Curiosity and the Cat / La Curiosidad y el Gato

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

WE HAD TWO cats in California that we adopted when they were 4 months old. They were brothers and littermates and their personalities couldn’t have been more different. We adopted Dudo and Moose, our Spanish cats, when they were 10 months old. They’re also brothers and littermates. And they’re also entirely different.

Although the most loving and affectionate cat, Moose will never win an academic scholarship. On the other hand (paw), his brother Dudo is extremely intelligent. Unlike Moose, who never stops talking, Dudo is a cat of few words. As a result, we usually know exactly what he wants by the sound he makes. He loves to go for a daily romp in our entry hall. He lets me know when it’s time and I go out with him and sit on the stairs so he doesn’t run up or down. Moose often accompanies us, but not with the same enthusiasm. He simply needs to be nearby.

The other night, while I was guarding the stairs, Moose snuck behind me and ran to the floor below. He immediately began to yowl. I ran downstairs to find him sitting by the closed door of the apartment below ours. He was having an all out panic attack. The layout of each floor is the same. However, our entry is lined with huge plants and looks nothing like the floor below. Moose must have thought he had entered the Twilight Zone.

I tried to carry him upstairs but, as I mentioned, he was truly having a panic attack. He flew out of my arms — hooking into my left arm with his claws to get good traction before he jumped. At one point I got him to start up the stairs but he panicked and ran back down. Finally, SG managed to grab him and get him all the way up the stairs before he flew out of his arms, too, and raced through our open apartment door. When I followed him inside, blood soaking through my shirtsleeve, he looked at me as if I were the one having the panic attack (OK, I was), rolled over on his back, and purred! We cuddled while the blood dried. SG and I then compared wounds. I won. When I took off my shirt that night, I discovered a 5-inch-long gash in my abdomen. It looked like someone had tried to harvest my liver.

Dudo still insists on his regular evening visit to the front hall. Moose refuses to join us.

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, I WAS BEING my obsessive compulsive self and arranging vinery on the terrace. Moose slept on the terrace kitty condo. He didn’t once look up. Dudo followed me out and watched me every minute. When I was done, Dudo inspected my work and then went to sleep. Moose followed me back in.

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TENÍAMOS DOS GATOS en California que adoptamos cuando tenían 4 meses. Eran hermanos y compañeros de camada y sus personalidades no podrían haber sido más diferentes. Adoptamos a Dudo y Moose, nuestros gatos españoles, cuando tenían 10 meses. También son hermanos y compañeros de camada. Y también son completamente diferentes.

Aunque es el gato más cariñoso y afectuoso, Moose ni ganará una beca académica. Por otro lado (pata), su hermano Dudo es extremadamente inteligente. A diferencia de Moose, que nunca deja de hablar, Dudo es un gato de pocas palabras. Como resultado, generalmente sabemos exactamente lo que quiere por el sonido que hace. Le encanta ir a jugar diariamente en nuestra entrada. Me avisa cuando es hora y salgo con él y me siento en las escaleras para que no suba ni baje. Moose nos acompañan a menudo, pero no con el mismo entusiasmo. Simplemente necesita estar cerca.

La otra noche, mientras vigilaba las escaleras, Moose se coló detrás de mí y corrió hacia el piso de abajo. Inmediatamente comenzó a aullar. Corrí escaleras abajo para encontrarlo sentado junto a la puerta cerrada del departamento debajo del nuestro. Estaba teniendo un ataque de pánico total. El diseño de cada piso es el mismo. Sin embargo, nuestra entrada está llena de plantas enormes y no se parece en nada al piso de abajo. Moose debe haber pensado que había entrado en la Zona Crepuscular.

Traté de llevarlo arriba pero, como mencioné, realmente estaba teniendo un ataque de pánico. Salió volando de mis brazos y se enganchó en mi brazo izquierdo con sus garras para obtener una buena tracción antes de saltar. En un momento, conseguí que subiera las escaleras, pero entró en pánico y volvió a bajar corriendo. Finalmente, SG logró agarrarlo y subirlo por las escaleras antes de que él también saliera volando de sus brazos y corriera a través de la puerta abierta de nuestro departamento. Cuando lo seguí adentro, con la sangre empapando la manga de mi camisa, me miró como si yo fuera el que sufrió el ataque de pánico (OK, lo estaba), rodó sobre su espalda y ronroneó. Nos acurrucamos mientras la sangre se secaba. SG y yo comparamos las heridas. Gané. Cuando me quité la camisa esa noche, descubrí una herida de 5 pulgadas de largo en mi abdomen. Parecía que alguien había tratado de cosecharme el hígado.

Dudo todavía insiste en su visita nocturna habitual al vestíbulo. Moose se niega a unirse a nosotros.

EL MIÉRCOLES POR LA TARDE, estaba siendo mi obsesivo compulsivo y organizando una bodega en la terraza. Moose dormía en el condominio de la terraza del gatito. No levantó la vista ni una vez. Dudo me siguió y me observó cada minuto. Cuando terminé, Dudo inspeccionó mi trabajo y luego se fue a dormir. Moose me siguió de vuelta.

The look I now get when I invite Moose to join us in the hall.
La mirada que obtengo ahora cuando lo invito a unirse a nosotros en el pasillo.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

25 thoughts on “Curiosity and the Cat / La Curiosidad y el Gato”

  1. I’d have panicked with Moose running down the stairs. Poor thing, he sounds s terrified as Consuelo when she got out.
    Dudo, on the other hand, appears all ‘What’s the fuss?’

    1. Bob,
      Dudo sat at the top of the stairs staring the entire time. The expression was kind of: “What the fuck is HIS problem?”

  2. Just from their gestures/positions one knows who is who.
    Lessons learned I guess. Won’t be doin THAT again!

    1. Jim:
      I wonder how long before Moose will even return to the hall (if ever). Everything about them is so different!

  3. Poor Moose. I hope you cleaned your wound up with something (alcohol?). Pets…gotta love them.

    1. Cheapchick:
      Oh yeah, SG immediately got out the alcohol. And then I dabbed it with an antiseptic ointment.

  4. If you ever write a classic noir murder mystery novel, may I suggest as a title — “We cuddled while the blood dried” — LOL!

    1. Debra:
      Once you pointed that out, I thought, “Yeah, that’s a really good line.” Unfortunately, if I wrote a classic noir mystery novel, it would be downhill from there I think.

  5. I’ve had cats, and I’ve seen them do a lot of odd things, but never sleep with their head hanging in the air as Moose seems to be doing. But if he finds it comfortable, good for him.

    1. Kirk:
      Moose gets into the oddest “comfortable” positions. And Dudo gets so twisted around sometimes, he looks like he’s broken.

    1. Kenoshakid:
      That’s what they tell us when we hear them attacking each other. We walked into the room and they’re stare at us as if we’re imagining it all. Hope life is good in “Kenosha.”

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      I’ve got some more to share of my little obsessions. IKEA replaced our white dishes with very slightly off-white dishes. We needed some new salad plates. I stack them in alternating colors. SG rolls his eyes.

  6. Despite their incorrigible naughtiness, the injuries they can easily cause, their puzzling behaviour and moods, cats can’t help but carry an enigmatic individual charisma around with them – I find.

    1. Raybeard:
      I agree. Thankfully, our cats have always been sweet and gentle. It’s those panicked moments you have to watch out for. They’re worth every scratch.

Share your thoughts and experiences. It's always nice to know I'm not alone.