Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Captain Kittens

Captain Kittens reigns supreme!

Jerry already had Captain Kittens when I moved in 5 years ago. He'd been a stray and was a little skittish, but very, very streetwise. This we knew from his prediliction for boldly eating out of the trashcan--especially corncobs and chicken bones. His late night trashcan excursions were a source of constant irritation. And they kept us (and him) on our feet and on our guard.
One night soon after I'd moved in, I was finishing up dinner by myself in front of the TV. It was, of course, fried chicken. As I ate, I could see Captain Kittens hovering just over the edge of the coffee table, sniffing the air like a little grey fox. This was normal. What happened next was not.
In a movement so fast I almost thought I'd imagined it, he swatted the chicken off the table, onto the floor, and into his mouth. And he was off.
Jerry's versoin of cat discipline was to invoke the Alpha Cat--that is we, as the Alpha Cats, were to chase the miscreant, hold him down on the floor, and scold him sharply. Seemed odd, but was surprisingly effective. So when Captain Kittens stole my chicken and ran, I jumped over the coffee table in full Alpha mode and ran after him.
The chase was both fast and furious. We raced through the dining room, through the kitchen, up the stairs to the second floor, in a circle around the bedroom, then back downstairs for repeat of the entire circuit.
I don't have any idea what goes through a cat's mind, but I had a feeling Captain Kittens was in no mood for the Alpha Cat treatment on our second trip up the stair when, instead of heading into the bedroom again, the cat stopped at the top of the stairs to face me.
This is when time slowed down, and I got a very bad feeling. I mean, nothing good can come of this, right? And when he launched himself into the air towards my face, that feeling was confirmed. I was sure he was going to latch onto my head, rip my face off, or do whatever a cornered and chicken-crazed cat does. At that point, I was buddhist calm. I was resigned to my fate.
But then he sailed past my shoulder, as if with wings, and landed without a sound at the foot of the stairs. And disappeared around the corner.
I took the hint.
I retired the Alpha Cat for the night and returned to the sofa. A few minutes later, Captain Kittens jumped onto my lap, slumped into a heap, and started purring.
Nice try, he seemed to say, No hard feelings.
Until next time.
Today, Jerry and I had to face reality and put Captain Kittens down, after a short, unpleasant battle with cancer.
He will be missed. But wherever he is now, I hope there are trashcans filled to the brim with chicken bones and not a single Alpha Cat in site.


Jerry said...

I will truly miss this little monster. I do want to point out that Warren is the one who named Captain Kittens. Originally Corporal Kittens, Captian Kittens just fit better.

I will always love you, CK.

boomer mama said...

Although I never got to meet Captain Kittens in person, I got to know him through many, many great stories. I know that you both are saddened by losing such a good friend.

But take heart, my dear sons, he joins Miss Kitty (another of my "grandcats") in heaven.

Mai Tai joins me in sending sympathy and lots of love.