Taco is a lot of things. King Brat. Adorable snuggler. Unwanted alarm clock. Needy pain in the ass. Loud.
What he is not: graceful.
This is unheard of for a cat, right?
This occurred to me tonight as I watched my cats eat. If you think this is weird, you’ve never done it. It’s really quite fascinating. Why did I ever do this? Well, Taco is also Jabba the Effin’ Hut, and if I don’t stand over them watching, he’ll take over Moosh’s food. Somehow (I’m not entirely sure how this works) my hovering presence keeps Moosh comfortably eating and Taco in his own dish.
Anyway, I water down their food, because Moosh barely eats any wet food and because Taco needs to get more water to ensure he stays crystal blockage-free. So the first couple of minutes of them eating is really drinking meat water.
Have you ever watched ANY cat drink water? It’s practically an art. This comes from an article in the Washington Post:
“While a dog curls its tongue like a ladle to collect the water and then pull up what it can, a cat curves its tongue under and slightly back, leaving the top surface of the tip of the tongue to lightly touch the liquid. The cat then raises its tongue rapidly, creating an upward mini-stream of water. The cat snaps its mouth shut and the water is captured before the countervailing force of gravity pulls it down.
An average house cat, the team found, can make four of these mini-streams per second.
‘What we found is that the cat uses fluid dynamics and physics in a way to absolutely optimize tongue lapping and water collection,’ said Jeffrey Aristoff, now at Princeton University but who was one of the four researchers who began the study out of curiosity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”
This is actually a fairly recent study, from 2010. Kinda crazy it took that long to get around to cats drinking water, considering Darwin studied MOTHS and shit. Forever ago. God, I love science. The mechanics of EVERYTHING is so interesting. And of course, cats are interesting anyway. And of course, I do find it amusing that cats beat dogs in the lapping game. One more reason for them to be arrogant assholes, I suppose.
Back to Taco. He is, quite literally, retarded at drinking. Watching Moosh smoothly lap up his meat juice with a rhythm you could practically set a watch to…and then compare with Taco, who laps more like an irregular heart beat. It’s almost painful to watch. In my dreams, I can NEVER run at full speed or throw a punch with all my power. It’s always like I’m running through quicksand. I don’t know what this means, nor do I particularly care, but this is what Taco’s lapping reminds me of.
This was just the catalyst that opened my eyes to how ungraceful Taco really is overall.
1. Moosh perches on my shoulders with ease.
So long as I give him the foothold, he’ll stand up there with very little wobbling and no claws. Taco, on the other hand, is like a Weeble Wobble, but he’ll sure as hell fall down, and he’ll take my skin down with him.
2. Taco still plays like a kitten.
You know how cute kittens are when they grab at stuff? Just kinda uncoordinated and grabby, no real skill at hunting. Taco’s 3. He’s not even remotely a kitten. But his paws are.
3. He falls off shit all the time. No spatial reasoning. He’ll roll over…and right off the bed.
4. When he’s jumping for a toy, he sprawls in the air and can’t hand for shit. It’s like watching Cirque De Soleil if the performers were hammer drunk. Nor does he have any consideration for what he lands on, like my foot. Or the side table.
I will give him this: There is one arena in which Taco has no equal in fluidity. And that is grabbing treats out of your hand with both paws while standing on his hind legs, checking to make sure the treat is within his greedy little paws before calmly lowering his upper half to the floor and his paws to his fat face to eat. I don’t even understand how he’s the same cat, sometimes.
Then again…like mother, like son, I suppose. I am quite possibly the most ungraceful human to walk this planet (except when I dance, and that is probably debatable, although not with me, because I think I’m bout it bout it). I’m injured every other minute. I currently have inflamed rib cartilage (not something you ever want to do, by the way, but I hear better than actually breaking one, so you REALLY never want to do that), a giant, painful bruise on my wrist I have no recollection of achieving, and I’m vaguely sure I re-sprained my thumb the other night pulling my pants down to pee. I know. Sad. But I’ve learned to laugh about it, except not right now because laughing is no bueno with the ol’ ribs.