Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Singing Cat

It's bedtime. Dave's sinking into a comfortable snore and I'm just about asleep when I hear Ben The Cat begin his evening performance.

"Reowwww," he says, tuning up. Bass note 'owww' a little tremulous as his cat larnyx warms to the occasion.

Dave's snore is interrupted for a nano-second, then resumes smoothly.

Ben does this almost every night. As soon as we're in bed and the house is quiet, he sings. Usually just a few mournful wails because he knows better. When we first rescued Ben-Ben from the animal shelter six years ago he used to sing and sing and sing, until Dave got mad and chased him around in his underwear, Dave, not the cat, squirt bottle in hand, cussing and shrieking, not happy until the cat was soaking wet from squirt and Dave was soaking wet with sweat and there wasn't a hell's bells chance that anyone was going to get to bed that night.

It took years of midnight-underwear-squirt training but eventually Ben figured out that we didn't want him reowwwing while we were trying to sleep. For years he didn't make a peep. In the last few months, though, Ben-Ben has rediscovered his voice and has been entertaining us with cataphonic operetta most evenings. Luckily for him – and us – he usually only sings a few bars then closes the curtain, knowing that the squirt-bottle-equipped audience has a short attention span for feline divas.

But sometimes he can't help it. Sometimes the show must go on.

"Reeeeeeoooooooooowwwwwww," he says, gaining momentum.

Dave's snores stop.

Uh-oh, I think.

"Reeeooowwww," says Ben.

I open my eyes to the darkness, listening hard to Dave's breathing, wondering if he has woken up. There's a little hitchy sound, then his deep breathing returns. In a few moments he begins to snore.

"Reeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww."

Shit. Dave's bound to hear this and he's gonna be cheesed if he has to run around the house with a squirt gun. He's had a long week and he's tired. Still, I imagine Ben-Ben sitting out in the living room, tuxedo on, top hat stuck on his pointy head, singing away to the empty room, and I can't help it, I start to smile.

"Reeeeeeeeooooowwwwww," he sings. "Reeeeooow. Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww."

The smile has amped up and now I'm pressing back on a giggle, the kind of giggle that wants to be free, and the more I try to suppress the giggle, the funnier everything seems to be.

Dave makes a snorty sound, tosses around a bit, and slings a sleepy arm across my face with a thounk.

Omigawd, I'm practically sitting on my giggle now, it's everything I can do not to laugh, then Ben-Ben lets loose with a high end soprano so pure that, if sang in an opera house, would bring the house down.

And that's it, folks! Here comes the giggles! Big sassy from-the-bowels-of-my-bowels giggles! Ben-Ben hears me and closes the show, knowing conscious humans means squirt guns. I hear him running for cover, little kitty feet skittering across the floor and under the couch. Dave wakes up and wants to know what the feck is going on. He has only heard me laughing, not Ben singing, which makes me laugh harder. "Geez," he says, "can't a guy get any sleep around here?" Grumpy, he goes to the bathroom. My giggling eventually stops and apparently I'm sound asleep by the time Dave gets back to bed. In the morning he tells me he laid awake for an hour afterwards, staring at the ceiling while I snored contentedly.

"I don't know what got into you," he said, "but at least that damn cat was quiet."



35 comments:

  1. I guess Dave knows why you were giggling now. ;)
    I love the middle of the night hairball attacks, wondering if I'll find it in the morning by stepping on it. Also have the nighttime closet burglar, who thumps the doors back and forth before finally getting them open. Or the winding the tail across the nose, "aren't you up yet?" question at 4am.

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    1. I hear ya on the hairball attacks - this Christmas I knew one of our cats was horking up a hairball under the tree but couldn't find it, so I forgot about it (hoping it was a false alarm hairball). When we took the tree down, the most disgusting surprise was waiting for us. I laugh when I think of people's presents sitting on top of it!!!!!

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  2. :-) Love it! I, too have a resident snorer lying next to me - at least I can just jab him in the ribs. However, son is living with us at present and he snores at times - can hear it through the wall. Like last night - the pair of them were at it - but annoyingly out of synch!!!! :-/

    Oh well, at least we don't have a singing cat....! ;-p

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    1. Out of synch snorers! You need some earplugs!!!

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  3. Why is it that all I could think about was Michigan J. Frog strutting about singing, 'everybody do the Michigan raaaaaaaaag, Everybody loves the Michigan raaaaaag.' lol

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  4. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I was giggling right along with you!

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  5. teehee: Cali meows for a little while once everyone goes to bed. She spends most of her evening following either me or my daughter, so I think she just gets confused when the lights go out and everybody is in bed. Usually I call her a few times so she can find me if she wants to (she never does, but seems reassured that she isn't alone, even if she can't see me)

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    1. Well, Ben-Ben DOES get "called" but usually Dave isn't as nice as you are!

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  6. OMG that is so funny. I love your little cat. We had one that went around to every bifold door in the place at night. He would stick his paw under the door and "thugga thugga thugga" on it until it opened. Our old Nick would would sit outside the bedroom door around 3:30 or 4:00am and make a noise like he was clearing his throat until someone got up and put some canned food in his dish. They are wonderful aren't they?

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    1. :) Thugga, thugga, thugga would drive anyone crazy pretty darn quick! And so would 4 a.m. feeding calls!

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  7. That's funny. I miss my little meow-y cat. Sounds like yours is a great part of the family!

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  8. That is hilarious!!! I love it!! "Reeeeeoooooooooowwwwww! :)

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  9. My cat has the cutest little meows. He's so sweet.
    However, The Orange is a horrible cat that gets outside my door and wails until I go chase him off, which is immediately, because it always means he's bullying my cat.
    Y'all don't know what your cat is singing for?

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    1. I don't know what he's singing for! He's fixed, he's healthy, he's an indoor cat so he never goes out anyway, his bowls are filled, his litter is clean, he has the company of another cat and a dog ... dunno. We're at a loss other than he just likes to sing! He was a rescue so maybe something cat-astrophic happened in his mysterious past.

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  10. That was hilarious! Cat's too smart for his own good. You need to nudge Dave just enough so he'll wake in time to hear the cat so you don't get blamed all the time.

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  11. Look at all the cat behavior exposed here. One of our cats howled at the full moon. Not bad, a meaningful SHADDUP ended the noise. But, our old indoor/outdoor is on my list. He makes sure he gets in when the dog last goes out at night. About an hour before the rest of the house stirs he is beside my bed" Me--out. Me--out. Very piercing. Generally I shuffle to the door and let him out. Occasionally I shut my door and let him wake up someone else. Take that!

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  12. As someone who has a singing cat myself, I truly enjoyed this :)

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    1. Why thank you OE! So glad to hear it! Singing cats definitely have their moments...

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  13. Heehee... I needed this. Our cat Flipper is deaf, so when he yowls in the might it scares the crap out of me--he's ungodly loud and off-pitch. When I really need to sleep, we put him in the basement. Peace...

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    1. HAHAHA! A deaf singer! Thank god for basements!!!

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  14. Jazz sings. Loudly. Very loudly. Early. He sings well before the earliest sparrow farts. The skinny portion does not hear him, ninety-nine percent of the time. On the very rare occasions that he does... I have a bearded diva and a furry diva competeting for top billing. Both of them are happy if I get up and deal with the situation, ie pat and feed Jazz and keep him off the bed for the twenty five seconds it takes the skinny portion to go back to sleep.

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    1. Jazz is very well named! You are a good woman to get up and deal with the felines, EC.

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  15. popped by via Cindy's to say hello, I too am a blogger in the Alliston area. Love the Bracebridge area, would love to live there,

    Gill

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  16. You know you KILL me woman ! Thanks for participating in the Ontario Blogger's Day. Hope you find a moment or to drop in on everyone else who "linked" up today ! xx

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  17. Oh I love your writing style you had me laughing imagining the snoring and the contagious giggle that I was hearing in my head. B

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  18. Oh boy... ROTFL!! Our cat lies to do this EARLY in the morning & wake up all my kids so SOMEONE will feed her breakfast!! lol! They're great, aren't they?! ;) Thanks for saying Hi! on my blog!

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  19. Ha ha! My old cat used to sing at night to let me know that his Nemesis was coming through the cat flap and he needed some back-up. My current cat just sleeps on me and snores!

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  20. Maybe the kitty's saying hello to the ghosts you didn't realize are in the house....

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