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Friday, April 2, 2010

CATS WITH ATTITUDES

caterpillar


You get a line and I'll get a pole and we'll go down to the crawdad hole. That's Tim White of Bristol, VA, singing. The only friend I've got now is that good old dog of mine and the little old log cabin in the lane. Tim White again. Listening to a Tim White album, With Banjo & Friends, You Asked For It. It's an album I picked up at Bobby Patterson's Heritage Shop at Woodlawn. Tim White plays banjo, participates in magic tricks, tells jokes and sings with the VW Boys, a bluegrass band out of Bristol. Tim also painted the mural on the side of the Mountain Music Museum in Bristol. I went to the Mountain Music Museum website to see if I could find a picture of the mural. My computer is acting up these days and it locked down trying to bring up pictures and I had to turn it off and start over. It wasn't the site that did it. It's the computer. I need a new one, but dread it. This computer is so slow I click and wait for water to boil every time. It gets old in a hurry. What it does is keep me away from the computer. It inhibits wanting to look much of anything up. As soon as I wander off the course just a little bit, the computer freezes and that's it. Turn it off and start again waiting for water to boil.


I bought 2 cds of Tim White and 2 of Johnny Williams. Thought I'd do the radio show Saturday morning, half hour of each. I've listened to all 4 by now and they 're all good. That's only to say it's mountain music. All mountain music is good. Jimmy Martin sings 2 possum songs. Johnny Williams has recently joined Big Country Bluegrass. One of his cds I found was Grass Tank with Jeff Michael and Lynwood Lunsford. Lunsford is new with Big Country Bluegrass now. He played banjo with Jimmy Martin awhile and Lost & Found. Jeff has been with Big Country a long time. Good musicians all the way around. I often recall something Scott Freeman of Alternate Roots and Skeeter & the Skidmarks said when I said to him that AR was good band. He said, There's a lot of good bands. He was right.


The cats have been driving me nuts. They all want to be where I am at all times, eating what I'm eating, wanting, wanting. It makes me crazy for a few minutes when both TarBaby and Tapo must be between my arms here at the keyboard. They weren't in fighting mood. They just both wanted to be in the same place. It was fine with them that they'd immobilized my arms. I had to break out laughing. I opened a little jar of Pounce Moist Chicken Flavor candy treats. They both got as much as they wanted until they were satisfied and went off to find a place to squat down and lick their fur awhile. That was easy.

It was warm today, so I kept the window open for TarBaby to go out and do whatever he does when the dogs are around. After the dogs left, I opened the screen a little so Caterpillar could go out and return at will. I'm about to break TarBaby of waking me in the morning just to see me be annoyed. I've always given in, which only trained him to believe I like the game too. I don't like the game and now pull the cover over my head, tell him to leave me alone and don't respond. Eventually, he gives up and goes to another room or outside. Then I can rest in peace. He likes to walk on the radio, too, to wake me. He's learned the buttons on top make sounds happen. He'll walk around on it until the sound starts and then he's satisfied. I leave a cd case on top of the buttons, but he pushes it aside when he wants to play with me. I'm of about 3 minds with it. One, it's annoying. Two, it's fascinating because it's a cat playing tricks with a cat's sense of humor. Three, it's funny. When he starts the radio going like that to wake me, it first annoys me, then I reflect how fascinating it is to have a cat playing tricks on me, then how funny all of it is. Because I always end up laughing, it encourages him to wake me, so it has become an every morning thing.


This week I've become humorless about it. It's not funny any more. Tar Baby doesn't quite know how to take it now that it's not funny any more. I'm simply tired of it. He still thinks it's a fun game. When I pull the cover over my head, lying on my side, he steps onto the side of my head with all four feet and sits down to stay awhile. When he wants my attention, he will not be ignored. But he doesn't ask much. A few minutes of attention, holding the cat, petting the cat, talking the cat, goes a long ways, like a rechargeable battery. A little bit of positive attention and these cats run a couple days on it. Every 3rd day. It makes a good balance. They all get equal attention. They take turns. When one is getting attention, the other two leave us alone. They've never been jealous, because I've treated them with equal affection since they were born, given them equal time.


A little while ago, Tapo was here between my arms on the cushion between the edge of the desk and the keyboard. TarBaby was wanting attention. He jumped up here and thought about it awhile, then stepped inside the small arena, Tapo watching him wondering whether or not she ought to hiss, though he didn't look or act like he was wanting to harass her. He just wanted inside the circle with her and she was ok with that. Then it turned into close quarters for Tapo and she got up and left, what TarBaby was waiting for. Now he had the arena of my attention to himself.
Who says cats can't think and figure things out? He knows it's against the rules to run Tapo off by annoying her when she's with the giant. So he joins her without annoying her and she's fine with it, until it's not comfortable anymore when TarBaby sits down, too snug,and she doesn't even like being that close to TarBaby, at all, and can't figure out why she let him in. Nothing to do but get up and go someplace else. TarBaby took the place he wanted peacefully. I can't say anything about that. He very carefully manipulated Tapo so there was never a hiss or a growl. He knew she couldn't take the crowded condition very long. He's done it before. He's a funny cat. I can't help but laugh at his mischief. It's always harmless and truly funny. Tapo's jokes are funny and harmless too. When Caterpillar grew out of kitten, she quit playing, as far as I could tell. She's sober Caterpillar who rules because she's the biggest and fights like a wild animal. She likes going outside at night with the dogs gone. It gives her a chance to be on her own, by herself.


Cats are solitary creatures that like to be alone, but the need companionship too. They need a cat friend to lick those hard to reach places like the top of the head and back of the neck. Sometimes, 2 of them will snuggle up and nap together. When they have to pass each other in doorways and trails between the furniture, it's always an issue. Caterpillar inevitably hiss if TarBaby even looks at her. She'll swat at Tapo if she gets close enough to swat. Sometimes TarBaby and Caterpillar will pause and stare at each other, start growling, ears go back, eyes locked, each one raising a paw in a half cat fighting stance, ready in case the other moves first. They gradually lower the paw, look away and take a few slow steps, then they're on their way. A little annoyance like a toll both, a speed bump.

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