Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Cat Named Schrödinger

I haven't spent much time writing or blog-reading this past month. One reason is that I've been suffering from Alphlambé.1 I've also been heavily involved in Operation Pending Baby. I've spent some of my spare time with a power sander on Home Improvement.2 And of course, when the weather bypasses the second half of spring for the hot stickiness of summer, I'm always overcome by a General Malaise.3

But more than anything else,4 the reason for my absence has been this little man:

Schrödinger (who I first introduced in January) may look all cute and innocent, but only that first descriptor is entirely accurate. Sure, he may purr like a chainsaw and look heart-wrenchingly adorable while doing pretty much anything that doesn't rhyme with joop or jommit, but he's a monster.5 And I'm not exaggerating; "Monster" is, in fact, my wife's pet name for him.

He's almost ten months old now, and he monsters6 everyone in the house. If he's tired of napping and doesn't feel like entertaining himself, we'd better be flailing something around for him to chase. Otherwise we're in trouble. He'll bat at Callie's face until she retreats, with him in hot pursuit. Sonya's wagging tail is always ripe for attack. If Denise or I head toward another room, Mr. Underfoot is right there, ready to trip us multiple times as he sprints ahead to find out what's going on. And of course, we need to lock up anything we care about that's made of paper or cardboard. They don't call him Schrödinger the Shreddinger for nothing:

Which brings me to my absence from the internets. A few weeks back, Schrödinger found his way into the small space atop my desktop computer, behind the keyboard tray.

He then discovered that I didn't like it when he batted at my mouse, clicking the buttons (and randomly deleting passages in the process) or pulling it and the mouse pad to the floor. In fact, he discovered that if he did this enough, I'll get exasperated and do something to distract him. I might even pull out his new favorite toy, the LASER.

I use the laser to lead him all over the second floor, which tires him out; soon he's out cold in the hallway, dreaming of elusive little red dots. I return to my writing. Ten minutes later, he's back behind my keyboard tray. Laser, rinse, repeat.

So you can see why I haven't been too computer-productive of late. I've been too busy entertaining our feline friend by turning plastic seltzer bottle lids into hockey pucks (he's got this great move where he'll deke right into my shin), crumpling up post-its for him to kill (their colorful carcasses later show up under the area rug in the kitchen), or letting him chase some tail:

Sure, I suppose I could just close my office door and play music loud enough to mask his chirping and scratching as he tries to claw his way in to see me (and the LASER), but he's just too darn cute. I'm powerless to resist.

It may mean I'll visit fewer blogs and work less on my novel for a little while until he outgrows this phase,7 but that's a small price to pay for cuteness.

Yeah, I'm weak. But I see that as one my strengths. Now, if you don't mind, I have a kitten to entertain.

1 a.k.a. A to Z burnout.
2 Although in my version, there's far less grunting.
3 *salutes* And to think, just last week he was only a Colonel.
4 Except for procrastination. (You knew I'd get to that eventually, didn't you?)
5 And to date, he's never jommited.
6 Verbing words is fun. So is adverbing themly.
7 See, that's funny because it's not true. There's no way I could possibly work less on my novel.


  1. First of all, I adore the use of footnotes and am impressed that their use was possible in the Malaise.

    Second of all, how could you resist that sweet baby face. He deserves all the attention for being such a sweet baby.

  2. What an awesome cat! He's so pretty and so mischievous..I have a very personable and talkative cat. She's not as active as your Schrodinger, she's 17 years old, so she spends most of her time napping..
    I really like the pic of him peeking though the slot in the desk..very nice pictures!

  3. That is an amazing snap of him in midair! And just think; he's doing you several favours. 1. Keeping you in shape physically. 2.Keeping your imagination flexed as you figure out ways to entertain him. 3. Preparing you for the little human's arrival. Because if you think a kitten is curious, destructive, and emits a lot of bodily fluids, just wait...

  4. That picture of him leaping is impressive!

  5. Very funny. Love the pic of "chasing tail." My new kitty isn't nearly so destructive. But, he does sit on my lap sometimes, making it hard to type. Matilda was a piano cat. Leo is a writing cat. Cats are cool.

  6. Awwwwwwe. Could wish my cat was as active. Although she also is very skilled at both the J-rhyming activities.

    If/when you do get back to it, wrote a post (actually 2) on a theme you mentioned previously. I'm guesting at Lisa Kilian's blog with 10 Things Not To Do To Your Feedback Group (as a writer), with the companion piece on my own, Writing in Flow: Ten Things Not To Do as a Reader in a Feedback Group Link on mine to the Writer piece on Lisa's.

    So you see, you have inspired pages to be written - even if they weren't yours.

  7. The fourth picture is so cute it hurt! You hurt me, Nate! And it was awesome.

  8. Ok, adorable. The pics are amazing. It sounds like our "kitten," Willow, who's now almost 2 years old - do cats go through the terrible twos? Because our nickname for her is "Terror Kitten." Boxes, corners of coffee table books and board game boxes, the carpet - pretty much everything except for the scratchpads that we bought for her. She meows for attention all the time, and of course I give it to her, which I know is enabling, but how can I stop? (Come to think of it, this kind of sounds like an abusive relationship...) I try to keep her entertained but she's picky about the toys. Maybe a laser is the way to go!

  9. OMG! So cute! Wish i had a cat.
    In all seriousness, if he is driving you a bit crazy, maybe he's the type of cat who needs another cat?

  10. V. Furnas: Luckily I was able to do the footnotes because, and I apologize ahead of time for this one, Malaise used to be a foot soldier. But you're right, of course: resistance is futile.

    Eve: My last cat was extremely talkative, but rarely active. (Although, she would kill socks during the day and leave their discarded remains for us to find when we got home.) Glad you like the pictures!

    li: You're right, of course. Especially with #3. We're getting plenty of practice placing important items well out of reach. (When we forget, he makes sure to teach us a lesson.)

    Alex: Thanks! What's even more impressive is that I managed to snap that shot with the tail in one hand, and my (rather heavy) camera in the other.

    Mary: Agreed. Cats are cool. Our second cat goes the more traditional route as well, standing in front of the screen or trying to lie down on the keyboard.

    Beverly: I do hope your cat gives up those J- activities soon (the latter one, at least), but I'm glad I was able to inspire you. I'll stop by soon to read what you've got.

    Joe: And I'd do it again, too! Remember: Life is pain; anyone who says differently is selling something. (Also, you're welcome. Death by cuteness is the best way to go.)

    SarahL: Yes, but be careful that doesn't enable them further, since the laser is like a drug to them. Especially if it's been dipped in catnip.

    Falen: We have another cat -- Callie, who puts up with him for 10-15 seconds and then runs away. What we need is another cat his age. (I don't think I'll be able to convince my wife of this, however.)

  11. Cute cat.

    Came across your blog after reading some of your comments on the Fun and Games blogfest.

    Friggin' HILARIOUS, dude. Consider me a follower.

    And good with, ya know, babies and cats and all those other projects!

  12. I don't know which I adore more, Schrodinger, or the fact that you named your PET Schrodinger... or your camera speed, because those are some DAMN FINE photos, the likes of which Cali has never been captured in because we are poor and our cameras are crap. Whatever the case, I LURVE him, I LURVE his name, and i LURVE his likenesses... so if you ever tire of him, I have a Satan's spawncat who could use a little competition.

  13. I gotta love this cat. You have some impressive photo skills or incredibly great timing because these pics are phenomenal.

    Best of luck on the novel and on pending baby. I wish you all the best.

  14. I realize this is off topic, but I just have to say, you're one damn fine photographer. Or your wife is.

  15. Thanks, Bryce. I wasn't feeling at my funniest when I wrote this, but I'm glad to hear some hilarity seeped through.

    Hart, unfortunately for you I believe I shall never tire of him, so you will have to LURVE him from afar. Unless we arrange some sort of play date with your devilish kitty. And thanks for the compliment on my photo skills.

    Thanks, Melissa. Of course, I have confidence my son will come along just fine without any luck. My novel, on the other hand...

    Matthew: Actually, I'm a decent photographer, but a damn fine Photoshopper. Whereas my wife is simply damn fine.

  16. Oh my!!! He is so stinkin' cute!!! Sorry, lots of exclamation points. I can see why you're distracted and I can understand why you can't resist. The pictures are fantastic, especially the jumping in the air, action shot. Those claws are definitely monstrous looking though.
    Good luck on getting "anything" done. Eventually, he'll get fat and lazy and just want to lay across your keyboard while you're trying to type, enjoy the laser tag.

  17. He's so cute!

    Great pictures--especially the one mid-leap!

  18. Heather, his claws may look monstrous, and he may use them for monstrous deeds, but the only time he's ever drawn blood was because I was trying to save my mouse from certain doom.

    Golden, thanks! I'm particularly fond of that one, too.