Metatalktail Hour: Sneaky pet/kid stories July 18, 2021 10:23 AM   Subscribe

I'm cat-sitting for some clever naughty cats who last night managed to break into the Forbidden Room and raided the good treats stashed there. This weekend I'd love to hear about your best pet/kid capers and heists. Have you been outsmarted by small creatures, or just looked on with awe at their ingenuity?

As always, the post topic is a conversation starter not limiter; would also love to hear how you're doing or what's going on for folks this weekend. Just no politics please.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 10:23 AM (75 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

This morning I found my pupper in the bed, kicked him out, made the bed, and walked him. Then I sent him back inside so I could walk the other dog, and when I came home (swipe), I found him inside the goddamn bed again.

A nice thing to share: I just got back from a breakfast & walk date with a work friend. I am a huge anxious introvert, so the fact that I reached out to her to invite her out, AND suggested the activity, the location, and the general time is HUGE for me. I’m very proud of myself, and also we had a great time.
posted by obfuscation at 10:33 AM on July 18, 2021 [30 favorites]

Omg, his expression in #1! I can't. I would just give him the whole bed for his obvious service in carrying the weight of the whole world on his shoulders.
posted by taz (staff) at 10:46 AM on July 18, 2021 [3 favorites]

These two adorable assholes sneaked out of our apartment a couple of months ago. The one on the left, who is the smarter and vastly more ornery of the two, figured out how to open the screen door to the patio by sticking her claws into the holes in the screen and pulling the door sideways far enough to create a gap they could escape through.

I know they were inside when I went to bed at 10. My husband discovered the gap in the door when he went to lock up at 1 a.m., and performed a frantic search of the apartment before finally waking me up to help. I'm not sure what time it had started raining... presumably sometime after they went out... but by 1 a.m. it was absolutely pouring. It didn't actually take long to locate them as they had taken shelter under the bushes right next to our patio and someone finally meowed after about 5 minutes of listening to us wandering around in the rain calling them. But, this clump of bushes is HUGE and getting them out of it was quite another story. It was pitch dark and pouring rain, we could barely see or hear them. They had hidden themselves deep in the bush, and if I even managed to get close to one she would bolt away to another part of the bush before I could grab her. It took a good half hour of attempted coaxing then finally going in and bodily dragging these two out of the bushes, squirming and wet and angry. All of us soaked to the bone and me barefoot, my shoes having been lost in the mud under the bush.

Once we got back, figuring out how to secure the sliding screen door against future escapes was a whole nother fun issue. It's not the original screen door so the locking mechanism doesn't line up with the catch on the doorframe, and a hook-and-eye solution requires tools and hardware we don't have on hand. I finally settled on securing the door with a good old-fashioned piece of duck tape, because I am classy like that and also apparently not destined to have nice things.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 11:03 AM on July 18, 2021 [15 favorites]

@taz Dodger has many wonderful expressions and I frequently have to overcome my initial instinct to give him absolutely everything he demands.
posted by obfuscation at 12:01 PM on July 18, 2021 [3 favorites]

If anyone missed it, there was news earlier this week of a cat escaping an escape proof cage.
posted by biffa at 1:30 PM on July 18, 2021 [8 favorites]

Years ago we lived in the country. My brother donated a "used" dog who was way too big for his little townhouse and a stray cat donated her sole kitten to us.

The dog was pre-named Hillary and the kitten became known as Half-watt because he was so laid back you wondered if he was a bit dim. I could vacuum all around him and he'd never even wiggle a whisker; he was basically pot-lickin hound dog level of laid back.

Hillary was a beautifully trained dog who was a perfect companion. She even knew not to poop in the yard and she'd go off in the field to do her business. She figured this out without any prompt from us. Yes, she was aces.

Half-watt loved to hunt moles in the yard. Hillary loved to laze around and watch butterflies.

One fine day, we find Hillary digging a hole and Half-watt is watching: he has somehow trained her to dig out his moles....they enjoyed this symbiotic relationship for very many years.
posted by mightshould at 2:35 PM on July 18, 2021 [36 favorites]

Sneaky Bergamot tricked me into petting her soft furry belly earlier today.
posted by aubilenon at 2:41 PM on July 18, 2021 [9 favorites]

Went to pick up my cat Mattie at the vet after a routine checkup and shots. Fifteen pounds of muscle and pointy bits. Chatted at the front desk for a while. After a few minutes, the receptionist very casually added, "Oh, by the way... you wouldn't happen to have, oh, I don't know, some special way of getting Mattie back into her carrier?" I peek into the hall behind he desk and see this strapping young man pulling on what looks like an extra long pair of falconer's gloves. "Uh... just really quickly?" I said, pulling my sleeves down over the claw marks. I peek a little further until I can see in the little window of the exam room door, and Mattie's sitting on top of her carrier like Snoopy on his doghouse, with her best "Who, me?" face.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:01 PM on July 18, 2021 [13 favorites]

Third Cat (known as TC) was not my cat, but a former colleague's, so I can't pay the cat tax. But my colleague would amuse us no end with TC's escapades. The most admirable was when she came home from work (her only housemates were the three cats) to find TC on her bed, with a mostly eaten carton of melted ice cream beside him. Before she left for work, the ice cream in its closed carton, was in the freezer compartment of her fridge.
posted by angiep at 4:00 PM on July 18, 2021 [18 favorites]

My two jerks opened the very large cabinet door behind which the dry food bag sat. We got home from the store and discovered said bag of food on the floor with holes chewed on either end, with said jerks chowing down. One attempted to run off—his brother held his ground until I grabbed them both by the scruff of their neck and deposited them in the bedroom so we could clean up.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:45 PM on July 18, 2021 [6 favorites]

Allan Armadale is obsessed with getting to the other, more modernized side of the house (off-limits because it's partly carpeted). Thanks to the Great Library Flood of 2020, a door that was normally blocked by bookcases was unblocked for several months while I waited for the floor to be repaired. In that time, Allan figured out that the door did not latch properly, leading to some moments of self-recrimination when I found the door ajar...until, that is, I watched him cheerfully pull it open.

Now that I think about it, Allan is the biggest trouble-maker of the resident cats, as he has also figured out how to turn on the bathroom water faucet.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:03 PM on July 18, 2021 [7 favorites]

Birdie, our greyhound/saluki cross from Dubai, (here doing her impression of a soccer [foot] ball), has convinced the folks at the pet food store at the base of our apartment building that we never feed her or show her any love and she is the most pitiful dog ever and her life is the worst and she gets so many treats and pets on our twice- or thrice-daily visits that we hardly ever have to give her food at home.
posted by QuakerMel at 5:25 PM on July 18, 2021 [7 favorites]

We were stopped in the parking lot of the visitors' center for Eyjafjallajökull looking at a map when we realized there was a dog wandering between cars making friends. Being the total suckers that we are, we kept an eye out until it became plain that the dog didn't actually belong to any of the other stopped cars. We then naturally plied it with cheese and attention, and I went inside the visitor center to see what could be done about a stray in Iceland.

"Hey, do you guys know there's a dog in the parking--"
"Yes! He lives here! Such a stupid dog!"

I didn't see how he could be stupid, as he had essentially invented a game in which he hustled soft-hearted tourists for snacks and pets all day, every day.
posted by praemunire at 5:36 PM on July 18, 2021 [21 favorites]

Years ago, my parents came to visit us and brought their little Bichon with them. We were all in the kitchen as I was preparing some cheese and meats for a snack. I brought the plate out to the living room, went back in to the kitchen to grab the folks and a bottle of wine, and we all plopped down in front of the coffee table.

I looked at the spread I had just put out, and it looked... off. Unbalanced. It took me a minute until I realized all of the nice Spanish ham I had bought was missing. In the time it took me to grab folks from the kitchen, this little ten pound dog managed to eat about fifty dollars worth of jamon. She also had a very sensitive stomach, so it didn't stay down for long.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:40 PM on July 18, 2021 [9 favorites]

Also - not sneaky, but one of the cats used to get on the counter to look for bread. He loved bread, no idea why. This always happened in the middle of the night, but he's also kind of dim, so if he found a bag of bread he'd drag it off the counter and pull it in to the bedroom, where he would yell at us to wake up and open the bread for him.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:51 PM on July 18, 2021 [27 favorites]

This morning I heard the high piping voice of an unfamiliar child on our block, quite close by. Then come two little blondie boys up the front two steps, one with a magenta helmet with dinosaur mohawk straight down the middle of the helmet. They seem to be oh 6 and 7 years old. They are looking for cats. There is a stray who has been around quite a while who is a doppleganger for the solid black cat with a feathery tail who lives in my duplex. So much so a doppelganger that he has been taken in next door a couple of times and the neighbors realize no that is not Lejo. Somehow these kids know about the black stray, and the spotted black and white cat that lives on the other side of me. I am giving them the rundown on the local cats, because they have it in their heads they will take a stray home, to me their own cat. Later on I talk with their mom, and no they have no deal on the cat thing, but both of them got time to pet the excellent Lejo, who loves kids and is endlessly indulgent with them. Honestly, though, those boys were the best things ever for a weekend morning, so in earnest, and so sweet and kiddly. Even my duplex neighbor was pleasantly taken with them and watched them with his cat. We were out on the front porch to experience rain sprinkles, there were a few. For a moment, there was a mini rain fall that included only my neighbor in a three foot in diameter circle.
posted by Oyéah at 5:57 PM on July 18, 2021 [14 favorites]

When I was maybe 5 or 6, we had a toy poodle named Lisa. She was solidly smart but not particularly prone to shenanigans, and she wasn't very big so she couldn't get in that much trouble. Mom made chocolate chip cookies one day and as she always did put them on a paper plate inside a plastic bag, and for whatever reason she decided they were fine in the middle of the dining table instead of on the kitchen counter. We went out for a bit.

When we got home, mom saw the plate with the chewed up bag on the floor and was like oh shit, where's the dog? The dog was passed out on the living room floor, belly full, and we did not know about dogs and chocolate yet but we were pretty much assuming the dog was going to puke sooner than later because there were no cookies left and we'd only eaten maybe 2-4 of them fresh so the little dog easily ate at least 8 cookies.

About an hour later, I was just coming back into the living room when I saw Lisa poking at the couch cushions. She would hide her rawhide chews in there sometimes, and I lifted the cushion and the dog snatched a whole damn cookie out from under there and ran to eat it before we could take it away from her.

We found several more cookies stashed in the furniture cushions, and laughed about what a clever dog she was. That night, my dad got into bed and let out a scream, because he stuck his hand under his pillow and hit something hard and rough and there's nothing that immediately comes to mind that would be a bonus to find under your pillow, except yep: Lisa had hidden a cookie under his pillow.

Lisa lived a very long life, like I think I was 20ish when she died, so the cookies did no serious harm. I don't think she ever managed another heist quite so elaborate.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:36 PM on July 18, 2021 [30 favorites]

I used to live in an old house that had been converted to a duplex. Our part of the house had a door with glass panes in it that shut it off from the rest of the house. We got a new roommate, he had a cat, the cat figured out that there were other cats in the house. We'd be awakened by horrible yowling as our cats faced off with the newcomer through the door. One night, a new sound: a horrible banging, like someone trying to pound down the wall. The new cat had noticed that the hardwood floor was actually eroded away, beneath the door, enough for him to wedge a paw under it and yank at it to try to open it. And this worked - he could open the door now.
posted by thelonius at 6:37 PM on July 18, 2021 [6 favorites]

We used to eat a lot of baked potatoes, so we kept a bag of them in the pantry.
One evening we had company over, and for whatever reason, our little tortie Girlie decided that was the evening to climb Mt. Pantry Shelves.
She got the lip of the bag caught on her collar and couldn't get free of it so she started racing around the house with the bag of potatoes in tow.
We were all sitting in the living room and suddenly heard a loud THUD, followed shortly by a furry streak of lightening followed by a lumbering bag of thundering potatoes zooming through our midst.
It was the stuff of legends.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 6:59 PM on July 18, 2021 [19 favorites]

More recently, my elderly gimpy bag o' bones cat Freda somehow managed to leap up on the coffee table in the living room and steal a rotisserie chicken drumstick right from under my nose. I let her keep it since I figured if she still had enough gumption to pull off such a maneuver she deserved it, but it did start calling her my "senile delinquent."
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 7:03 PM on July 18, 2021 [8 favorites]

The bestest dog ever was G****- a beautiful long haired German Shepherd Dog, who came into my life when I was about 18 months old, (we were looking after him) and back into our lives when I was in primary school. We still have the green plastic camel that he chewed. He would follow us kids, particularly me, around, so if we were playing hide and seek we'd have to make sure he was locked up, or he'd give away my hiding spots.

Relevant detail- I grew up living in a house that was on a school compound- there were dogs that were part family pets but also moonlighted as security for the school during the night.

The hijinks I want to share are when he and I*** - a big goofy blondey coloured German Shepherd type, short haired- broke into the Science Lab and ate the ox hearts that had been intended for a disection. They had a lot of pep after that!

Later there were two lovely cuddly German Shepherds named T* and C*. They went everywhere together. One morning I was training for the cross country and discovered that the school sports field was flooded- with dogs having an amazing time running through the puddles. I discovered that they had somehow turned on the tap- AND dragged out the hose themselves.

Cone of shame has nothing on the absolute sheepish look of a German Shepherd who has one of those flip top bin lids on their head. One of the bin lid culprits was responsible for this next story: we heard a funny wum-wum-wum scrapey sound. We saw the dog carefully dragging along a wheely office chair, she was doing really well until the wheels went over the edge of the path. I have no idea why she thought it was a good idea to bring a chair home!

A final German Shepherd story- a big black puppy/adolescent. Managed to work his way into the kitchen where there was a blackberry cobbler, sitting on the bench, cooling. He managed to eat it all, except for the purple foot prints that were ALL over the kitchen: benches, floors, walls. "The amazing thing is, he didn't break the dish!" B, a human who lived in that house, was telling the story to his friends, to more an more confusion from his friend. Finally she said "Oh!! you said YOUR DOG, I thought you said YOUR DAD!"

(I've sadly had to go back and anonymise the dog names, because taken all together they add up to reveal who I might be.)
posted by freethefeet at 7:20 PM on July 18, 2021 [9 favorites]

Oh- a friend's story! Brought to mind by Lyn Never's Lisa, the cookie stealing poodle, up thread.

Her friends were hanging out in her room watching movies while she was out- and she said "hey, don't eat my chocolate orange, they're my fav." Anyway she came back and dun dun dun, chocolate orange was missing. "I can't believe you guys, where is my chocolate orange?" Despite their excuses and explanations, she was quite annoyed that they had eaten it. Anyway, a few days later they noticed that their little dachshund was going outside after dinner. "She's been doing that a lot lately- I wonder what she does?" So the next day they decided to follow her, and saw that she was carefully digging up the orange, unwrapping the foil delicately with her teeth, and carefully pulling out one piece of the orange before reburrying it!
posted by freethefeet at 7:29 PM on July 18, 2021 [19 favorites]

Rupert, our big orange kitty, has discovered how to play a joke on Mr. Carmicha and me. The geography is a little hard to explain, but in Mr. Carmicha’s studio there’s a closed door to the garage, which is usually open to the yard and driveway. Rupert will meow to be let in and then as soon as he hears someone get up to open the door, he will run very fast across the garage, into the adjacent shed, through a kitty sized hole connecting it to my office (how he’s supposed to enter this out building) and back into the studio from the other side. Very quietly. Meanwhile, someone will have walked the 15 feet or so to the door and opened it for him. Seeing no Rupert, they will poke their head through the door, and maybe even take a few steps into the garage, to call him. Rupert seizes this opportunity to jump up on the drill press where he can’t be seen. Giving up, the Good Samaritan will come back into the studio, whereupon Rupert takes great delight in smacking them with his paw from atop the drill press as they walk by. He chortles with happiness and we tell him what a clever kitty he is while engaging in head butts and pets. He only does this about once out of every two dozen requests for the door to be opened, so we fall for it.
posted by carmicha at 8:42 PM on July 18, 2021 [15 favorites]

One night around the holiday season, the ex and I came home and found the tin of holiday fudge that we had left on the bar-height dining room table was opened, and about half the fudge was gone. Lindy, our blind terrier mutt, was the culprit. She was small (about 12ish lbs), with short little legs and blind, so I don't know how she got up onto the chair and table and back down again without severely hurting herself, but she did. Her belly was bloated when we got home, and she had some massive poops but was otherwise fine. A few months after that, I actually caught her on the table again, but just standing there, not eating any illicit goods.

Churro, my large tomcat, also loves bread, tortillas, chips, anything carb-y. I got a bread box to keep my carbs in, otherwise he will chew through the bags and nibble on things in the most sleeping obnoxious way (like, along the length of the loaf of bread, or just poking a few holes in the bag of chips so you don't notice until they've gone stale). He'll also knock it down to the ground and then the dogs get it. Anyways - I got a bread box, and the fucker figured out how to open it up, so I either have to block the door with something, or keep everything in my microwave.

Churro also came into this house by outsmarting me. About two years ago, I was walking the dogs and this kitten followed me home. I told him that I didn't have time for this, that I needed to get the lawn mowed and then I'd deal with him. While I was mowing the lawn, he went into my basement. I said "ok fine, you can stay down here (it's a forbidden place for my other animals) until the shelter opens tomorrow" , and when I went upstairs he ran in front of me, introduced himself to my two dogs, used the litterbox and curled up in the cat tree and went to sleep. I kept him, and my home has been infinitely more chaotic and entertaining since. cat tax
posted by Sparky Buttons at 8:43 PM on July 18, 2021 [13 favorites]

(also, I love this topic and all of your stories and pets/kids)
posted by Sparky Buttons at 9:00 PM on July 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Getting ready to go to bed. I walk into my bedroom and say "Kitties, are you in here? Kitties, where are you, come out!"

Not a word, not a sound. Nope, no kitties in here! I'm not buying it, but I close the door and lie down on the bed. One minute later Moon Pie slinks out from under the bed and jumps up beside me for a snuggle. "Where is the other kitty?" I say, but it is not until a few minutes later that she also emerges from hiding to join us on the bed.

Mind you, I've been sitting in the recliner for the last couple of hours with an empty lap while they hid themselves in the bedroom to wait for me to go to bed.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 9:06 PM on July 18, 2021 [9 favorites]

When we first rescued our dog, she was... not quite bullied, but *intimidated* by our herd of cats. The male cat, in particular, was fond of lazily raising a paw (he didn't even bother to unsheath his claws) to dismiss her despite being about a sixth her size.

We were mystified when the kitchen trash can started to be repeatedly strewn about. It was a rather large trash can and lived inside a cabinet precisely to prevent this sort of thing.

My SO finally witnessed the crime, with the male cat clawing the cabinet door open just enough for the dog to push her head in, grab the can, and pull it out. Dog got dibs on the cat food cans, and the cats had their pick of the rest.

It was weirdly heartwarming.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:11 PM on July 18, 2021 [18 favorites]

About 35 years ago I was living in a small one bedroom apartment in Denver with my white cat, Divinity. It was winter, so as I got dressed for work, I got a sweater out of a low drawer in my dresser, pulled it on, and closed the drawer.
About a half hour later I was about to leave and could not find the cat *anywhere*. I even looked in the apartment building - there were stairs at either end of the hall, and I had visions of her playing hide and seek with me. Finally I *had* to leave, so I left notes in the building in case anyone found her.
9 hours later, I get home, and no one has seen her, and she’s still nowhere to be seen in the apartment. I was calling for her again about an hour after I got home and heard a very muffled “mew”. Not in the closet. I called again, and heard it coming from the dresser. She had jumped in while I was putting on my sweater. Apparently she wasn’t about to give up the nest of sweaters until she had to! I was so relieved.
posted by dbmcd at 10:27 PM on July 18, 2021 [10 favorites]

My childhood cat Max was part Maine Coone, a big ol lovable tomcat and not prone to sneakiness. But there is the one time he asked to be let out twice. Meaning I was sitting by the kitchen door doing homework and let him out. Then not 15 minutes later he came by asking to be let out again. But I swear the front door hadn't opened so how did he get in?

My greyhound Batman was a master escape artist. In the first few weeks after we adopted him, he somehow escaped a wire kennel and left it standing & locked. He was completely unharmed.

Batman has passed on but in her senior years his sister Buffy has figured out how to open the tall pet gate with a childproof latch by jerking on the bottom of the gate just so.
posted by muddgirl at 10:54 PM on July 18, 2021 [6 favorites]

My sister lives out in the country and people often dump unwanted animals along the road. One night she was driving home and was almost to her driveway when a cat ran out into the road suddenly. She stopped to see if he was hit by the car and he was lying in the road looking dazed. She examined him all over and found no blood or broken bones and he seemed tame and showed no sign of distress. She took him home and since she didn't know his health and vaccination status she made a box for him outside and offered him food and water which he ate and drank. She watched him for any signs of distress or lameness and he seemed fine. He was fat and well groomed and very affectionate. She asked all the neighbors if he was theirs and no one claimed him. She jokingly called him Insurance Fraud Cat because he got her to take him home by pretending to be injured.

For the first few days she didn't bring him in the house until she get him checked out by the vet. She had a bunch of other cats that were able to go in and out of the house through a catdoor that would open to a cat wearing a magnetic collar. Insurance Fraud Cat watched the other cats go in and figured out that he could get in by tailgating the other cats with the collars.

He was extremely intelligent and also a sneaky eater who would eat as much as he could of all the cats' food. He was getting very fat so my sister asked me to take him. My previous cat had just passed away so he came to live with me as my only cat. He was gentle and rolypoly so I renamed him Mr Pooh.

Mr Pooh was a great companion who understood a lot of what I said. He was especially loving and attentive whenever I was sick. He would never leave my side when I was ill. He also was very solicitous whenever I was upset or sad. Once, my boyfriend Dave, was mad and yelled at me and made me cry. That evening, Mr Pooh took a shit on Dave's sandals. Mr Pooh was not going to have me bullied without avenging my honor. After Dave got over the shock of shit in his shoe, he recognized that Mr Pooh had my back and that yelling was right out.

My gentle rotund grey furry was my best computing pal, Nurse Kitty, and protector. I controlled his access to food (or so I thought) but he did not ever lose much weight. But then, I didn't lose much weight either.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:01 PM on July 18, 2021 [30 favorites]

We had two big springer spaniels when I was growing up, and for my 8th birthday I had a cake sitting on a breakfast bar in the kitchen. Someone rang the doorbell and we all went out as it was a neighbour wishing me happy birthday, we came back to a demolished cake!

I’ve been looking after my friends Coton de Tulear for a week, Henry is so cute! Not sneaky, more tries the stopping dead trick when he doesn’t want to go in a particular direction, but he’s 7kg so I can easily move him!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:57 PM on July 18, 2021 [6 favorites]

Came home once and the Cattahoola was there but weere is the beagle....look and looked and there he was hiding under a blanket.
He had that wide-eyed, tail wagging smile:
"Hi!, you found me now potty and kibble please"
posted by clavdivs at 12:00 AM on July 19, 2021 [6 favorites]

Three housemates, three cats. I had an energetic Bengal named Entropy, one housemate had a tiny calico kitten named Peaches, the other had a *huge* black tomcat named Fish.

Entropy had figured out the basic principle of how to open kitchen drawers and cabinets, but did not have the mass or strength to manage it with the poor leverage he was able to achieve. I would see him occasionally hook a paw through a handle and tug, but never manage it.

One day, we were all three of us in the living room playing with Peaches, when we heard a tremendous crash from kitchen. We rushed in and found that Entropy and Fish had managed to open the high cabinet where the food was stored, and push out the whole bag. It hit the floor and split open, and they were happily munching away.

TO THIS DAY I believe that this was a deliberate conspiracy, in which Entropy and Fish sent Peaches to distract us, while Entropy taught Fish how to open a cabinet wide enough for another cat to slip through.
posted by kyrademon at 2:33 AM on July 19, 2021 [13 favorites]

Somehow, my cat ties knots in her toy.

She has a wand with long piece of fabric attached. We call it the pink thing.. When we aren't looking, she somehow puts knots in it.
posted by NotLost at 3:12 AM on July 19, 2021 [5 favorites]

When I was a toddler, my mother adopted this black lab mix puppy from the humane society. The "mix" must have included Great Dane and/or hellhound because she grew up to be way more dog than we could handle. She was named Sheba.

- Sheba would steal steak knives from the wooden knife block and just chew the handles off of them
- She would open the fridge and raid the fridge. I think my mother ended up duct taping it shut.
- We had a huge like 10ft tall privacy fence. So Sheba chewed through the wooden fence and escaped. More than once I believe.

We eventually had to give her away to a woman who had a farm and another dog to keep Sheba entertained - and crucially, no small children. (It wasn't because of the above incidents, but because she started occasionally growling at my mother, and since I was only like 4 and this dog weighed 100 lbs, it was too risky.) And I know this sounds like those fake "Sheba went to live on a farm" story that grownups tell kids, but I actually met the woman and her other dog when she came to see Sheba before adopting her.
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:25 AM on July 19, 2021 [4 favorites]

I had a Small Child visiting my house, who I foolishly left unattended in the kitchen, playing with some blocks. After a while I was suspicious of the silence so I went to investigate.
Small Child had fetched a dining chair and dragged it all the way to the kitchen where the spice rack was... on the wall at adult height.
I asked what she was doing and she said:

"I'm messy! And spicy! And I got spicy feet!!"

Reader, she did have very spicy feet.
posted by quacks like a duck at 6:24 AM on July 19, 2021 [20 favorites]

This dipshit was born in Bed-Stuy and spent the first nine years of her life in a series of cramped, awful NYC apartments. Before we moved to Florida in 2015 she'd never walked on grass, never climbed a tree, never hunted anything besides the odd cockroach. Three days ago my youngest daughter accidentally let her out the front door, and less than an hour later she deposited a headless blue jay on our doormat. It was horrifying and sad but also... kind of impressive? And flattering? Like, this 15 year old cat with zero hunting experience and zero finesse bagged a jay bird right out of the gate, then brought it to us as tribute??? Cats are crazy man.
posted by saladin at 7:06 AM on July 19, 2021 [8 favorites]

This handsome creature steals and hides her nail clippers.
posted by Jeanne at 8:13 AM on July 19, 2021 [5 favorites]

I know I have better stories, but the only one that my uncaffinated brain can think of happened a mere 8 hours ago... when I woke up wondering why I was so warm and sweaty. I realized my two feline floofs had merged into a single giant floof strategically located right in front of the AC, blocking it from cooling anyone but their fuzzy highnesses.
posted by cgg at 8:23 AM on July 19, 2021 [10 favorites]

Birdie, mentioned above, knows that before she can go into the pet food store we must walk a few more feet to the planting strip to go pee pee. Once that's done, we turn around and go into the shop for some treats and affection. But sometimes she'll try to play me by squatting for a bit and not peeing. A few times, she tricked me, but now I make sure I look for evidence of having gone to the bathroom.
posted by QuakerMel at 10:09 AM on July 19, 2021 [4 favorites]

I adore this thread. Please tell your dogs, cats, and spicy footed children that I love them.
posted by mixedmetaphors at 10:37 AM on July 19, 2021 [3 favorites]

Our cat Beatrix T. Cattenborough is an unfortunate combination of very smart, very cute, very naughty and very greedy. At some point she figured out how to open the cabinets over the kitchen sink where we used to keep the cat treats. We discovered this because we came home one evening to discover that she had taken out a bag of kibble we had been giving her a few pieces at a time as a treat, torn the bag open and consumed the rest of the bag. It was pretty obvious what had happened because we found her in a bloated food coma on the floor literally right next to the torn-open bag.
posted by slkinsey at 1:24 PM on July 19, 2021 [11 favorites]

I can't believe you swallowed that blatant frame job hook, line, and sinker!!!
posted by praemunire at 2:13 PM on July 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

The red tabby with whom I grew up (Dad called him my "cross-species twin") was truly charismatic. One time Mom caught him clawing the furniture. (The only real consequence was her yelling "Hey!")

Our hero was able to extricate one paw from the upholstery, but not the other, so he quickly mimed his alibi: I wasn't, I wasn't, I would nev...I just needed, prop myself against this recliner while I...wash my face, yeah! Mmm, cleaning my face. Very important.

His sidekick, for a better part of 20 years, was one of those longhaired tuxedo cats with a white pom-pom at the end of the tail. His tongue stuck out a little bit, too. He looked like Sylvester from Looney Tunes, but he had the bearing of a feline Liberace.

Anyway, speaking of my mother's permissive approach to feline discipline: she read somewhere that she shouldn't punish the cats for bringing sacrificial mouse-offerings, but rather congratulate them on their hunting skills and urge them to take the trophies outside. The tuxedo cat quickly came to understand that this meant he could get several instances of fawning praise from the same kill: one night, we heard him at the back door every fifteen minutes or so, announcing with his mouth full that he'd caught "another" one, and wasn't he just so talented?

It took us an embarrassingly long time to figure out what he was doing.

I love when they lie. I love knowing that they're capable of lying.
posted by armeowda at 2:35 PM on July 19, 2021 [13 favorites]

We also once had a cat who had a real problem with his 'nip addiction. To summon humans to the pantry where the magic herb was stored, Hooter would knock pens and pencils off the counter and onto the floor until someone appeared and provided a fix. We tired of broken pencil leads, so we taught him to knock wine corks onto the floor instead. That went fine for awhile, but eventually Hooter began carrying wine corks to wherever the humans were congregating, including sleeping in their beds. Hooter would jump up on your lap or chest, drop a wine cork, and wait expectantly.
posted by carmicha at 2:36 PM on July 19, 2021 [15 favorites]

Big Doofus has opinions about food, at about 3am; and because we're not interested in discussing menu options he wanders into the kitchen and tries to open the cabinet door under the sink. There isn't food in there. He can hook a paw under the edge enough to get it open a bit, but the spring Whacks! it back shut immediately. He howls a bit, I call him by his formal name-- Doofus, NO!--- things settle down.
Until one time when the door-shutting-noise was different, and I realized Lil Sis was prowling around the kitchen, and found that Doof had finally managed to get the door open enough to climb into the cabinet. Then it shut behind him and he was trapped inside, trying to push it open. There still isn't any food in that cabinet.
posted by winesong at 3:02 PM on July 19, 2021 [7 favorites]

Our fuzz bucket is not allowed in the bedroom. She also has a very loud, rumbly purr. One night we forgot to close the door entirely. I woke in the middle of the night and thought to myself "Spouse must be getting a cold," then rolled over to see the cat snuggled in between the pillows and very, very happy.

Another consequence of her not being allowed in the bedroom is that she will bolt for it whenever anybody comes into the house with a toolbox, so we have to be sure to shut the gate or door first. Her internal logic goes something like "Nothing bad ever happens to me in the room I'm not allowed in, so that's where I need to be!"

And finally, before the pandemic we had a cat sitter doing a once-a-day visits over long-weekend vacations. The sitter reported that as soon as she walked in, fuzz bucket would run to the couch, jump up on it, meow, and look expectant. After she'd gotten enough skritches for the moment, she would run to the food area and meow. She is obviously a cat who understands that humans need consistent training and positive reinforcement.
posted by expialidocious at 3:11 PM on July 19, 2021 [7 favorites]

So for my job I spend a lot of time operating things with lots of knobs and buttons - which kids LOOOOOOOOOVE.

For a few years while the owner's son was about 3-7 we had to make a regular habit of checking the position of various knobs and buttons on gear immediately after unloading it from the truck on a gig, because if any of it was uncased at the warehouse there was a darn good chance that the kid had fiddled with it while we weren't paying attention. Which we learned the hard way, because more than a few of us had a couple of panicked "What the hell is wrong with this sound system???!!!!" moments because things that were rarely touched got tweaked to hell and back by the kid moving the knobs and buttons.

My favorite, though, is one time I was doing a Halloween party gig for a local college's staff & faculty & families, and while I'm standing at the mixing board doing my thing this hand snakes up in between my torso and my right arm and reaches for a fader knob.

Here was my thought process:

"Ha ha, Chris (my assistant on that gig) is fooling around."

"Hmmmm, wait, I don't recall him wearing a puffy yellow jacket."

"Hey that hand looks awful small to be Chris's hand . . . "

I turn and look down and an utterly adorable toddler girl had escaped from her parents and wandered over to see what all the knobs and blinky lights were about, and decided (totally understandably) to get in on the action.

I bust out laughing, she gives me a big ol' grin, and then her parents rush over and scoop her up and start apologizing profusely.

It did take a little effort to reassure them that it was totally OK, she hadn't (and couldn't have) done any serious damage to anything.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:00 PM on July 19, 2021 [7 favorites]

This handsome creature steals and hides her nail clippers.

Decades ago two of my girlfriends -- girlfriends sequentially, not simultaneously -- were university students and rented the two upstairs rooms in a small house near campus. The owner of the house, who lived downstairs, was a woman, a university employee perhaps fifteen years their senior named Shannon H______. The fourth occupant of the house was a tiny black kitten owned by Shannon; the kitten had a magpie-like fascination with shiny things and anything shiny (keys, jewelry, and indeed nail clippers) left unattended for 45 seconds would be gone, relocated by the kitten to any of a dozen lairs she had around the house. If you were very lucky, you would catch her trotting away with your key ring in her mouth or, more likely, notice her hotfooting it to behind the couch with someone's earring.

The kitten also rejoiced in having a full name, first and last: she was Maury B_______ and was always referred to by her full name. I once inquired how the kitten had wound up with such a moniker. Apparently Shannon H_______ had a (human) friend named Maury B________ and liked the name so much, she bestowed it on the kitten. I inquired as to how the original Maury B______ reacted to this gesture. Apparently not well: she got a ferret and named it Shannon H_______.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:33 PM on July 19, 2021 [7 favorites]

I adored my cat Olive, who died a few years ago, but she was a handful. She was about four when I adopted her, and had been surrendered by a woman who'd become homeless, who had adopted Ollie as a youngster after she'd been rescued from a hoarding situation east of the mountains. So Olive had been an indoor-outdoor cat for her whole life, and I suspect more outdoor than indoor. I quickly learned that she would never let me win the war even if she'd let me win a few battles: she never stopped trying to escape being confined indoors, figured out how to open the doors if they weren't deadbolted, would hurl herself at window screens till they gave way, darted between my feet when I'd bring in groceries or something. Once, I broke my wrist because she tripped me getting out.

I figured out that if I let her out, she'd come back during the day or at night for food, but if she had to make her escape, she'd disappear sometimes for days. So I was defeated. I found her twice in my neighbors' garage, silently yelling at me through the window (because the windows were closed and I couldn't hear her) to get her out. She was just smart as hell and relentlessly curious.

After a couple years, I got a kitten because I wanted her to have company in the event of a new job, but she HATED him with the white hot fury of a thousand burning suns. It never got better, and she'd often stay out all night and worry me to death. One time she was gone for over 48 hours and I was getting really worried; she wasn't even coming in for the treat bag shaking. Eventually, a woman knocked on my door, a neighbor from the next street up and over. "Do you have a light-orange tabby?" she asked. "A couple neighbors said she might be your cat." When I said yes, she told me that Ollie was trying to move in with them. She'd picked the place with the nicest front porch, and they had a swing that she liked, and had started first hanging out on the porch swing, then coming around back and entering the house through a window. The woman said, "I'd let her move in except we have a cat who's losing her mind about yours and going psycho, so we really can't."

We worked out a plan where she'd stop feeding Ollie and text me when she came by, and I would dutifully drop everything and go up and retrieve her. After a while, she stopped trying to move in with them, but she never stopped hating my little guy, and someone else told me she'd also tried a couple nearby houses.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 5:38 PM on July 19, 2021 [7 favorites]

After a while, she stopped trying to move in with them, but she never stopped hating my little guy, and someone else told me she'd also tried a couple nearby houses.

kitten kaboodle: my family's first cat was obtained in precisely the opposite way--he was the kitten interloper being harassed by the older cat, and after we proved ourselves more acceptable in the way of attention-giving and whatnot, he jumped ship and moved in with us (as it turns out, just in time to avoid being sent to a shelter).
posted by thomas j wise at 6:21 PM on July 19, 2021 [4 favorites]

My childhood cat loooooooooved coffee, which I thought was just a normal cat thing, and whenever coffee came out, she'd start sneaking stealthily behind any guests who weren't my parents, waiting for them to leave their coffee unattended for two seconds so she could dive face-first into the coffee and drink like crazy.

I thought the purpose of saucers was to go on TOP of coffee cups to keep curious cats out of them until I was like 12. This idea was forwarded by the fact that restaurants always put coffee cups upsidedown on the saucers and you flip it right side up yourself -- see, the saucer is MADE to cover the top of the cup! I figured people left it under the cup because there are no cats in restaurants, and what else are you going to do with a saucer you don't need?
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 6:38 PM on July 19, 2021 [22 favorites]

The late and wonderful Zach gave me a dirty look once, very early soon after I got him. (Well - when my then-boyfriend got him, and we broke up like 3 months later and I got custody.)

Zach was curled up asleep, and my then-boyfriend and I were watching him, and started having a doofy conversation speculating about what Zach might be dreaming about. After a couple minutes of us discussing this, Zach suddenly opened just one eye and glared at us. If he had the power of speech, he absolutey would have been growling, "Shut. UP."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:39 PM on July 19, 2021 [3 favorites]

(I've sadly had to go back and anonymise the dog names, because taken all together they add up to reveal who I might be.)
posted by freethefeet at 5:20 AM on July 19 [6 favorites +] [!]

Omg! Quentin Tarantino!?
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:43 PM on July 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

I was pet sitting for my younger sister's cat awhile back, I think for first time, and managed to have a catastrophe right away. I had been told to keep the cat in the bathroom for a few hours until she'd had a chance to acclimate. So I set up her litter box, pulled out her blanket, and opened up her carrier in there. Maybe half an hour later I heard the most pitiful crying from her, went in to check, and let her out into the house, since she clearly wasn't happy. (Yes, she totally played me.) I turned my back for an instant and she vanished. My spouse, kid, and I basically turned the house upside down, looking everywhere cat-sized for her. I don't remember which of us started looking in places a cat can't fit, but that's where she was found. She had wedged herself under the treadmill, in the inch or two of clearance and was clearly planning to stay there. I think it took some treats to get her out. We're convinced that cats are made of liquid and can, in fact, fit anywhere.
posted by blueberry monster at 7:58 PM on July 19, 2021 [7 favorites]

My cat has a particular mournful meow she uses when she’s run out of kibble, I’m late giving her her wet food, she needs fresh water, she needs her box cleaned, etc. She will go by the object, sit down, and give a single “MRRAOWW” and I will get up and go fix the problem. It’s a very specific and distinct meow that always means “something is wrong, mother fix it please.”

Last night, I was settling in bed when I hear that mournful meow from the living room. I get up and walk into the room wondering what’s wrong. She’s sitting in the middle of the floor next to her favorite toy.

The “problem” was that was 10:45 at night and she wanted to play. And I totally fell for it.
posted by brook horse at 8:08 PM on July 19, 2021 [10 favorites]

When I first got Nellie the cat, I lived in a place where the heat ducts ran under the floor and came out of small, oblong floor vents. I didn’t know how she was getting into closed rooms - or how her white coat was getting so dingy - until the time I watched her pop up out of one of the heat registers like it was a manhole.

And then there was Danny the tomato vampire. Every time we’d leave a cut-open tomato on the counter, we’d come back later and find all the seeds and pulp gone out of it. We assumed it was some kind of bugs. One day I came into the kitchen and there was our big four-legged himbo ginger tabby slurping the guts out of an heirloom tomato (the variety of which was ironically named “Mr. Stripey” due to its striped orange skin).

When I was a teenager I baked a pink Funfetti cake for my sister’s birthday and put it in the overhead dish cupboard, which was fitted with childproof latches, for safekeeping. When I went to take it out that evening, there was Andy (another big orange boy not renowned for his intellectual prowess) having himself a hearty snack. The look on his little pink frosting-nosed face.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:26 PM on July 19, 2021 [11 favorites]

Oh, and there was the time my cat very cleverly peed in my socks.
posted by brook horse at 8:33 PM on July 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

This will always be my favorite pet story.

Right after college I had a cheap room in an apartment with six other women. I had a twin bed (stolen from the basement of a Smith College dorm) which fit perfectly into a nook. There was a window at the head of the bed that I left open so my cat, Alex B. Toklas, could go in and out. He had to walk across my pillow but when I was asleep I never noticed.

One Saturday I sat down at my desk and my bare feet touched something decidedly... furry... under the desk. It was a dead squirrel. I shrieked and jumped a thousand feet in the air.

Apparently Alex had dragged a squirrel across my pillow while I slept and stashed it under my desk. I don't know if it was alive or dead when he pulled it across my pillow. Did it touch my face? Did he kill it in my room? How long had it been dead?

I don't mind squirrels from a distance but a surprise dead pillow-squirrel is unsettling.
posted by bendy at 8:37 PM on July 19, 2021 [8 favorites]

Moar tales of orange boys: We had two orange tabby brothers, Willie, the too-smart rotund short haired rascal and Bert the long haired stoner. One night we had corn on the cob for dinner. Willie jumped in the compost bin and brought out all the cobs to chew on. Later we came in the kitchen and found the corncobs all over the place. Willie and Bert were lounging nearby. We asked them, "Who dragged all these corncobs all over the floor?" Willie immediately turned to Bert and stared at him. Bert looked confused. Willie was such a liar!
posted by a humble nudibranch at 8:40 PM on July 19, 2021 [5 favorites]

I have very few kid stories since I'm rarely around kids, but in that same share house with its constantly-rotating cast of roommates lived a single mom with a daughter who was about eight and not really a rules girl (spoiled).

One day she was roller skating in the house while holding a glass of milk. I told her to put the milk down while she was skating so that she wouldn't spill it. She refused and I asked her if I could hold it. She gave it to me and I drank the whole damn glass of milk in front of her.

Later she tried to get back at me by making me a drink that was essentially conditioner that she'd found in the bathroom, but the smell exposed her evil deception and I didn't fall for it.
posted by bendy at 8:44 PM on July 19, 2021 [5 favorites]

Oh, and there was the time my cat very cleverly peed in my socks.

When I was a little kid my grandparents used to come visit over the holidays. They would sleep in my dad's bedroom, he'd have to share a room with my mom again, my grandparents turned the heat way up, everyone was uncomfortable and no one got a lot of sleep. My grandparents were nice enough but they were proper and had ideas about how everything should be and how people should dress and eat and treat each other around the holidays and it was tiring. We were a more free-form household. And we were sleepy. We had an old unfixed tomcat (parents should have taken care of that but it was the 70s and for some dumb reason they didn't) who was an ornery cuss. He saw us all, his people, kind of miserable during what should be the most wonderful time of the year and he vowed to do what he could to fix the problem. Reader, he shit in my grandmother's shoe that was in my dad's bedroom. We determined that for him to do that he must have had to back right up into it, it was an act that required some agility. My parents acted suitably horrified but I think they were amused. My sister and I just found it flat out hilarious.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:53 PM on July 19, 2021 [10 favorites]

Not hijinks but just a yay, cat story:

There is a very friendly calico that lives in the street behind us. I take my daughter for walks and if we're lucky, we'll see her sitting on someone's front step. I'll say something like"oh look it's the friendly kitty" and she'll hear me and come over for a pat. (We saw her today!)

Once she was hanging out at another house with other cats, she came out for pats and a big black floof came out for pats as well!

My daughter makes cat noises at them, except it's a bit like "moo"
posted by freethefeet at 5:17 AM on July 20, 2021 [7 favorites]

Brother's dog is around 12 months and already an skilled emotional blackmailer. For instance, he knows who he can bully in the family to give him food around the dinner table (my parents), and who won't fall for it (my brother). And if that doesn't work, he will literally climb the dinner table or throw himself on it using the sofa nearby.

Also, I swear the little dork has a sixth sense related to kitchens because even the quiet sound of a microwave oven closing will have him racing across the house to the kitchen, thinking he can coerce someone into giving him food.

This is the same dude who eats squirrel poop and pees on his own dainty little legs btw. Like, pls be consistent with your brains my guy.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:38 AM on July 20, 2021 [3 favorites]

When I was a kid, in a rural place on the edge of a city, our neighbor got a very young pygmy goat. The goat fell in love with our horse. I'm anthropomorphizing, but the description isn't unreasonable. For months she kept breaking out of her pen and would inevitably be found under, or sometimes on top of, our horse. The neighbor spent many tens of hours making ever more elaborate pens. At one point I saw her eight feet in the air, her hooves threaded through the chain link, chewing at the wires that held the roof on her pen.

Eventually they gave up and just let us keep the goat. She was a fantastic pet, and also a real pain in the neck. She used to sneak into the house whenever the door was open and destroy things. I once had to tell a teacher that the goat had eaten my homework. (Astonishingly, they believed me.) She nearly pushed me off the roof of a house once. Despite all the bruises - we used to wrestle every time I came home and sometimes she won - she was a great childhood pet. [goat tax]

On my own list of weird childhood memories: when I was around 8 or 9 I spent a year's allowance on an early 20th century Japanese bayonet at a gun show; a really badly preserved and rusty Type 30 with a metal scabbard. (I was a weird kid. I had weird parents.) I was told never to take it out of the house without permission. One day a friend and I had a really compelling idea for a game that needed swords. I had a sword.

But, my mom was sitting in front of the door. I couldn't figure out how to distract her in order to escape. So, I did the silliest possible thing and asked that she close her eyes for one minute, without any back story or motivation. She decided to play along. I'm sure she was watching and probably relieved it wasn't something much more dangerous. We had a lot of fun beating the hell out of the fast-growing plants that covered the hillside. (That the sword had a history was something I didn't consider at the time. I'm not sure I really even knew what Japan was. That it's in my umbrella stand today suggests I still haven't spent much time thinking about it.)
posted by eotvos at 11:33 AM on July 20, 2021 [6 favorites]

Someone gave my little Boston Terrier a huge biscuit in the shape of a bone. When we got home, she hid it in one of the many potted plants we had around. We discovered it and were laughing about it. The minute we moved out of sight, she zoomed in grabbed it and moved it to another plant. This went on for days; she never ate the thing, that I noticed.
posted by BibiRose at 12:15 PM on July 20, 2021 [4 favorites]

My kids lost their phone privileges. As they are 8 and 6, I knew they were sneaky, so I hid their phones in the car, which is kept parked in our apartment parking garage.

My extra phone charger went missing. I figured I either packed it in my husband’s suitcase or misplaced it. It will turn up, I thought.

A few mornings later, I went in to check on the kids. They were snuggled up in one bed together and they JUMPED out of their skins when I went in.

They had somehow spotted the phone. One morning, before the rest of the house woke up, they got a step stool to get the car key and apartment door fob, went outside, got the phone out of the car, and plugged the phone in in their room to charge so they could watch YouTube in secret. They kept this from me for THREE DAYS.

How do I have teenagers at the ages of 8 and 6?!?
posted by Night_owl at 5:02 PM on July 20, 2021 [12 favorites]

Ahem ** many years ago, decades ago actually, when I was in college, the year I lived in the fraternity house, I was in charge of the fraternity dog. He would sleep in my room at night, I would feed him (he actually ate a lot of meals with the brothers who would give him burgers, hot dogs and pretty much anything we were served.)

The dog never was on leash except when he came home for holidays. He would also come to class with me. At UVa, at the time, dogs were sacred and officially or tacitly allowed in class as long as they behaved.

Typically, he would just sit in the chair next to me or on the floor next to me. Typically. Except the time we were in a first floor classroom with the windows open. Dog was also a champion squirrel chaser. He would chase them all the time. If he ever caught one, a rare feat, he would shake it in his mouth and put it down. If it ran, he would chase it again. If it just stayed still, he would walk away. Anyway, this day he must have spied a squirrel out of the open window. Yup, he got up, took a run and lept through the window. After the teacher got over the stun, they asked me if I was going to go get him. No. I will get him after class. He will be waiting for me at the door. Sure enough, he was.

Another time he came with me to one of my history classes. I was a double major with history being one. I was actually taking a military history class. I was one of two civilians in the class. The rest were ROTC. I would take the dog's collar off in class because he would scratch himself sometimes in class and the collar would make noise. I had it off in this ROTC class. I was feverishly taking notes and not looking up when I heard a lot of laughter. Instinctively I look down at dog to see if he was licking his balls or something. Nope. He was not there. I look up and he had walked to the front of the classroom and lay down on the floor such that his head was resting on Captain Colby's foot for a pillow. Captain Colby was a by the book officer. Dressed impeccably, shirt and pants ironed, shoes shined. High and tight haircut. I thought I was screwed. Everyone else was in uniform and answered with yes sir or no sir. I was in a t-shirt and shorts and flip flops. I would answer you bet or not when asked a yes/no question. I looked at him and asked if I should get him and take him out. To his credit he shook his head no and taught the last 20 minutes without moving and my dog sleeping on his shined shoe. He even said to bring him back next class.

That great dog spent all his waking hours maximizing his personal enjoyment of life. Taught me a few things about staying in the moment.
posted by AugustWest at 10:17 PM on July 20, 2021 [14 favorites]

Last week my rat Maurice had an operation to remove an abscess. General anaesthetic! I was so relieved to get the call that he was OK. But now he had to get antibiotics and painkillers several times a day. The medication is fluid, and has to be squirted into his mouth via syringe. It's very stressful and unpleasant for all parties. He's a squirmy little boy and simply refused to cooperate.
At my next vet visit I asked the vet to watch me give him the medication so she could give me tips to improve my technique. That didn't go well so she took over. I'm very lucky in that my vet has several pet rats herself so she knows what she's doing. And Maurice kept getting little cuddles and "Oh he's so cute!" throughout his appointment with her.
Anyway, she expertly tucked him up against her chest, upside down, his little legs unable to get purchase to scrabble away, and squirted the medication into his mouth. Then she said "now wait."
He kept his mouth closed tight, eyes bulging. We waited for him to swallow. And waited. Eventually she put him back in his carrier. "Now watch". And indeed, he promptly spat up all the medication.
The vet told me that he was a particularly difficult rat to medicate, and to try mixing the medication with food.
I tried sardine, with a bit of success. Ensure (on internet advice) which he scorned. Off brand Nutella (all I could get hold of) also did not approve of. Eventually I mixed his dose in with some chocolate cake. (The most delicious chocolate cake too, with cocoa, oats, and coconut icing). This he accepted. I checked with the vet, she said it was fine.
So for a while our routine was that he'd come out of his cage mornings and evenings, and be fed medicated chocolate cake.. Then he'd crawl into my robe and just cuddle there contentedly. Here he is, eating his medicated cake.
posted by Zumbador at 10:40 PM on July 20, 2021 [11 favorites]

One day a friend and I had a really compelling idea for a game that needed swords. I had a sword.

Can I just say that this sounds like a sentence from the first paragraph of a great short story?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:46 AM on July 21, 2021 [8 favorites]

I have had a very dark couple of weeks, and this thread has been wonderful for my mental health. Thank you all so much for your wonderful stories and pictures. Some of my favorite critter stories that I hope bring someone else joy too:

When I was a kid, we had a big ol' German shepherd named Butler. He was such a softie and good dog that once I caught his nose with a fishing hook, while we were in a boat, and he stayed still and let my dad get it out. I'd never seen that dog do anything aggressive. Then one day, a boy threw me in the pool, and I screamed on the way in, in the manner of flirting teenagers, and by the time my head broke water, Butler had cleared his 8 foot kennel fence, and was just sitting on the boy's chest, looking at him. He wasn't growling, but he clearly wasn't playing either. I came out of the water and said "Butler, KENNEL!" and he walked over and hopped that fence like it was a foot high. As I recall, that boy never came over again.

I had a cat, DB that lived for 22 years. He was the most amazing cat I've ever known. I rescued him in the middle of a massive, and at the time, unusual, snowstorm. He was my closest buddy. He traveled with me during a gap year where I decided to travel around the country with the Renaissance Faire crowd. I had a 60s era Buick Skylark at the time, which had a massive deck dashboard. DB would climb up there, like he was a 30 pound plastic Jesus, and off we'd go. I cannot tell you how many tickets that cat got me out of. Cops would stop us, and DB would reach out the window for them, and they'd laugh and let me go. All the tickets. That's how many he got me out of. All.

We were doing a faire somewhere on the eastern side of the country, and one of the acts was a lion act. One day, I couldn't find DB anywhere, and people were helping me look, and the lion guy dragged me over to the lion cage and said "Is that yours?"

Somehow, he'd found a way in, and he was chewing on the corner of this massive piece of meat, while the lion just looked on in amazement. From that day forward, until the end of that show, whenever the lion was walking around, DB would walk around with them. Unleashed, unmuzzled, and clearly the alpha. Such a great cat.

I've had so many wonderful animals, that I could write a Tolstoy length novel just telling stories about them. So, I'll leave you with a story of my current cats, a pair of tuxedo twins. I decided to start painting during the pandemic. I'm considerably more enthusiastic than I am talented, but it's zen and I like doing it. The twins like to help. I don't think I have a single canvas that doesn't have either cat prints, or a tail swipe, or cat hair. My daughter, in discussing this said "No, that's cool Mom, because later when your art is discovered, and everyone wants one, they can be authenticated." Ha!
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 12:10 PM on July 21, 2021 [23 favorites]

The twins like to help.

The above-mentioned Nellie the Cat was so fond of “helping” me do things (making the bad, folding the laundry, cutting out sewing patterns, etc.) that I coined the word “Nelping.” She was very nelpful.

She used to walk right into her carrier for vet visits, then act completely surprised when we shut the door and took her to the car. She’d howl the whole way until we thought she’d meow herself hoarse. We’d get into the exam room and open the door, and she’d come flying out like the wind. Suddenly, she’d notice where she was, do a cartoon about-face, and try to run back in, bonking her head on the now-shut door.

Cat tax
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:16 PM on July 22, 2021 [4 favorites]

Many year ago my mother had a lover who had a pet bird and a cat. The lover was Armenian and the bird was named Maas (I have no idea how you spell that) which was Armenian for birdie. The cat was a short haired black female, prone to racing crazily around the apartment, so she was named Energy.

The inevitable happened and Maas was converted to Energy.

Our kitchen had a backdoor that led to a sun porch, which also had a back door which led to the back yard. The top half of both doors had a window with a screen in it so we could get some air in the kitchen on hot summer days. Energy learned to jump on her hind legs and hit the thumb latch that closed the door into the sun porch so that it would swing open, and then do the same thing on the door into the yard that had the same kind of latch. My mother had to install hooks and eyes on both doors, high up at adult shoulder level to keep her from getting out and letting all the other cats out as well.

Energy then figured out how to jump up onto the window screen, climb it with her claws, open the hook and eye by batting upward, jump down again so she could and open the thumb latch to get into the sun porch, and then repeat the process to get into the back yard.
posted by Jane the Brown at 4:01 PM on July 23, 2021 [5 favorites]

The late, great, Bunky was a tiny, cranky Jellicle cat who had a knack for appearing just at the right time for her favorite foods. If we even so much as reached for a can of tuna, she'd sense a disturbance in The Force and rocket downstairs before the can was opened. She was also an incredibly precise jumper, regularly jumping from the floor to the top of the china cabinet.

One day we were making roast beef sandwiches. My sister held out a quarter of a sandwich to pass on, and Bunky appeared out of nowhere, hell bent on the sandwich. She jumped in a perfect dolphin arc, snatched the sandwich quarter out of my sister's hand, landed silently and disappeared. We watched it in slow motion, scarcely believing what we saw. Had to award her the sandwich quarter for that performance.
posted by Soliloquy at 1:20 PM on August 1, 2021 [3 favorites]

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