Maybe He’ll Start Barking

Quinny’s arrival into our house a year ago was not unlike a bat being released from hell. The residents were in turmoil as he persistently ran up to the door flailing around in front of the windows where everyone could see him. At first, there was a sheet up to block the view, but he quickly learned how to get around it. His next feat was tearing down the barrier and I gave up after he got it down a couple of times, telling Tabitha, in particular to “get over it”. She did just that by shaking her hind-quarters, hissing at him, rushing the door, and punching the window with all her might. Quinny was not perplexed by her prowess at all. He was raring to get through the glass at this cat who had obviously escaped from his birthplace at one point herself.

Quinny’s energy level has remained at an 11 since he got here. Plus, he’s got a black belt in instigating. He gets sprayed with the squirt bottle so often that just shaking it at him can usually get him to stop. “Get off of Tabitha!” “That’s not your plate!” “Stop running around like a maniac!” Get off of the counter!” “Leave that bug alone!” Matt taught him how to jump really really high with a laser pointer. This has backfired on us when it comes to bugs.

Quinny is not unlike a dog, actually. For one thing, he fetches like a champ and wants to stop long after we do. He’s smart enough to know that if you pretend to throw it that it’s still in your hand, but dumb enough to run headlong into a wall. Repeatedly. Piper learned to play after watching him, using bottle caps (his favorite toy) but he only does it rarely and usually never brings it back a second time.

Second, he’s toy possessive and growls or hisses at the cats if he has to walk by them. The cats sit there with this look that says, “I don’t want that nasty thing,” but Quinny knows deep down inside that they are just jealous. (They’re not.) We work on this behavior by taking the toy from him and handing it to the other cat while Quinny looks on, his eyes giant saucers of jealousy. Quinny can also be food aggressive at times and hisses when he’s really hungry and thinks his food is about to be eaten. This results in Tabitha not eating and losing weight so we ask him to stop and then set up a bowl for her away from it. When he first moved into the house, he’d eat his wet food as fast as he possibly could, which was shockingly fast, and then he’d run over to Milo or Tabitha’s plate and shove them out of the way. This took solid months of work to fix and weight that came off of Milo, as well. Months of carrying him out of the room. Holding him to let him know it’s not his food. Closing the bedroom door. He’s much better now.

More canine features? Quinny could find his way out of a paper bag by drooling a hole through it. Big giant balls of drool splash on my arm as he contently kneads at a blanket or a leg. Oh, did I mention that he humps things? Yep! That’s our little dog!

While he has wreaked the most havoc of all the furballs, he is also the most affectionate, creating an interesting dichotomy. Milo wants to be on laps at all times, especially if it’s nine hundred degrees outside, but he usually gets kicked off at some point for excessive licking or for getting mad if our faces get too close or we move wrong. Then he hisses and runs or swats and runs or bites and runs or all three. Quinny can be sitting randomly and all the sudden pop up, mewl and mewl and bump legs and then hop up and make a lap home. Milo looks on with envy as he doesn’t get kicked off. While Piper continues his standoffish trend, only seeking out affection when he wants it, usually at two in the morning during a bathroom run. Sometimes, he’ll even let me hold him and purr during this witching hour. Tabitha has watched him though and seen what affection can get her. She’s started jumping up to see what’s going on more. And allowing me hold her for brief periods of time. While purring! After watching Quinny, she’s decided that if she comes up to me and meows that I will pet her and hold her just long enough so that she doesn’t get antsy.

So the rest of them continue on their way, picking up little things from him here and there, being jumped on by him, being chased around the apartment, chasing back, running out of the way when the spray bottle is aimed at him, finding the spray bottle on them as well when they’re in cahoots and I get to sit back and watch the ebb and flow. And every morning, I look forward to the moment I open the bedroom door and Quinny darts onto the bed and does barrel rolls over and over and over and over while mewling his way through belly rubs and kisses.

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Here’s a video of Quinny from a while back. The blur is him. The stuff he goes through is a plastic sheet we have up in between the dining room area and the kitty porch.

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Filed under behavior, cats, humor

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