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Life in a Cat house

Stan Johnson - Life in a Cat House

I was curled up in my easy chair with a book about national parks when I suddenly got blindsided by a passing freight train. It went by so fast I didn’t have time to react until it was gone. I don’t think I even looked up since by now I am used to it.

Okay, it wasn’t really a freight train; it just had the impact force of one. For a kitten that is still far from full grown, Amelia Jane can pack a wallop when she crashes into a person.

In large part, the impact power when she hits is from her velocity. When she is in all-out running mode, which she is most of the time, her speed makes a desperate, Corvette-driving bank robber fleeing the police look like a slow poke.

While making her running loops through the house, one of her standard routes involves jumping on the arm of my chair and then dashing across my body before she leaps to the floor and zooms onward. If I happen to be holding something like a book or a cup of coffee, it doesn’t slow her in the least. It’s my responsibility to hang on to whatever it happens to be.

Sometimes I can see her coming and get ready. That’s when she starts by jumping on the coffee table, then to the couch, and from there to my chair. Other times she sneaks up on me by running behind the chair and making a U-turn to jump from the floor.

About the only times she slows down is when she is taking a nap or she finds something she wants to play with. In the morning, when I am trying to put on my socks, is one of those times. She considers a bare foot her favorite kitty toy and when I am sitting on the edge of the bed with socks in hand, she spies an opportunity too good to pass up. I don’t know how she does it, but she always knows when I’m doing it and she is right there. You’ve missed one of life’s more interesting experiences if you’ve never tried to slip on a pair of socks with a kitten that has paws wrapped around your ankle while riding the top of your foot. If you try to shake her off, she thinks that’s a grand way you are playing with her and she’ll just cling tighter.

She likes to help with bed making when my wife, Vivian, is doing it. For some reason she does not help when I’m doing it. I have no idea why she discriminates, but she does. Vivian says it’s impossible to make a bed with Amelia Jane around. Usually, Vivian sneaks into the bedroom and closes the door tightly before she starts. She says that’s the only possible way she can get a bed made.

Of course, along with people, Amelia Jane likes to harass our old cat, Ozrow. He does not tolerate it nearly as well as the people in the house do. When he comes in from outdoors to get a snack, he’d like to have a nap, too, but she drives him back outside to snooze on the deck. If nothing else, she is one persistent kitten when she wants to play.

We keep thinking she will calm down some as she gets a bit older, but so far we’ve not seen any sign of that happening. We just have to learn to live with a small, but powerful, tornado in the house.