This past weekend, I decided it was time to clean and do some minor rearrangement of my room. Knowing how the cats of the house feel about each other, I made sure the Downstairs Faction was locked up before opening my door and propping it open. Why open my door at all? I thought I’d give the cats an opportunity to leave the area for a while. Though the rearrangements I’d planned were minor, any change has the potential to freak a cat. Especially when I bring in the vacuum cleaner.

The vacuum cleaner is a Noise-some Beast. The elder of my two cats, Teazer (the one I refer to as the Mastermind), rarely shows the body language of fear. She’s cautious and tends to avoid any confrontation, but rarely actually fearful, much less terrified. Her first encounter with a vacuum cleaner went something like this:

Noise-some Beast: VROOOM!
Mastermind: *vanish* *reappear under the couch* *watch wide-eyed*
Noise-some Beast: *searches the room while roaring* *approaches couch* VROOOM!
Mastermind: *slips out the back and perches on the backrest* *glares*
Noise-some Beast: *searches a little longer, then slinks quietly off to sleep*

And that was it. She quickly learned that the vaccuum cleaner was no real threat, especially if she waited out its periodic incursions perched on a desk or bookshelf. She’s even gone up and sniffed at it while it was “sleeping in its den”.

The younger of my cats, Rika (the one I call the Might Huntress), is another matter. Judging from her body language, she likes to think of herself as an alpha-cat. Since Teazer tends to avoid confrontations, Rika is rarely given reason to doubt her alpha-status. Unfortunately for her, she is very skittish and frightens easily. Definitely not the temperament of an alpha. Her first encounter with the vacuum cleaner went very differently.

Mighty Huntress: *lounges indolently in the middle of the floor*
Noise-some Beast: *enters the room and pauses at the edge* VROOOM!
Might Huntress: *jumps up and flees to hide under the bed with a now empty bladder*
Noise-some Beast: *stops moving but continues to roar as Two-Legged Alpha cleans*
Mighty Huntress: *watches the Noise-some Beast from under the bed, panting and slicked down fur*
Noise-some Beast: *starts moving again*
Mighty Huntress: *voids bowels and crams herself into the far corner under the bed*
Noise-some Beast: *gives up and leaves*

Rika has since learned that turning the floor into a litter box is not necessary, though she still insists on hiding under the bed instead of getting on top of something.

Advertisements