Hugh Jackman. See accompanying photo of Kuma watching X2 in our apartment in Lublin, Poland. Maybe he just knew that a few years later, his human mother would be teaching on the university campus that houses the X mansion. Whatever the reason, he’s spellbound when Jackman is on screen. I think a lot of us can sympathize.
Russian composers, specifically Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev—but not, oddly enough, the zoophilous Peter and the Wolf (he’s more a Romeo and Juliet cat). Frankly, I was disappointed because I listened to a ton of Chopin while I wrote The Snow Queens, and I noted that Kuma couldn’t care less about that most beloved of Polish artists. But if I play anything by the above Russians, he comes and sits by the computer, listening quietly. And Kuma is not a quiet cat.
Cicadas. Whenever my husband walked him in Kofu, Japan, during the month of August, he pocketed one in his mouth as soon as he could and just carried it around like a squeaky toy before finally releasing it. He doesn’t hurt cicadas; we try to keep him from hurting any wildlife around him. But I’ve wondered if he doesn’t confuse their whirring cries with a provocation to terror.
Bolen Books. Victoria has a lot of great bookstores, including legendary Munro’s Books, founded by the Alice Munro over fifty years ago. But for Kuma, there is only Bolen’s, as shown by his devotion to the cloth bags they give out with hefty purchases.
The Great British Baking Show. Seriously, nothing calms our savage beast like this show.