We have two female felines who are polar opposites from each other. Seriously…they are two totally different personalities with opposite physiques. You can see their pictures here.
Lilah is our old, fat, cranky, gorgeously graceful sleek black cat.
Liz is our young, gregarious, shabby buff tabby without a graceful bone in her lanky body. With a misaligned jaw, unbalanced features, and slightly crossed eyes, she reeks of inbreeding and has a face that apparently I am the only one who loves. Her outgoing, sweet personality more than makes up for her unfortunate aesthetics.
Liz always greets us at the door, tail held high and curious nose checking us out. Lilah just glances at us annoyingly for disturbing her otherwise peaceful nap. If you put your nose too close to Lilah, more often than not it will get bitten. Lizzie, however, will give you kisses on cue. (On CUE! Cats, as a general rule, NEVER do anything on cue unless it involves immediate gratification of the edible variety. I’m quite proud of this).
One seriously annoying habit that both of our cats do is to seek the warmth of our cable box by our TV in the living room. The problem is that they somehow always place a strategic paw directly over the cable box’s remote sensor, rendering the remote completely useless to us. They also seem to do this in the middle of fast-forwarding our favorite shows, so it fast forwards just slow enough that we can follow the story and know what happens, spoiling the point of watching it. Then, when we try to rewind it, the stupid cable box skips it all the way to the beginning, so we have to fast forward it again to get back to where we left off.
Anyhow, so they place their strategic paws over the sensor and refuse to move it. It takes a mighty effort to not give in to the urge to throw the remote at them. Again, our approach to get them to move their paws reflect their different personalities.
With Lilah, the cranky black cat, you have to act like you’re about to throw something at her- and do a convincing job of it. As a general rule, every 3rd “I’m about to throw this at you if you don’t move” technique has to actually be followed through, or she’ll call your bluff each time thereafter and it becomes useless. So we yell and scream and threaten (convincingly) to throw this-or-that at her, and finally she’ll move her stinking paw from the sensor.
Speaking of paws, Lilah is our meteorologist-in-residence. She has arthritic paws, so prior to a cold front she always seeks one of us out to knead our paws on our warm jugular.
Liz, true to form, is the opposite. Yelling, throwing, and threatening only causes her to watch us with a cross-eyed bemused expression on her face. Being sweet works brilliantly and reliably. First we have to put aside our annoyance and then plaster the biggest, most kind smile on our faces while sweetly saying her name and making the “I’ll scratch your head” gesture. Likewise, we also have to follow through about every third time with an actual head-scratching reward, or else she’ll call our bluffs and refuse to budge.
Yet, despite our cat’s annoying habits, I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Lilah, whenever the rare mood strikes or her paws need warming, turns into the best little snugbug. She’ll carefully walk over to us and make her unusually friendly approach, ears on us and tail held high. Once there, she’ll give you gentle kisses let you pet her soft, silky fur and snuggle with you.
Lizzie is my little buddy. Whatever I do, and wherever I go in the house, Lizzie dutifully follows me without fail. If I close the door behind me without her inside, she’ll stick her paws under the door begging to be let in with me. Whenever I was on bedrest with my pregnancy, all I had to do is call her name once and she would instantly be right next to me. She watched over me many a time through pregnancy morning sickness and even early contractions, looking quite concerned and regularly giving me kisses. Whenever my mom died or when I found myself near tears from being exhausted with a newborn, Lizzie would always sense my distress and come stay by my side the whole time.
As annoying as they can each be, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
How does the old adage go? Cats…can’t live with ’em, cat live without ’em.