Friday, July 21, 2023

The Mind of Mr Nevsky

Cats are astonishing creatures. I note this in many ways, and the realisation is frequently reinforced.

Neville is currently having an issue with his poop. Much of it is clinging to his bum, which he wipes on a convenient section of rug. The real trouble is that his poop seems not to blame; it is well-formed and firm. Nor is his posterior hair interfering. Indeed, this difficulty does not occur every time he visits the litter-box to deposit number two there. What I believe is happening is that he has taken to squatting too low and, in some cases, effectively sits on the debris.

That is the subject of this blog-entry only obliquely. Following each dirty incident, Neville must be cleaned. Sometimes this takes half an hour or more. (Usually in the night, allowing me some time to wake up in the wee hours before attempting to fall asleep again.) He hates it, of course, and sometimes growls and hisses during it. I try to reassure him by stroking his fur, and telling him he’s a good boy, but he is eager to put distance between himself and me afterward.

Yet Nev holds no grudge. Yesterday and the day previous, he came of his own accord to sit on my lap and permit me to pet him and give him chin-rubs. He has purred and, so far as I can tell, enjoyed our moments together; these moments, so soon after being tormented by warm water, damp cloths and towels.

I have not met a cat who holds a grudge. Certainly, cats can be annoyed at human behaviour but they seem to know the difference between the intentionally hurtful and the regrettably necessary actions. Perhaps, later, they need reassurance as much as we. But in most cases, they forgive us and remain our friends.

Neville especially has had far more than his share of pokes and prods, pills and liquids, indignities and embarrassments. Yet through it all, he has remained my friend. Such is not just the mind of Mr Nevsky, but also his heart.


  1. I think you are right on all counts. They know the difference between needful and necessary actions, I feel. They may need to be reassured as you said afterward but again, as you said, they forgive us. I am wondering if it is "lumbago" that is making him squat lower...glad you can see what his difficulty is. A pain pill may help?

  2. Neville has had more than his share of unpleasantness lately. Cleaning the rear is not making him happier during just that time. Glad he ends up appreciating time with you when all is over.

  3. Ah! Bless him..! I love him to bits....!x

  4. How considerate of Neville, to allow you spend time awake in the night. Why would you want uninterrupted sleep? 😁

    Katie might have a good idea, though, about the possibility of pain (or stiffness) changing the way he uses the litter box. I have no ideas of my own on this one!

  5. Poor Nev, but I'll admit my heart goes out to you John. Having to wake up in the middle of the night to deal with what, likely, isn't a pleasant task is something I hope I never have to experience.

  6. Neville, John can fill a whole book by chronicling your antics.

  7. Poor Nev and poor you. But fortunately, our cats forgive us even when we need to do something that they don't care for. Not holding a grudge is another thing humans can learn from our cats.

  8. Poor Neville. you have no secrets.

    1. I was just thinking that I hope Neville doesn't read the blog. He'd be *so* embarrassed.

  9. Thankful cats don't hold grudges because I have to do the same hygiene maneuvers for Annabelle. But it's a case where her fur interferes and then I have to get the scissors and clip the hair and that in and of itself is another annoyance for Miss A. Since she's a manx her spine is formed differently and manx are notorious for having bowel issues. But it's all good once it's done. No harm no foul.