Growing up I had two primary pets. A sandy colored, floppy-eared, pure-bread cocker-spaniel named Buffy (named long before a certain vampire slayer appeared conjuring up bizarre initial images for me of a cocker-spaniel fighting vampires) and Sparky, a long haired tortoise shell cat diminutive in size but Imperial in her ownership of the neighborhood. Buffy loved absolutely everyone and the local dogs would cross the street to pass our house if Sparky was out in the yard.
Having pets around the house led to lovely, and often mad-cap, memories some of the zaniest occurring whenever Sparky would have a litter of kittens. Not simply because kittens are inherently chaos wrapped in cuteness but also because Buffy always instantly became their goofy, floppy-eared, stubby-tail wagging uncle. He would come to their rescue if they were ever distressed and would tirelessly play with them for hours.
This resulted in the kittens not only adoring him but also quite often making him the focus of their mischief. And it was in these targeted operations that their level of co-ordination and precision would occasionally reveal hints of their psychic capabilities.
Sometimes the evidence was subtle as in the level of co-ordination in their favorite game to play with him. They would work in pairs, one kitten swatting and nipping at his face submitting to being snuffled and drooled on while their partner in crime took swipes at his rapidly twitching stub of a tail. When the rear attacker finally landed a successful swipe Buffy would spin around to snuffle and drool over the new assailant while his previous playmate dusted themselves off and took their turn swatting at his tail.
Other times the evidence of telepathic collaboration was much more obvious and undeniable. One such operation occurred on a lazy Saturday afternoon while I was in my room working away at my desk with Buffy asleep on the floor nearby.
During my elementary and high school years I had a water bed. Aside from the sloshy comfort it afforded it also provided a particular favorite playground for the various litters of kittens. The box frame holding the water mattress sat atop a smaller rectangular base. It was quite stable but because my bed was pushed into the corner of my room and thus against the wall on two sides it also created a small L-shaped tunnel running under the head of my bed and along the back wall. Just big enough for kittens to scoot through, play in, and every so often we had to use flashlights and broom handles to clear out any toys and such they would drag in there.
On this lazy afternoon, as I worked away at my desk, I suddenly had a tiny ticking sense of impending danger. Pausing my pen in mid-sentence I slowly panned my eyes over in the direction of the bed to find a small strike team moving into place around the slumbering cocker-spaniel.
One kitten was slowly stalking in on top of my bed, one was inching along the foot end of my bed’s base frame, and a third set of whiskers was peeking out from the entrance to the under-bed tunnel up beneath the head of my bed. From my angle it was clear none of the three little figures padding slowly and apprehensively on tiny little paws were able to see one another at all. They each had a clear line on their quietly snoring target but the bed frame was blocking any visibility of their co-conspirators.
I watched as all three little hellions crept into place and tamped down onto their bellies. Without making a sound or any other moves I watched as their little behinds began to twitch faster and faster, as their little ears pulled down flat against their heads, and their devious little eyes swelled black with pupils readying for attack. They perched hunched and ready for several breaths locking their eager gazes on their oblivious target.
And then without so much as a squeak all three kittens launched simultaneously. Three little furry comets of chaos descended like bolts of lightning, scampered all over their suddenly shocked awake and floundering prey, and then shot out into the hallway breaking formation as soon as they were past the door frame disappearing into the house.
Buffy stood there looking around him in frantic and stunned confusion, spinning round in circles and sniffing for any trace of whatever had just struck him with a hurricane of tiny teeth and claws.
When he looked to me for answers all he got was laughter as I returned to working on one of my ever-present ‘stories in progress’. He did eventually curl back up in his spot but it was awhile before he stopped quickly looking around at every tiny noise.