This is a video from Christmas 2003. Nothing fancy here; just Grendel playing and having fun. Sometimes the simple pleasures in life are the most important, including childlike play. I am a strong advocate for remaining in touch with our inner child…
[that is Kazon who makes a brief appearance with Grendel]
I've said it before and again: Kazon is a bit slow. But, while there are brighter lights in the harbor, he does have his moments. Still, sadly, there are times when I must admit that he never will get better. This is one of those times.
I began "collecting" plastic bottle caps, the kind you get from sodas and bottled water, only a year or so after I adopted Kako and Kazon on November 15 of 1998. While giving up all interest in soda of any kind, I began keeping quite a bit of bottled water in the house. Anyone with cats knows that you often discover that, when it comes to toys, the best ones are those you didn't buy for your feline friends. This includes straws, packing straps, strings, shoelaces, wrapping paper and newspaper, and… shall I go on? You know what I mean if you've ever had a cat.
In the spirit of always searching for the next cheap toy, I tossed a cap recently freed from bottled water down to The Kids. All of them inspected it. All of them played with it a bit, as if to wonder aloud whether there was some intrinsic entertainment value in this cheap, meaningless trinket. It took only minutes for all of them to discover that this was truly powerful with the play-hunt-kill mojo. But Kazon took it a wee bit further, discovering some as yet cloaked form of nutrition or general yumminess.
There was great humor found in watching Kazon sit and gorge on the plastic tops for what at first seemed like hours. It was amazing how much he enjoyed them and how many times in a single day he could be distracted like this. Sometimes he roams from one to the other, taking brief tastes of each, until he settles upon what I can only assume to be the most delicious model available. I've never let him be without since.
Some of you will find this video a bit boring. Essentially it's nothing more than Kazon havin' some bottle cap. Sure, Grendel has two brief and unobtrusive cameos, but it's still pretty much just Kazon being weird. I've speculated that perhaps he likes the feel of the rough plastic surface inside the cap or that he tasted a few caps early in life that had residual something-or-other on them (fruit juice, millk, soda, whatever), but I can't honestly say I understand this. The only bottle caps they get now (all of them joyfully play with bottle caps) are from water. I replace them regularly. They're all plastic. Your guess is as good as mine is. By the way, I don't remember how long he was doing this before I grabbed the camera.
This video is in Windows Media Player (WMV) format. It's 1:37 (one minute thirty-seven seconds) in length and is about 4.35 MB (so be prepared for the download if you're using dial-up).
Kazon has always been a little slower mentally than the other kids at the playground. Actually, Kazon is our household “dumb jock” — big, strong, as sweet as the day is long, and dumber than a sack of hair.
When he was a kitten I always thought Kazon would grow out of his dimwittedness. This was based on Loki having gone through the same thing — start out slow and dumb and pubert (I know it’s not a word but it gets the point across) into a dangerously intelligent cat (danger for me, that is!).
Sadly this was not to be the case with Kazon. He never grew out of his adolescent synaptic density. In layman’s terms, he stayed on the not-so-intelligent end of the IQ scale.
For instance, Kazon rarely remembers he has an ass. He’ll attempt to jump up on something and will end up with his front half successfully in the right place while his rear half dangles precariously over the edge which, eventually, either pulls him back to the floor or forces him to scramble to get to where he wanted to be. Sure, it’s funny because you always know it’s going to happen. He has yet to remember there’s a lot more Kazon back there.
Another example is Kazon’s tail — as in, he chases it. This is the most hysterical thing I’ve ever watched because he’s so intent on catching it and will spin in circles going speeds that make me dizzy by just watching him. He’ll chase it intently for quite some time before something else catches his attention and makes him forget about what he was doing.
And that brings me to another example. I can always and easily distract Kazon from anything without worrying about him remembering what he was doing. This is the best thing I can do so far as discipline is concerned. He’s too big and too muscular for anything to penetrate enough to make a difference. If you swat him on the ass for doing something, he just turns around and looks at you questioningly, as if to say, “What are you doing? Is this a new game?” Besides, any discipline that he might feel is lost by the fact that he won’t remember why he was disciplined by the time you do something. He’s just that simple-minded. The moment you speak up about what he’s doing, he thinks you’re just talking to him and will immediately come to you for some love and attention. This negates any attempt to discipline him.
As the baby of the house (pathetic baby, that is), Kazon is constantly in trouble. His curiosity is exacerbated by the fact that he doesn’t remember what he’s seen and hasn’t seen, so everything is always new to him every time he sees it.
Despite all of his mental shortcomings, though, Kazon has skills. Doors are one of his masterpieces. This is the dichotomy.
He’s always been fascinated by doors and has learned how to open them. All of them. Maybe it’s that typical feline curiosity that drives him, but, whatever it is, it pushed him to be inventive and to figure out how to get into places he really shouldn’t be.
If there’s a doorknob, he understands what it’s for and will try to use it. If there’s a handle, he’ll try to grab it and pull it down. If it’s a cupboard door, he knows to use his front paws to pull it open far enough to get his head inside — followed by the rest of him.
This skill is not lost on the rest of The Kids. They’ve all learned how to get into the cupboards because of Kazon. More importantly, his sister Kako has learned to always follow him when he’s investigating something because he’ll be her key to get into trouble.
The video below is a perfect example of both Kazon’s prowess with doors and his sister’s ability to remain hidden in the background until he gets into trouble — at which point she rushes in to get her piece of the pie.
In this video Kazon is trying to open the doors to the laundry room. They’re double-doors with the ball-and-groove latches at the top. Watch him to see how he tries to open the doors by reaching under them, how he reaches for the doorknobs but realizes they’re too high, tries the tiny space between the doors, and then eventually gets them open. Also watch for Kako’s surprise appearance from just outside of the camera’s range once the doors have opened (this is what she does — waits patiently out of the picture until he’s successful, then she rushes in).
This video is in Windows Media Player (WMV) format. It’s 1:32 (one minute thirty-two seconds) in length and is about 4.13 MB (so be prepared for the download if you’re using dial-up).