Monday, May 22, 2017

Happy birthday, Hercules ~ by Leah St. James


Hercules the Kitten turned one year old this past week. With that milestone out of the way, he can now officially be called Hercules the CAT. 


He can now join the ranks of the mature (read: more sedate) creatures of his species–you know, the ones that sprawl peacefully in splotches of sunlight splashed across the floor. The ones that leap onto your lap, perform a few pressy-paw moves, circle a bit, then settle down for a nap. The ones that have learned the ways of the world—what is prey and what is not.

Except it seems Hercules still has some maturing to do.

He does have the napping thing down. In fact, he naps all day. Our theory is that he does this so he will be alert enough to wake us each morning when his tummy signals it wants food. That seems to be about 4 a.m., and he has developed a two-step process which is alarmingly (hahaha) effective!

First step: Jump onto my dresser, lift up on hind legs and start scratching the crap out of the mirror hanging there. (It’s the mirror that my grandparents bought when they were first married. I estimate its age at about a century! Imagine the bad luck if that sucker shatters!)  Result: Me and hubby instantly awaken and groan.

Second step: Wait for one of us to stumble out of bed and approach the dresser, at which point Hercules leaps to the ground and races out the door to head downstairs (where his empty food dish awaits filling).

What seems to surprise him daily is when we slam the door shut after he leaves, forcing him to wait outside the door until we feel like getting up.

I know what you’re thinking: Why don’t they just keep the door shut to begin with?! We have tried that! But he seems to take it as a sign to scratch the crap out of the door until we get up and open it...at which point he runs in, jumps onto my dresser...you get the picture.

For some reason sitting outside after the dresser interlude doesn’t start him scratching. I don’t understand why. I guess he is a creature of habit.

As to the rest of the expected attributes of a mature feline?

He doesn’t sleep in patches of sunlight. He pounces on the shadows they create. His latest favorite spot is in our dining room and its big window with blinds. With the blinds open, the sun throws horizontal lines across the dining room walls. If one of us walks across the room, the beams and shadows will mix, making the perfect action scene for Hercules’ attention. 



video

Sometimes he just stares at the blank wall. The first time it happened, we thought he was seeing insects (ugh) or ghosts (yikes!). But no, just shadows playing across the wall’s landscape.

He doesn’t cuddle, at all...unless it’s cold out. Then he might sleep on our bed at night, curled into the curve of one of our body parts.

As far as prey...anything and everything is game to Hercules. Paper–any and all types. Aluminum foil. Cardboard. Dental floss that misses the trash can. We have covered every scrap of paper in the house that we don’t want shredded. Stacks of printer paper now huddle under a winter blanket for protection. (I’m not kidding.) My husband says the cat is part billy goat. 



Check out the lower right corner.

For his birthday we gave him the unused lid to a paper carton. He has now chewed one side off. Hey, it makes for cheap gift-giving. (And all the extra vacuuming burns calories!)


Here he is this morning going nuts over a mesh apple bag.


video

So maybe Hercules will never quite grow up, but that’s okay. We love him just the way he is.


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Leah writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil and the power of love. She blogs here on the 6th and 22nd of each month. You can find her posting occasional pictures and videos of Hercules on her Facebook page, along with other tidbits of her daily life. She loves visitors. Learn more about her writing on her website.

17 comments:

Jannine Gallant said...

Maybe he's like a puppy and won't start to mature until he's two. LOL Good luck with that mirror. Maybe cover it with something when you go to bed. Of course that might just encourage him to shred the "something."

Brenda Whiteside said...

Kittens are such fun...but trouble!

RE Mullins said...

I was going to say the same thing, Jannine. He's such a cutie but I'm not sure any cat or dog is mature by one. Sorry to bust your bubble, Leah. I think you've got, at the very least, another year to go. :)

Rolynn Anderson said...

Hercules lives up to his name...he's in charge of the St. James household. In mythology, Hercules is the strong, adventurous god. Shredding paper? Your cat creates adventures for you! I'm thinking of the mystery writer with a cat helping the heroine solve crimes. Hope springs...

Leah St. James said...

Yeah, I think we tried covering it but it just created more mess. I fear you might be right. We're in for some more frisky times!

Leah St. James said...

I had forgotten just how much, Brenda! :-)

Leah St. James said...

He's been in the "terrible twos" phase for so long, I was hoping! I'm sure you and Jannine are right though. Sigh....

Leah St. James said...

I love that, Rolynn. Thanks!

Alison Henderson said...

As a long-time cat fancier I tell you you've got at least one, maybe two more years of "kittenish" behavior ahead of you. Enjoy it!

Leah St. James said...

Thanks, Alison...I guess. :-) I'm just kidding. We are all enjoying him, even my husband who's a life-long dog guy (never really liked cats). I think we'll both be devastated when our son moves out and takes Hercules with him!

Andrea Downing said...

Cute kitty but I'd hate to see that mirror go....

Leah St. James said...

You and me both, Andrea. I joke about it, but that would be really awful.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Never a dull moment with Hercules around. Making memories you could say.

Leah St. James said...

This morning I was just stepping out of the shower when I heard a CRASH followed by a string of expletives deleted from hubby. Hercules had taken a flying leap onto the top of the (metal) trash can, knocking it over onto hubby's foot. Ouch? Never a dull moment. :-)

Diane Burton said...

It sounds like Hercules is a source of entertainment. LOL I agree with the others about him not maturing for at least another year. I suggest you take down the mirror until then.

Leah St. James said...

It's the only mirror I have in my bedroom, Diane! Sigh...but you might be right. Thanks for the advice. :-)

Alicia Dean said...

Well, happy late birthday to Hercules! Ha, sounds like you have your hands full!