Monday, May 09, 2005

Fearless Bengals

If you're used to standard domestic cats, one thing that takes some getting used to with Bengals is their utter fearlessness. I actually saw Leela spooked a few days ago, and it struck me that I'd literally never seen her afraid of anything before, in the entire year plus that we've had her.

This is a far cry from Laszlo, who has a long list of things he'd like to keep away from, topped by thunderstorms and the vacuum cleaner. It's not so bad here, even though Vancouver is a very rainy city. Back where we migrated from, there was more thunder, and we were in a less dense, more wooded area so we didn't keep our windows as covered. Whenever there was a good heavy rain, much less a thunderstorm, you'd see Laszlo slinking around the edges of the room, stomach tight against the floor, looking for a safe hiding place. He'd come up out of the basement when the rain stopped.

And the vacuum cleaner, well forget that. But not Leela. She doesn't exactly like it, but she doesn't run in terror from it the way every other cat I've ever seen does. She actually follows it around. As best we can determine, she merely finds it distasteful. It's loud and vulgar and makes it difficult to sleep, and running it is simply not the mark of a gentleman.

The one time I saw Leela actually frightened, we'd brought home groceries. She was playing with a plastic bag and had managed to get her head through one of the holes, and an entire shoulder and leg through the other one. The thing was pretty securely wrapped around her. I was about to take it off her when she tried thrashing her way out of it. When she couldn't, she panicked and took off around the living room, with the bag flapping and rattling at her back like an angry ghost she couldn't lose. She did a couple laps before catching it on a table and getting free, then she took off upstairs. I grabbed the bag and went up to see how she was. When she saw the bag, she whirled and vanished under the bed. Her fur was all puffed up and she was actually a frightened cat for the first, and so far last, time.

In general, I guess this is a pretty good thing. As I've opined before, I suspect this makes Bengals actually safer with overeager children because they're less likely to feel cornered somewhere and take a swipe. But it's good to know they can be frightened of something...


At May 24, 2005 at 11:28 PM, Blogger Rene said...

This only works until they know how to deal with the scary things in life. Then a grocery bag doesn't impose them anymore. Bengals can learn, and will, how to make something scary in something fun and to play with.


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