01 September 2010

Fan Expo, Cats, and Me

For three days last weekend, Vic and I walked around Toronto's Fan Expo kissing babies, hugging Wonder Womans--hello again, Wonder Womans--and having our pictures taken with strangers. It was incredibly flattering. We shoot the show in a vacuum, not knowing if anyone really watches.

People in Toronto? They watch. Oh, how they watch.

We flew home on Sunday night. I cabbed from the airport. I walked in the door of my apartment, and before I even had a chance to put my suitcase down, one of my cats barfed all over the place.

Then both cats kind of sat there, looking at me with little cat smiles on their little cat faces, as if to say, "Don't let your head get too big. At the end of the day, you still have to clean up our barf."

And clean it up I did while the cats sat off to the side, supervising the whole operation. "You missed a spot, Barf Boy," I imagined one of them saying. "That's right. You are our Barf Boy. Don't ever forget that. Barf Boy."

I love my cats. Vic has a cat too--this orange behemoth named Clyde. And my friend John Teti, he recently transformed into a full blown cat man. Most of the game writer-types I know have cats. Cats and videogame people, for some reason, go great together. Teti recently emailed me a picture of himself playing games while one of his cats--I don't know if it was Soupy or Nipsy--was sprawled out in his lap and napping as hard as a cat can nap.

Scientific fact: Cats experience an overwhelming urge to get into any/all laps of anyone who is playing a videogame. They seem to have a special sense that tells them whenever people are in a really tough part of the game--perhaps a boss fight--and things are heating up, and they are in dire need of all of their gaming powers. That's usually when my cat, Bee, decides that it's time for her to get into my lap and do a few cat circles, then proceed to start kneading my belly/crotch region with her claws.

Sometimes I shoo her away. But mostly I yell "BEE!" followed by a "COME ON!" and then I just let her do what she wants to do. I can't say no to her and her cute face and soft fur and her green eyes. So I try to game around her, leaning left and right while she does her cat thing as I shout more BEEs and more COME ONs.

Scientific Fact #2: Cats enjoy getting tangled up in cords and climbing on top of gaming consoles when they are on. Bee does this all the time. I'm guessing she enjoys the heat they give off. Whenever I find her on top of the Xbox 360 while I am gaming, I have about 67 heart attacks, because I am sure that a cat-on-top-of-console situation is no doubt responsible for approximately 88-percent of all Red Rings.

Ah, cats.


When I moved to Vancouver, I purchased a new couch for $2000. What a damn fool I was. I haven't even paid off the damn thing yet, and already my cats have scratched it to hell and back. I've tried everything to keep them from scratching the couch--doubled-side tape, blankets arranged so they obscure the most desirable scratch regions (the arms and sides). I've shouted COME ONs until I'm practically hoarse. Nothing works. Cat-owner Pro Tip: Don't buy expensive furniture, because your cats will just barf all over it and scratch the stuffing out of it.

I went to the Yaletown pet store the other day and bought a cardboard scratch thing called a COSMIC CATNIP ALPINE SCRATCHER. It's basically a $27 wedge of corrugated cardboard that stands at a 45-degree angle.

The cats like it well enough. They climb aboard the Alpine Scratcher and get some good scratches in, so I suppose it's doing its job. They haven't neglected the couch arms completely, though. The most interesting part about the Alpine Scratcher is the artwork on the side of the box. It features a bipedal cat wearing lederhosen and suspenders and a jaunty kerchief. Behind him are two smaller, completely naked cats, both of whom are wielding work tools of some sort. The smaller cat on the left gives a wave, as if he's posing for a wish-you-were-here vacation photo. The one on the right seems less in the mood to be photographed, and more focused on the task at hand. (See the photograph above.)

Next to this trio of cats is a pile of rocks that I can only assume is the grave of one of their alpine climbing companions who didn't have a strong enough constitution to survive their treacherous ascent. The three cats--the clothed one is the leader; the smaller, nude ones are the cat sherpas--paused to bury their now-dead friend beneath this rock mound, and pay their respects, as if to say, Rest in peace, cat climbing companion. May this rock pyramid we have arranged with our non-descript work tools stand tall in your memory.


  1. Oh i can so relate to this. Our one cat likes to puke on the Nintendo Wii's sensor bar (are they trying to tell use something?)

    CanuskyTheHusky on Twitter

  2. We watch in Saskatchewan too :o)

  3. but Toronto mainly :D

  4. Wonder Woman's friend here.

    Try pinning balloons to the side of your couch. Cats will try to avoid them, but they will accidentally scratch/pop one eventually. It will scare the fuck out of them and they will never do it again.

    Worked for my mom, anyway.

  5. Your mom scratched the couch? ;)

  6. Yeah, nothing like cats to put you back in your place. Ten to one the barf was a way to protest you not being there. I know, I have one myself and a while back he did the same just out of spite. That said...


    ps: fanfare's mom should get her claws removed.

  7. I recently adopted two kittens and one, of them, Chloe, loves to curl up in my lap as soon as I grab a game controller. She especially likes when I sit at my desk to work or play a game on my computer. She'd be fine if she'd just sit there, but of course she periodically has to climb up on the desk, step all over the keyboard, and then go after the mouse cord. Still, it's cool having kittens again.

    Our older cat, Samantha, is 15+ years old and she's such an old pro at everything that she's essentially perfect. She never scratches, never jumps up where she's not supposed to, and is always ready to play if you prompt her to.