Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Thomas Merton

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Great Hero Cat, Pants, and His Sidekick, Twinkie

The other night we decided to do a dietary no-no and have a late snack while we watched TV after supper (I grew up in the South where the evening meal is usually "supper," while the mid-day meal is either "dinner" or "lunch" depending on what it is and the context in which it is eaten--maybe a good topic for a future blog--hmm). We weren't too naughty with our snacking, though; we chose watermelon that we'd put off cutting for so long that we were afraid it was not going to be good to eat at this point.

I have several feline family members who cannot contain their curiosity, especially when we sit down to eat at locations other than the dining table. If you have prepared yourself a tasty snack and sit on the sofa to watch TV, rest assured that you will soon be joined by at least one of the furballs hoping to get a little tidbit from you. One of them, Pushkin (the black and white one in the sidebar photo), will just swipe her paw across your plate and snag something if you don't watch it. We use various cat deterrents such at the spray bottle filled with water set on stream rather than spray; a few pennies in a can shaken vigorously; and the most convenient, but perhaps the most likely to make you hyperventilate, blowing short puffs of air directly into the cat's face (note: don't do this with a mouthful of food). Well, the watermelon slices were just more than the cats could ignore, so they began hanging around hoping for a nibble or trying to snag a bite. Finally, I got up and went into the living room, but I was followed by Pascal, the brown tabby whose nickname is "Jungle Pants," aka "Pants" (another story; he's sparring with Twinkie in the side photo), who took a seat on the sofa beside me. I noticed that little Twinkie (love that photo of her looking out the window at the top of my blog) was not nosing around trying to mooch a bite off of any of us. Eventually, I began to wonder where she was. I realized that I had not seen her in quite some time and worried that she might have managed to get outside. Pascal was sitting beside me on the sofa, keeping an eye on my watermelon. I went back into the den and asked if anyone had seen Twink lately. Hmm. They all thought that she was making herself unusually scarce. It was odd that she had not come into the kitchen while I was clattering around getting the watermelon ready to serve. The sounds of food preparation always draw the cats out of their hidey holes and straight to the kitchen. Pushkin and Pascal had come to help, but not Twinkie.

By now the other two humans had spread themselves more comfortably on the den sofa, so I returned to the living room where Pascal was still waiting patiently for a little bit of whatever that thing was on my plate. He looked at me. I looked at him. He looked at my plate. I said, "Oh, no, you don't," then added, "Where's Twinkie? Do you know where she is?" He looked longingly at the watermelon and at me, then got up and trotted off to the dining room where I have way too much sewing stuff, jumped up onto the work table, made his way through a stack of fabric, and began to lick something. Twinkie's head popped up. She had been snoozing peacefully on some unbleached muslin and was missing out on the possibility of getting a little watermelon. Pascal came back, took his place beside me on the sofa, and looked at me as if to say, "I found her! Now give me that watermelon." Twink stretched and came over to sit in front of me on the floor, hoping to beg something from that plate I was holding.

I just thought that was the neatest thing that has happened around here in a while--well, in at least two or three days, anyway. I was amazed. Pascal knew who and what I was talking about and he'd gone to find Twinkie when I asked him if he knew where she was. I rushed into the den to share the news with the other family members who were equally impressed with Pascal's intelligence. It reminded me of those old Lassie and Rin Tin Tin episodes where the quadrupedal star of the show was sent off to find help and always managed to come back with just the right person and save the day. I can see it now:

Pants and I are stranded in the wilderness with a huge plate of watermelon, much more than we can manage between the two of us, and my foot has become wedged under a large boulder. Huge flies are threatening to attack the watermelon at any moment. We need help immediately. Pants purrs and trills at me, nudging me with his head. There is nothing I can do; my foot is stuck. What will we do? The watermelon might be lost to the flies! I tell him to go get help. "Pants! Pants! Quick! Find Twinkie! Go get Twinkie! Hurry! Run, Pants, Run! Find Twinkie!" I lie back on the ground, exhausted from swatting flies. I close my eyes, swatting with my last bit of effort, and hope for a miracle. The flies circle ever closer. Suddenly, I hear a meow. Pants has returned, followed by Twinkie! I am amazed and relieved. The watermelon is safe! As I shift my position to greet the felines, I feel my foot give a little beneath the rock. Lo and behold! I can wiggle my foot out from under it. Even better, it isn't even injured. We all rejoice and eat the watermelon, then hike back across the yard to the house. I tell everyone how Pants found Twinkie for me and saved the watermelon and me. We have a big parade for them with confetti, floats, marching bands, speeches, CNN, the whole nine yards.

Ah, life with cats!


  1. Wow! I love everything about your profile. Wonderful story about cats. I'll find you on Ravelry!

  2. So did Pants get some watermelon as a reward?? don't leave us hanging!

    Ria (tonyfan20 on ravelry)

  3. Lol! Yes, he got watermelon, "We all rejoice and eat the watermelon, then hike back down the hill to the house." Thanks for the comment.

  4. We've got a lot of common interests, particularly in the feline area. Mine do not eat watermelon though!

  5. Scanning through your blog posts, you are certainly multi-talented. Loved your spinning posts especially. My dog thinks that when anyone eats, so should she. Of course, she has my DH trained more than he has trained her!