What is it Lassie? Is Timmy in the Well?
-By Mark Pennington
Apparently, the Tica Trend and The Bengal Bulletin are not highly thought of by my Bengals.
I read and reread these alluring pieces of literature often. They are kept relatively handy sitting on my coffee table in a modest pile of other cat related reading material. Now I know I am not a overly neat or orderly person and lets face it, if you own Bengals, orderly and neat are merely fond memories. Anyway, these literary tidbits are, lets just say, stacked neatly on this well used table. There are also a couple of coasters to reduce stains I guess, though as I look at this table I can't help but think if we just had a few more stains and rings it would begin to look as though it was meant to be that way, sort of an artsy statement, perhaps even trendy in the right neighborhood. Like those inhabited by the regular guests on the Jerry Springer show.
I am sure everyone (or at least those bored enough to read my frantic posts) remembers how I was a bit worried about whether or not my one Bengal girl would eventually get along with my newest fuzzball. I was watching all the hissing and spitting for days. I was beginning to think that a lifelong war was inevitable. Whisper Reign got along well with all the other cats but hated Amber Dreams. And Dreamy was loved by all (except by the one all white Tabby, Jazzy, who hates everyone but me). These two could not and would not stay in the same room. Well, in hindsight, a small and healthy dislike would have been much quieter and far less ummm ... interesting.
These two finally got together in a cat summit meeting of some kind and came to an agreement. They decided that anyone and everyone was fair game for their amusement. And that's when it began. Races, wrestling matches where the top rope is whatever the highest place available happens to be at the moment, Ring around the Chunkybutt, Punish the Persian, Torture the Tabby, and a Bengal favorite-Magazine Tossing for Distance and Style Points. I put those magazines on that damn table 15 or 20 times A DAY. As soon as they are staked neatly in their place a cat flies out of nowhere and will send an entire stack across the entire room. And before they can settle on the floor with their pages torn and frayed, the other one will come from the other direction and show her skill with a three point spin with a full twist and sending her share flying. Those coasters? They make the most amazing ice skates for cats without ice or skates. They can slide the length of that table with ease, and you know what? The coasters can have a drink on them, and they seem to slide just as well.
And you all warned me about being trained by a Bengal, and I admit I am now completely enslaved by these Mistresses of Dark Spots. Forget the fact that I now have to turn on the faucet each and every time I visit the bathroom. Its not bad enough that I have to turn on the faucet in the tub for one of them, but now the other demands that she get her share and that I turn on the water in the sink for her private fountain. Not enough that I am required to stack their magazines for their feline amusement. I am also required to share my Jack in the Box burgers. Oh, its not so bad I guess. I must wait before I eat and tear an equal amount of beef from the edges of all burgers and place on separate napkins to each place on the floor. I separate the girls and set each ones personal napkin on the floor right next to me and right in front of them. They promptly go the the other ones napkin and eat the others beef all the while growling at her sister for eating hers. I have also learned that I should put the food on the floor on in a bowl, not try to feed from my fingers. Now Dreamy is very sweet and gentle and delicately takes her food from my fingertips. Reigny, my extremely sweet and loving kitten that cant stop purring, becomes the cat from the crypt raised by Jason and Freddy Krueger themselves (Horror movie reference for those who don't know who they are). But I digress.
Tonight my training went to yet another level. I was sitting in my big fluffy easy chair just about 30 minutes ago and heard Dreamy being especially mouthy in the kitchen. I, of course, answered her repeatedly. "What Baby?" and "You have so much to say!" and on and on it went. She kept talking and I kept answering. Eventually, I thought I should get up and see what was going on. I looked in the kitchen and she was sitting right in the middle, looking up at me and kept right on telling me what was on her kitty mind. I looked down at her and asked."What is it, Dreamy?" and she calmly walked over to the pantry and put her foot up on the door. I reached over, opened the door and out came Reigny and promptly tackled Dreamy. My first thought was of Lassie and could hear them asking "What Lassie? Is Timmy in the well?" Anyway, apparently she had taken too long to get me to open the door. This tackle instigated a massive chase scene not even rivaled by the Blues Brother movie car chase. It winded from room to room, over me and around me, across my sleeping wife, off walls, chairs, windows and TV's. It eventually brought a loud laugh from down the hall. My son had just lifted the toilet seat to pee and Reigny flew right in, nothing but net! It is amazing how a cat can fall completely into the bowl, never touch the sides and come out damn near dry.
As I write this they both just discovered straws. A .....whole.....BOX..... of..... straws. Sigh.