Poppin' Cats


















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It is not common for someone to see surrealism in real life. By definition surrealism is more real than real. This may be one of those, "You had to be there." sort of events, but I'll do my best to impart it to you. I do have a witness to its authenticity, although I don't know exactly where she is these days.

Let me start off by saying that my cat, Leica has never been a good host to other cats. To humans he is the epitome of a gracious host. He hides from no one, and is nonjudgmental towards all. I assume that he isn't afraid of anyone, because he has never been hurt by a human. He assumes that the only reason someone would come to my place is to pet him.

Barbara, a school teacher, who was my fiance at the time had brought herself and her two cats over for the weekend. It was the first time that our cats had met. As I expected, Leica was somewhat aggressive because it was his territory that was invaded. We strategically placed squirt guns throughout my place in case the conflicts escalated to physical contact. It was mainly a lot of hissing, arched backs, mean looks, and cat posturing, but no physical brawls.

After about a day and a half, all the cats gathered in the same room as both of us, who were watching a movie on my home theater system. Leica was closest to us, with Barb's cats across the room, and with enough distance to at least get a running start if Leica went on the attack.

As fate would have it, I just moved my foot enough to startle Leica, who jumped straight up from a sleeping position to a height of about four feet. Barb's cats, not knowing what the threat was also came straight up from sleeping positions. All three of the cats had hang time in the air that would make Michael Jordan jealous. Barb and I stood there aghast at this unusual sight of three cats floating in mid air. While they were all suspended in midair I noticed that they all had their tails tucked beneath them to some degree. I wondered if it was some unwritten rule of cat behavior, when you go airborne use the tail to protect the family jewels?

We simultaneously broke into laughter, as the cats fell back to the earth and scampered in various directions. I don't think we stopped laughing for two days. We bemoaned the lack of photographic proof, so this is as close as I can get.

Also, I can't leave out my little factoid for each story. An average house cat can jump straight up five feet from a standing position. There is another member of the small cat family called a Caracal. The caracal can jump 6 feet (1.8 meters) straight up to knock a bird out of the air, even twisting nimbly to catch another bird on the other side before coming down to the ground.

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