Antisocial Behavior: Siamese Cats Or Siamese Owners?

blurSiamese are perverse creatures. They love to do the opposite of what fits best with their owners’ lifestyles and personalities.  Some might call this `antisocial behavior’.

Take my friend Abi, who bred Minkey from her wonderful seal-point, Chika. The best way to describe Abi would be… think NCIS, the TV show. Think Goth lab tech down in the basement who plays heavy metal music at decibel levels that would drown out jet engines. Abi’s favorite method of Siamese communication: Screaming cheerfully:  “SHADDDUPPPP, you two!!”

Naturally, after being bombarded with everything from Alice Cooper to Deathtongue or whatever the latest metal band is, as well as sharing their space with eight other pets, Abi’s two Siameasles Chika and Ellie (Minkey’s mother and sister) have turned out to be the most mellow pair imaginable.

(If you stop to think of it, this could be the ultimate expression of Siamese antisocial behavior.)

Then there’s me, Miss Fluffy, Pink an’ Gentle. Occasionally breaking the peaceful silence of my woodland cottage with soft strains of New Age music – yes, the sort with the tell-tale word “relaxation” somewhere on the CD cover.  Practices Reiki, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong from my wheelchair.  Loves quiet cups of tea and sunny peaceful mornings.  Plays gentle, reflective tunes on her little Celtic lap harp.  Has never lavished Minkey with anything but love, attention, patience and kindness.

We’re all about the Harmony here, at La Casa Minkey.

Well, SOME of us are.

Oh the irony – I end up with a cat who ricochets joyously off  visitors’ heads; has stunning and inexplicable kitty fits all over the walls, floor and ceiling; sings at the top of his lungs non-stop (especially after midnight); loves putting fresh holes in all my t-shirts and blouses (preferably when I’m IN them) and practices bazooka-barfing at the most inconvenient moments. Usually when I’m meditating.  Or trying to.

Perhaps it’s the soothing music.  Perhaps it’s too soothing.   Perhaps it’s actually causing antisocial behavior.  (At least, that’s what Abi says…)

Perhaps I ought to just buy him his own little set of Metallica DVDs.

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The Siamese Cat Song – Minkey Style

singgggMinkey’s versions of the famed Siamese cat song are never ending and always unique.  However, one particular sound never varies: the one he makes during our morning  Mingggg ceremony…

It’s simple – I take my pills, and Minkey hops up onto the kitchen bar stool and yowls “MINGGGG!” at the top of his lungs. I take a cat treat out of its little pouch and roll it along the floor for him.  Then he kills it and crunches it to pieces.  (I suspect it just tastes better if you have to catch it.)

This evolved directly from my efforts to discourage any interest in the Great Outdoors.  Whenever I would leave the house during his kittenhood, I’d roll a cat treat along the floor to distract him.  It worked every time.  He’d race away from the door, more interested in the treat than in escaping.  I don’t know if it was him or I who began to call treats “minggggs“, but I have no problem figuring out exactly what he wants, when he gargles in that distinctive, long-drawn-out way. It’s more than just a sound, and the syllables I write can’t possibly convey it – it’s become his ultimate wailing, gargling, Siamese cat song.

One morning about five years ago, he was watching me take my morning pills.  I dropped one, and the little round hard pellet rolled and skittered just like one of his treats.  Minkey promptly put two and two together and decided I must be giving myself a treat.  He hopped up onto the kitchen bar stool – yup, the same one he’s sitting on in the “About” page – and yelled “MINGGGG”, exactly as he does when he sees me get ready to go out the door.

Now every morning, he rushes to the kitchen, hops up onto the bar stool, starts to sing – and we have our morning Mingggs together before I even make coffee.

Two things I’ve decided about this particular ritual: A Siamese Mingggg Alarm is fractionally less irritating than the original movie Siamese Cat Song.

And it’s a great way never to forget to take your morning pills.

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Siameasles: The Result Of Very Bad Siamese Cat Behavior

Freddy Kruger nailsMinkey’s white, lilac tipped fur soon morphed into pure chocolate-point adult markings. More impressively, his paw pads stayed pink but grew to the size of a heavy-metal rockers’ gauntlets. Which has encouraged him to indulge in some very bad Siamese cat behavior.

Let’s just say his (frequently-trimmed) claws would intimidate Freddy Kruger. Minkey has never learned to retract these. Which is a good thing (for him), because his favourite hobby is taking a flying leap from somewhere across the room, and skid-landing on my left shoulder. (Think “supersonic jet coming in for a rubber-band landing on an aircraft carrier in the North Atlantic”, and you’ve got it.)

Since he is cross-eyed, he often misses, with the result that I am chronically scarred all over. A cornfield has less furrows than I do. Whenever someone asks me what all the little red scratches and holes are, I tell them: “Siameasles.” It sounds more interesting than “just yer average demonstration of affectionate Siamese cat behavior.” And it usually stops any further questions cold.

Whenever I look in the mirror, I remind myself of that Gary Larson cartoon; the one where two ripped and shredded people sit looking shell-shocked in a hospital Emergency room. The caption reads “Typical Siamese Owners”.

Gary Larson must be an expert in Siamese cat behavior.

Either that, or he has obviously met Minkey…

#1 How I Met THE Siamese Cat

minkeyIt takes a special sort of person to own the Siamese cat.

Namely, gullible.

I was taken in by a gentle seal-point Siamese named Chika, owned by my friend Abi. When Chika gave birth to purebred kittens, Abi asked me if I wanted one. I was enchanted and excited. Of course I said yes.

Abi gave me an adorable little fellow called Something-Something Banshee with snow-white fur, lilac points, and a head the size of a watermelon (comparatively.) Oversized ears soared on either side of his head like wings. His tiny body was barely bigger than a mouse. In fact, he reminded me of The Brain, on the cartoon show Pinky And The Brain.

Since I secretly resemble Pinky, (in character, if not – I like to think – looks) I was naturally enchanted.

He soon stopped being Something-Something Banshee, and turned into “The Mouse”. Which morphed into “Minkey” (you have to say it with an Inspector Clouseau accent.)

Minkey THE Siamese cat he has remained ever since. At least in his own slightly-crossed sapphire eyes. But I soon discovered he wasn’t as innocent as he seemed…