Not Quite Feline This Game

, , , , , , | Friendly | January 29, 2019

When I moved in with my roommate, he brought with him his adorable, tiny cat. My cats don’t love her, but I do. She is a bundle of inexhaustible energy and is very entertaining. Like all cats, though, she came with some bizarre quirks.

One night not long after moving in together, my roommate and I were watching a movie through his Xbox when suddenly the movie disappeared with a cheerful little three-tone beep. The console had been turned off, and sitting atop the Xbox was my roommate’s cat. She had hit the sensitive power button on the side of the box with a paw. My roommate scolded her and got up to shoo her away and turn it back on. I thought this was hilarious — I mean, how would she even know to do this? — but he was unsurprised.

I learned then that this was far from accidental on the cat’s part. He told me that she had learned a while ago how to turn the Xbox on and off, and did it on purpose — not to hear it beep, or from the simple joy of pressing a button, not even for the entertainment value of watching her human get upset.

No, instead she had somehow become obsessed with the user icon that briefly appears on screen when the Xbox signs you in. She waits eagerly for it, and as soon as it chimes and appears, she leaps at it and repeatedly smacks it ferociously. She knows that it appears when the box is turned on, so she will intentionally turn it off and then on again so that the sign-in icon will appear.

My roommate had learned to barricade the Xbox in his previous apartment, and now we had to do the same, making sure she couldn’t get to it, because she would do this nonstop if she could. Sometimes she manages to squeeze a paw past the barricade and hit it anyway. I still find it funny, but she has interrupted several movies, shows, and games. When he’s feeling generous, though, my roommate will turn the console on just for her, and wait while she smacks it, and then scoop her up and praise her. “You did it! You’re a fierce killer! You’ve saved us all!”

We still can’t decide if she’s smart or dumb, but she knows what she wants! And she’s definitely got my roommate wrapped around her littlest toe.

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