Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Water Bowl / Dobbox / The Hoyer

You know how we love Dobby, how iconic he is, on top of being a big-eyed, star-faced angel. No matter the more perfect photos we get, we return to this one, "dobbox." Fred was working in the Computer Turret, caught up in an ADHD bit of hyperfocus and entrepreneurship, hence the waiting Priority Mail box.  Fred noticed Dobby as he first sat to deal with his antique Leica buyer -- those eyes, that trusting stare, are impossible to miss.  Some 40 minutes later, Dobby had not moved, his eyes had not wavered, constricted, nor his hope for some Fred Time.

Recently, we acquired a Hoyer Lift as part of my new bedroom décor.  It terrified all the cats.  The Hoyer is big, moves suddenly, inexplicably, and has replaced the comfy wheelchair at bedside.  The most movement, welcoming or aggressive, observed, have been hit-and-run paw slaps at very high speeds, followed by deep angled skids out the bedroom door.

This morning, though, the very slight routine the cats and I have established was disturbed.
Buddy was on my head, CHECK.
Marmy was on my full bladder, CHECK.
Dobby was nestled against my right arm... NO... and... NOWHERE to be found.

Buddy and Marmy, perturbed, scoped the bed, my body, the room, the house, and returned. About to use our high tech intercom system to wake Fred for a Dobby Search, the two cats and I saw the famous star face rise slowly above the slung sling of the... Hoyer Lift.  He yawned. Buddy's considerable jaw dropped and he backed out of the room toward the kitchen, and familiar food, familiar sights.  Marmy, subject to multiple personality disorders and close to becoming feral again, gave *me* a dirty look.  I guess the Hoyer is my fault, ultimately.

Were I as smart as my smart phone, we might have had a photo to compete with "dobbox."
And I am pretty sure that the Hoyer and Dobby are secret sharing.


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Dobby, Our Little Idiot, is unusual.  Still, his latest peculiarity, begun this morning, as far as I can figure, has me stumped.  Though odd, he is usually fairly logical.  For a cat.

He is talking to a bowl of water.  We have three bowls of water for the cats.  Perhaps that's an overreaction to having lost felines to kidney disease, but we are obsessive about making sure they all have access to fresh water whenever the notion of a drink may cross their tiny minds.

Dobby has bought into our obsession in a major way and has always been a little water sprite.

You know those laser lights that cats love to chase?  He's an incredible leaper, able to easily jump 6 - 7 feet high from a standstill.  I often play Laser Chase with him at night when I cannot sleep (or when he cannot, and therefore no one can!).  It's my habit to trace an up-and-down pattern across the medieval tapestries lining our Manor Suite walls, and he runs along the draperies, putting Baryshnikov to shame. 

Unless he passes a bowl of water.

He might be half way into a record-shattering 10 foot vertical leap when he spots it.  He might be running full tilt, his eyes on the prize, every muscle primed to catch His Red Laser Dot.  (If you wish to see Instant Craze, lazily ask Dobby, "Where is Your Dot?")

But water means all bets are off.  Screech. 

First, he pats it with his paws, then tastes said paws.  Next, he gives a shout-out, a loud cry that is, frankly, scary.  Lastly, he settles down for a long and noisy drink.  Then he trots to me for a congratulatory pat, as this tiny routine is of huge importance in Dobby Land.

He also does something that I now know is not all that unusual among cats: When he wishes to claim an object as his own, he will drop it in a water bowl.  Where it stays.  Unless he then fishes it out for a quick game of Post-Diluvial Soccer.  It's not that cute a behavior, given his proclivity for investing in items like eye drops, pill bottles, yarn balls, cloth toys stuffed with catnip, and whatever miniature electronic parts he can steal from Fred's workbenches, none of which take well to repeated dunkings. 

For a while, when he was competing with his four litter mates, as well as three adult cats, the shelves over The Manor's One and Only Clothes Dryer were always full of drying Dobby Things.

It becomes downright annoying when he gets the notion to thieve from within Marlinspike Hall, from Haddock Holdings  -- like... oh, I dunno... just off the top of my head:  An antique 14k gold thimble with an engraved grape-and-leaf design in its original, velvet-fitted, paper-covered box.

Or like The Captain's unparalleled collection of Miniature Animal Husbandry Electro-Ejaculators (from Cameroon).  I fear the conversation we are going to have with the Old Salt on his next inspection visit... Haddock has never really let go of his veterinary dreams.

Anyway, Dobby hasn't indulged much lately in his Dunk-It/Own-It scheme.  He's moved on.

Like I said, Dobby now talks to one of the water bowls. The red plastic one.  The two large ceramic vessels are apparent dullards.  That's not to say that I've evaluated any of them as potential interlocuteurs.  Besides, whether he's addressing the water itself, or just the bowl, or some unified vision of the two, I cannot say.

He just sits there, yakking away.

Sometimes he gives me a wink and an eyeroll, as if to say: "Can you believe the stories this water bowl comes up with? Oy!"

Truth be told, my heart is glad, as Dobby has been caught up in grieving for Sammy, whom we euthanized early in July.  He stalks around The Manor at night, calling, and remains convinced Sam-I-Am is just hiding out in the back of my wardrobe, where he sought comfort when so sick.  But these past few days, The Dobster has cheered up, for some reason. 

It's gotta be something the water bowl said.