Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cleanliness is Next to Cheesiness?

Cheese is a very affectionate being—in the bathroom.

Most of the time Cheese ignores the rest of the family, and “tolerates” the occasional head rub. He has strict rules though, and will allow no other touching (unless it’s really cold outside, and his paws get chilly—then one person (and one person only) is allowed to warm his feet on their lap). However, act like you’re shedding your clothes and preparing to shower, and he’s suddenly Mr. Affectionate.

If Gale is in the bathroom, she recognizes his need for cascading water to watch, play in, and….occasionally…drink, so she fills up “his” cup and leaves it in the sink. Whereupon there is water, dripping into the cup and then into the sink—not quite “fountainesque” by any definition, but what’s a poor cat to do?! It entertains Cheese most days, which makes Gale happy—otherwise he would be rattling the door in an effort to escape his boredom, which is quite unnerving when a person is approaching the Zen phase of a nice, hot shower.

Cheese knows that when the water stops running in the shower, the cleansing process is complete, and the people inside the shower are now decontaminated enough to be allowed to touch him. If he is outside the bathroom at this point, he will push the door open. Cheese is clearly not a cat for the modest or easily chilled. After all, it’s
HIS needs that are to be considered here—geesh!

Before the person is even dry, Cheese jumps onto the tub and pushes the shower curtain open. After all, there is petting and stroking of THE CHEESE to be done—no dilly-dallying with unimportant matters such as drying off!! Besides, the longer Cheese waits, the more likely his clean person will become contaminated again. These precious moments are Cheese at his affectionate best. He purrs, he head-butts, he walks back and forth on the tub, to maximize the amount of head and neck that are to be caressed.

But please!!!! Do not be so gauche as to pet him anywhere but the head and neck (OK, the occasional tail swipe is tolerated—but just once, or maybe twice. But that’s it—no more than twice). Anywhere else is just wrong, and he will withdraw his affections quite quickly if you have treated him with such disrespect.

After all, it’s very important to be strict in the training of your people. They forget the rules so often, and it really can take years for the proper behavior to be achieved.

However, once the lotion bottle appears, Cheese disappears, making a graceful exit. He takes his still clean, very adored body out to the hallway. Training is complete for another day, and both person and cat have a warm, fuzzy feeling inside (and on the towel too—do you realize how much cat fur comes off on a wet hand??).

For more on the pleasures of the “simple” water fountain, please enjoy Regarding the Fountain by KateKlise.
Drinking Fountain Joe by Justin Mattot

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