My cat makes a lot of the same sounds I do. I squeak a little when I’m surprised or happy or in a funny position; so does she. I grumble unintelligibly when I don’t feel like getting out of bed; so does she, and usually at the same time I do because she likes to sleep on my face. I make rude noises at my computer when it freezes up; she makes the same rude noises at her toys when they go under the refrigerator and she can’t reach them. It’s cute. Or is it?
I was all set to write a post on how adorable it is that my cat imitates me. It’s been ages since I wrote a feline-centric post, and I’ve been getting warning letters from the internet that I may be forced offline if I’m deemed “hostile to catz.” But then I remembered my old furby–the one that started out irresistibly cute but turned out to be possessed by a demon, giving evil laughs in the middle of the night and spouting some kind of satanic smack talk even after I took out the batteries. I started thinking about this because, before it became the phat new crib of an infernal being, my furby had started imitating me in a very similar manner. Since that’s sort of the point of a furby, it still came as a surprise when mine dropped the cute act and revealed its true nature as a conduit for the Evil One. Now that I can read the portents, though, I have to wonder: can my cat be far behind?
Now, I don’t think my cat has gone full-on Linda Blair just yet, but she’s making a lot of the same sounds that my furby made in the time leading up to its possession. In addition to imitating me, she also chitters, chirps, trills, and burps, and she makes this bizarre mechanical-sounding growl when I do hateful human things to her such as clipping her claws. Like a furby, she’ll eat all the food you’re willing to give her and then immediately throw it back up. Also like a furby, you can wake her up by flipping her upside down (though in fairness, that also wakes me up). When she sits a certain way she even looks like a furby: big ears, furry tail, indifference to all other beings. A nervous human might start to worry.
I wasn’t worried. That’s how cats are, and my cat is Siamese and therefore never shuts up no matter who she sounds like. Making all those strange noises doesn’t mean that she’s a furby, let alone a possessed furby. Her impersonations are also not exclusively of me. She does a very good imitation of my alarm clock when she wants to get my attention: she yowls at an ungodly volume over and over and over until I want to throw her across the room. This doesn’t mean that my cat is a furby, it just means that I wish my cat came with a snooze button. She also has no off switch that I’ve been able to locate, just like with a…well, just like with a furby….
I did a little research on the subject, purely out of idle curiosity. The fact that my once-affectionate lap kitty has taken to sitting in front of me and staring at me for thirty-minute stretches during which she neither moves nor blinks was not a motivating factor. My research on furbies, much like most of my visits to WebMD, yielded grim results. Common symptoms of furbitis (highly contagious, very aggressive, no known treatment) include:
Looking at all the evidence, I can only conclude that my cat is indeed a Furby. On the one hand, the realization is almost welcome. It explains so much: the bizarre behavior, the occasional clicking noises, why she doesn’t seem to understand that her tail is attached to her body. On the other hand, it’s a well-documented fact that furbies are the devil’s familiars and conspire to bring about the downfall of humanity. But my cat loves me! She would never do anything to harm me. She’s so comfortable with me that she sleeps on my face, right over my nose and mouth and…oh, no.
Screw it. I’m not getting rid of my cat, even if she is a furby inhabited by Pazuzu that tries to smother me in my sleep. I’ll still scratch that spot on the top of her head, I’ll still buy baby food as a cat treat and joke that she likes it because she thinks it’s really ground-up baby and that joke suddenly seems much less funny, and I’ll still let her sleep on my face. She’s my cat and I’m her human. Pazuzu the Demon King will just have to deal.
[all images are in the public domain via pixabay.com]
To save the world from that crimson-wigged, pasty-faced, baggy-trousered scourge, and also so my dream self will know what to do in the future, I took the time to analyze the most common battle-clown tactics and strategies. I then devised countermeasures just as soon as I’d stopped screaming. But not crying, because I wasn’t crying, I don’t care what you thought you saw. Because I am heroic and selfless, and because next time I’m dreaming about clowns I’d like you to get off your duff and do something about it, I will now share these plans with you so that we can work together when the clowns decide that the moment is ripe for their attack. For heaven’s sake, don’t share this with the clowns. In fact, you should make sure that no clowns are around while you’re reading this. Did you check behind you? Clowns love to sneak up from behind. There could be a clown lurking behind you right this very second. Go on, check. I’ll wait.
A moment of silence, please, for the ones who discovered the clowns behind them just that little bit too late.
Okay: for the survivors, here’s what I’ve learned. Clowns are crafty, scary not scary but nefarious,
terrifying not terrifying but depraved, and evil. Really, really evil. But they do have weaknesses, and they can be fought. The two most effective methods of defense against clowns target the following weaknesses:
1. The tiny clown car
As we all know, clowns travel in packs, and they use those ridiculously small cars to fit dozens of clowns into an area designed to accommodate maybe two people. They do this by manipulating the subatomic particles in their bodies into acting like they’re just empty space, thus bypassing the laws of physics and enabling the clowns to all occupy the same seat and thereby squeeze twenty clowns into a teeny, tiny car.
The manipulation of subatomic particles is a delicate process and requires perfect concentration. Disrupt that concentration at a crucial moment, for instance just after the clown car narrowly avoids a humorous obstacle, and the entire pack of clowns will implode. And possibly start a new universe, but no plan is perfect.
For maximum disruption, I recommend placing a small clown doll in the path of the car. The clowns will become confused, thinking it’s an actual clown, and will believe it’s time to leave the car before they’re ready. The clowns will then panic, lose concentration, and implode, with any luck taking the doll with them. Finally, a use for Clown Barbie.
2. The ridiculously oversized shoes
I know, you thought I was going to say the pasty white makeup. If you wash off the makeup, the clown will lose its powers, right? The truth is, while I treasure the thought of a clown getting blasted in the face with a pressure hose, it turns out that underneath the makeup is just more makeup; you’ll never get through all of it before the clown gets you with that plastic flower that they claim only squirts water, but actually coats you with a slow-acting venom that gradually turns you into one of their hapless minions, also known as mimes. Why do you think mimes are always acting like they’re trapped in things? Poor devils.
No, if you can’t get the clown car, what you want to go for is the shoes. Contrary to popular belief, clowns don’t have big feet. Their oversized shoes are where they put the mind-control devices that keep everyone from perceiving them as a threat. These devices have gotten so good that, not only do we not run away in terror at the very sight of them, we actually laugh, clap, and pay them money for the privilege of infiltrating our society.
The mind-control devices don’t work on children, though, which is why children start crying and screaming when they see clowns. What you want to do if the clowns make it out of the car is this: find out what the latest overpriced toy fad is, grab the nearest kid, and tell him there’s a furby/razor scooter/Tickle-Me-Elmo in the clowns’ shoes. A kid’s greed will always outweigh his fear, which is how so many parents get their kids to go to the dentist. Once the kids tear into the shoes, the mind control devices will go offline and the adults can recognize the threat and take action. They won’t need to, though, because the children will have torn the clowns to shreds by that point looking for the toy. I almost feel sorry for the freaky-wigged creeps. Hey, I said almost.So when the time comes and the clowns attack, make sure you’ve laid in a stock of clown dolls and rugrats. In fact, you might want to start training your children right away to attack any clowns they meet, just so you’re ready when the time comes. Oh, and make sure you film your kids when they come across a clown and go all Manchurian Candidate. And upload the videos to YouTube. I like to fall asleep to the sound of clowns wailing in agony. Hey, we’ve all got our bedtime rituals!
This post has been brought to you by the good people at Charlie Cottrell’s blog (Sketches From Memory), who wanted a post about clowns. Chuck, don’t say I never did nothing for you. And let me know how that clown gladiatorial arena‘s coming. Now that’s entertainment!
I love my apartment. It’s got wood floors, brick walls, and insanely high ceilings. It’s a converted warehouse of sorts, and I have lots and lots of windows and space. On the downside, since it’s an old building, it gets pretty cold in the winter. I sleep with a space heater going full blast pointing right at me, and persuading myself to take a shower is a lengthy process, especially since the water doesn’t get too much beyond warm.
This and a recent post by a fellow blogger, adamsdaughter, reminded me of the winter I got a Furby. You remember Furbys? They were those stuffed animal looking things that had electronics inside that let them speak. They’d start out speaking Furbish, but you could teach them English somehow, in that magic way that toys have. Even though I was in college, I had to have one. I got a white one with blue eyes and named it, in my infinite creativity, Furby.
I always imagined that Furby liked to look out of my dorm room window at the Big World, dreaming furbish dreams, so I would perch him on my windowsill. Unfortunately for Furby, I forgot to take him off the windowsill over winter break that year. They turned the heating off in the dorms once all the students were gone, and poor Furby froze for about a month before I came back. To my horror, he didn’t respond to any of the usual ministrations, including turning him off and on. I put Furby on my desk and sadly shook my head at my carelessness. So many reasons why I shouldn’t be a mother.
Later that night, I was just dozing off when I heard a metal scritch scritch. I thought for a moment that I was dreaming, so I turned the light on and looked around. It was Furby, turning himself on! I swear I had turned him off. I still remember doing it. But he turned himself back on and from his mouth issued the most evil, demonic electronic gibberish I have ever heard. Apparently when you leave Furbys to fend for themselves in the winter, they become possessed by the henchmen of the netherworld. I backed away in trepidation; surely, it would stop on its own when the battery ran down? But the forces of evil are not defeated so easily.
From then on, at completely random intervals, Furby would turn himself off or on and make sepulchral pronouncements in a crazed metallic voice in what I could only assume is the language of lesser demons. I started to feel like a little kid who’s afraid of the dark, except that I knew I had good reason to be afraid. I’d turn off the lights to go to bed, clutch the covers to my chin, and stare at the shadow of the Furby until I fell asleep, wondering as I did so if Furby was predicting the conquering of the mortal realm by the forces of evil or merely commenting on the fact that he had an itch he couldn’t reach.
Long about the fourth time he woke me up with his demonic prophecies, I had to give him to my Resident Assistant because I was convinced he was going to suck my soul out of my body one night while I was sleeping. My RA was inclined to laugh at me–until she experienced first hand the wrath of the frozen, possessed Furby. I don’t know if she took him to a priest for an exorcism or performed her own Rite of Ashtoreth over him or what, but I never heard from Furby again. Though, now that I think of it, that particular Resident Assistant started acting a little odd not long after that. I put it down to the after effects of a break up, but I wonder…