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Friday, April 6, 2012

Fork you

Toby has a skill set unmatched by any kitten/cat who has lived here.  He loves everything and goes to great lengths to examine everything. We keep a whole list of things out of sight, or he takes them.  The little foam pads Tom puts between a couple of his toes show up on the living room floor with such regularity we have christened them Toe People and watch their migration with amusement.

Jan keeps her waste paper basket on a shelf of a cupboard, to keep Toby from upending it to investigate the contents.  I must keep any sock on the needles in a zippered bag, or face the consequences.  Balls of yarn are zipped up. He found the crack in the shelf and learned to extract my wool bed socks.  One at a time.  He could open the empty five inch fabric square drawer and get in.  It’s too full now, and too heavy.  Darn.

He does all of this simply because he can and definitely because he must.  When caught he returns a dismissive stare.  “This is what I do.  Get over it.”

We have more than a few plants about the house, and these always presented a cat dilemma.  A tempting alternate toilet.  We deterred other cats by topping off the pots with pine cones.  Toby doesn’t consider the plants another toilet; I doubt he’d be caught doing that in public.  But every object in a plant pot must be investigated, and when he gets down to the dirt he’s like a little kid splashing a mud puddle.  When done he surveys the dirt on the table and the floor, and leaves, head high.  “My work here is done.  For today.”

Jan loaded the pots up with an accumulation of trinkets.  Sea shells.  Figurines.  The black and white cat flashing through the living room, head high, captive seashell in his mouth, is a side splitter, when the yelling stops.

I ran across a blog a while ago, and I so wish I could remember the name, where a savvy woman inserted plastic forks in her porch pansy pots, to stop birds from making nests.  Brilliant, I thought, bought a box of plastic forks, and told Jan the potential for poking little paws, for deterrence only, of course.  She inserted the first round of forks to the handle hilt, a fork brigade in each pot.  We spent an evening doubled over as the black and white streak took forks from the pots and disappeared with them.

It’s such a good idea we tried again.  Break off the fork handles and bury the tines right to the tips.  Little plant mines.  A sure bet to deter investigative paws.  The black and white flash surveyed the new challenge.   “It was so much easier just to pull them out.  Now I have to DIG them out!”  Which he did.  Knocked over the frog and alerted Jan to the pile of dirt she would find on the floor.

He’s not a year old yet.  He will grow out of this and just be the big black and white curled up on the sofa.  From my lips to God’s ear.

That awkward, gawky stage.  I should still fit here, shouldn't I?


  1. This was so charming and utterly funny, Joanne! Love that cat of yours. What a sweetie pie!

  2. I just love him. I hope he never grows out of "it".

  3. Oh, Joanne, you know how God likes to joke (have you ever made plans?). We used to have a cat, Eliot, who stole things from people's reached the peak when she stole the stethoscope of a visiting Dr.!
    Jane x

  4. Mischievous little fella isn't he. Have you tried moth balls? :-).

    1. Moth balls are poisonous; probably best left at the store ...

  5. You have an awesome cat. I'm sure there are times when you are less than amused, but still - awesome.

  6. Toby, he of the wonderful moustache, is a treasure. I love that last photo of him.

  7. I love him. He strongly resembles Jazz who has learnt how to open the fridge. Not only that he has taught Jewel. She watched, and thought about it. She is smaller and doesn't have the strength of paw - so she snouts it open. Jazz opens the sliding doors to the wardrobe for her. As a result all of the clothing on the shelf has a patina of black fur.

  8. Toby is so gorgeous! Clever too, digging out those forks. I bet he thought you put them in the pots just for him to play with.

  9. I call him Fork Face...and he just says back atcha, fork you.

  10. He must be a very intelligent cat to get into so much mischief.
    It must be kinda like having a toddler aroud!

  11. What a character! And what an intelligent little monkey! So good that you can appreciate it. He is living with the right family!