7 Another Perspective on Bingley
My wife said that I should write down her thoughts about Bingley. She has moments of ambivalence, I know, but he’s her House Lion, too. So here’s what she says.
When she wants to give him a hug, he sometimes plays hard to get and skitters under the kitchen table. If she walks away, a few minutes later he’ll come out and run over to jump in her lap. He loves his cuddle time, but he wants to be the one to initiate it. When she holds him up, he’ll place his head gently between her neck and shoulder and nuzzle against her skin. He goes limp in her arms like a Rag Doll cat (I don’t think he is one, though who can know for sure?).
He obsesses over plants, at least some of them. Any new plant must get an immediate inspection. Once he ate so much of a ponytail palm before we realized what he was doing that he clogged his intestine, and we had to take him to the vet. That wasn’t fun for any of us.
For a cat who spent some time in the Wild and who has been on earth for around ten years now, he still has remarkably pristine pink paw pads. He also has what my wife calls “baby-butt pink skin” under his thick fur. Okay. . . .
When we first got him, we also got a couple donut-shaped beds for him to sleep in. He avoided them for about three years, even though we’d place toys or treats in them or pat them on the inside to show they were safe. Then, one evening, he casually strolled over, stepped into one, did a few circles, and settled in for a nap. Everything in its season.
He loves blankets: sitting on them, in them, or under them. We have quite a number placed strategically around the house so he can slide in and be a cave kitty whenever he wants to. Sometimes he will stand beside a blanket and call to one of us to come over and tuck him in. Jeeves, I say, Jeeves!
My wife has taught him a trick that she calls “Up up, kiss kiss.” She goes over to the little mantle by the doorway and pats her hand on top and says those words. Bingley will jump up and give her a kiss on the nose. He then gets some treats. I’ve taught him “Slide into third base.” I place a string under a small blanket or towel several feet in front of him with most of it visible from the side closer to him. Then I pull the string under the towel. He runs toward the towel, leaps in the air, and slides head-first under the towel to catch the string. He’ll do that one with or without treats. Other than that he’s not a big baseball fan. He prefers tennis.
He loves for us to hold him and sing to him. At least in the case of my singing (not my wife’s), that means you can’t account for musical taste even in cats. I think he takes gentle singing to mean we’re purring, which he likes. He prefers soft, low tones, and for lyrics he especially likes anything that praises what a good cat he is. Who could blame him for that?
For treats he will sometimes say “thank you,” but mostly he’ll come over and give a head butt instead. We’re both all right with that.