The Bandersnatch, Feline Version


We’re blaming it on Johnny Depp because if he hadn’t been the Mad Hatter we wouldn’t have seen Alice in Wonderland at the theater.  And if we hadn’t fallen madly in love with the ferocious Bandersnatch who, beneath his ferociousness, really had a good, kind heart, Hannah wouldn’t have chosen that name for the liveliest of the four kittens we were “socializing”.  But we had and then she did so Bandersnatch is his name, like it or not.

Bandersnatch is one of four who came in a laundry basket complete with mama cat and three siblings.  He was actually adopted by a young lady at about 12 weeks old who came back the following day for a refund – her roommate, who wasn’t allergic to all cats, was allergic to this one.  Hannah danced in circles at the time and was happy to have her “special kitty” back.  We groaned. 

Bandersnatch is indeed a special kitty but that’s not quite what she meant at the time.  Sometimes we have these kinds of cats that are a bit odd, different, nuts, whatever, and we call them special.  Bander’s mama is also a special kitty.  Mona lives in my office, hisses crazily at the others, and wants only to be in her own little space all alone.  No other cat can resist the temptation of getting near enough to send her into a hissy fit.  Bander’s sister, Chiclet, is also a special kitty.  She’s as skitterish as anything, staying just out of reach of most humans; I think I’m the only one who can actually hold her.  And then there’s Bander who wants to be the one and only cat in the whole house and that’s just not a SMART goal in this household.   He chases the others, runs over the others, lies on top of the others, walks over the others, and generally acts as if he actually is the only cat in the house.  He’s only several times acknowledged the existence of Gizmo and Ninja and that’s when he was younger.  For the most part, he reigns in the world that he lives in his little kitty-cat mind.  And he’s somewhat spastic about that. 

Yesterday he leaped off the windowsill as I was passing by and almost took me out.  I spun into the cedar chest and landed partly on the bed, partly on the cedar chest, feet dangling on the floor.  When leaping up to his food area, a high area that Mac the dog can’t reach, he’s crashed headlong into another cat making its exit.  Racing down the hall he’s crashed into the wall and flipped upwards before sliding down sideways.  He missed the cat door opening to the garage and hit the door instead, shaking his head afterward and pawing the cat door open before easing slowly through.  I watched him take a flying leap onto the counter only to go flying off the other end 0.4 seconds later.  He’s a klutz.  

Every morning I give my cat menagerie a kitty tidbit treat and I can’t count the number of times I’ve put his right in front of him and he looks at me as if waiting for me to put one down.  I have to then point it out to him and he acts like “Oh, yeah, I saw that.”   I rolled the ball with the bell in it and all the other cats came running to chase it.  Bander looked up from his perch on the end of the couch as if saying “what did I miss?” and I threw another one and his eyes widened, ears pulled back, as if I’ve thrown a snarling little yippy dog on the floor.  One of the cats carried a live locust in from the garage and in the midst of the others rushing to get in on the fun, Bander jumped high up on the china cabinet and warily viewed the proceedings; this was truly his only action that made sense to me, a human, and I would have joined him if I could have figured out how to get on top of the china cabinet.        

Bandersnatch has a complete disregard for people parts.  He finds it just as convenient to walk across my face as my belly or legs.  And if I smack him away or holler, something that stops this action from any others who dare to walk on my face, he plops down and sits where he is, not in the least fazed by the hand that is pushing him away.  Not a pretty picture. 

On the other hand, he craves human attention.  Everyone who comes over meets him because he goes right into their lap and makes himself at home.  He purrs when he sees someone and he likes to talk now and then, but not always – he does let someone else get a word in edgewise.   

Because of his gorgeous gray-blue color he looks much like a Russian Blue and his coat is silky and very fine.  He’s a good groomer so he always looks sharp. 

I’d love for him to have his own home, his own I’m the only cat who lives here kind of home.  With a name like Bandersnatch you know he has to be a little out there, but his heart is good and kind in the end.  The eerie part is his eyes are the same green as the eyes of the Bandersnatch in the movie and I can never get the picture of the eyeball on the little mouse’s sword out of my mind or that when it was given back, the Bandersnatch just popped it back into place.  Insert creepy shiver here. 

He isn’t watching me type this but when I went into the living room I found him staring at the front door with that “is it a mouse or an ax murderer” wide-eyed but otherwise blank look.  He’d probably be afraid of the mouse and I’m hoping he’d walk across the face, claws out, of the ax murderer.   Good thing we have the dog.

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