Cat Evolution: Dumb And Dumber

You won’t ever hear me claim that cats are the smartest of beasts, but all the cats I’ve had before the current batch were reasonably clever. They could figure out how to open dresser drawers and kitchen cabinets, and they hardly ever fell asleep dangling off a precipice only to be startled awake just in time to land on their paws.

This batch of cats, though…this batch is different. We’re trying to remember if, when we went to the shelter to choose new cats, we said “please give us your four dumbest!” Because that’s where we seem to have ended up.

Helen has a new bed; it’s a double-wide just like her. The problem is she keeps accidentally inching it towards the edge of the sofa. Sometimes when she shifts positions in her deep slumber her bulk gets off balance and she falls off, bed and all. In fact, last time it happened she landed with the bed upside down on her head, probably thinking “hey, who turned off the lights?” Still, she lovingly grooms this bed just like she did her old one.

Sarah McLachlan, Ice Cream

And Chrissy? Well, she’s probably the only one who doesn’t routinely do anything that’s grievously stupid.

Jack has cleverly figured out a way to lock himself into the bathroom. He goes in there and nudges the door out of the way so he can play with the door stop and drive me nuts. Occasionally he nudges a little too hard and the door closes behind him. And oh, let the howling begin. The injustice! Not the brightest bulb on the tree. I especially like when he works up all his courage and bravely battles…a box full of air.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, I Won’t Back Down

Now Janet. Oh Janet. That’s a different story. Janet is into everything. She requires lots and lots of attention and she also has a very special trick. We call it Magic Paws. Unlike previous cats who knew how to use their paws and claws to pry things open, Janet doesn’t think she has to actually touch something to get it open; and when it comes to Janet, I use the term “think” very loosely. We have been trying so hard to get video footage (pawage?) of Janet’s Magic Paws, and finally got a couple little fragments. Basically she sits on her hind legs and claps her two front paws together, perhaps whispering “Open Sesame!”

The best part is that Janet doesn’t just use her Magic Paws on things that actually open. She will do Magic Paws in front of a mirror, a wall, or even as you will see, a bag that is already open as she is sitting in it! The most clever thing Janet does is only bring out magic paws when I am nowhere near a camera, so I’ve been trying for way too long to capture the full essence. I give up-this will have to do.

Electric Light Orchestra, Strange Magic

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12 Responses to Cat Evolution: Dumb And Dumber

  1. Might be time for a ‘feline intervention’….just sayin’

  2. Mom says:

    I love them all, but you know that I’ve bonded with Janet. By the way…they’re smart enough to live in a wonderful house with wonderful people that love them dearly and provide every (pardon the expression) creature comfort. Seems to me they’ve got you pretty well trained! Mom

  3. vgfoster says:

    Cute cats! I’m a dog person myself, but I won’t hold your cats against you 😉

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      I love dogs too, but deep down I am a cat person at heart. Obviously! The kitties are lots of fun and sometimes more entertaining than television. And I LOVE my TV…

  4. katecrimmins says:

    Hmmm…I thought Jake was a little slow. It took him years to figure out the front door and back door come into the same house. I remember the day well. He had a look on his face when he came in the front door (which he didn’t like to do because it wasn’t HIS house) and he walked to the back door then to the front door, then to the back door. Eureka! Now Morgan you can’t pull anything over on her.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      Well Cupcake, Jake didn’t know why you needed two doors to begin with. I mean, did you forget where the first one was? Ahh, Morgan. Wisdom beyond her years-you might have to send her out on the circuit to help teach the not-too-bright cats. First stop here!

  5. Pam Waits says:

    Your cats are adorable. Never a dull moment!

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      No dull moments, just dim-witted cats. Thank goodness they are adorable or it would be hard to keep loving them!

  6. mimijk says:

    I love them all, but I have an extra soft spot for Janet…she’s got a way about her..

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      I know, Janet is extra sweet and very animated. She gets away with so much. Still, not exactly a brain trust…

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