The cat figured out how to do WHAT?
The cat figured out how to do WHAT? When I took him home, he was about three weeks old and just a little ball of fur. He is mostly white with some stripes of different colors. He is so cute you wouldn’t believe it, but he was being beaten and starved at his previous home, so I couldn’t leave him there. I put him under my sweatshirt and we went on our way. When my husband and son got home from school, they fell in love. We gave him the name Machiavelli, and that was the end of that.
In our house, he met three adult cats who were spoiled and cared for, a dog who thinks she’s a cat, food bowls that are always full, lots of treats, lots of toys, and always fresh water. What more could a small person ask for? For all of us, life is good.
I have to say, though, that we did not expect him to be as smart as he turned out to be. I thought my other boys were smart, but this one is the smartest of them all.
When he was only a few months old, my husband and I were in bed watching TV when we heard him crying. I called out to him to make sure he knew where we were and to let him know that we were still there. Again, he cried, so I asked him what was wrong. So, he came into our room with his favorite food bowl in his mouth and climbed up on our bed to show me. It was empty, and he wanted it to be full, but I guess I was too dumb for him to use the easy way to get his point across. After a few months of this, the bowl had to be thrown away because there were so many holes in it from the fangs that it looked like Swiss cheese.
When he got a new bowl, he changed his tricks. Now, if a bowl is almost empty, he just throws it, food and all, onto the dining room floor. Then, in the middle of the night, he puts the bowl in the middle of the floor so you will trip over it and have to fill it.
He also surprised us by being smarter than our local bully. Before Machi moved in, Mr. Whiskers was in charge of this place for five years. This little guy just wouldn’t let anyone scare him. The first time was in the kitchen at the water bowl. Machi was also thirsty, so he went over to the bowl where Mr. Whiskers was getting a drink. Mr. Whiskers hissed at him. So, Machi, who was still very small at the time, just walked under the much bigger cat and went to get a drink. In the end, the big bully was the one who got scared and ran. Guess he didn’t know how to deal with someone who didn’t care about his attitude or seniority in the least.
Machi still won’t let Mr. Whiskers bother him. When Mr. Whiskers acts up, Machi just stares at him and then slowly starts to circle the older, bigger cat. Getting more and more close. He won’t hiss, swat, or growl. Instead, he will just stare and slowly get smaller. Every time something scary happens, Mr. Whiskers gets scared and runs away to hide.
Machi came into our room one night when he was about seven months old, jumped on our bed, and meowed at us. We tried to figure out what he wanted, but we didn’t know what it was until my husband pulled back the bedsheets and found one of his toy mice. He showed it to Machi and then threw it out the door so that he could go play. Surprise! This turned out to be a fun game, so Machi brought the mouse back to throw again. We ended up playing fetch with a toy mouse for almost an hour that night, and it’s become one of his favorite games ever since.
Now, I’m sure he thought he was really entertaining us, but we didn’t mind until he caught a real mouse one night. Yes, you guessed right, he tried to bring the dead body into our bed so we could play fetch with it. He couldn’t understand why we didn’t want to sleep with his new favorite toy. The problem was solved when I finally picked up the thing and took it outside to the trash.
He has done many other things to show how smart he is, like learning how to use the TV remote and not being afraid to do so when he doesn’t like what we are watching, or putting small toys in our shoes so he can watch us try to figure out why they suddenly don’t fit right. But nothing has surprised me as much as my most recent find.
If I hadn’t seen this one for myself, I never, ever would have believed it. It started happening during the winter. Sometimes the house would get cold for no reason, and other times it would heat up like we lived at the equator. For a long time, I didn’t know what was going on. I just thought my husband had changed the thermostat for some reason, so I set it to a comfortable temperature and forgot about it. Then, one day, after my husband had gone to school and I was cold, I called him on his lunch break to ask why he had to mess with the stupid thing when he knew he was leaving soon. He said that he hadn’t touched it. So, I thought it might have been our son.
I asked him about it that afternoon when he got home from school. He also said he hadn’t touched it. As a 10-year-old, he doesn’t want to get in trouble, so I just thought he was lying to cover his behind. When it happened on the weekend, after people had left, I just thought one of them had done it, reset it, and forgot about it. That is, until one day when I knew for sure that I had just fixed it that morning and no one else was home. All of a sudden, I felt like a turkey basting in the oven. At this point, I didn’t know what to think. Was there really something wrong with it? Did we have a ghost who thought it knew what the best temperature was?
Then, one day, my back problems were giving me a lot of pain, so I took some pills and went to bed for a nap. When I woke up to go to the bathroom, I walked through the dining room on my way to the bathroom. What did I see? Why, it was a Machi, of course, standing on a door we had against the wall, stretching as high as he could, and moving the thermostat. I watched him quietly to see what he was doing and to see if it was just something fun to play with or if he really knew what it was for. I watched as he slowly moved it to the right, which was a higher temperature. He stopped after moving it a little, cocked his ear, and when he heard the furnace turn on, he jumped down and ran into the kitchen. Then I found him in the bathroom, where he was lying on the heat vent and getting ready to go to sleep. He knew for sure what it was and how it worked.
I think he woke up a little too warm another time after he had slept on the heat vent for a while. I watched him do his balancing act again, but this time he turned the dial to the left, which made the temperature lower. As before, he moved it a little and cocked his ear to listen closely. When he heard the furnace turn off, he was happy and jumped down to get on with his day.
You can see how this new skill could be a problem, since he has fur and we don’t always feel warm when he does. When he’s cold, maybe because he slept near an open window or door, we’re not. But what do you know? We’ve never had the heart to move that door because he’s just so darn cute!