Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Winter Game


Richard, Cori and I sit down at the kitchen table to play a game—it doesn’t matter which one, pick any game that takes longer than 5 minutes to set up and play.

Before we finish setting it up, Serek (Cori’s black cat) wants outside. I get up from my place beside the door, open the door and use my foot to push open the pet door in the storm door. If you don’t offer this bit of courtesy, the cats will sit there for any length of time trying to determine if it’s safe to go out, so the expedient thing to do is push up the flap and offer a word of encouragement: “GO!”

I barely sit back down when Bear (my black cat) decides that if Serek is going out, he wants out, too. Repeat above process to hurry Bear on his way. “Oh, wait for me,” Spencer (Cori’s long-haired black cat) says and scoots out the door after Bear.

O.k., let’s see. Cori took her turn but before I can comprehend her actions, there’s a “thunk” at the door. That’s the sound of the pet door swinging inward and hitting the inside door. Richard stretches sideways, leaning at a precarious angle from his chair, and opens the door. In bursts a cold cat. Serek has found out that it’s cold outside and even the birds are hiding somewhere with their feathers puffed up for warmth.

Ten seconds after the door is closed, there’s another “thunk.” Yes, Bear has made the same discovery as Serek. No, Spencer isn’t right behind him; that would be too easy. We get in a whole round before he’s bored and wants back in but by now, Serek has forgotten that it’s cold and miserable outside and wants to give it another go.

Rinse and repeat until we humans have had enough and yell at the cats in our hopelessly optimistic way. Much of our concentration is now gone as we listen to cats meowing and clawing at the doorframe in their attempt to make us change our minds. If we can hold out long enough, they will go away and play. Unfortunately, that can be as distracting as opening the door.

We manage to take another couple of turns when a terrible cacophony of hissing, yeowling and thumping of small bodies assaults our ears. “SPENCER!” He’s the biggest and a bit of a bully so the other cats do not enjoy his idea of a good-natured romp.

Now Tucker (our Corgi) figures it’s a good time to go outside and leave the madness behind but at least he doesn’t require the same flap-opening courtesy that the cats do and pushes his way through and into the cold. His expedition lasts five minutes which lets us play uninterrupted for that long.

Suddenly I feel a sharp pain in my leg just above the knee. Hello, Bess (my tortoise shell baby). She’s feeling neglected but doesn’t really like to be held so I reach down and pet her head and Cori checks to make sure there’s food in the cats’ bowl.

Now who’s turn is it? Mine? Well, let’s see. I think I’ll…

With the grace only a feline possesses, Bess has landed on the table. Luckily, she’s barely touched the board but if you try to pick up a cat and remove it from where it wants to be, the physical fight that ensues results in something getting destroyed. The best bet is to help the misplaced kitty to a more desirable setting with a little push in the right direction.

Whew, that was close. Alright, it’s my turn, right?

Meeoowww. Claw, scratch. Serek wants out. -----

So, my friends, who’d like to bring over their brand new copy of Caylus to teach to me and my family? I hear it’s a great game and only takes about 4 hours.
~~~~~~~~
Until next time, laugh, love and wonder.

Mary

9 comments:

Dwayne "aka okiedokie" said...

Actually, we have three cats MEOW and they all have distinct personalities MEOW MEOW. Our Gray/white just wants to be around when she wants to be around MEOW you. Our black/white cow, er, cat, likes MEOW to rough & MEOW tumble play the other two MEOW.

Our tortiseshell MEOW MEOW MEOW is obviously co-dependent and MEOW always demands that MEOW you pet her MEOW MEOW MEOW.

We have found that a chair or stool MEOW next to the table MEOW so they can see what is happening MEOW precludes any jumping on the table MEOW MEOW MEOW. Now if I could only find the mute MEOW button on the tortiseshell I would be MEOW happy MEOOOOOOOW

sodaklady said...

:D Funny you should accidentally say "cow". My daughter calls Bess, my tortoiseshell baby, Cow--partly because of her name and partly because she is...um...plump in the middle.

You're lucky they're content to sit by the table and just watch. All those lovely cat-toys lying on the table is more than any of mine can bear to ignore.

Anonymous said...

This entry just confirms every reason why I hate cats!

gamesgrandpa said...

That is certainly an accurate description of trying to play games in a house with cats. I love cats, but they can really be demanding. Of course, the irritation goes away quickly, when one curls up in your lap or the game box.....

Robert C. Kalajian Jr. said...

As someone with 8 cats, I understand how hard it can be to play a game! :)

Even though none of them go outside, they all feel they should be included in what we play and feel the need to bat around the pieces.

sodaklady said...

But, anonymous, I left out the extra-special fun than ensues when my son comes over with his dachshund-pomeranian dog, Bart, and he and Tucker start running through the house or rough-housing under the table! When they get tired of that, of course they have to go outside and bark at something (or NOTHING). The fun never ceases! :)

huzonfirst said...

A winter's game? In a deep and dark December? (At least, if you're a cat!)

Rick said...

This is why I much prefer dogs to cats. You can teach dogs to obey and stuff. ;)

GrillTech said...

Ahhh the joys of gaming with cats around. When I was younger and didn't have anyone to game with I would do a lot of solitaire gaming. I remember many a time setting up a scenario in Panzer Leader (Now bear in mind I was the only gamer in the house and "Those Games" weren't allowed on the table), this was all done on the floor (more room anyway). We had a black and white cat that loved it when I played games. He would sit there with all the patience a cat could muster and watch me take 15 minutes to get everything set up. Approxmiatly 2 turns into the game it was time to do a mad dash across the game board scattering as many peices as possible.

Now that I have my own house (30 years later) I just have to keep cats off the table. My table allows "those games" to be on it.