Follow the reluctant adventures in the life of a Welsh astrophysicist sent around the world for some reason, wherein I photograph potatoes and destroy galaxies in the name of science. And don't forget about my website,

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Return of Ramesses

Last year I borrowed a hapless kitten for two weeks with dubious name of Ramesses. Not surprisingly, Ramesses the Kitten was quite unable to live up to the standards of his more famous Pharonic namesake, Ramesses the Great. He fathered less (i.e. none) children, built less monuments (again none, though he did poop a lot), couldn't even understand the basics of riding a chariot and had about as much aptitude for commanding armies as I do for for playing Set (also none).

However, he was found to be far superior to Egypt's greatest ruler in many ways, not least of which is that as a trained astronomy cat he would naturally attack the wi-fi router with the rampant aggression that surely Ramesses I would have reserved for his Hittite foes, presumably because he hates all sources of RFI.

This year, Ramesses is on a mission of self-education. Being considerably older and wiser*, he has broadened his interests to include photonics (in this particular and unique instance among cats, laser pointers), robotics...

* Wiser meaning, "fatter" in this case.

Alarmingly, technology has advanced to the point where we can use
robotic cockroaches to entertain cats.

...and nuclear fusion.

Pet Smart presents : the home tokamak for cats !
He is, admittedly, somewhat more tolerant of the wi-fi router antennae. Perhaps, like the rest of us, he is simply willing to accept the sacrifice of a small part of the scientifically valuable EM spectrum in exchange by the massive convenience benefits bestowed by modern technology.

As befits such a prodigious polymath, Ramesses is clearly interested in everything and consequently his eyes are almost always as big as saucers. This makes him look continuously baffled.

He holds this expression more or less permanently. This means I
have absolutely no idea if he's bored, hungry, annoyed, perplexed,
tired, inquisitive, quite content, plotting to overthrow the Nigerian
government or just needs to pee.

He also reacts in the presence of anything : small pieces of dust, a light breeze, the continued existence of the floor, etc., with a sensitivity level that would make any gravitational wave detector vomit with sheer envy. I gave him the nickname of Ramecaesium.

All this cuteness comes at a price. And that price is that he's a bloody *!"£#?!$ awful nuisance. If he was a colony, he'd be the least likely ever to vote for independence. If I even go to the bathroom it's an instant and continuous series of miaows. At 4 in the morning he starts clawing at the door to the spare room to be let out, which basically sounds like a series of very loud thuds*. Then I spend the rest of the morning in a completely pointless effort to get back to sleep. That means I have no energy left in the evening to keep him entertained, which results in him biting me.

* If I leave him loose about the house he'll jump on me, which is even worse; if I shut my bedroom door then that seems to work but then I get no air conditioning.

Last year when he left I felt really quite lost. This time, after a month without anything approaching real sleep*, not so much.

* OK, a week of this was more because of the Single Dish Summer School for which there were at least some compensating factors. It's probably worth an entire post if I ever get around to it.

I love cats. Just not that cat. If I wanted a hyperactive animal who follows me around like a puppy and won't leave me alone the whole time, I'd have got a baby elephant. Or a puppy.

1 comment:

  1. I read with empathy! I've been on sole 'charge' (i.e., lone skivvy) for our two cats for just over a week whilst my husband is away. Paul, as is common with scientists (see Patrick Moore's book on cats...) is a thorough sucker when it comes to being manipulated by cats. So sets me up for, 'Nah... I don't want that brand right now, I want the other brand..." "Oh well, maybe I did prefer the first one - I'll try it again..."

    As the T-shirt says: "For thousands of years, cats were worshipped in Egypt as gods... Cats have not forgotten this."