Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cat Lady

Twelve years ago, Iwanski and I decided to get a cat.

I was soooo excited. Growing up, I had never had a pet (many of my family members suffer from pet allergies), and besides our cute little hamster Cozmo who died at the tragically young age of two, I had never had my very own pet. Especially never one that could really bond with its human owner, like a cat or a dog.

So we adopted Autumn Raccoon (AKA Raccooney) from our local Humane Society. And a few months later, we adopted Hattie (AKA Fattie Boombaladdie).

I loved having cats, and I was not shy about telling people about it. I shared stories of the Battle to Keep Cats out of the Bedroom (which of course, we lost), and of the cats’ adorable responsiveness to the words “hungry” and “eat.”

Somehow, I think I inadvertently became known as “the cat lady” of the family.

And along with the title came a slew of cat-related gifts. Cat t-shirts, cat books, cat figurines—you name it, and I probably have it.

Of course, I’m always very grateful for the thoughtfulness of the lovely family members that purchase these items for me.

But I must admit, I am quite surprised that my “cat lady” reputation has followed me for a whole twelve years.

I certainly haven’t really done anything in the past several years to promote it.

Until now.

This weekend, I actually attended—are you ready for this?—a Cat Circus.

That’s right, I—along with my good friends Jonathan and Diane—attended a performance of “The Circus Cats of Chicago.” I had read about these supposedly well-trained cats a few months earlier, and I have to admit, the idea of somebody actually being able to train cats was intriguing to me. I just had to see it.

So I purchased the tickets, and off to the show we went.

And indeed, it was pretty amazing. At one point, the trainer lady (who said that she wasn’t married, and that she probably would stay single for the rest of her life) had about 10 cats out on the stage, all poised upon their individual stools, sitting and waiting for her next direction. They just sat there! That in itself was amazing.

But there were other astonishing tricks to behold—like the kitten who balanced on top of a ball as it rolled down the stage—or the “Rock Cats”—a band of musical cats playing the guitar, drums, and piano. Don’t believe me? It is, incredibly, true. Check out a video of it here, on Jonathan’s blog.

And what was even more interesting was that this wasn’t just a cat show—no, in fact, Miss Trainer Lady also had trained rats, a woodchuck who could raise a flag on command, a kinkajou (a creepy-looking monkey that is not actually a monkey) that she swung back and forth by its tail, and one very intelligent chicken. (Who knew you could train a chicken??)

My favorite part of the show was when Miss Trainer Lady announced “We will now have a bowling contest between a cat and a chicken.”

I laughed my ass off. Now that’s something I never thought I’d hear! (And by the way, the chicken won.)

It was quite an entertaining show, and we all enjoyed ourselves very much.

So now I’ve seen a cat circus. I’m sure this will do wonders for my “cat lady” reputation.

14 comments:

Random Thinker said...

Cat circus? I didn't think cats were trainable. Mine just lays on the bed and eyes me with disdain. As far as being the "cat lady". Unless you divorce Iwanski, get 10 cats and start a circus I think you're safe.

Mathman6293 said...

Do you they my cats my a get job there. Morris just got a fresh new haircut and I am sure Lisa will have pics up of him soon.

Did the cats juggle while riding a bicyle?

Diane said...

I have to admit I was disappointed we did not see a cat being shot our of a cannon but the cat that fell approximately ten feet while trying to jump from one stool to the next got a bunch of gasps and maybe a scream or two from the audience. That was cool! For a split second I thought the kitty ambulance was going to get called in! It was a fun time!

Daisy's Mom said...

MHP,
You know I love you. You know I respect you. You know I think you are the best SIL in the world.

You should also know that I will mock you mercilessly the next time I see you (next weekend). I can't NOT make fun of the cat circus.

I thought I should give you a fair warning.....

Anita said...

LOL, this post cracks me up. I am not a cat lover, I'm not really even a cat liker, I tolerate them I think, but the image of you at a cat circus, priceless! Did you take any pictures?

Lisa said...

That is hilarious! I am the cat lady in my family, too. But I've never been to the cat circus. I did groom our biggest cat, but failed to take pix. Epic Cat fail.

Sling said...

I was playing the Rock Cats video,and everyone in the house had to come watch.
Good Stuff!
You didn't have any pets as a kid??..That makes me retroactively sad.

sageweb said...

I have seen a similar show at Sea world ..of all places..it is amazing how smart the cats are. I have a neighbors cat that sneaks in and steals my bacon and Homers food..I cant train him. He has also been coming in at night and cuddling with Homer..very cute.

rosemary said...

that woman must have the patience of a saint to train cats....I am a cat lady too (?really...bet you didn't know that, huh) but you win the title....cat circus lady.

Jeanna said...

OMG, you have GOT to take pictures and video of this sort of thing. Maybe interview a few cats.

Eric said...

A cat circus? Really? I know they are some what trainable. My mother still hasn't completely forgiven me for "training" the family cat to open cabinet doors. But actual tricks? Amazing.

Unfortunately I developed allergies to cat hair in college. I have walked by Kitty Prison (aka the Humane Society) a couple times recently and almost gone in. I'm trying decide if I want to make the investment in allergy meds. I know I want the kitty.

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