Apologies to Universal Pictures, but when I saw how this photo turned out, I had to do it.
Tag Archives: cattitude
Hodge, 2001 – 2013 (cat)
These are from a previous post in which photos of already questionable quality were resized. Some of the originals are lost, but I hope I can find at least a few. Hodge was a character who thought he was a lion to my antelope.
You were sitting in my spot.Petunia, channeling Sheldon
Hodge back from the veterinarian’s
“I haven’t been fed in six hours. If I had opposable thumbs, the ASPCA would be here right now.”
Hodge is home
I picked up Hodge via walking and bus, although two weeks in a cage on rich food at the veterinarian’s clearly put him well over my post-surgery lifting weight limit of 10 pounds.
Panic Mouse vs. Hodge
Subtitle: Hodge is the weakest link.
Cat behavior, or Hodge and the fleecy green caterpillar
(After I wrote this, a friend took the following video on New Year’s Day, showing Hodge with his fleecy green friend.)
Sunday morning I was walking around while brushing my teeth with my 10-year-old Sonicare, which sometimes aggravates Hodge (the sound? the walking around?). I wasn’t thinking about Hodge at all when suddenly his furry body slammed into my legs. All I felt were fur and muscle — not a hint of anything hard or sharp, like teeth. I take this as a sign of the progress we have made since 2002.
In addition to fear aggression, two of Hodge’s behaviors mystify me. One involves standing on a soft object (cat bed, blanket, or pillow, for example) and lifting his right front foot, then his left front foot, then his right front foot, over and over, for as long as 15 minutes. As he does this, the expression on his feline face varies from deep concentration to inner pain. It doesn’t seem to be enjoyable, yet I’m not certain it’s right for me to distract him and get him to stop when he doesn’t seem to want to. Or is he not able to?
I had never witnessed Pudge engaged in this activity, so I mentioned it to K., who has more experience with more cats than I have. She nodded and said that she’d seen Morpheus doing the very thing I had described. One evening during my stay, she directed my attention to the other sofa, where Morpheus was standing on a blanket, lifting one front foot after the other, looking thoughtful and even pained. Unlike Hodge, Morpheus has claws, and it’s hard to guess whether this behavior is related to the feet alone.
In addition, Hodge has a toy to which he is either mother or master — I can’t tell which. It’s a foot-long, faux fleece green caterpillar that he drags around and even brings to my feet repeatedly when the mood strikes him. Sometimes, he grasps one end of it with his mouth and steps on it with his feet deliberately even as he tries to walk off with it. From my perspective, he looks mentally impaired as he tries to drag his fleecy friend along while pinning it down firmly. This, too, can go on for quite a while. It’s funny, yet frustrating, to observe.
When Hodge does manage to walk around with the green guy in his mouth, he sometimes vocalizes in a way that I’ve not heard from him in any other circumstance. It’s a loud cry that sounds more like a mother’s than a predator’s. His facial expression seems to be more of concentration and concern than triumph, although I suppose he could be thinking about where to hide his “victim” from others. I can’t imagine maternal feelings in a neutered dominant male. Given the idea that cats see people inconveniently sized, socially inept cats, I wonder if the caterpillar is prey — and if its arrival at my feet is intended as some kind of love-offering. In that case, I must be a disappointment to Hodge, as I do not accept in graciously in the same spirit in which it is offered.
Perhaps I am the one whose behavior is mysterious and disturbing.
Dream: Stripey Pudge
I was in the hallway of a hotel, attending a high school reunion. I wondered if anyone would treat me any differently since I thought I looked better with the new glasses; perhaps they gave me a new persona. The fact I was alone in a hallway didn’t bode well for socialization, however.
I spotted a group coming up the stairs toward me and recognized many of them, but I could not remember their names. One or two of the group recognized me and seemed to feel sorry for me as they invited me out for drinks. I accepted, but didn’t know where to go to meet them, and then they were gone. Although I had dreaded it, I regretted the lost opportunity.
I found Pudge, who I knew to be Pudge although she was now an orange-white stripey boy like Hodge, and took her to the park where I could be depressed in peace. The first time I called, she came. Then I was distracted by someone and forgot about her. When I remembered her, I panicked because of the traffic around the park. I called, but this time she didn’t come. I kept calling, and still she didn’t come. I found her pinned by a medium-sized, collie-type dog. With difficulty, I shooed off the dog, which made its owner unhappy.
I found myself in a car with a driver and two people behind me. I did not recognize any of them from school and felt vaguely menaced by them. A man behind noticed my discomfort and said something to reassure me that wasn’t reassuring. All the while I was wondering if I would ever see the people I really wanted to, one in particular.
Dream: Toe pain
The underlying premise seems to have become a recurring dream. I was in a large, oddly designed dormitory room. I knew my roommate was my college roommate. Our beds and desks were arranged a certain way.
I must have gone out for a while. When I returned, the room not only looked different, but it “felt” different, too. Our beds and desks were no longer where they had been, and there were more beds and desks. It seemed the university (like my growing company) had a space problem, and decided to move people into our room. I didn’t think much about it at first, but then when I realised I had no idea who the new people were, I became increasingly upset. I determined to contact the president of the university (I think) to complain because whomever was in charge of housing hadn’t bothered to let us know that this was the plan. I just didn’t like not knowing.
I also felt a sharp pain in my foot. It grew sharper and sharper. Nothing I thought or did would make the pain go away. It seemed an acute pain for a dream. I woke up — to find Hodge’s teeth firmly chomping on my toe. That was no dream.