Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Mimicry gone mad?


A lot of licking goes on in my bedroom at night. It’s not as rude as it sounds – both dogs and at least two of the cats (and usually all four) sleep in my room, and for some reason it’s during the still, quiet hours of night that they do most of their personal maintenance.

With the dogs, this consists mainly of licking their bottoms. The sound drives me nuts, but usually it takes not much more than a furious look to stop them (if only momentarily).

With the cats it’s a different story. The two boy cats (Evan and Maui, pictured here) are devoted to each other, and spend most of the night in passionate mutual grooming. Missy the tabby-wildcat mix is a nasty little piece of work who prefers to groom herself, and if Evan (who is ridiculously needy) tries to groom her – and he always does – there’s a spitting, hissing fight that requires me to wake up fully and bodily hurl cats off the bed. (Floss, the calico cat, is freakily antisocial and grooms neither herself nor any of the other cats; but to make up for this, she sleeps on my head.)

Sometimes Maui is absent at night for reasons of his own (doing whatever it is that cats do in the dark hours), which leaves the emotionally deprived Evan in need of someone – or, in this case, something – to groom.

This cow cushion started the night as a soft, fluffy, dry pillow and saw in the morning flat, damp and smelling of cat saliva. I took this pic a few hours later, and you can still see the places where it’s been groomed into wet submission by Evan. Its colouring is very similar to Evan’s – I wonder if he mistook it for a very quiescent cat?

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1 comment:

MzHartz said...

Our cat Jack is in love with his Weasel. It used to be a Weasel Ball, but then he liberated his Weasel from the ball so he could have it all to himself. Jack is a gray cat with black stripes, so maybe he thinks it's his kitten, but he'll just sit and groom it, just like Evan and his cow cushion. http://www.weaselballs.com/