Thursday, July 04, 2013


When Huck* leaps at something, be it Rannie, who is much smaller than him, or a human who is much larger, there's no arching of the back or bottling of the tail or any of the vocalizations that cats use to psych themselves up and psych their opponent out, he just goes.

I'm not sure if it's the confidence of a kitten play-fighting or the confidence of a cat taking a squirrel. I do know that Bobbi wrestled with him from the time he was just a big kitten to the time he was fully grown, and he loved it, so maybe he thinks the whole world is still game for a little rough-and-tumble. Rannie is not amused.

*We don't know when he was born, but it was some time in the summer of 2010, so we arbitrarily assigned him July the 4th as his birthday. It seemed apropos.


Anonymous said...

Way back when, we brought The Lummox home as a cute cuddly kitten. His 1-year-old sister thought having someone to play with was great....until the kitten grew into 18 lbs of solid cat, and she was only 11 lbs. Took a year, lots of clawing and scrapping plus regular application of water pistols to modify his behavior from "attack&play" to "leave alone." He was, like Huck, an American Red; they seem to grow big.

Old NFO said...

OR he just doesn't care... :-) Happy Independence day by the way!

Robert said...

Sometimes the roll over and "please scratch my belly" pose is just a trick. I've learned to watch the eyes. Sleepy relaxed eyes = safe. Bright wide-open eyes = danger.

Anonymous said...

That's how a properly socialized cat behaves when hunting, Tam. No hesitation, all predator.

Also, Robert, exposing the belly is a greeting and show of trust, not an invitation for rubbing a fuzzy belly. In fact, rubbing the cat's belly then is a violation of the cat's trust.

Per Desmond Morris.

Tam said...

"That's how a properly socialized cat behaves when hunting, Tam. No hesitation, all predator."

Yes. It's also how a kitten behaves when play-fighting, which is partly training for hunting and partly training for fighting and partly WHEEEEEEEEE! ;)

Fred said...

Our miniature tigers really are clones.

Will said...

I think it was British researchers that looked at farm cat groups and compared them to the big cats of Africa. Found no difference, except for physical size.

Robert said...

"exposing the belly is a greeting and show of trust, not an invitation for rubbing a fuzzy belly."

99% of the time, that's exactly what she wants, as evidenced by her rolling over even more, closing her eyes and sounding like a GP40 at idle.

Justthisguy said...

Robert, that ain't like most kittehs. The kitteh of which you speak has obviously had her mind perverted by hanging out with doggies.

When a kitteh wants to say, "Let's play and be friends" he rolls over on his side. When a dog wants to play, he sticks his butt up, goes down on forelegs, sticks tongue out. Completely different.

I believe that at least one human has been badly mauled by a supposedly-tame cougar when she offered to rub its tummy while said cougar was lying on her side. What she should have done, I think, was lain down next to her, exchanged an eye blink, and gently tapped a fore-paw with one of her own.

Kittehs are sensitive about their tummies. I, m'self, have lost blood to some of my cats when I went too far with their tummies.

I do hope that Huck's balls were saved in liquid nitrogen, or something, so that we might have more cats like him.

Justthisguy said...

P.s. I have had maybe a dozen or so cats.

With the exception of Dear Dead Uzi of fond memory, and Lucy, the amazing squirrel-killer (I had an huge collection of squirrel tails she left me) all of my kittehs have been intact tomcats. They may not have lived very long, and they incurred huge Vet bills, but they were very good company.

I mind in particular MacArthur, a very sweety-pie of a tomcat. He had the most euphonious courting voice of any tomcat I've ever heard. He would never spray in my apt, as I pre-empted him by doing that m'self. He would carefully spray each wheel on my truck when I drove up, though, to let the other kittehs know that it was his truck.

Oh God I miss that cat.