Spare Change and the Bengal

-by Mark Pennington

Our cats never stop making life interesting here. There is always something happening that always remind us that we are not at the top of the totem pole in the house as most of us incorrectly assume we are. Small lessons here and there that the cats share with us. Our cats are apparently are democrats, which is disconcerting for a republican two foot. How do I know this you ask? It’s their constant need to bring change to their environment. Change. Let me see if I can demonstrate this and the lengths that they will go to in order to share with me their belief that there must be change. Any change will do, cool change, climate change, spare change and even loose change. Henry David Thoreau said “things do not change; we change” , Henry didn’t have Bengals.

When we go to a cat show we carry with us a whole ton of stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. Recently I found a big clothing storage thingy at Wal-Mart and thought that will enable me to carry more stuff to the cat shows. I was right, it can fit two sets of cage curtains and all kinds of other things in it. So we added that to our stuff to take to the shows. This of course meant we needed a dolly to carry the thing that had all the stuff. It was necessary for us to make changes in how we packed for those cat exhibition trips to far off places. Change is good, right?

Now sometimes after a show when we get home at 2am it’s hard to get everything we took with us back inside. How on earth we had so much stuff with us has to be another story and will require a CSI to unravel the convoluted thought process that happens when we are packing to go. When we get home, we drag ourselves and our stuff back in. It all makes it in the front door and into the front living room area. We don’t use that area for sitting. We used to. It change when girls in heat ruined our couch that now sits in the garage. The room was changed from the two foots living room to the cats play room. Its roomy, has windows and now no couch to get in the way of using the dolly we bought as a ride. The hardwood floor was a must have when we built this home. Wish I had thought that through as the cats have been able to utilize Feng Shui to create change and conveniently allows for some kind of a twisted cat version of extreme sports. Have you seen a cat ride a dolly that’s been pushed by other cats? Do you know that a dolly will break low cabinets that have glass fronts to enclose the valued knick knacks you didn’t want the cats to get to?

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (circa 180AD) said: “The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” Jean Mill didn’t have the first Bengals, it had to be Marcus.  He got that idea from watching a Bengal change its universe. Someone once said “ If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.” Again, a Bengal. For example, we have a decent, not ritzy (we have bengals) chandelier in our dining room, under which is a rather large table that we don’t use for much. When I say we, I mean the two footed population. The Bengals use it a lot. We will put our clean laundry there in empty hopes someone will pick it up and put it away. Of course, the Bengals appreciate our procrastination. Well, again, change is well thought out by our Bengal troop. I had placed that big storage box full of stuff from the cat show on a cardboard box beside the table that was also full of stuff from the most recent cat show. I put the storage box on top so that the cats wouldn’t get in the stuff in the cardboard box. I strategically placed the boxes in an area that would encourage someone to put them away (or continue to trip over it). The cats sensing an opportunity for change began tearing up the cardboard box that the storage box had been placed over to protect (rather than put it away of course) So my wife puts the storage box  in the “hope someone puts this away spot” on the dining room table because she had been duped into the position of putting the stuff from the other box away. The two foot was completely unaware of the nefarious  plans of the Bengal clan. This box was moved, but not moved to the correct position requiring the cats to further plot its movement to the preferred place in order to initiate the change they desired.

At approximately 5am this morning Fergie put the final stage of this, now notorious, plan (that has hence been dubbed “Operation Obama- We can change”) into motion. Fergie leapt into action and used the storage box as a launching pad to the aforementioned chandelier where she was able to hang and swing. This brought every cat into the dining room, including one very overweight rescue named Pebbles. Now you must understand that Pebbles is old and slow. She is affectionately called “Chunkybutt” due to her ummm, let’s say skill, at eating. Prior to her transition to raw and feeding schedules she would waddle up to the kibble dish and lay down and eat. When she backs out of the litter box she goes beep-beep-beep-beep.

Once all the cats had gathered and the meow fest had began, including the noise of the swinging chandelier that had Fergie attached as a pendulum, my wife walked in, trying to get ready for work, and saw the near disaster. Thinking she had headed off a Cat-astrophe she removed the swinging cat. Being it was early in the morning she was not attuned to the evil lurking behind the kitty grin on Fergies face. Knowing our cats the way she does, she was smug thinking she was thwarting further damage by moving the storage box off the table and beside the wall. Next to which is a antique cabinet upon which sits an antique penny slot machine and….. a very big ceramic bowl where we put all our spare change. It has been collecting there now for 3 years or so. There was a lot of change, I would guess about 500 dollars in change. Now the Bengals have been all over this cabinet for years, can lightly land in the change bowl with no problems. 500 dollars in change is heavy. Very heavy.

Now the storage box is just short enough for Pebbles to be able to jump up on. I can’t stress enough how non aerodynamic she is. She rarely gets off the ground, I would have to pay for an extra seat if we took her on an airline, she has her own gravity. (insert rim shot here) Pebbles found her way on top of the box, and at this point she is very thrilled with herself. And the Bengals were all around her cheering her on. This apparently emboldened Pebbles and she saw a path to the antique cabinet, if she could just clear the 500 dollar ceramic bowl of change.

She couldn’t. The ceramic change bowls weight was overcame perfectly by Chunkybutt resulting in a flipping motion of both cat and bowl. I think it would come as quite a surprise just how far one cat can scatter a bowl of change. It covered the dining room, kitchen and all the way to the front door. Change under chairs, rugs, the previously injured curio cabinet, and the very heavy antique cabinet.

One time, I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed. What I learned from my Bengals today was, if you truly want to understand something, try to change it. That and I am not in control of a dang thing here. We start to pack for next weekend’s show tonight.


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