My Cats’ Superpowers

I have three cats. Like most cats, they have their special abilities that are potentially endearing, potentially annoying as hell.

MayaWe got Maya in 2005 to be a companion to the dog, and hopefully clean her ears (a friend had a cat that cleaned her standard poodle’s ears). At the time, the shelter thought she was around 2, which would make her somewhere around 10 now. She never cleaned the dog’s ears.

Maya used to be fat. That was because we had a dog, and she ate whatever food the dog didn’t eat. After the dog died a few years ago, Maya got skinny. She got so skinny, she developed the ability to squeeze THROUGH the bars of the safety gate we use to keep another cat out of the basement. Here’s a shot of that gate:

Non-Cat-Proof Gate

Non-Cat-Proof Gate

But that’s not her amazing superpower. Here it is: If you start eating Pringles anywhere in the house, Maya will show up in 10.6 seconds (average). She LOVES Pringles. And crackers and other chips. She’s really a dog in a cat’s body. I caught her eating half-rotted formerly frozen asparagus she’d dragged out of the trash once. But that’s just regular scavenging. The Pringles thing is truly amazing.

FrisbeeIn 2006, right after I quit my full-time day job, we got Frisbee. I really love long-hair cats. A coworker was looking for a new cat, and I was browsing with her, and I saw Fris’s picture. She had a cauliflower ear, which meant she was destined for us. Since Dolly, the dog, had a chronic ear problem and Maya has never shaken her ear sensitivity even after the mites were cleared up post-adoption. Also, Frisbee’s story touched me. She got her name when someone saw her get thrown out of a truck on the highway.

We drove four hours round trip—twice!—to get Frisbee. And she was nasty. She’d hamstring you (or the ankle version) just for walking by. She growled (not hissed, growled) at anything that annoyed her. The first time I tried to clip her nails, she fileted my finger. Her superpower started out being Demon Cat.

Then she realized we loved her and weren’t going to throw her out of a speeding vehicle, and she mellowed. Her superpower became spotting our cars coming down the street and crying out an alert of our homecoming. She was a general town crier for a long time, sitting in the window seat and vocalizing the neighborhood activity (totally different cries from her homecoming cries). But now she’s old. The shelter listed her as 2 years old (yeah, I think that’s code for “we have no freaking idea”) but when she got hyperthyroid disease, the doc revised that upward. She could be 13 or so. She’s been acting like an old lady for a while, and went temporarily blind recently. That meant the whole house became her litter box. She can see now, but let me tell you, she’s taking FULL advantage. At least she’s keeping to the puppy pads just outside the litter box. *sigh* She also keeps getting up on the dining room table. When I yell, she ignores me. When I grab her, she gives me a look that totally says, “What? I’m old!”

BGThen there’s BG. Number Two asked for a kitten a few years ago, and Santa obliged. She got to pick her out. Her name was Baby Girl. Medical records say it still is, but we usually call her BG, which stands as much for Bad Girl as it does Baby Girl.

An ability to completely avoid taking medicine is a side effect of her physical superpower. She has the wiggliest reverse of any cat I’ve ever seen. Even the vet can’t hold her with two assistants. I loved when they tried to show me how to give her meds or brush her sick teeth and gave up, saying, “Well, you get the idea.” Yeah, the idea that there’s no friggin’ way I’m giving her meds without putting them directly in her food.

BG hates scents. If you put lotion on your hands and put them in front of her, she makes a face and backs away. It keeps her out of people food most of the time, too. Alcohol, cleaning supplies, makeup, toothpaste…Number One has a lot of fun testing stuff on her.

BG’s biggest nemesis is a closed door. Are you going into the bedroom to change? She zips through that closing door so fast she’s on the bed before you’ve turned around. Half the time when I go into the bathroom, I shut her in the door because she started her run three rooms away. As soon as the door is closed, she’s on the sink, crying and scratching at it. Open it, and does she go out? No. She sits there looking at it. As if making sure it’s not going to close on her again.

When BG first came home, we let her roam at night like the other two cats. But then she’d come scratch on the bedroom doors at, like, 1:00 a.m. Now, we put her in the downstairs bathroom overnight. And I swear, she scratches and bangs and cries for HOURS. Sometimes I suspect she does it all night, and I just can’t hear her from my bedroom. With my closed door.

What are your pets’ superpowers?