Penelope’s Amusing Antics to Ease her Owner’s Stress

No cat ever existed who was quite like me. Just ask my owner who lovingly put up with me until his last days of life.

Let’s take a look at a typical day we spent together. After a night of prowling around the house as the nocturnal creature I am, Boy am I hungry!

My food dish sits empty long past my breakfast time. Yet, there lies my owner still sound asleep, snoozing under the covers in his bed. Time to wake him up so that he feeds me breakfast. To get his attention, I climb on top of him and pet his face with my tail to tickle him awake. He merely mutters under his breath, pushes my tail away and scratches his nose as he rolls over away from me.

Stronger measures are called for to get his lazy bones up and feeding me. So I leap with all my might onto the headboard with a loud bang! Slowly, he stirs from his slumber. He pets me and drags himself out of bed, heading to fill my empty food dish.

I relish my morning meal after my owner lovingly pours my favorite cat food into my dish. Or, I should say HIS favorite cat food. It’s one of the least expensive brands, costing much less than the better ones that he can surely afford. What a cheapskate he is. I give him hours of feline pleasure, yet he spends as little as possible on cat food, kitty treats and litter. Ha! The litter! What a joke. It’s the cheapest sort he can find.

He buys a brand of litter that feels like gravel on my paws as I try to bury my waste. It’s so bad that I cannot help but go potty outside the litter box.  I poop and pee in the basement, my favorite hangout, so that I don’t have to smell my own poops. Seeing my droppings scattered across the basement floor, my owner didn’t get mad because he loves me so much. Yet it never even occurs to him to buy a better brand of kitty litter. Instead, he makes up a little ditty to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell” that goes like this:

A-poopin’ on the rug, a-poopin’ on the rug,

High on the stinkeo, A-poopin’ on the rug.

When he told his daughter about the situation, she urged him to buy a better, more expensive brand of kitty litter. Having grown up during the Depression, he stubbornly resisted doing so and clung to his habit of buying only kitty litter that was on sale at his local grocery store.

Luckily for me, my owner’s daughter bought him a bag of the kitty litter that she recommended he use. It felt like heaven on my tiny little paws compared to that cheap gravelly stuff. I finally did my business in the litter pan filled with better kitty litter. But when it ran out, he went back to using the cheap, old litter instead of replenishing my pan with the better brand. In response, I went back to my old ways of a-poopin’ on the rug. Serves him right for being so stubborn.

Meanwhile, my favorite hobby was knocking little objects off tables, counters or shelves onto the floor to bat them around with my paws. Soon I grew weary of rolling pencils on the floor, so I proceeded to my owner’s chess board which sat on a coffee table in the living room. My favorite piece to play with was invariably the gray queen. She attracted me because she was gray like me, the most powerful piece on the board, and I thought of myself as “Queen Penelope.” My owner had nicknamed me that and became very amused at my antics of always playing with only the gray queen. Forget about the lowly pawns and other pieces.

My owner also kept a bowl of plastic apples on the kitchen table. How I loved to pick them up by the stem in my mouth and carry them to the edge of the table, batting them to the floor.  He wanted to stop me from doing this because of the risk that he would slip and fall on one of the apples. So, he turned all the apples in the bowl with the stems facing down, thinking I wouldn’t be able to pick them up that way.  Is he kidding? This was easy. All I had to do was lean on one front paw and use the other one to manipulate the apples to get the stems facing up. Then I could easily clench them between my teeth and remove them from the bowl to drop back onto the floor. Nothing he did could stop my playful, feline antics.

Despite the frustrations I posed him, I gave my owner plenty of joyful stress relief – sometimes. I mostly ignored his calls for me, playing hard to get. Whether it was the cheap litter, kitty treats or cat food, I was not always as loving as I could have been to him.  But on my good days, I deigned to let him pet me and lovingly petted him with my tail. He really loved me and enjoyed watching my playful behavior. He often told his daughter and other relatives tales of my latest mischiefs. She soon rescued a little kitty of her own and brought her over to play.

The trouble was that little kitty, named Patience, had no patience for me. Since she was hatefully jealous of me, she resented any attention that my owner’s daughter paid to me and often tried to pounce on me. Sadly for her, I was always just one step ahead of her when she chased me. Other times, she cunningly waited on the armrest of a chair next to the hallway in the living room to pounce on my back. However, I was just one step too fast for her, and she always landed on the floor instead of onto me. It was just like Wiley Coyote trying but failing to catch the Road Runner. Although Patience may have fooled my owner’s daughter into thinking she was a good kitty, my owner sure had her pegged. “That cat is wild, just wild. Her forbears were probably just domesticated,” he would often say.

I had some tricks of my own for my owner’s daughter when she tried to take me to the vet. Whenever I saw that cat carrier ready for me on the table, I knew it meant a trip to the vet, so I scampered to hide in the basement. As a result, she always placed a bowl of kitty treats by the carrier, attempting to entice me from my hiding place. Since I knew what she was up to, I ignored the treats and stayed away. Invariably, she had to call the vet to cancel the appointment. As soon as I heard that call, I knew the coast was clear and only then emerged from my hiding place to feast on the kitty treats. She couldn’t fool me.

At night, my owner relaxed and watched TV before bedtime. I sat on the couch near him and we watched TV together, owner and cat. Finally, tired after a long day, he went to bed. I always curled up at the foot of the bed by his feet.