“You talkin’ to me, punk?”

That’s the cat, whose name was once Slinky. He’s a real spy-cat, a super-hero who can leap tall bookcases in a single bound – especially late at night when the walls vibrate with human purring, and he thinks they should either be quiet, or – the better option – get out of bed and have some fun, chase silverfish and spiders and invisible beings!

The name of the spy-cat – the one who waits in ambush behind a fluffy duster, or a loosely-tossed throw-rug, or maybe even in nothing more than a bit of shadow thrown by the floor-lights – has become kaoticat, the chaos-ruled maker of mischief in the dark hours when the world sleeps.

Okay, those moments happen during the day, too. The times a person wants to work at the computer, or clean, or change linens, or – horror of all horrors – clean away the toys of chaos. Kaoticat likes to help with the laying on of the protective garments for couches and pictures, to test the limits of the wall-hangings and paintings, and even to ensure that the leap from a bookcase to the fan is adequate to enable the creation of more chaos.

Because there isn’t enough chaos in the world, is there?

“You askin’ me, punk?”

Yep, that’s his attitude. A read catitude. The world exists for his fun and dictatorship, and the occasional moment of madness so everyone learns to appreciate peace and stillness – the unchaos when things sleep. That means the afternoon, from 3pm until 7pm, when chaos must resume. Aha! he yowls, and sprints for the making up of rules for the next game of the day, or moment.

And he likes to play hard and fast and wild. Great leaps and bounds, sharp claws and teeth bared for use in a flash of dominance. Oh, and he doesn’t like a lap pat. There are rules to allowing the humans to pat. The cat must be on a high place, the human must pat ‘this way’ and not ‘that way’ – or the teeth attach to the offending hand (it’s a touch, not a true bite, but when he does that thing with the teeth on skin, the pats stop immediately). A brush is preferred, but a good scratch under the chin requires fingers with adequately manicured nails – think like a cat.

Who’d have thought these things just by looking at the cat whose image looks like a smudge when he’s curled up and cute?

What did I expect? Nothing less, it seems. We enjoy the antics, we suffer the process of adapting the house to a new member of the family, and we treasure the life he brings.

But does it have to involve so much chaos? Do we have to lock him out of the two library rooms?

I’d forgotten about cats and rolls of toilet paper. I’d forgotten about the effect of papers sitting wild and unfettered on a desk. I’d forgotten about the things that hid in the small spaces behind, below, beneath things that cats must seek out …

I’d forgotten about how they think about the world they live in.

Oh, it’s so much fun having a cat.

And I wonder: did we choose a kitten, or a mature cat?

Mature. Five and a half years old. Yes, years. That should mean a bit more sedate, or at least less inclined to attack with tools of the trade.

Wrong. We got the master spy cat, the Kaoticat, who becomes Slinky only when asleep … and apparently, we should learn to sleep when he allows it. The king of shadows has spoken.

Now I just have to get him to be still for a moment to get a new picture … or maybe you’ll have to settle for the old one.

grey and white cat almost upside down
Kaoticat, who is clawed and mawed

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