Should I be concerned that my cat has to think for a very long time before doing anything at all?
I don’t mean when he’s hunting. When he’s hunting he’s razor-sharp with mighty fine reaction times to a point of movement.
No: my concern refers to the time a cat takes to decide to do something everyday, or mundane.
I think I have mentioned before that our family cat, Clive Bond, has spent long hours just sitting next to the cat flap staring at it. He would just sit there staring, and I would sit there watching him, because what goes in in a cat’s head at a time like that? What?
There are many possibilities.
One is that the cat is a great spiritual force in the fabric of the universe, striving with his mighty grasp of Yin and Yang, his tantric Tao, to balance the crazy antics of the humans which threaten the gauze-thin equilibrium of the globe. Like a swan, it is possible there is more deep thought going on in that cat’s head than in that of the Dalai Lama.
The second, less extreme option is the cat is conducting risk assessment worthy of the most bureaucratic town council in the land. He weighs up the pros and cons of going out into the big wide world. He thinks about the advantages: voles,birds, leaves, outside smells, adventure; and also the disadvantages: foxes, rain, puddles.
Somewhere in his brain a form is filled in, in triplicate.
The option I do not want necessarily to think about is that actually, there is almost nothing going on between those two handsome black ears.
And I’ll tell you a little incident which leads me to believe this may be the case.
Despite my best laid plans, time ran away with us yesterday, and we ended up having fish and chips for tea.
Phil and Felix came home from an evening football practice and sat, chomping fish happily. And as always, Phil saved a small juicy piece of cod for the cat.
This is a small tradition which has remained from the last feline regime. Our old cat, Kit Kat, accepted the offering as a divine right. Tonight Phil placed the small piece on newspaper dircectly on the arm of the sofa.
And Clive Bond looked at it for a very long time. Whether it was not part of the Tao, or the risk assessment was a particularly complicated one, he made no move towards it. Rather, he just sat and thought fish for a while.
But a while was not his to think.
For on the floor beneath the sofa sat a figurative shark with hidden talents and floppy ears.
Remember Pele and that banana kick? Even today it floors us, that incredible swerve to avoid all adversaries and hit the goal with effortless accuracy.
The dog has clearly been working on something similar. For months now, when no-one is looking, he has been practising his moves, perfecting his technique. And as the cat stared thoughtfully at the piece of cod in his sights, Macaulay sidled up to the side on the sofa and did a banana-leap, curving in from a vertical approach to snatch the cod neatly from the between the cat’s paws.
Did that just happen? The humans roaded, and chuckled, and compared notes.
But I would venture to say that the cat had not even properly registered the cod yet. He had been right in the middle of the inventory (cod, one piece, battered, 1cm x 1cm) when it was not there any more.
Clive contemplated the codless space.
Perhaps he was thinking of Sartre: “All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away…. ”
Or alternatively, perhaps there was not very much going on at all.
55 thoughts on “The Tantric Tao Of Clive Bond”
He is obviously of the thoughtful kind.
Maybe he was summoning the dog with his mental powers?
Never underestimate the power of the feline mind 😉
OK. I’m sure there was a complex subtext as he stared at the cod.
oh that must’ve been hilarious to watch! Clever dog!
It is one of the only times he has ever won, Rosie 😀
I think the key here is that he is a boy. I don’t want to sound sexist or cattist but the two village cats that visit us- Fatso and Mami- could not be more different. Fatso will sleep on his back with his legs akimbo oblivious to everything in the world. You scratch his belly and he doesn’t even move. Mami, who really is his Mum and should be like him, sleeps with her paws folded in and one eye half open. If the air moves anywhere near her she is instantly alert and ready to hunt it. Mind you Fatso never really grew up and still hangs around with Mami a lot even though he is twice her size, so there might be something a bit adolescent going on there as well. Look forward to hearing more about Clive Bond who looks like a handsome cat.
Hi Jason! You may be on to something here; our old cat was a girl and she was quick as lightning right up to the day she died. Clive is so laid back he is usually horizontal.
Perhaps he was debating whether to accept the cod or hold out for, say, caviar. Or perhaps he was trying to become one with the cod, to understand it before consuming it. Obviously Mac did not appreciate the significance of the moment.
Mac is a bit of a philistine.
Clive was obviously lost in contemplation of metaphysical mysteries beyond our comprehension …
Fragments of cod snatched by opportunist canines were of no consequence.
As long as he solved this particular problem of the universe I am sure he was not concerned about the loss of a little cod, Col 😀
Perhaps Clive wasn’t all that hungry 🙂
This is a possibility, Jennifer….
He’s in the “zone” … LOL! Poor Clive.
Of course he is: solving life’s mysteries. What is a little cod to him? Pfffft! 😀
Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.
Then he goes out to the Wet Wild Woods or up the Wet Wild Trees or on the Wet Wild Roofs, waving his wild tail and walking by his wild lone.- Rudyard Kipling had the way of it:)
Roger, you are clearly right. The cod simply did not have the wild romance of movement and The Outside.
Oh, that must have just been hilarious to watch, too bad there’s no video to enjoy. Master Mac is indeed a Doggie Ninja.
He is. A grand master of food acquisition, Lou..
ah Kate, the trials and tribulations of the animal kingdom. Far too much thought hence a goodie well and truly lost to a quicker adversary,… Many a time I’ve missed out myself on something offered, and whilst methinks, ‘should I go for the smaller cake/slice/piece?’ …. the option windows has well and truly closed.. with a big bang. ..Good post and hilarious read …xPenx.
Hi Pen! He who hesitates… I am very much the same, if I am honest!
He who hesitates is lost . . . or some such thing.
Quite, Penny, with some addendum concerning cod.
Mac has seniority in the household and asserts himself to maintain relevance as he deals with a much younger companion. I know the feeling. Ha! I’ll build on Penny’s statement: You snooze, you lose! I am quite sure Clive took it all in, however, and will work on his Ninja moves!
I have no doubt that actually what Clive wants, Clive gets, Debra 😀
I highly doubt that Clive Bond giving the appearance of being The Great Shrewsday Family Ruminator is the case considering that the size of a cat’s brain is probably 1/10th that of a Pez candy. After Mac performed his deft fish-snatching, did the cat even think to bop him on the snout?
No. He just stared at the codless space.
Or maybe he was all like, “Whoah, there is not cod!”
😀 Ha! You are probably accurate there, Rafael!
Poor Clive 🙂
I’m not sure he even registered the loss, Madhu 😀
What IS it with cats? Mine do that too. My beloved Kitty Emeritus, Pickles, one stared at a piece of paper for about 10 minutes. She also stood in one position for at least 5-7 minutes, perfectly still, apparently contemplating whether she was going to walk or sit down. She ended up sitting down. I’m just glad she didn’t make that decision in haste.
You have to consider these things for a longlonglonglong time, Weebles. Imagine what would have happened, had Pickles walked instead. Disaster.
You are all clearly missing the obvious. The actions of cats are based on Newton’s Fourth Law of Motion:
For every action there is a risk of being undignified.
😀 You are right, of course, and I had overlooked the law.
Important to be perfect all the time, isn’t it?
Now entering my 4th year with a black cat…you are spot on. I quote you
“One is that the cat is a great spiritual force in the fabric of the universe, striving with his mighty grasp of Yin and Yang, his tantric Tao, to balance the crazy antics of the humans which threaten the gauze-thin equilibrium of the globe. Like a swan, it is possible there is more deep thought going on in that cat’s head than in that of the Dalai Lama.” 🙂
Well, aren’t we lucky to have these wells of deep thought lounging on our sofas?
Hahaha! Clive will soon learn . . . “you snooze, you lose.” 😉
I wonder, Nancy….
I suspect he sits there thinking, ‘I can keep this up all night, daft human. I know it drives you crazy.’
In all probability, Tilly…
Good on Mac.
Yeah. Dog:1, Cat:0.
Is Mac from a long line of fish merchants, perhaps?
Ooooh, a former life as a fish merchant, Pseu. It would explain a lot.
I’m going with door #1, Monty! No trades for what’s in the mystery box! Ommmmm…
😀 I am sure you are right, Brett.
Way to gain the upper hand, Mac! As for poor Clive, I think I shall choose either the bureaucrat or the French philosopher. I can’t bear for him to be an empty beauty.
Very well, Cameron. We shall dismiss that option all together 🙂
I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about what cats are thinking about–if they are–thinking about anything, that is. I swear I can tell when Maggie is calculating height of something or doing some math calculation. Sometimes she will jump on a catnip mouse, sometimes she will just sit there and look at it. What is she thinking? Is she thinking? It takes up a lot of my brain power to figure it all out.
Perhaps they’re just thinking to get us thinking, Gale.
Maybe he needs glasses 🙂
😀 the thought of a bespectacled Clive is just too good to pass on, BB!
Cats are aloof so that we don’t take them for granted. But to miss out on a lovely piece of cod … he who hesitates is lost. Sorry, Clive Bond.
We mourn the piece of cod for Clive, Judy 😀