Recently my nephew and his wife visited us for some football watching and a whirlwind tour of Austin. They are still young enough to believe in late nights and rushing to and fro. Toby, the nephew in question, also insists that he is a Cat Whisperer. This is a good thing because we have the feral cat Scamper, the nearly feral cat Junior and Little Leo, the Convict. I wasn’t worried about Leo. He’s a bit wary, but friendly with strangers. Junior was in his hiding spot in the bedroom when they arrived so we left him to his safety. Scamper, as usual, was nowhere to be found. She has a sixth, seventh and eighth sense and she uses them all.
Leo was inside and not too certain about the two boisterous arrivals. He rushed back and forth, inspecting the new people from behind chairs and cabinets. I assured him that he was safe. I distinctly heard Junior from the bedroom give a feral cat mewl that roughly translated to, “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE.”
“No worries,” Toby said. “I am The Cat Whisperer.” He began making chattering noises at Leo. Now, I’m no expert, but the noise sounded a lot like that clicking chatter cats make when they see a bird outside the window. The one that, roughly translated probably means, “Come closer feathered one. You are my dinner.”
Not being a Cat Whisperer, I just decided to watch and learn. Leo did perk up his ears and stare right at Toby. He did not venture closer. Nor did he share any of his normal friendly noises. He didn’t even tilt his head.
We continued to sit and visit. Toby made occasional
threatening chatter noises at Leo. During one quiet lull, Leo crouched down and stretched closer to Toby’s fingers. With great caution, he finally edged close enough to sniff out this Cat Whisper fellow. He then leaped away, scooting behind the chairs and running down the hall. Toby declared they were nearly bosom buddies. I thought perhaps Toby had confused Leo with Scamper because had Scamper actually sniffed his fingers, it would have been quite the victory, indeed.
The day continued with Leo sneaking about and occasionally trying to sniff from a distance. At one point, he was near Toby in the kitchen and Toby leaned over and picked Leo up! Leo didn’t squawk or fight. Well, not until he turned his head and realized it was Toby who had nabbed him. Well, THAT was a different story. There was a wild moment of the cat “swimming” frantically in a dead panic for freedom and then…Leo spent the rest of the time outside, checking periodically by peeking through the cat door to find out whether or not Toby was still inside.
After an hour or so, I talked to Leo through the cat door. He wouldn’t even let ME pet him, and we had to put his food bowl outside. Junior stayed in the bedroom, refusing to come out. When I checked on him, he was mostly invisible. The few times I caught sight of him, it was his tail disappearing under the bed.
My cats are not what you’d call outgoing. I had hoped that Leo would teach the other two. But now that a Cat Whisperer has tried his magic and failed, well, obviously there is no hope of having friendly, well-adjusted cats. I blame Junior. I’m pretty sure he whispered dire warnings before company ever arrived and apparently his whisper was more believable than that of Toby The Cat Whisperer.