that if I don’t work, then I won’t be able to buy him food. He turns his head and looks up at me. He’s still not impressed.

What would impress him, he says, is if we could teach Nola some manners and to have the proper respect for a regal male cat.

I tell him that Genie is taking Nola to school for lessons in manners this summer. As for the respect part, well, I decided it best to leave that subject alone as I put him off my lap and finished preparing to go into the office.

Nola slept sweetly and peacefully through the whole conversation.