The mythological sphinx, while not to be confused with the Sphynx, does combine elements of other species. How many of us have observed, while watching a cat “he/she looks like a bat! An Owl… A panther, monkey, rat, wolf, bird….”
I often think of Tito as a wolf with stripes, but as to Mazuzu Whang…
From the side, his ears look like the Sydney opera house. At a full run, he tucks them in like the delta wings of a jet then shakes them like, well, meat castanets.
His tail looks like a rodent’s, and watching him trot away chafing those Christmas hams lewdly (Tito even tries to get a nom out of them at times), the Zu looks like a plumber but without the low-hanging pants.
He is loud and he is lewd.
But he, like all Sphynxes, is as fascinating as an alien species.
His toes look like fingers, his bite pressure rivals that of a dog and he bounces like a flea.
He taught tricks to Tito: running away from Tito at full tilt, Maz bounces off the bed or the cat tower and runs off in the opposite direction. One evening recently, we watched Tito perform five dolphin-like somersaults above and over Mazuzu who leapt about three feet in the air himself.
It was like watching popcorn in the microwave.
It’s said that small cats can’t roar, but the Zu has been heard letting out a fierce growl, sometimes after roughhousing with Tito or being fed a bit of catnip and tuna.
I know, it’s a dirty trick, but it’s a thrill too: funny and scary at once.
What a contrast to those times when you open your eyes at night to see the little bugger comfortably wrapped in his snuggies looking into your eyes, with those big liquid pools of intelligence.
Trust, love and contentment, the other TLC. If you listen closely, he even makes tiny grunts in his sleep, Benjamin Button of catdom that he is.
One thing about Maz: when he’s on, he’s on. All eyes and ears and fully engaged. Body taut like a violin string, his back rippling like the surface of Solaris: you feel an intelligence there, and it sure is alien. Even his tongue is not as raspy as his furry brothers and sisters.
I think part of the fascination is to watch the Sphynx as an evolutionary leap, giving credence to the notion that cats were not in fact domesticated: they domesticated themselves, coming in from the wild and ridding households from rodents and pests in exchange for shelter and food.
I read cats have been around for longer than man has, yet so much about them remains mysterious. A recent discovery showed some wild cats actually imitate their prey to lure them, such as the Margay imitating the distressed cries of baby monkeys to lure adults where he can pounce.
If you’ve heard your cat making those clacking sounds at birds, you know it was a relatively uninspired attempt at the same. But then, the bowl is usually full so there’s little room for motivation there.
I just wonder when they will finally take over… When the Catapocalypse comes, it can’t be worse than letting the ants and roaches try. And they’ll still need us to bathe and clean them, now there’s a hopeful thought…