Sunday, October 04, 2009

Trick or treat?

Unfortunately the quality of this picture is really poor. I had to turn the flash off because otherwise the glare from the window would have ruined the picture.

We were making fun of Ernie tonight, and now I feel kind of bad looking at him in this picture. Feeling bad makes me realize that my anthropomorphic self has completely taken over and is now running wholly amok.

Nothing wrong with that, right?

Ernie just looks so lonely in this picture. It makes me wonder if he knows we were making fun of him? I hope not.

Some of the teasing he brings upon himself. He missed the day they taught "stealthy hunter" in school. Also, to make matters worse, he has put on a healthy amount of weight since we found him a year and a half ago, and he seems to be finding his new full-figure a bit of a hindrance to whatever smidgen of former so-called catlike grace he may have had.

Based on my observations since we brought him in the house last April, I highly doubt that he ever possessed any catlike grace in the first place.

Case in point: we have slowly been pecking away at remodeling our bathroom, and recently had our entire sink/vanity unit out of the bathroom. I had put all of the products that were under the sink into a box, and left the box just outside the bathroom door. Right where Blake is standing in this picture.

Anyway, I was walking down this little hallway, and Ernie thought it would be funny to race, so he took the shortcut over the box of products (which by the way did not have a lid on it). He thought, "My legs have springs! There is wind in my fur! I'm going to leap over this box and she'll never know what hit her!"

But his plan was foiled when somehow mid-leap he tripped, and fell in his erstwhile endeavor. He not only ended up in the box, but skewered (in a funny way) on the products, unable to get his feet underneath him, and stuck in his own personal oubliette of spray bottles. He did in fact surprise me, but not the way he intended. It was the loud crash that got my attention, and when I peered down in disbelief he was grumbling and cussing and wrapped around the bottles in the box. When he finally emerged, sullen and deflated, I had to sit down on the floor I was laughing so hard.

Ernie also missed the day they taught "all cats always land on their feet" in school. The other case in point: sometimes he can't quite make it over the baby gate when he wants to go hang out with the dogs (or he's tired of hanging out with them and wants some relief from the butt sniffing).

Even Blake, the most unathlethic cat that ever there was, has the ability to jump over the baby gates. He chooses not to because, well . . . why on earth would you want to jump into the lion's den? He lacks motivation unless he somehow gets trapped in with the dogs when the gate is down. Then when we put the gate back up and he realizes he's been locked in, he goes flying over the gate. With much more grace then you would expect from a twenty pound cat.

But Ernie! He has the ability, he has the motivation, but he apparently lacks the coordination.

He wiggles his butt, swishes his tail, coils his body like an Olympian, and LEAPS! in the air, expecting to sail over the gate with room to spare.

And ends up splatting into the gate and crashing back to the floor with the wire pattern indented on his face. He shakes his head and you hear the "yadda yadda" cartoon rattle, and the wire indents poof back out by magic. He glares up at the gate and takes out his tape measure, disbelief written all over his face. He puts on his glasses and takes out a pen and paper to write down his measurements, and then settles down to start comparing the new numbers with his previous calculations. A light bulb appears over his head when he realizes where his error in judgement was, and he determinedly puts his tape measure away and gumptions up for another try.

Usually by the second go 'round, he makes it over.

This picture was priceless timing, but in case it looks bad: he is not hurt or stuck. He is voluntarily pushing his nose through the wire of the gate (just to be closer to me, I suppose) and with his mouth open like that you can hear the purr in the next room.


Doug said...

Thank you for the invite to your blog (from the forum, 'Why should I read your blog?').

My two cats are about to board a plane in Atlanta for a flight to the UK (our new home). My wife, who calls them, 'Our furry children' is along for the ride. I stayed back with Lucius, our 17 month old non-furry child.

Reading your posts reminded me of Morton and Noodles. I must honestly say I haven't missed them much (they've been in the US with friends for the past 3 months). Until I read your posts that is.

Your question in the forum was right on. While the 'grammar' part didn't intrigue me, the 'anthropomorphism' surely did (especially after I couldn't find it in the dictionary). I should have googled it!!

Fun site!

Kate said...


Thank you for such a wonderful comment!! I am definitely going to check out your blog. And I have to say it: I love your furry kids' names, especially Noodles.

As for anthropomorphism in the dictionary: I think it depends on which one you prefer. I think some of the variations of anthropomorphism are either new usage, or just not as common, or something, because I have come across the same thing. But the online dictionary I like ( does have anthropomorphist the noun in it.

I do confess sometimes I use licentia poetica when it comes to morphing anthropomorphism. Specifically I’m remembering a sentence when I referred to non-animal-lovers as “non-anthropomorphics.” It’s funny when I do it!

Linda said...

"Why wouldn't you want to read a blog about grammar and anthropomorphism?"

Exactly! Who wouldn't?

I've sampled a few of your posts and enjoyed them very much. I've become a follower and will be back.

Our two dogs keep us as entertained as your kids do you.

~mel said...

Oh that Ernie ... Love your descriptive narration of your cat and his inability to conquer the gate.

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