Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Lucy Experience

   
Today is Lucy’s Gotcha Day. Since I don't know her birthday, I decided to celebrate an anniversary of her coming home instead. Which naturally means that a post is due.

The name I chose for this wee one is good, fits her perfectly, but there are times where I think that if I hadn't found that name, I might've called her Charlie instead and this is why



Yes, that is how her legs look, like the mutant offspring between a ballet dancer and Charlie Chaplin. Not surprisingly, she also has an abundance of nicknames, including monkey girl, fuzzbutt, noodle, my little turtledove, Lucy Magoo, Lucy Goo and the list goes on. The turtledove moniker refers to one of her many sounds, this one sounded like a dove cooing. She has many other ways of talking, including variations of chirrups, a melodious yodel when she wants to play, a positive plethora of squeals, chirrups and trills when there’s food involved, as well as a vocalization that I have named a merp. This one happens throughout the day, when she jumps up on my lap, when she jumps down from the bed or the couch, when she wants to have a chat and it can best be described as sounding like merp. When she sleeps - and this cat sleeps harder than any one, human or animal, I've ever known - she'll wake up occasionally squealing madly, which is a sign that I have to come settle her. I don't know if she's dreaming, checking that I'm still here or complaining that she's awake.

 
Lucy is smart. At times, a scary kind of smart and I am just happy that she doesn't have opposable thumbs. I have a theory that she watches how people do things and then tries to do the same. In this way, she has moved a bag of cat food out, removed the clip, unrolled the bag to gain access to food and she’s figured out how to tuck herself into my bed, so she lies with her head on my pillow, covered properly with a blanket. She knows how to turn on the tap in the bathroom sink and moves bucket so she can stare fixedly at the baseboard and learns everything incredibly quickly. And then there are the moments where she is beyond dimwitted and oblivious, in an utterly charming way.



She is the sweetest, most good-natured animal I have ever met and you can do anything to her. Play bongo drums on her flank and she's ecstatic because it means she's being touched, try to pull her by the tail and all she focuses on is the ham in front of her and a year in, she has never been even slightly irritated. She loves me in a way no other pet ever has.- I am very obviously her mommy, which is not a name I ever thought I‘d use about myself in the context of a pet, but there's nothing for it. I'm her mommy. She spends a lot of time on my lap, runs to me if she's startled, needs a cuddle after the evil David has cut her nails and every now and again, if there is a strange sound in the hallway, she will place himself between me and front door, a deep rumble coming from her throat. Yep. Part Doberman.


Lucy has a passion for dried bread products, often stealing my morning toast before I get to it and if I had as much as think of a cracker, she's on my lap ready to gnaw away at it. She also enjoys licking plastic, chewing chip bags (doesn't care for the chips at all - Mojo, who’d lose all her manners for potato chips, would be disgusted at her lack of priorities) and above all else, chewing ziplocks. I thought I was really good at cat proofing, but it turns out that Mojo was an exceptionally well behaved, respectful and careful feline. Or maybe it's Lucy. Part of the general mayhem around my place these days is due to her having not  one ounce of elegance, grace or dignity, which means in the normal course of her moving around - and she moves around a lot - her clumsiness has casualties. And then there's her level of curiosity pushes the boundaries of cat proofing well into an Olympic sport. For instance, it had never occurred to me that straws could be a cat toy until Lucy started pulling the straws out of my drinks


and then of course there are the times when she carefully (about the only time she's careful) and inevitably pushes things off various surfaces when she thinks I should be paying attention to her. One of these surfaces was my bedside table and the object to push off was a cup of water. Into my bed. In the middle of the night. With hours still to go before the attendant comes in the morning to help me get up. Thus giving me a taste of what decrepit old age and incontinence will feel like. I have therefore given Lucy a superhero name: Destructo Lass. All we need now is a cape.

  
She's an excellent writer’s cat, often jumping up on my desk when I'm working to be part of the activities. Or more often, to interrupt the activities. She'll walk on my keyboard (which at times results in her starting various programs), stand on the keyboard blocking the monitor, purring so hard the desk vibrates, throw herself down across a keyboard to get her belly rubbed and it's better than a timer program to get me to take a break and rest my shoulders while I commune with the cat. If I don't pay enough attention, she'll turn off my computer.


The throwing herself down on various surfaces also happens when my mother comes to visit her grandcat. When Lucy is very happy - and she always is when grandma’s here – she floofs her tail (her hair is too straight to fluff, so her version offered is more of a floofing), then she gets her front down, tucks her head to one side and the next step is usually throwing herself down on the surface (called timbering, because it's with as inevitable a force as a tree falling), rolling on the back to get her belly rubbed. It's irresistible.




Lucy makes me laugh out loud many times a day, has me saying her name with that exasperated tone that only the parent of a particularly accident prone/destructive child has and brings a ridiculously sappy smile on my face when she does something endearing. Which is all the time. We are very, very happy together

    

16 comments:

AlisonH said...

Perfect. Thank you for starting my day with such a smile.

zoom said...

I absolutely love that picture of her drinking from a straw.

LynnM said...

Zoom beat me to it.  That straw pic is class! Go Lucy! 

Diane said...

You two are clearly made for each other!  

One of my daughter's cats used to drink out of my water glass; I would use my knitting needle gauge to discourage her.

Joyce said...

Your stories remind me of my parents' last cat.  She also would play with straws.  She had a passion for cheese and homemade turkey jerky.  If you were eating turkey jerky, she would jump up and get as close to your mouth as possible to try and snatch the jerky away.  I am also familiar with the "merp" noise. I think it is like a human saying "ooph" when she sits down...

Meg said...

What a marvelous cat!  Our Rosie makes the merp sound frequently, usually she wants to know what you are doing and to have a chat, but also when she just woke up and wants to know what is going on now.  And she also licks any plastic she can find - I've never known another cat to do that.  Lucy seems to have her beat on the rest of it though!  Aren't cats the most wonderful companions? 

Wren said...

What a delightful post, Lene! Happy Gotcha Day to Lucy and to you. Cats really are very special companions, aren't they? I chuckled when you said Lucy steals the straws out of your drinks to play with, as my mother's little ladycat Kitty-Kitty does it too. I'd never seen such a thing! And what's so fun about a straw? Well, K-K just loves them and has at least six, chewed flat over time, hidden under the coffee table and several more tucked into strategic play spots all over Mom's townhouse. She's a hoot.

I'm glad you have such a sweet wee buddy to share your days and nights with.

Kitten said...

Your cat looks like my cats.  Whose names are Cat, and Cat.  Cuz you can't say Sh!thead in front of the children.  Much.

Marie said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post.  I just love cats and all their ways and I love hearing and reading about other people's cats.  You certainly got a winner there.  She's precious.

Laurie said...

A friend sent me this post as she knows I love cats. What a joy and entertainment they are - right now I have five! One is a "merper" as well, one "meeps" and one goes "m-e-e-e-eh" like a tiny goat. The other two don't talk much.
I will enjoy following your stories - you are a great writer and it is nice to have "met" you! ("merp"!)

Gaina said...

Ah, I'm so glad you're happy together <3 I did laugh at the bit about her nicking drinking straws. It's funny what they go for isn't it?  Billy runs away with Peppermint Tea bags.

Gaina said...

forgot to subscribe...again. :P

laura said...

Lucy=Light.  She sounds like the best reason to clone a pet that I hae ever heard of.  If I could have a cat like Lucy, then I'd hae a cat!  I love the descriptio of Merp.  Also, there needs to be a note/post card set with her "drinking" out of your straw and other antics.

AlisonH said...

Now Lucy-her, now you don't.

Diana said...

What a dear! My child cat is Buddha, who loves to pull pins out of things. (I hide all the pincushions) Our cat Moonie loves to "stop, drop and roll" whenever new humans enter the house (like the old fire safety tip).
Our Basil often mews worridly when she wakes up alone and I need to wend my way back to the bedroom (where she likes to sleep on our pillows) to comfort her.

Knitnana said...

I love Lucy!
:)
I'm so glad you found each other!