The cats respond to Nola’s complaints and are they miffed

Published 10:21 pm Saturday, August 4, 2007

We have some strife going on in the Sullivan household.

The cats overheard Nola talking to me the other day and they have a few things to say in response.

The long-suffering Buddy let senior cat Rosie, the grandkitty, and junior cat Tiger, the church cat, do most of the talking, especially Rosie. He commented at the outset that he couldn’t possibly get in a word edgewise once they got started anyway.

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Boy, did they have a lot to say. I’m sure everyone in the neighborhood heard all the caterwauling.

Rosie, who is never at a loss for words, opened for the defense.

First of all, she said, the idea of a gawky, clumsy puppy who can’t keep her nose out of anything and who doesn’t watch where she puts her oversize paws calling them rude is the height of temerity

Why that spoiled child steps on them and then laughs when they complain. She also has a bad habit of grabbing their tails with her mouth and trying to drag them around.

Rosie gives me a hard look when she says she can’t imagine who spoils the brat since no one around here ever spoiled her. I try hard to keep a straight face.

Further, she says, she wants to keep her figure and if she were to play chase with a puppy – Heaven forbid! – she might become skinny again. She doesn’t like skinny, she says. She’s been skinny before. The only reason she allowed our daughter and son-in-law to adopt her off the streets of Baton Rouge in the first place was so she could get over the shame of being skinny.

I mildly asked if she would like to return to living with Katie and Brad who don’t have a dog, at least not yet. Of course, I didn’t say “not yet” to Rosie.

Still, that question caused a real uproar. She said they wouldn’t keep her when they had her, and she is such a perfect cat, and then they go and adopt two more cats. PUH-lease! Going back to them would make her the junior cat again and she is so much older than those mongrel cats they have now.

Rosie then stabs her tail straight up in the air and stalks (waddles) off. See if you can get through to him, she tells Tiger.

Tiger said she enjoys playing chase, at least a little, but the puppy won’t play fair, she says. The arrogant so-and-so never lets Tiger chase her and then she actually catches her sometimes and gets her mouth all over Tiger’s coat, she said. Tiger said she works hard to keep herself groomed and she doesn’t appreciate having to lick dog slobber off her exquisite coat.

Worst of all, when she can make it to a place to leap to safety, the dog tries to come up after her and knocks over and breaks things and sometimes, if Genie and I don’t see what is happening, we blame her for what gets broken.

She acknowledges she likes to rub up against things and sometimes knocks them over, but lately most of the knocked over stuff has come from her trying to escape from the slobbering mouth of that rude puppy we brought home for no good reason at all that she can see. Cats are much better than dogs, she opines. Even kittens have better manners than puppies, she says.

She wants to know why I put Nola’s antics in a column and not in the police reports where they belong, in her opinion.

She watches me carefully as she explains all this and when my expression never changes, she just sighs, pokes her tail straight up, and goes off in a different direction than Rosie — the two females really don’t get along, they are just allied against Nola.

Buddy looks at me and says, dad, let’s have a little man-to-man.

Something has to be done about Nola, he says. She’s wrecking this household, literally.

I nod and remind him of Hunter with whom he loved to sleep, often nose-to-nose. I tell him that one day Nola will be like that and the two of them will be sleeping nose-to-nose.

Buddy gives me a world-weary look and slumps down, finally turning over on his back and going to sleep. I don’t wake him to remind him that Nola sometimes sleeps on her back also.

Yes, the next 18 months or so are going to be interesting, if Nola follows the two-year pattern of growing up and settling down, and obviously I’m going to have to listen to a lot of complaining on both sides of this cat-dog divide — and do a lot of refereeing — if there is to be any peace in this family.

Already, though, I have noticed that Nola doesn’t give chase every time a cat walks past her as she did when we first brought her home. Hopefully, she soon will outgrow that, but I doubt that will be end the complaints from the cats. After all, we have a household full of spoiled brats, cats as well as the dog.