Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Maybe He Knows Something We Don't?

We have four cats. Ransom, our biggie-sizer, is a twenty pound lapcat. Falcor is a tiny ball of demonic energy and cuteness. I swear she is spring-loaded. Eowyn is the matron. Sophisticated. Aloof. Proper. I'm also convinced that she has Jedi mind powers, but that's another story. Then there's Ajax, who is all beauty and no brains. He's one of the prettiest cats you'll ever see, all creamy with dark brown marking around face, legs and tail and bright, bright blue eyes. But he's also, sort of, hmm.....mentally stunted would be a wildly generous way to put it.*

Keith named Ajax after the famous Greek warrior of the Iliad, hoping that he would show the same strength and ferocity. Alas, no. He's actually the wimpiest of our brood, letting all the other cats boss him around. He has a fractured attention span, very little cognitive skill (even for a cat), and, we suspect, tunnel vision (judging from the fact that he frequently can't discern objects that are in his periphery. He is also devastatingly codependent when it comes to his love for Keith. He follows Keith from room to room throughout the house and if there is a closed door between them, Ajax will sit on his side of it and howl unrelentingly until Keith comes back.

So, needless to say, with Keith out of town all weekend, Ajax was despondent. And being as "challenged" as he is, he couldn't quite grasp the concept that Keith physically left the house and never came back, thus he is gone. Ajax reasons more along the lines of: Keith isn't in this room. I wonder where he is. Maybe he's in the bedroom. If I sit by the bedroom door and howl long enough, surely he will come to save me.

And that's what Ajax did. Saturday morning, I get up, make myself some coffee, settle onto the couch with my book, and suddenly Ajax realizes that something's wrong. I'm in the living room, but Keith is not. He must still be sleeping. Ajax must wake him up. And he proceeded to yowl. For a good 10 minutes he yodeled his little cat brains out. Then he took about a five minute break of prowling restlessly around the house before the yowling commenced again. And on, and on, in cycle, ad nauseam. Until finallly, I let him into our bedroom. I let him sniff around, and look for Keith, and sleep on our bed until he was satisfied. Then I brought him back to the living room and he was happy again.

Until the next morning. When the cycle started all over again. I recounted this to Keith over coffee this morning (he returned late last night). I told him I don't think Ajax grasps the concept that when someone leaves and doesn't come back that means they are not there. Or maybe, Keith countered, there's a teleportation device in our room. And he knows about it. And he just assumes I've used it to travel back home.

Which I suppose is possible. How do you argue with that?

* They're all named after characters from favorite books or movies.

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