Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Hear You Knocking

My cat Derrick is smart! Lately I’ve been training him to go to the front door and stand on his hind legs when he wants to go out. We like to sit in the hallway together and have quiet time. He rolls on the carpet and purrs loudly, and I put my feet up on the wall and rub his ears.

Not much goes on in the hallway, but every once in awhile he meets a neighbor or (gasp!) the UPS man, who declared him very handsome. Then there was the time someone put a big garbage can in the hallway, right next to the garbage chute. WTF?!! It remained there for a week. I finally lifted the lid, unleashing a swarm of fruit flies. Me & Derrick (er…me) wrote a note saying how gross it was to randomly leave a garbage can full of fruit flies in the hallway, and it was gone the next morning…

Anyway, Derrick’s training all started with him simply sitting by the door and meowing, and me letting him out. But one day, he stood up and leaned against the door with his front paws—it was like he was reaching for the knob. It’s so not fair, the whole opposable thumbs thing! So now when Derrick goes to the door, I tap the doorknob and say, “What does Derrick do when he wants to go out?” As you can see, he is a fast learner.

He doesn’t know this yet, but next up I’m adding on jazz hands…or, in his case, jazz paws. It’ll be like he’s raising his hand to go out—and performing in a Fosse number all in one!

And the point I (we) wanted to make? You never know what you might get if you just ask.

Music to play at your very own jamb (get it?!) session

I Hear You Knocking, Dave Edmunds...this is John Lennon's fave version of this old chestnut.

Knock Three Times, Tony Orlando & Dawn

Open Sesame, Kool & The Gang

Behind That Locked Door (early take), George Harrison
Did you know that Olivia Newton John covered this? Me neither!



  2. Derrick is such a gentleman! The Panda's approach to doors ... well, it lacks subtlety.

    Meanwhile, I checked out the D.E. clip -- he looks like such a preppy in that one! It's a great tune though. How do you know it was John Lennon's fave version?

  3. One of my long-ago cats, Neo, knew how to open and close doors. Sometimes she'd let herself out of a room, and leave the other two cats behind. She was a very quick cat--would sit, watch, learn, and mimic. It's amazing how some animals soak up everything they are exposed to, and others remain totally indifferent.

    I guess it's the same among us humans: you've got the straight-A kids and the slackers. I think I've had more slacker cats than chess club members!

  4. K: um, well, 'cause Wikipedia said so, and it seems to be in general Beatle lore...i saw it on a couple of Beatles forums with people named "george on cloud 9" and "sun king." S, Derrick is a total visual learner like Neo, too. Always watching. And yes, I met the guy drumming in the video link in the first comment on a crosstown bus.