Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Cat attack

We went to a pet store on Piedmont last night, and got this cat sitter DVD, which is a loop of various stuff meant for feline viewing: video of rats, birds, squirrels, and fish, with a ton of critter sound and super-saturated colors.  The cats went nuts.  Earlier in the day, we were watching some documentary about Nick Drake, and in a street scene, a pigeon flew across the screen, and Loca woke up from a dead sleep, ran into the room, and jumped up in front of the TV.  So I thought she’s get the biggest kick out of it.  But Squeak (pictured) went completely feral over it.  She immediately ran up and sat in front of the TV and stared at the screen, then jumped up and started swatting at the various food groups in action.  And the built-in speakers on our TV are on the back, so she then jumped behind the TV and started looking all around, tangling through the wires and sniffing the back of the set.

Loca had her own new toy, this little ball that’s a replacement for the same exact one, which is probably under an appliance right now.  She loves playing a soccer-like game, running back and forth across the huge expanse of the new place.  She will also carry the ball around in her mouth like a dog, but she will start meowing with it in her mouth, making this weird “MMMWWMMHH” sound, and she only does that about 20 minutes after I go to bed, or at about 4 in the morning.  So she was crazy with the new ball and ignored the TV for a while, but then she got into the act too, and was baffled by the strange sounds.  She got bored of it after a bit, and went to play by herself again.

Squeak though, was completely possessed.  She was a feral rescue and we think spent some time on her own at a very early age, so she’s more hard-wired for hunting, since she probably had to do it to survive.  Loca, we don’t know if she was a stray or a rescue or what – she was fostered for a while, and is much more adjusted to living with humans.  When Loca plays, she’s crazy, hence her name, but she knows she’s playing, and won’t use her claws.  Squeak goes into this blind rage, forgets she’s playing, and gets into this PTSD flashback mode and will fight like her life depends on it.  Her claws are always out, and she’s always way too serious about it.

So we stopped the DVD and went on to watch Real Time on the DVR, but Squeak still sat there at the foot of the TV, staring at Bill Maher’s head like it was a rabid chipmunk.

Anyway, if you have a cat, check out the DVD at http://petsittervideos.com/.  They have ones for dogs and birds too.  Given the number of birds that fly into mirrored windows, that might not be the safest thing for your TV or your bird, but the dog one would probably be entertaining, too.