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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Roof Cat II Or III

Can you find the surveillance device in this picture?

The scene is a little patio at the middle of the house. Three doors give onto it, so whatever foot traffic involves shortcuts often crosses it. Here is an enlarged detail showing the device:

My last mention of Roofcat was a year ago in a little poem. He got on my roof one day and never got off. Maybe he likes it up there. I don't. I get on the roof as little as possible. We are different, he and I. For one thing, when Roofcat shakes his head it sounds just like a maraca. I don't know why I am reporting on Roofcat again. Maybe it's my new theory that head-rattling is his alarm system in response to intruder-surveillance.

Maybe it's because "Roofcat" is a relatively new name. There was an earlier encounter. If I cast my thoughts back another year, fully two Marches back, we simply called him "Visitor". It is a slow process naming a cat who does not care to make friends. I have never petted his head and presumed to call him anything to his face. He would not believe me sincere if I did. Nor would I try to pick him up. As part of early childhood education, I tried handling feral cats and was rewarded with special insight. They show affection by shredding.

We did communicate in a way, early on. Visitor, now Roofcat, would stare at me and stick his tongue out. I tried doing the same but, when I did, something in my upper neck cracked really loud. I considered this a subtle sign of age and maturity. But now, and I share this with fearful reservation, sometimes things crack in there with my tongue still in my head. If this keeps up I too may sound like a maraca by and by.

I have just shaken my head experimentally and resolved to remain off the roof.


  1. I know not to give the ferals a name because then they become a neighbor, then a friend, then a responsibility, then your cat. Ok, I broke down a couple of times and started to call three, well maybe four by name, but that was as far as I was going to go. However, it got cold and we had to buy them houses, oh, and yes, a heated water bowl, and some heated blankets and........

    No, they are not our cats. Really.

    Stay with the name roofcat, but never capitalize it.

  2. This is the best kind of pet to have...he responsibilities assumed on either side.

  3. Gotta watch those subtle signs ...

  4. This is how we ended up with our cat. She does not sound like a maraca. She does poop under the dinner table. Would trade for more musical cat.

  5. Arleen-- Too late! Alas, I have already capitalized. Will this lead to heated water-bowls?

    Delores-- Yes, well, I do say hello to Roo...I mean roofcat, but never say, "pretty kitty".

    Suze-- Even the subtlest signs have got alarming lately. Still, I think growing up is an interesting experiment and intend to try it some day.

    Lisa-- Regrettably, I can't accept the exchange. As a longtime gardener, I've only recently been house-trained and family thinks an under-table-pooping pet might set me off doing it again.

  6. Our "visiting cat" all but bangs on our door to get us to feed him. (Um, yeah, he DOES theoretically have a "home", but he also comes by here every day for a bite to eat and a scratch on the head. Who are WE to deny him?)

    And hey, that rattling head might not be such a bad thing. Just think: you could provide a little percussion to go along with the guitar music.

  7. The subject of cats makes my entire body shake like a giant maraca because I'm still taking care of the twelve felines that my neighbor abandoned. Some of them occasionally go on my roof.

    Thank your lucky stars that you only have one Roofcat. If you had a dozen, you'd get the urge to climb up on your roof and jump off, head first......

  8. "I tried handling feral cats and was rewarded with special insight. They show affection by shredding"

    ~Hilarious. Yes I had an encounter with a feral cat as an adolescent that left me with quite a severe bite and the hypochondriac-like fear that I had contracted rabies.

  9. Susan-- Now there's a cat who recognizes and values kindness, and takes unconscionable liberties with it. They do that.

    Jon-- Actually we have three roof cats. Sometimes four. But I hate landing on my head.

    Keith-- Yes, it seems there are some lessons, like the treachery of stray cats, that a boy can learn in no other way.

  10. Sneaky roofcat. What is it about cats they think everywhere is their home? Crazy buggers.

  11. I don't trust it. He may be a drone. Or at least part of Homeland Security. I've heard tell all their heads rattle.

  12. Tesha-- I suspect, if I was covered with fur and weighed 6 or 7 pounds, I'd be comfortable anywhere. To a cat, the world is a big bed.

    Austan-- Next time we take an airline, let's tap the TSA agents' heads and listen for maraca noises. You first.

  13. Roofcat looks very like our Jazz. Some years back a cat moved in on us. By the time we knew he was going to stay his name was WhiteCat. After months of saying the white cat is back he had named himself. When he first moved in he was so hungry he ate the food and then the newspaper I put it down on. By the time he went to God he ate avocado, rejecting it if there were any brown spots.
    Beware the heated water bowls (or give in gracefully).


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