Friday, February 08, 2008

Puppy Cat

I'm not sure how Sharae got the nickname "Puppy Cat", but it stuck. She has an unusual body habitus for a cat - our vet called it a "disc body" in one of her notes. She's kind of thick and solid, and has very short and somewhat coarse hair, so she feels very much like a dog when you pet her. Her toes are very bony and not well padded, and her claws don't seem to retract entirely, so are more like doggie toenails. We tease her that she must be some sort of genetic anomaly, a rural cross-product between a dog and a cat. Fortunately, she doesn't seem to be offended.

She has dog-like behaviors, too. Wherever I go, Sharae goes. She follows me everywhere. She's here in the other office chair as I type. If anyone is going to curl up next to me to veg in front of the TV, it will be Sharae. And she does watch - her favorites are football and action movies, though she also likes an occasional musical and some animal shows. I watched The Three Lives of Thomasina the other night, and she sat, staring up at the screen, butt glued to the floor for a good part of it.

Then there's the sound she makes. I am pretty sure I have never heard her make a decent meow; instead she meeps. A rather small, bark-like sound. She rolls on her back to have her tummy rubbed, and when we oblige, she meeps. "Meep, meep," she says. "What's the matter, Sharae, is someone murdering you?," we respond. That's our inside joke.

Today I was working in the office and I heard meep meeping from somewhere out in the house. Thinking that a couple cats were playing too roughly, I went out searching. Not seeing anyone immediately, I called. "Sharae, where are you?" "Meep," she said again as she pranced out of the laundry room, carrying her pink foam soccer ball in her mouth. How many cats do you know that carry balls around the house? Sharae does.

Then, much to my amazement, she dropped the ball at my feet, sat down, and looked expectantly up at me. "Does she want to play catch?," I wondered. "Well, let's see." So I bounced the ball away several feet, and she chased it. Nothing amazing there. But I'll be darned if she didn't pick it up, carry it back, and drop it again at my feet. We had several good throw-and-retrieves, but when several others arrived, attracted by the sound of play, she stopped chasing the ball and plopped down on the floor.

"What, play fetch? Not me. Only dogs do that."
"Ho, hum."

See more kitties, and a few puppies, too, riding on the Friday Ark this week.


Jodi said...

Although there is nothing dog about her, our cat Momo meeps as well. It's cute as a button.

kimberly said...

We call our Sergei puppycat, too. While he looks and feels like a sleek tuxedo cat, he loves to fetch - not balls, but rabbit fur cat toys. And if someone throws a toy high in the air, he'll jump up to catch it in his mouth, much like a dog catches a frisbee.

-d ma said...

I would love to hear Sharae's meep. you should tape her :-).

Theo loves to play fetch as well. Of course the other boyz aren't so fond of it because theo doesn't much pay attention to what or who he runs over to retrieve the ball to bring back to me...

PinkFluffySlippers said...

I've seen a cat carry things in its mouth, but never actually play fetch. I wonder if she was raised around dogs.

Cellogal said...

LOL my mum's cat Bilbo - plays fetch with little black rubbers - bounce them round and he'll go catch them and bring them back for more - very odd!
My Cat Tosca - doesn't miaow or meep - she acks - makes this insane ack-ack-acking noise! Bit like the Martians out of mars attack! Mad beasties!

Anonymous said...

My cat Vegas plays fetch all the time. With play mice, bottle caps, and, believe or not, ice cubes. It's the funniest thing. He's very dog like. He's black and white and he has a moustache. Everyone laughs at him but he doesn't seem to mind

alley said...

She's a tortie and white!

My kitten is also that colour, and she too does weird meows, and loves to carry things around the house.

Her favourite things to carry are socks (preferably rolled into a ball!) and a tinfoil ball i made for her when she was playing with the roll of foil.

In fact, when I teared off the sheet of foil to roll it up into said ball, she did the funniest jump into the air and ran away as if to say "WTF?!?! BIG THING JUST WENT REALLY SMALL! OMG TEH POWER!!!!1"