As promised, this week I’ll begin introducing the cat clan.
Also known as Big Ol’ Handsome Boy, or Handsome for short. It doesn’t really matter what he’s called, as he only responds if he feels like it anyway.
As you can see, he is well read and highly intelligent.
Coal is the eldest of the cat clan, taking ownership of the cabin after being rescued in 2007 when he was 5 months old.
Although he is getting older, he is still ruler of the beasts here. In spite of Frodo’s size and weight advantage, even he concedes to Coal when the claws come out in full glory. (He remembers those talons impaling his tongue when he was just a pup.)
Living wild for his first 5 months, Coal never learned how to play gently. His version of playing is like a fight-to-the-death scene from a Bruce Lee movie (and my arms have the scars to prove it). To him, it’s the only way to play, but the other critters always end up running away. There were only 2 exceptions: a little black kitten named Spunky, but he didn’t have a lick of sense anyway; and a wolf named Trocaire who wanted to eat Coal (that is why Coal was at the top of the bookshelves in the picture, to get out of reach of the jaws).
Coal is a large cat, weighing in at 20 pounds, and he walks around with the majesty of a lion full of confidence. His feet make a rhythmic heavy thunking sound on the floor when he walks, so you always know when he enters the room.
One of his favorite activities nowadays is to lay across the top of my chair behind my neck, and smack me in the face with his big fluffy tail. He is as accurate in his strike as Indiana Jones with his whip, sending my glasses flying more than once.
He also likes to pounce into my lap unexpectedly, which feels like having a bowling ball with claws dropped on my gut.
Most of the critters I’ve known over the years have been afraid of vacuums (except a dog I had years ago that would attack them). But not Coal. He actually lays down in front of the vacuum on his back, waiting for the hose to suck his up his fat belly. (I wish the other critters liked being groomed this way.)
As is the nature with most cats, Coal is demanding. He will start with the wide-eyed stare, followed quickly by the squinty-eyed glare. If that does not elicit the desired response, he begins softly poking with the tip of his claws. After 2 or 3 attempts, as a last resort to get his way, he employs the full arsenal of his teeth. This always causes action, though not necessarily the kind he wants.
Another typical cat trait is the love of knocking everything over, and Coal has mastered this ability. It seems to be his favorite way to annoy me when I’m trying to sleep, as he wanders around the house clearing off every horizontal surface he can get to. I watched him once, sitting on the counter, knocking one thing at a time off. After each item hit the floor, he would look me in the eye, almost smiling, and then push something else off. He also lines items up on the edge of the tables and then bombs Frodo with them.
To say that Coal has made my life interesting and filled it with entertainment is an understatement. But he has also filled it with joy and affection. He doesn’t really give kisses, but he drools on me (a lot) as he purrs away in contentment, snuggled up on my shoulder.
I could go on for a lot longer about Coal, but I think I’ll save some for the next book of Crazy Critters.
Next week, I’ll introduce another member of the cat clan, so make sure to come back for a cup of coffee and a few giggles.
Have an awesome weekend, and I’ll see you Monday! – Amber