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Cat Stories
9 years ago

About a year ago, I stopped at the local pub on my way home from work to say hi to some friends and have a quick beer. I had just sat down when outside the door I heard a familiar, "meooowwwwwbooowwrooo." Already having seven cats at home, I knew this sound well. I went outside, and there was a young black female cat, and as I stooped down to pet her, she jumped in my lap, motor purring on high, and thrilled to see me. I asked if anyone knew her and they said no, just that she would hang around occasionally. I called my husband and said that we would be having a temporary guest, at least to get her fixed and to find her a home. "Uh huh, yeah right" was his reply.

I put her in the car and to my surprise she rode backwards on the headrests all the way to the house. When we got home, she walked in like she owned the joint, and quickly did a meet and greet with everyone else. She had this air of "you will like me whether you want to or not." My husband, who is NOT a cat person also had to succumb to her charm. Every night she would crawl under the covers with him and as he gets up very early, they have coffee together. And she is the only one who gets warmed up milk, a la dad.

So, Mikka made herself part of the family. And she stayed. It wasn't like we had a choice.

A couple days ago, after she teased and tormented our foster puppy, Jesse, she went in for a snooze on dad's side of the bed. I thought this would be a great time to put her flea drops on her neck. As I did, she did a "reeewwooowwww hisssss" and took off, much to my surprise. The rest of the day she gave me the evil eye. I didn't think much of it, just that she would get over it. I was wrong. That night, as I lay in slumber and sweet dreams, at 2:00AM, I awoke to Mikka straddled to my head, peeing up a storm. I turned on the light with the "have you lost your mind?" sputtering from my lips, to which she casually replied with a sauntering swish of the tail, and a slow hop down off the bed. I swear I heard a that'll teach you coming from her mouth. I guess her point was that stinky wet fur on your head is not something to be tolerated, so now we have an agreement: I won't mess with hers, and she doesn't mess with mine. I will be hiding the flea medicine via pill form in food.

I fully expect to find a morsel of tuna delight somewhere in my dinner.

Copyright © Tracy Jordan

     Please stay tuned for the next installment.....
9 years ago
What is that noise?

Sunday was a tough day for my Thunder kitty. First, he had to watch me paint the bedroom, which involved removing the old wallpaper (soaking, peeling, scraping, scrubbing, etc.), taping, painting, then painting the trim in a contrasting color. Not the easiest of tasks for the human, much less the cat supervisor.

Thunder decided that under the bed was a good place to nap from all the hard work. Carol and I were putting the chair rail up. That involved maneuvering around the furniture piled in the center of the room, putting the boards up, leveling, pounding nails, etc. We had to keep an eye out as we moved, because this fluffy black tail just refused to hide under the bed like the rest of Thunder. It insisted on being in the one path way around the room.

Once the rail was up, we started to move the bed. Did Thunder hrumph and move? No. He just laid there, as the bed rolled his way. Finally, Carol picked him up and put him on the bed. He was totally relaxed - a black and white cat puddle!

Later, as I collapsed on the bed, Thunder had moved to his favorite sleeping place (on top of a stack of Rubbermaid containers). After some shifting, he settled into a position partly on his back, with a paw over his eyes. So cute.

As I was reading in bed (both to relax and to provide lap space for Cloudy), I heard an odd sound. Thunder was SNORING! Not once, not twice, but many times! Aww. I guess all that work really tired him out.

Needless to say, he got special treats later. Just for being so cute.

Copyright © Kalynnda Berens
9 years ago
Eddie The Cat

A letter to Samantha, by Eddie The Cat.

Dear Samantha,

My Grandma came to visit me from Ohio. She is really nice. She brought me some presents. I have a new catnip mouse and a really cool Hawaiian shirt. She said that I should write and tell you a story of something that happened to me. Ok here goes.

My Mom said that I could play on the back deck of our house, while she was inside cleaning. The deck doesn't have any stairs to the ground. I am not suppose to get up on the railing because I might fall. Well a couple of cats from across the street came over to see me. I looked down into the yard and they called up to me. They wanted me to come play with them. I said I could not jump down all that way and besides I would get in big trouble if I got off the deck. Well they told me that I was just a big "fraidy cat" and to just jump to the garage roof and then I could jump down and go play with them. I did not like having any one tell me I was a "fraidy cat", I was really scared 'cause I had never done anything like that. It sure did sound like fun. I looked into my house and did not see my Mom, so I jumped to roof and ran down to my new friends. Oh my, I did not know what grass felt like. It was so soft. I had never been on the ground. They ran real fast across the street and I ran with them. We went into the woods. It was ever so much fun. I jumped in the flowers and ran after butterflies. Then I looked back and saw my house and it looked so far away. I knew that I would really get into trouble now, but my new friends yelled at me to come and see this frog. I didn't know what a frog was but it sounded like fun. I followed my friends but I was really sorry in the end that I did. After we looked at this stupid frog it ran away and so did my friends.

I was lost and didn't know how to get home. It got dark and I could hear my Mommy and Daddy calling for me. I tried to call to them but they never heard me. I had to stay out all night. It was so cold and I didn't have anything to eat. The next day I still could not find out how to get home. I could see cars going up and down the street. They scared me. I saw a big rock and climbed on top. I saw my house! Oh yeah, I get to go home now! Well I started to cross the road and a big truck went by. It blew me off the side of the road into the ditch. I was shaking and was afraid to do that again. I just laid there. My friends came back and laughed at me and called me names. That wasn't nice because I was really scared. I knew then that they were not really my friends. If they had been they wouldn't have told me to leave my house and then make fun of me. I told them that I was not suppose to go off my deck. I should not have listened to them. Real friends understand when you have rules in your house.

It got dark again. I laid there in the ditch and got so cold. I had not eaten anything for two days. Then the worst thing, it started to rain real hard. I finally got up enough nerve to go back up to the road. I looked both ways and no one was coming. It was a good thing it was in the middle of the night and there weren't many cars. I ran as fast as I could. I went up to the front door and cried and cried until my Mommy and Daddy opened the front door. They were so glad to see me and they were crying because they thought I was gone forever. My Daddy picked me up and hugged me and I was all wet. They said that they had be so worried. They even made a picture of me and took it around to all the neighbors and went up and down the roads looking for me. I did not know how much my Mommy and Daddy loved me.

I really learned my lesson. I will do what my Mommy and Daddy say. I will not go off my deck. When my Grandma heard about what I did, she did not get mad at me either. She just picked me up and hugged me real hard. So Samantha, she wanted me to write and tell you what happened to me. It is always best to listen to what your Mommy and Daddy say and don't run after your friends, or frogs!

Eddie the cat.

Copyright © Megan Martin

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have a grandcat by the name of Eddie. He is named after the WWII Aviator Eddie Rickenbacker. My son is a career Navy Officer. My young second cousin (Samantha) lives down in North Carolina. I wanted to tell Samantha a story about my grandcat, about what *REALLY* happened when he ran away. I thought I would tell the story to Samantha as if it were Eddie writing the story.

9 years ago
The Getaway

This was hysterical! Our cats like to use the garage as their playground. We currently have three cars, because we were using Mom's old Cressida temporarily. Well, it has been sitting so long it is in the garage with a dead battery, but the driver side window is open.

We let Fenway and Logan roam out there for little adventures. We have to sneak up on them to see what they are doing, otherwise if they hear us they are afraid of getting shut in the garage, so they bolt into the house.

I snuck up on them last night to see what they were doing. Oh my gosh! Fenway was sitting in the drivers seat of the Cressida looking forward and Logan was sitting in the back behind Fenway looking out the window. It looked like they were trying to make their escape!!!!

Copyright © Cheryl Whiteley
9 years ago

Missy the hunter does it again

Missy has gone in for hunting in a big way this Spring, first bringing in (live) mice for us to admire, then moving on to (dead) wrens and moles in the hallway. Recently, she graduated to something just a little bit larger.

My daughter, Michelle, and I were in my room, which has a screen door with a pet flap in it leading out to the back deck, when we heard a loud "Eeep! Eeep! Eeep!". There was Missy with a poor baby bunny in her jaws, standing just outside the screen pet flap. "No, no, no, Missy, not in here!" I cried, running over to the door to stop her from bringing the bunny in. "Eeeep! Eeeep! Eeeep!" cried the bunny.

I opened the door and grabbed the cat, hoping she would let go of the rabbit. Well, she did. The bunny hit the ground and immediately ran directly into the house, dashing between Michelle's feet and under the bed. The first reaction for all of us was to go after the rabbit, with Missy dashing in first. How could I let her new toy get away?!

It took just a second for me to realize we would need a little teamwork here. I made another grab for the cat and shouted for Michelle to get the bunny. After a little scrambling, we ended up with both animals safely captured. "Eeeep! Eeeep! Eeeep!" cried the bunny in my daughter's hands. Missy just glared at it hungrily.

We locked the cat in the house and inspected the bunny ("Eeeep! Eeep!"). We could only find a little scrape on its leg, so we took it out to the fence at the edge of the yard and sent it on its way, hopefully back to its mother.

Back at the house, I opened the door and Missy dashed out, looking around frantically. Surely I couldn't have lost her prize? She did a quick inspection of the deck, and then headed back to the garden to look for more prey. I hate to think of what she'll try to drag through that pet flap next!

Copyright © Robin Ilardi
9 years ago
Bollie & Ginger

Bollie & Ginger
Bollie & Ginger

Let me tell you a little story about my cats - Bollie and Ginger. Bollie is short for the Bollinger Champagne I was drinking the night he was given to me (he was a stray) and he is as classy as the real stuff. He is very fluffy, and looks a lot like a Maine Coon cat. He weighs 9 kilograms, but is not overweight - he is just HUGE. He has a very quirky personality - he likes to watch Animal Hospital and Harry's Practice - he sits in front of the television and watches these two shows intently. Every now and then he puts his paw up and touches the screen. He is not a "lap cat", and doesn't "do" beds or couches, but he loves to follow you around and "help" with the gardening and housework, although he doesn't like the monstrous vacuum cleaner - he runs for it. He also will not drink water out of a bowl - he will only drink out of a glass!!! He has his own glass of water on the go all the time.

My nickname for Bollie is "Fat Boy". He loves to laze around on his perch on top of the scratching post, which is positioned by the window so he can watch the world go by. Now his best friend, Ginger, is a cutie - although he eats twice as much as Bollie he is only half the size. My nickname for him is "Buddy Cat", as he is my best buddy, and likes nothing better than being curled up on the couch with you or on your bed with you. He belonged to an ex next door neighbour who got him for their 2 year old child (bad mistake) who terrorised the cat. Ginger slowly moved himself in to live with Bollie and myself (he knew the right place to be!!). He is, of course, Ginger in colouring, and he just adores Bollie. They sleep together and wash each other's coats. And now to the story of the visit by the Fire Brigade. . . . . I have only one side entrance to my home (I think you call them semi-detached houses in Victoria). The gate is over six feet high, but there is a retaining wall that Bollie uses to get over the gate. Bollie struggles to get over the gate, and, once over, can not jump back. I live on a busy main road.

One day, when I got home from work and went to check the letter box, I could hear this plaintive cry that I recognised as belonging to my Bollie Cat. I looked in all the trees, and across the road, but could not locate him. I eventually found him stuck six feet down in the storm water drain (lucky it was summer and daylight saving). A neighbour came out and said that the Fire Brigade charge about $500 to rescue animals. So I rang the RSPCA. Their only comment was "It's really hard to get cats out of drains". What a great help that was. Animal Rescue was next on the phone call list - no answer there. I then rang the local Council and a lovely man came out on his way home from work and spent ages working out what to do to help the cat. Bollie was very traumatised at this stage. The Council man put food, water and a step ladder down the drain, with the hope that the cat would come to get food or water and have the sense to use the step ladder to get out of the drain. This theory did not work out in practice!!! By this stage, I was getting as traumatised as the poor Bollie Cat. So I rang the Fire Brigade and asked them how much it would cost to rescue the cat out of the drain (nothing, actually), gave them directions to my house, with me looking like a drunk, laying in the gutter talking to the drain!!! Not long after, a big red fire truck (no siren or flashing lights, though), hurtled to my house. Of course, all the neighbours just had to have a look!!! How embarrassing (for me - Bollie was six feet down in the drain). Four big burly fireman jumped out of the truck. One jumped down and nearly died when he looked up the drainpipe - "It's a bloody tiger!!" "What do you feed him?", says the heroic cat rescuer!!! We had three plans of attack. First, the big red fire truck did a U-turn, and was positioned next to the drain on the other side of the road (all of this in peak hour traffic, too!!!). The theory behind this was to put the fire hose down the other side of the drain and turn the water on - flush the cat out! No. The drains meet in the middle of the road and drop away so there was no water getting to the cat!!! OK - now to Plan B - as the cat was JUST out of reach (as you do) of the gorgeous firemen, (I'd make sure I was within reach, mind you!!!) it was then decided to make a little "noose" to slip around the Bollie cat's paw or head to get him out. UH OH - that didn't work either. Bollie was crying, I was nearly crying, and the firemen were nearly crying by this stage (over an hour had passed and we were all getting traumatised) so we then swung in to Plan C - I got the common old garden hose and the fireman manouvered it up behind the cat. On went the water, and BINGO!!! Cat flies in to fireman's arms!!! HOORAYYYY!!! Safe at last!!!!

9 years ago
Of course, the other three firemen had to come and have a pat and they all thought he was just absolutely beautiful, so fluffy and so BIG!!!!! As they left my house, I waved Bollie's paw goodbye, thanking them on his behalf, saying "See you next time". They called out "Now don't you forget - stop feeding that cat for a few weeks!!!

And that is the end of the fantastic, heroic, fireman rescue story. By the way, all my friends want to be reincarnated as my cats - they say I spoil them. I went to a cat show yesterday - wanted to bring them all home, but instead, brought home some toys for the boys, and another scratching post.

Bollie and Ginger say "Miaow to all our friends on Flippy's Cat Page". They read it on the weekend and they think it is fantastic!!!! So cheerio for now from Trish, Bollie and Ginger.

PS: Next story in the amazing tales of Bollie is "Bollie the Magic Cat - How to enter a house when your human mother is at work!!" (Now, this is a good one!)

Copyright © Trish Wescombe
9 years ago
Blackie and Rusty

I'd like to tell a story. It’s about two of my cats, Blackie and Rusty. Two very special pals of mine who couldn't get along with each other, but who have somehow come together in a special way. We took Blackie into our home not quite three years ago, along with Rusty. They were both stray Toms who hung around the yard, who we fed, along with everyone else. By November, we had taken everyone into our home with the exception of Rusty and Blackie. We thought we already had our hands full. It broke our hearts to think of these last two guys spending another winter outside, so I was actually going to build them a heated shelter, then decided on buying a built doghouse, and converting it. Before I did so, we decided one day, what are two more mouths to feed? So we gave them a home too.

Blackie and Rusty became the two most lovable cats in the house. It's like they knew they were given a big break, and were thankful for it. Rusty is still very lovable. Blackie was lovable until he passed on to the Rainbow Bridge in my arms September 20, 2002.

It wasn't until we brought them both into the house three years ago however, that we noticed that they really didn't get along with each other. They couldn't pass in the hall or door without a fight starting. Hissing, snapping, fur flying. It wasn't pretty. For whatever reason, they hated each other. Right up until the end... almost..

Very early Friday morning, in the hours of darkness, while I was sitting up all night to be around for Blackie, as his final Vet visit was later that day. Blackie had been diagnosed with cancer two weeks earlier and went downhill very, very quickly. I hated myself, but I knew I had to take his pain away. Blackie was restless this last night. He kept moving from my lap, to the open window, to the sofa, and back. But at one point, just before dawn, he went onto the sofa, where Rusty was sleeping. He walked to Rusty, and I thought a fight was going to start. For some reason I paused, not saying anything. I watched as Blackie moved to Rusty, and gently rubbed noses with him. Rusty woke up, and Blackie simply sat back and looked Rusty in the eyes for a few seconds, no fighting, no hissing, no problem. Blackie then jumped back up into the window and went to sleep.

Rusty lay there awake for a while looking like he didn't know what to make of it. I didn't either. Then Rusty and I fell asleep. Later that day, my Blackie was gone. For a few weeks, Rusty moped around, sleeping an awful lot, not eating much, and seemingly looking for someone. Probably Blackie.

I can only think that in those hours of darkness, Blackie knew. And Blackie decided to make peace with Rusty. And now Rusty misses his old adversary. And strangely, Rusty has adopted habits exactly like Blackie had. The way he wants me to hold him. They way he buries his head into my arms as if hiding. The way he'll come to bed with me, knead the blankets, then curl up and go to sleep. All the things that Blackie used to do, which Rusty never did. And now I'm crying again. But I had to write this down, and I wanted to share this. I truly feel that Blackie spoke to Rusty in those last few hours, and asked him to take good care of me. Cats are truly beautiful and mysterious creatures. I thank God daily for giving them to all of us.

Copyright © Rick Daly
9 years ago
A Godsend

My wife and I live in the Sonoran Desert, approximately 30 miles north of the Mexican border and 50 miles south of Tucson.

Due to the high elevation and our proximity to the Santa Rita Mountains, we have a large amount of wild life here.

Everyone out here is fairly well isolated as we are separated by at least 10 acres. Some, even more. Because this area is so extremely rural, it makes this story even more amazing.

Seven years ago, late in the evening, I heard a noise outside. It sounded like a cat meowing but that was something stray cats don't do out here. Most of them are too smart to make any noise because desert cats know that coyotes, owls and other animals of prey are their worst enemy.

I opened the back door to look around. Making her way slowly toward me was the scrawniest, skinniest little cat I have ever seen. She was tacking like a sail boat does when sailing against the wind, moving side to side as she neared the sound of my voice. I thought that was somewhat strange.

After bringing her in, she began meowing even more loudly and went immediately to the couch, jumped up and went to sleep. I wanted to find out more about her so I lifted her back to the floor and noticed that she was moving very deliberately and carefully as though she was having trouble seeing. As a matter of fact, she was blind! No injuries were apparent other than a small cactus thorn in one of her eyes but it didn't look as though it had done any damage.

I took her to the vet the next day and he noted that she was extremely undernourished and had a case of ear mites that may have been two weeks old. That gave us an idea that she could have been wandering in the desert for a week or more. He guessed her age at that time to be about one year. After examining her eyes, he said she was apparently born blind because there were no optic nerves present. Amazing that she had survived all the wild critters out here for so long. The good Lord must have been watching over her.

In addition to everything else, she had a severe bladder infection that would have killed her soon, if not starvation or a wild animal.

My wife and I called every veterinarian between Nogales and Tucson in the hopes of finding her owner. We also put signs up in the area and checked with various pet finder organizations in Tucson, also with no success. Perhaps someone dumped her out here in the boonies. We think she was a "throw away".

We soon discovered that her name is Tiger, Tigger, or something that sounds like that, because she comes running when called. And I truly mean, running. We have opted for "Tiger".

She was probably bred to be a show cat as she is an extremely beautiful pale gold and white -- the shades ranging from bronze to a light tan and the huge tufts on either side of her neck are mostly white.

She follows me around like a little puppy dog and loves to play chase with a small rope, which I drag around the house. Her hearing is acute, as is her sense of touch. She uses those long whiskers to navigate around the house as though they had eyes. She also loves to play "attack" where she jumps up at me while I'm sitting at my desk chair and bites at my arms. At that point, I'm supposed to chase her. She runs a couple of feet and comes right back for more.

Another game that she absolutely loves is when I throw her straight up in the air and she lands on the bed. She truly loves this. She continues to come back for more. I usually get tired before she does. A very strange cat, indeed.

Most people who come over to the house, never having seen her before, have no idea that she is blind, especially when she gets to running between the master bedroom and living room.

9 years ago

I could go on and on as far as the adventures we have had with her and all the experiences we have enjoyed since her arrival. Someone threw her away, never knowing the joy she could bring them. All I can be sure of is that she has been a real Godsend.

As a matter of fact, I truly believe He did send her.

Copyright © David P. Sader
9 years ago
Squeaky: Who knew he had it in him?

squeaky3.jpg - 20375 Bytes

My cat's name is Squeaky. He's 13, he's in great health and still a kitten at heart but as you can imagine his days are mostly slept away so when this happened last week it much to our amazement.

So one night I went out to the kitchen and flipped on the light and there, sitting on the stove, was a little mouse! He looked at me and I looked at him and when we both regained our senses I called out "Hey Willie, you gotta see this!". Willie came rushing out (thinking either the house was on fire or he was in trouble for something) but not before the little guy scrambled down through the stove burner.

So we decided we should get some warfarin or traps or something. I also decided I better clean my cupboards, I knew I had some bird seed spilled down there. Don't want to encourage it to set up house thinking there is 4-star restaurant just down the block, a whisker's length from the drain pipe. I vacuumed the cupboard out and I even mac-tacked.

Looks great.

Took hours.

Was all for nothing.

Glad we didn't get a chance to spend the money on the poison.

That night I get out of the shower and come into the living room. Willie goes, "Squeaks playing with his toy mouse! At first I thought it was a real mouse!".

"O, ya?", I say and thought nothing of it, every once in awhile Squeak gets the urge to bat around his toys. As I sit on the couch he bats it against my foot. I figure I'll kick it back to him and I put my foot on it. Keep in mind I just got out of the shower: no socks.

You know when some event occurs and there's that millisecond where a thousand things go through your head?.................."Hmmm, it's awful flat. Hmmm, it's awful soft. Hmmm..............DOH!"

I look down, "JEEZ Willie, he IS playing with a real mouse!"

A real dead mouse. As Willie and I look on in a new found awe of Squeak, he comes over, picks it up and carries on with his play. Don't worry he didn't get to play long, we disposed of the body. Willie pitched it out into the yard. Actually, he pitched it pretty good, it might be in the tree. Or at least in the neighbours pumpkin patch. That's ok, we don't like them, hope she weeds it soon.

Cats are real personalities, you can tell he's pretty proud of himself.

And we're changing his name to Killer.

Copyright © Jodie Marshall

9 years ago
Mouse Season

The other evening I was up late, watching a movie, when I start hearing "squeak, squeak, squeak", "squeak, squeak, squeak". At first I thought it was the DVD player going bad, but then I realized that the sounds were coming from the hallway.

It seems that Miss Meow had, for the second time in a month, decided that she should bring her catch in through the pet door to share it with the rest of us. She had gotten as far as the hall before the baby mouse escaped, and she was chasing it around a pile of clothes on the floor. Poor little mousie was getting pretty exhausted by this time, but Missy isn't much of a hunter (yet, she's only one year old), so round and round they went.

I stepped in when mousie headed for the stairs. I managed to catch his tail and whisk him out of there, taking him out to the edge of our property to let him go in the brush. Coming back into the house, I wondered where Missy was - I thought she'd be following me to take up the chase again outdoors. It turns out she didn't even realize that mousie was gone. She was still going around that pile of clothes, trying to figure out where he was hiding. When I walked in, all I saw was her tail end, sticking out of the bottom of the pile, while the business end was digging for hidden mouse. As I went back to my movie, Missy continued her solitary game of mouse chase.

Copyright © Robin Ilardi
9 years ago
Stray Cat's Prayer

Dear God, please send me somebody who'll care!
I'm so tired of running and sick with despair.
My body is aching and filled with such pain;
And dear God I pray, as I run in the rain...
That someone will love me and give me a home,
a warm cozy bed, and food of my own.

My last owner left me alone in the yard...
I watched as they moved, and God that was hard.
So I waited a while, then went on my way,
to rummage in garbage and live as a stray.
But now, God, I'm so tired and hungry and cold;
And I'm so afraid that I'll never grow old.

They've chased me with sticks and hit me with straps,
while I run the streets just looking for scraps!
I'm not really bad, God, please help if you can,
for I have become just a "Victim of Man!"
I'm wormy, dear God, and I'm ridden with fleas;
and all that I want is an owner to please!

If you find one for me, God, I'll try to be good,
I won't scratch the carpet; I'll do as I should.
I'll love them, play with them, and try to obey.
I will be so grateful if they'll let me stay!
I don't think I'll make it too long on my own,
'cause I'm getting weak and I'm so all alone.

Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry,
'cause I'm so afraid, God, that I'm gonna die.
I've got so much love and devotion to give,
that I should be given a new chance to live!
So dear God, please hear me, please answer my prayer,
and send me somebody who will REALLY care.

Author Unknown


9 years ago
Sammy and the Plumber

Today we had the plumber here to do some repairs in my bathroom. A shaky commode, a clogged sink drain, plus a clogged shower drain-due to DH rinsing the air-conditioning screen in MY SHOWER! (You'd think he'd use his OWN shower!!) But nooooo...

So anyway, the plumber was working in there for approximately four hours. I was downstairs, loading the dishwasher, when I hear a loud MEEOOOWWWW! I looked down to see my Sammy, with a very worried and concerned expression on his sweet face. I picked him up to my chest and asked him what the matter was. He pushed himself away from me and wanted immediately to get down. He ran a bit away from me, stopped, turned around, meowed at me, and began to walk towards the stairs to the 2nd floor.

So I followed him. He'd run a little bit, then MEOW, stop, turn around to look at me as if to say "MA! COME HERE! FOLLOW ME!" and so I did. He repeated this little activity all the way up to the next floor until I found myself standing directly in front of the bathroom where the plumber was working, which is also where Sammy's litter box is kept.

I realized what the problem was and gently asked the plumber, "My cat needs to use the facilities which as you can see, are in this room. I apologize but I must ask you to leave the premises for a little while. He won't take very long but he does insist on his privacy."

And just as natural as air the plumber replied "Oh sure! No problem!" as though he came across problems like this all the time! (hahaa!)

Well, naturally, Meowmie can be present so I waited while Sammy took care of his duties. He did his scratch-scratch-scratching, then tossed his big furry body OUT of the box and down the stairs. I used the scooper to make "nice" in the box then called to the plumber that he can return to the bathroom now.

The plumber said "Thank you!" and continued with his work. What a clever kitty I have!

Copyright © Kara Di Stefano

9 years ago

With 4 cats in residence there are always conflicts. When there is you can bet Pixel is right in the thick of it.

Pixel, as you know, is a Cat's Cat. She does not like dogs, catches mice and kills snakes, keeps herself very well groomed and considers herself to be worthy of worship. She has no time for interlopers either. Even after 4 years with Houdini and a year with Kiwi and Gizmo, she still considers them interlopers on HER territory. Miss Pixel has grown fat while trying to keep the others from the tuna, and has even taken to standing (sitting) guard over the kibble to keep the two youngest away from it. Houdini, being a cat who take no garbage off anyone while being the biggest schmoozer in the world, pays her no attention and goes right around her to eat. This always results in a growl and a hiss from Pixel before she wanders off to find something else to complain about. When Houdini tours the neighbourhood even rotties go to their kennels. New dogs in the neighbourhood usually require a visit to the vet before they learn who rules. Houdini is King.

Pity the kitty who Pixel next encounters as she will take her displeasure out on the poor innocent Gizmo and Kiwi, usually taking off in pursuit of one or the other with full sound effects. One would think someone was about to get hurt. However Pixel has become rather fat in her age, she is closing in on 6 years old, and the chase will end as soon as the much leaner kitty slips under the caravan or elsewhere that entails too much effort on Her Royal Kittyness's part.

Yesterday we moved the caravan into it's permanent spot. This aroused much interest in the cats, even Houdini came home from his neighbourhood rounds early to supervise. All of the cats watched from a distance except Kiwi, who, as usual, had to be in the middle of it all. There she was, wandering around asking questions and climbing from the back of the ute to the roof of the caravan to under as we changed the tire that blew sounding like cannon shot. Although the sudden noise cause Kiwi to jump, her curiosity was too great for her to give up her loud questioning of everything we did. She really does ask, the sound of her meow is a question, she listens to our answers and seems to understand.

Once the caravan was in place and my friend had left, I installed the small "porch" and opened the door to see if all was still in place. Kiwi and Gizmo were right there, waiting for a chance to check this little house on wheels out, while Pixel lounged on the patio about 10 metres away watching their every move. Gizmo did her best meercat pose as she raised herself up onto her hind paws to get a peek inside, and Kiwi went to place a paw on the door stoop in preparation of going in. Out of nowhere shot Pixel, right between the sisters and in the door of the caravan she went, no hesitation at all. She HAD to be first. Pixel did one quick round of the joint lasting less than a minute and then sauntered back out and back to her place on the patio. The girls waited patiently until she came out and settled and then they went in, taking a good hour to explore and sniff and peer out each and every window.

Pixel had to be first, being the oldest and the most Royal, but the girls seemed to have the most fun.

Copyright © Katherine Juestel
9 years ago
Powdered eggs, and cat

Many years ago, when I was a college student and therefore a pauper I signed up for surplus commodities to make ends meet. The supplies consisted of stuff like canned meat, beans, flour, canned milk and (....insert drum roll...) foil-lined paper packets of powdered eggs.

One night, after a long day of classes followed by a worse than usual stint of waiting tables, I arrived home absolutely bone-weary to find my apartment kitchen covered in a powdered egg snowstorm. . I followed the pawprint trail to the living room and found my calico cat, Kid, also coated in egg powder. She'd managed to clean one paw and about two inches of her face before being defeated by the increasingly gluey stuff. She sat there, tongue out, thoroughly disgusted, and utterly unable to manage another lick.

Her distress did not translate to eagerness for the bath that followed. One shredded shower curtain, followed by vacuuming the rug and double mopping the kitchen and bathroom, I again had a relatively clean apartment and cat, and was hoping to finally get some rest.

Powdered eggs did not sit well on the kitty digestion, however. Over the next few hours she would repeatedly leap up, stare wildly at the air behind her then launch into a mad tear around the apartment in an attempt to escape the sulfurous trail of toxic fumes she had just emitted. Finally, she gave up and lay with her head under the bed one one side of the dust ruffle, her butt on the other. This afforded her delicate nose some protection, but did nothing for mine.

Copyright © Deborah DeFrank
9 years ago
Cats Hunting

When I was a small child in Richardson, TX, we had 8-foot wood fences in our back yard. One Halloween our Wire Hair Fox Terrier went berserk and my father put him in the back yard. The next group of trick or treaters who arrived were practically bowled over by the dog who ran back into the house with a tiny, skinny, kitten in his mouth. He had *jumped* the fence.

My father took the kitten from the dog, whose name was Tony, and put the him out on the front yard. One of the reasons was that at the time I was allergic to cats. Very allergic. Not 10 minutes later Tony went *through* the screen door, into the back yard, and we watched him hit the fence and scrabble over it using the horizontal rails. (This convinced me that all animal action movies were true for many years).

Once again, Tony arrives at the front door with the kitten. This time I grab the kitten. My mother shrieks, she is certain that I will go into some sort of anaphylactic shock. Surprisingly, I had no reaction. So with my sister and I crying, my parents reluctantly agreed to keep the kitten until the owner could be found.

For a month, we kept that kitten, known as "cat", before my Father agreed to keep the animal permanently. By this time, the kitten was basically round from eating. We named this short haired cat "Minnesota Fats". He had tiger stripes of gray and black and longish pointed ears. He became the biggest cat I had ever seen, and virtually the only one I was never allergic to. He rewarded my family with fresh meat on a regular basis for the next twelve years.

When we moved to a new place, Tony and Minnesota would defend their territory against members of both the canine and feline family. Often together. When Tony had to be put down, we got a new Lab puppy. Maggie grew up learning to play by batting with her paws, not playing with her mouth. Maggie was a great foil for Minnesota. Often the cat would wait by a tree watching the squirrels. Maggie would spy the squirrel and charge the tree. As soon as the squirrel moved around to the other side, Minnesota would be there to snag it!

The cat used the dog to flush the prey, I saw this happen on numerous occasions.

Copyright © Jody Dorsett
9 years ago
Cleo the Clever Cat

My name is Cleo, and the antics I get up to now and then are quite adventurous. I govern the whole estate, as I am here the longest. My other feline furry friends or some times enemies, are Marmalade I could spread him on my toast”. Then Tiger “who is ever so cheeky”, Silvo “who thinks she is clever”, but I know different, and then last but not least is Sassy” who is as bold as brass”. He constantly tries to steal my food, but I have put my Paw down with him.

Well you see I am the cleverest of them all, because I can open the door of my human’s house, by jumping up on the handle, while they just sit at the door mewing for hours. The silly cats...

I am well able to climb and sneak in the windows without my human seeing me. This is great especially on those long frosty winter nights, and when it’s raining, as you know I as a Cat hate getting my precious fur coat wet, It takes me hours to lick it dry. Again I am so clever I am able to get under her electric blanket, without her knowing that I am there.

I have them all well trained how to defend themselves and to catch rodents and birds, to impress my human friend. We do this by leaving what ever we catch at her back door for her to see that we are worth feeding and minding.

One morning last week I saw my human friend going out. The next thing she let out a huge scream, when she saw all the dead rats. There were two, immediately she went indoors bringing out lovely big turkey breasts and milk. I was getting weak from all the excitement, as were the other cats. We could scarcely believe what we were seeing. Our eyes were nearly popping out of our heads. It almost felt like we were dreaming. But no, it was for real; we were all eating and drinking till our bellies were full. Then of course I being so clever was just able to jump up on the door handle. We were all inside purring and licking as snug as a bug in a rug in front of the open-heart fire.

We were all purring to our hearts content, and we all in unison were thanking our human friend, so much for all her kindness to us. For that, she deserves a great BIG thank you!

Purrs from Cleo, and her other fluffy feline furry friends.

Copyright © Fiona Fallon
9 years ago
A six-toed swimmer

When I first moved down here to South Florida more than 17 years ago, I moved into a trailer located right on the Intracoastal Waterway. The trailer park had been there since the early 40's at least, and it was a quiet, enjoyable little place to live.

A litter of four kittens had been born under the trailer a few months before I moved in, and I guess they decided to let me share their space with them, as they seemed to accept me right away, especially the one large, all-white, six-toed cat we called 'Doofus'. Now, we didn't mean anything bad by that name, we just called him that because he was one of those big, goofy cats that I think the Looney Tunes characters were modeled after. It didn't really matter what he was called, as we think he was deaf anyway.

He would always follow me around, especially when I would walk down to the water. I remember one morning in particular, we walked down to the beach. I sat there on the breakwall drinking my morning coffee, and watched as the world went by (boy, I miss that place), and the cats all sat along the wall with me, basking in the morning sun.

Suddenly, the water was alive and moving with the sounds of bigger fish chasing smaller fish. The cats jumped and watched as the splashing water got closer and closer to the beach. The commotion then got so close that the minnows were jumping right out of the water and landing on the beach. The cats thought this was great as it was an instant FRESH snack! They would rush down, grab some fish, then sit back and wait for more. I wish I'd had a video camera!

Then one late summer afternoon, we were in the midst of a good tropical storm. Being the tropical weather freak that I am, I decided to go for a walk down to the dock and check it out. The wind was kicking the waves up between the boards of the dock, the waves were crashing over the breakwall, and the wind was gusting out of the north so bad that I had to hold the hand rail as I walked out the length of the dock. And sure enough, there was Doofus kitty, right behind me, and right on the edged of the dock, jumping the distances between the different lengths of the ends of the weathered dock boards.

A GREAT gust of wind came up, and I heard this muffled 'SPLOOSH' sound. I turned and looked, and sure enough, the big white cat was GONE!!!!!

Holy crap! I knelt and looked into the angry water. What do I do? I can't see him! Do I jump in and try to find him? Where is he? Arrrrgggghhhhhh!!!!!!

I moved a few feet this way, then back that way, and I looked back towards the beach to see if anyone was around in case I went into the water too, and lo' and behold, there was the Doofus, running at top speed back towards the house. All I could see was a big white STREAK. I mean, this cat was FLYING! He must have used those huge six-toed paws to climb back up a pylon and get outta there!

I got back to the house, and there he sat, on the porch, soaking wet, and looking none too happy (heh heh heh).

I think he spent four days cleaning the sea water off of his fur.

And it was easily a couple of weeks before he followed me out on the dock again.

Poor Doofus.

I still snicker when I think about that.

Copyright © John Rahn
9 years ago
Raining Cats!

We have always had cats since we moved to the country.

We were given two stray cats that had been living under some stairs. They were a bit wild at first, but adapted well to our place.

We had 5 beautiful kittens, all born in our bedroom closet -- an easy birth and with each new little voice I knew that another kitten had come into the world.

These kittens turned out to be excellent mousers and really did their job well. We had a waiting list of people who wanted to give them good homes. One of the kittens we kept was a grey tabby with orange bits and she had a big orange spot on her head. She reminded us of former President Gorbachev so Gorbi it was. She was pregnant with her first litter of kittens, and I set about putting little birthing boxes here and there but she did not seem to like any of them.

When the time came to have her kittens, she felt that our bed was the place to be. She hopped on the bed, I took her back to one of the boxes, and back and forth we went. She decided enough was enough.

My husband was sleeping on the bed, when all of a sudden something warm and wet landed on his head. Gorbi had dropped a kitten right on him!

He jumped out of bed and screamed! I was laughing so hard I could barely walk. I picked the poor kitten up and sat with Gorbi until she had the rest of her kittens. What a way to wake up -- having a kitten dropped on your head!

We had one more litter before we took Gorbi for her operation. Once again Gorbi decided our bed was the place, so this time, in order to avoid another rude awakening, I wrapped myself up in a comforter and sat in a comfy chair beside her little bed and kept her company. It was a good thing I was there because she had a bit of trouble with the first kitten. I had to do some midwifery and re-position one of the kittens. The kittens were all orange and white so I knew who the father was -- Creamsicle, our resident stray cat, and the only unfixed male cat around at that time.

Gorbi was a great mom and one day, while out taking a rest from her kittens, a red fox decided to come into the yard. I was afraid for the cats, but when I saw Gorbi turn into a screeching, snarling attack cat, I was worried for the fox. She chased him for a quarter mile.

We have so many fond memories and pictures of our cats and when we need a good laugh we think about the night that it "rained kittens".

Copyright © Tammara Cross
9 years ago
Isis and the clock radio

Isis is well known for her vocals. She has been heard across the US when I'm on the phone. When I was working, she often beat the alarm clock to warn me it was time to get up, feed her, and go earn her tuna money.

Since I retired, we have had frequent and non-successful discussions about not getting up so early. 4:30AM is her favorite time to get up though she has been earlier. She does think it's great that we go back to bed after she's eaten which we suspect was her habit anyhow.

Saturday morning I left quite early for most of the day. On Saturday evenings I usually go to a local auction house. Most Saturdays though I come home by 7:00PM when they start selling the furniture. Last Saturday though they still had a number of smaller items that appeared to be potential bargains so I stayed. It was after 10:00PM when I got home. To my surprise, Isis didn't meet me at the door. However, she was on the bed asleep. When I turned on the light, she looked up and over at the clock with a "you missed your curfew" look!

This morning we did get to sleep in until 6:10AM. This was about the time we had normally gotten up when I worked. The ironic part was the clock radio came on to AM Springfield. The alarm was set for 7:00AM and was turned off. And Ms Isis was jumping off the table with the radio! Only her??

Copyright © Diana Ewing
9 years ago
The Talking Cat of the Ingleside District

In the late 1950s a regular Walt Disney television program used to air a number of segments about boys getting involved in the most unlikely adventures. One was about "Spin and Marty," who were like modern day versions of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. And there's a bit of that in the life of most anyone growing up.

In 1959 I was in the sixth grade at Farragut Elementary in the Ingleside, and I had a good friend by the name of Bill Corkery. Bill was a very popular older kid with a paper route, and he lived on Plymouth Avenue while I lived two blocks away on the hill of Brighton Avenue. Quite often I got up extremely early in the morning to help him on his route, even though it would be cold and dark outside for hours.

Younger kids like myself occasionally accompanied the older ones and learned their routes, as we eventually wanted to earn money on a route of our own. There was also some appeal in whatever mischief one could get into while most adults were still sleeping soundly.

San Francisco had five daily newspapers in the 50s. There was the Examiner, Chronicle, the News, the Call, and the Bulletin. Eventually competition caused the last three and smaller to merge and become "The News-Call-Bulletin, and later even that was absorbed.

The morning papers included the Examiner and Chronicle, and Bill delivered one of those. We would begin by breaking open the bundles and folding each newspaper into a design that was convenient for throwing some distance. One very popular way was to fold them into thirds, then to tuck the edge of one into its opposite edge.

Another way was to fold each paper somewhat like a triangle and tuck in the flap that remained at the top. These were "Tommy hawks," and we tended to use them for all the especially high porches in that area that really have too many stairs.

There were also much thinner papers like the "Shopping News," which was often folded into a square, and "The Progress," which was folded narrow and flat.

On morning after delivering all our own papers, Bill and I went looking for coins along the K streetcar tracks on Ocean Avenue. Somehow Bill projected that "lots of people" were placing the pure silver coins of that time on the tracks for the streetcar's wheels to crush.

He claimed that the pressure of those "Green Torpedoes" passing over would make a coin actually stick to the wheels, and long enough to become lost to their owners; so we would look for any of those fallen-off coins to buy donuts with. Oddly, we often did find coins while walking the tracks.

On another occasion Bill talked me into helping him with a practical joke directed at the manager of a run down and greasy Mobil gas station, which had a huge and really neat sign of a flying red horse. We would drink the contents of two soda bottles from his outdoor cooler without ever having to pay to remove them.

The brands included Coke, 7UP, Fanta, Mountain Dew, Hawaiian Punch, and Royal Crown Cola. The cooler was an unlocked lidded metal box, and the bottles were suspended by their tops between rails until they were released by a little gate.

Bill brought along a bottle opener and two straws, and while it took some effort to make sure the drinks didn't fall and spill inside, we otherwise had little difficulty in getting those free drinks.

On one particular morning we were just routinely throwing newspapers along Lakeview Avenue, near Lee Avenue, when something really strange happened. A huge and rough looking neighborhood dog by the name of Caesar had been following us everywhere, and we both noticed when he suddenly bolted up about forty steps.

Caesar was a former police dog who had a reputation as a cat killer, he tended to roam around unleashed, and regularly chased any Black people who came over from the neighboring Lee Avenue. This time he was after a White cat with large spots, but it remained sitting coolly and perhaps even fearlessly on the very top step.

Then I heard the strangest thing in my entire life; for while the cat sat there like an Egyptian statue it began to "speak" in a strange and scary cat voice, and each and every word was clearly enunciated: "Gooooooo awaaaaaaay." And again "Gooooooo awaaaaaaay."

9 years ago

Caesar was apparently just as surprised as we were down below, and remained frozen on the stairs just staring. Then the cat turned away, but leaping onto a baloney ledge right behind, made a clean getaway.

Bill and I just looked at each other slack-jawed and bug-eyed for a few moments, then I said: "Did you hear that?" And Bill replied: "I sure did." And then I said: ‘Well, I'm not going to spoil this by convincing you of anything, but what do you think the cat said?" And without hesitation Bill said: "That cat told Caesar to Go Away – twice."

We were certainly giddy after we realized that we had witnessed something that few people ever would in their entire lives, so after the sun rose we told everyone we encountered. We especially relished getting to the part where we could imitate the skin crawling voice of the cat saying: "Gooooooo Awaaaaaaay," as it always had some effect on a listener.

And while some would react by simply saying: "Yeah, cats are weird." We especially enjoyed the people who looked a bit distressed and came back with: " Maybe you imagined it all." Those were the ones who sincerely hoped we had imagined it, as talking cats certainly clash with what many are routinely comfortable in believing.

Copyright © Hamilton M. Barrett
9 years ago
Reach Out and Touch Someone

Clemmie has discovered that our china cabinet has inertial doors on the lower section, that is to say, the doors simply stay closed by themselves, no latches. I don't know why it took her five years to notice this piece of furniture; it was in the dining room when she joined our family and it is still in the dining room (albeit a different room, because we live in a different house, but we've been here three years and you'd think she'd have done something sooner or not at all, wouldn't you?)

Anyway, she's taken to opening one of the doors (just neatly hooks a paw behind the edge and pulls) and slipping inside the cupboard. She had an easy time of it at first as I had several of the usual contents out, in use for a birthday party. When I put everything back in it was a tighter fit for her, and she had to scold me several times before I moved things to ease her entry. She generally goes in there, allowing the door to swing closed behind her, stays for several minutes, then just strolls back out.

Do you suppose that electrical cord I've always assumed was for the light is really an antenna, and she has a special communications hook-up to the Mother Ship in there?

Copyright © Linda St.Laurence
September 24, 2001

9 years ago
Good Morning, Kitty

This morning at 4:30AM, my cat Lulu decided to jump from the top of the bedroom radiator to the top of the armoire, which is more than six feet high. I was awakened by her clunking around. I sat up, saw her, and said, "Good Lord!" She knew she wasn't supposed to be up there, so she took a flying leap from the top of the armoire to the bed, landing on my husband. She scared the wits out of him and the kitten, who was sleeping next to him.

My husband and I wanted to go back to sleep, but the kitten was wide awake. He went in the bathroom and proceeded to knock plastic bottles into the bathtub. At that hour, the acoustics are especially good. I yelled at the kitten to knock it off, and to distract him, called him back into the bedroom. I gave him some cat treats from a container that I keep on my nightstand. I petted him a bit, and he was happy and purring.

I was just about asleep when I hear more clunking. My husband says, "She's on top the armoire again." She heard his voice and leaped down. The kitten gave chase and they raced downstairs.

After a while, things quieted down. Then I heard a "Clunk" and something rolling. The kitten had knocked the cat treats off my nightstand and was rolling the cylindrical container across the hardwood floor. Lulu ignored the kitten and vigorously sharpened her claws on the scratching post at the foot of the bed. At this point, my husband was really annoyed and decided to just get up and start the day. I wasn't ready.

I snuggled under the covers and hoped to get just a little more sleep. Soon, I feel four little paws walking up my body. A soft paw tapped my nose twice. At this point, I realized that sleep was futile.

So now I'm on my second cup of coffee and am feeling grouchy. And the cats? They're sleeping, of course.

June 2, 2001

9 years ago
Ahead of His Time



Snowflake was an ordinary-looking black kitten who came to live with us as a baby. My daughter, five years old at the time, named him for the one white spot he had on his belly.

From the very start, he was fascinated with the bathroom. If anyone went in there, he would follow them in and wait, watching. A little disconcerting, but we got used to it.

One day, I was getting dressed in the bathroom and I heard the tinkle of water behind me. When I turned around, there was Snowflake sitting on the toilet doing his business!

He was still very small but he had himself braced crosswise with all four of his feet on one side, his tail balanced out over the other, and his business-end right over the toilet bowl. We were amazed!

From then on this is where he went. If the door was shut, because someone was in there when he had to go, he'd pace back and forth until the person inside opened it. Then he'd fly in there and jump up on the toilet for "his turn."

For his own reasons, he decided to only use the toilet for peeing -- he did the other either in his litter box or outside.

Early in the morning we'd sometimes see my husband and Snowflake racing for the bathroom together. If Snowflake got there first, my husband would lean against the kitchen wall waiting his turn, which always gave us a big laugh!

One time, a plumber was working in the bathroom while I was out. When I returned he looked me straight in the eyes and said I should have told him about the cat! He knew no one was home, so he was banging away on the pipes. Suddenly, he heard the alarming sound of water running and he thought he'd poked a hole in a pipe. He was astonished to see Snowflake sitting on the john, doing his thing!

Snowflake has been gone many years, but I keep a framed picture of him in my bathroom now. I've heard there are ways to train a cat to do this, but Snowflake was way ahead of his time and did it on his own.

I always told my husband it was a good thing Snowflake learned from watching me and not him!

Copyright © Ruth Harding
May 9, 2001

9 years ago

Dang cats!

My girlfriend Ashley came over today and just walked in, then she dropped her purse on the floor. For some reason Gypsy didn't run when he heard the door but the crash of 87 pounds of assorted junk nearly scared the fur off of him. He made a scrambling leap over the back of the couch, knocking several three ringed binders off in the process then he jumped to the island and knocked a 17" wok off onto the floor. That noise scared him even more and he did half a lap around the kitchen walls at shoulder level and knocked over, and spilled, a big can of hot chocolate mix and shifted the microwave about four inches.

I am guessing that Mongo was behind the couch and the binders landed on him or very near to him because he came over the back of the couch about that time doing around mach 1. He went from the couch to a recliner, then onto a table were he sent a mug full of pens and pencils flying then across the other recliner and onto the table next to that one, knocking the lamp off. Then he flew completely over another chair and knocked a full 1600 count box of Ultimate Combat cards down. Then he climbed three walls in the entry way and then tried to plow his way through the entertainment center head first. He hit it hard enough to make the CD-Player skip.

Poor Spaz came running to see what all the noise was about. He got to the living room just in time for Gypsy and Mongo to make a mad dash THROUGH him and down the hall. He had no sooner put himself back together when Ashley (basking in oblivious ignorance) snatched him and kissed him. Not a wise move on her part but nobody has every accused her of being smart. Spaz bit her cheek and scratched both of her arms in a desperate bid to get away from Ashley's overpowering perfume which she wears in near toxic amounts.

I told Ashley if she had knocked first Gypsy would have slunk off and not started the cataclysmic chain reaction. She's so cute when she pouts.

To top it all off Ashley had tried to turn into my driveway at about 40 miles an hour (my estimate), never smart on gravel and really not smart when the gravel is covered by three inches of ice and hard packed snow. I had to get my tractor plugged in and pull her car out of the ditch before she could leave. At least she missed the mail box.

Copyright © Andrew Kolb
February 12, 2001

9 years ago
Winston Churchill and marmalade cats at Chartwell

The following story appeared in the London Times on 23 May 1998
Jock the cat will live at Chartwell for ever, says Sue Corbett
Ms Leighton with Jock III
Never have so many owed so much to a cat.
Stately homes left to the nation seldom have a permanent resident, bar the odd ghost, mouse or housekeeper. One National Trust house, however, goes out of its way to ensure it is always occupied - by a fat marmalade cat.

"Sir Winston requested in his will that there should always be a marmalade cat named Jock in comfortable residence at Chartwell," explains Victoria Leighton, part of whose job description is to look after the current incumbent, six-year-old Jock III. "We have to be careful where he goes, though, as his claws could do a lot of damage. We try to ensure he keeps to the garden, where he sits happily in the catmint or any patch of sunshine."

Sir Winston Churchill was silly about cats - particularly marmalade ones, which would sit next to him on a specially reserved chair. None of his spoilt marmalades were fond of the other furry creatures of Chartwell, though. Churchill reported to his wife in August 1954 that her Siamese cat Gabriel "gets on very well with everyone except his yellow rival", with whom the relationship could best be described as "an armed neutrality".

The great wartime leader was capable of dividing his favours, however, and was to be observed working at his memoirs with a budgerigar perched on his head, a ginger cat on his lap and a poodle asleep across his feet.

A ginger cat with white chest and paws was an 88th birthday present for Churchill in November 1962, and was promptly named Jock, after the private secretary Sir John Colville, known as Jock, who gave it to him. This cat was such a favourite that he is even seen sitting on Churchill's knee in his grandson Winston's wedding photographs. Jock was only two when Churchill died in 1965, but lived on until 1974 at Chartwell and is now buried in the pet cemetery there.

In compliance with Churchill's wishes, the National Trust - which inherited Chartwell on his death - has since acquired ginger cats called Jocks II and III.

Another good reason for barring Jock III from the main rooms may be the goldfish in what was Churchill's study. "When Sir Winston was at Downing Street," says Mrs Leighton, "some children knocked at the door to give him some goldfish they'd won at the fair. He soon became an expert and kept them ever after. So we maintain that tradition, too."

Denied the goldfish, Jock III has to content himself with tins of catfood and the occasional mouse from the garden. "He's certainly a mouser," says Mrs Leighton, "but I'm thankful to say he doesn't bring them indoors."

The public can visit Jock III at Chartwell, Westerham, Kent (01732 866368).

9 years ago
Catch me a Dog!

An older fella was telling me about his son's cat and his adventure with the dog next door. His son was notified by the city that his cat must be kept on a leash. He complied. He gave the cat enough leash to reach the edge of their yard.

The older fella was visiting his son and noticed that the neighbors dog was barking and teasing the cat. His son told him not to worry about the cat because he could take care of himself. He said you watch and see. The cat backed up about a foot. He kept backing up a little at a time until the cat was on their deck which was only a foot off the ground. Once the cat knew he had enough "rope" he pounced. He latched onto the dogs snout and tore into him with his back claws. The dog got away and went yipping for home. His son told him that the cat had to "educate" that same dog every few months!

I don't wish any ill will on any animal but I thought it was "doggone" clever of this cat to entice this dog close enough to nail him. Must have been an incredibly stupid dog!

Copyright © Brooker

EDITOR'S NOTE: The dog in the story was not hurt at all by the cat. Apparently, he was more frightened than anything else.

9 years ago
Blushing Whiskers

Interesting illustration of moggy psychology.

I was walking up the road (suburbs, round Wolverhampton, UK. Not a posh area) when from under a garden hedge came a lolloping squirrel. You know how they run..? Boing, boing, boing...
Not in a hurry this animal even though he was followed by a lolloping new teenage cat on the block.

Squirrel ran over the road (no cars) - so did the cat.
Squirrel bounced up to wooden telegraph pole - so did the cat...
Neither of them bothered about me standing watching with interest.

Squirrel, most unadvisedly, I thought, ran up the telegraph pole.
So did the cat, slowly, and carefully.
Squirrel paused and waited, and let kitten-cat catch up.
What a kind squirrel.

When the kitten was about three feet from the ground the squirrel ran down the pole like greased lightning leaving the kitten holding on for dear life and wondering 'where did it go?'

Squirrel disappeared into the shrubs, laughing its head off.
Kitten began to descend, very, very slowly and carefully and you could tell it wasn't at all happy about it.

Kitten reached the ground and realised what it *really* wanted to do was give itself a jolly good wash and if it was all the same to me, please don't mention that squirrel to any of my friends, okay?

I left, grinning.

Copyright © Veronica Wumpus
November 8, 2001

9 years ago
The Story I Never Forget

From the book
"The Cat-Lover's Week-End Book", Kathleen Williams
& Sidney Denham, London: Seeley, Service & Co., 1961
I suspect that most newspapermen have one story which qualifies as the most unforgettable in their experience. I have. I covered it more than twenty years ago.

I also suspect that for most of us, the story that stays with us is not our biggest or most immportant. Mine isn't. It is the story of an old man whom I never saw, and a black and white cat I saw only once. Their actions made no impact on the history of our times.

It happened like this. E.G. Bonney, the Melbourne Herald's chief of staff (Australian equivalent of the Fleet Street News Editor) said to me one morning in December, 1930: "I heard a queer yarn last night about an old man and a cat. I could not make head or tail of it, but it seemd to hold the germ of a story. Here's the address;"

I went to the address he gave me and found a villa in Clyde Street, St. Kilda, a seaside suburb about five miles from the city. A pleasant-faced woman in early middle-age opened the door. She told me her name was Mrs. King. Her eyes wrinkled in puzzlement when I cautiously asked if she knew anything about an old man and a cat. Then a light broke through.

"Of course," she said, "that would be Dad and Felix. . . Don't tell me any newspaper is interested in that !"

I assured her the Herald was interested. She laughed. All right then, she'd tell me, if I didn't mind wasting my time, and this was her story.

Two years or so earlier, a friend had given her a black and white kitten about five or six weeks old. He was a cute little fellow, but nobody in the King household took much notice of him except Mrs. King's father, Thomas Lynan, a north of Ireland man nearing ninety years of age. "Dad just loved that kitten from the first," Mrs. King told me, and the kitten was mad on him. "You never saw them apart. It was Dad who named him Felix."

The old man fed Felix, never failing to save a choice bit of his dinner. Felix trotted beside him when he went to the corner tobacconist's or the nearby newspaper shop. Thd old man tought the cat to box, and Felix learned to balance on his hind legs and weave like a pugilist with his forepaws.

Then on June 28th, 1930, Mr. Lynan died. He had just turned ninety. Felix watched the funeral procession move off, never dreaming they were taking his friend away, then slunk off into the house and mourned in solitude.

He was inconsolable. He ate, but only enough to keep alive. By day he crept about the house seeking the old man who had been his constant companion for eighteen months; by night he lay on the front door-mat watching for the return of his lost friend.

Nearly five months went by and Felix's melancholy show no signs of lift- ing. The Kings were worried. They feared the cat would fret to death. One sunny afternoon they went driving and took Felix with them in the hope of waking him from his despondency. They were driving along St. Kilda Road, a broad and busy thoroughfare, the chief highway linking St. Kilda with the City.

The car halted to let cross traffic pass at one of the intersections and Felix, who had been lying inert, got to his fee, coat bristling. He stood trembling for a second and then sprang to the open window of the car and dived to the roadway. The Kings watched him scuttle through the traffic and disappear at full speed, his tail waving like a black banner.

The Kings went home and watched for Felix day after day. He did not appear. After a week they gave him up for lost.

It was about ten days after he dived from the car and three weeks or so before my call on Mrs. King, that the Kings and their five-year-old daughter, Valerie, want to see Mr. Lyman's grave in Melbourne General Cemetery, which lies on the other side of Melbourne, nine or ten miles from their home.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," Mrs. King told me. "There was Felix, walking up and down on the grave-stone like a sentry. He nearly went mad when he saw us. He jumped at Valerie and started to box her the way he had played boxing with Dad. How he got there I do not know. He had never been within miles of the Cemetery in his life."

9 years ago

The Kings knew beyond doubt that the cat was Felix. He carried two unmistakeable identity badges - a scar near one eye where an air-gun pellet had wounded him in kittenhood, and a kink in his tail which had been broken in early youth.

The Kings tended Mr. Lynan's grave and laid flowers on it and then picked up Felix and carried him to the car. Twice they got him as far as the Cemetery gates, and twice risking his neck he jumped from the moving car and raced back to his old friend's grave.

"In the end," Mrs. King told me, "we decided it would be kinder to let him stay behind." They arranged with the gravediggers to feed him and anyway they knew that an active cat like him could live by catching rabbits and birds that made home in the Cemetery.

I drove over to the Cemetery after hearing Mrs. King's story. There on guard over the grave stood Felix. At all events, the cat I saw was black and white with a scar over one eye and a kinky tail.

I have covered bigger stories, but I still remember the tale of Felix more vividly than any of the others, including the events, say, of the retreat in Greece, the Battle of El Alamein or the Normandy landing. Perhaps because I am a sucker for cats, or perhaps because the story haunts me because there are in it features beyond the frontiers of human understanding.

"Our Cats", Dec. 1952.

by John Hetherington
9 years ago
I'm glad I have white paws

Those of you who have seen my pictures will know that I am a tabby and white cat with white paws. Today, I am very glad I have white paws. I will tell you why.

I like to sleep in Meowmie's airing cupboard in the hall because it is a safe place and also a very warm place due to it containing Meowmie's hot water tank. When I want to go into this cupboard, I sit outside it and stare at its closed door. When Meowmie sees what I am doing she asks the obvious question. I answer it by jumping up at the door handle. But Meowmie is not content with my answer until I have also said "please". So she always asks the question again. I answer by stretching up to the door handle and meowing what she thinks is "please". This satisfies Meowmie and she opens the door.

When she knows I am in the airing cupboard, Meowmie leaves its door open and before closing it checks that I have moved to another of my favourite haunts. Today, however, she forgot to check. When I awoke from a pleasant sleep, I immediately realised that I had been shut in. Nevertheless, I did not start to worry. I know that Meowmie often checks to see where I am so thought it would not be long before she discovered me.

A long time passed. I got fed up waiting for Meowmie and began to wonder what, if anything, I could do to escape from the cupboard. I tried its door. It was firmly closed. I realised that I would need help to get out. I sat back and considered what to do next. I looked at the gap underneath the door. It was far too small to squeeze through. I lay down to do more thinking. I continued to look at the gap.

More time passed. An idea came into my head. If I pushed something under the door, when Meowmie next walked down the hall, she would see it, think it had fallen out of the cupboard and open the door. I looked for something suitable. There was nothing. Absolutely nothing. I thought some more. I began to realise that I had something that might do the trick. My paws. Tentatively, I slid my left front paw forwards into the gap under the door. Eureka. It easily passed through it and into the hall. I left it out there. No-one who walked past the airing cupboard door could fail to see it; its white fur was such a contrast to the hall's dark blue carpet and the dark-coloured wood of the cupboard door.

A seemingly long time passed. Eventually, the front door bell rang. I heard footsteps in the hall. The cupboard door opened. At last, I was free.

After this incident, I don't think Meowmie will ever shut me in the airing cupboard again but if she does I'll again be glad I have white paws. :^))

Mews and purrs

Copyright © Sheenah Large
March 28, 2003

9 years ago
The Greatest Gift

The cat wanted in to the warm warm house,
but no one would let the cat in.
It was cold outside on Christmas Eve,
she meowed and meowed by the door.

She was not let in to the warm warm house,
and her tiny cries were ignored.
Twas a blizzard now, the worst of the year,
there was no place for her to go.

Just then a poor little mouse crept by,
he had lost his way in the snow.
He was on his last leg and was almost froze,
the cat lifted him with her paws.

She said poor mouse do not be afraid,
because this is Christmas Eve.
On this freezing night, we both need a friend.
I wont hurt you, stay by my side.

She dug a small hole in an icy drift,
this is where they would spend the night.
She curled herself round her helpless friend
Protecting him from the cold.

When Santa came by near the end of the night,
the Reindeer started to cry...
they found the cat lying there in the snow,
and they could see that she had died.

They lifted her up from the cold cold ground,
and placed her into the sleigh
It was then they saw the little mouse wrapped up,
she kept him warm in her fur.

"Oh thank you Santa for finding us,
Dear cat wake up we are saved."
I'm sorry mouse but your friend has died
There's nothing more we can do.

On Christmas Eve she gave you life
The greatest gift of them all
Santa Lifted her up in to the night sky
and layed her to rest among the stars.

They said little mouse now please don't cry
you will see your friend every year.
Each Christmas a cat constellation will shine...
to remind us that her love's still here.

This poem is originally a song entitled
"The Cat Carol"
which was Written by Bruce Evans,
arranged by Meryn Cadell & Bruce Evans,
and performed by Meryn Cadell.

9 years ago
The Howling

Several years ago, I had the distinct pleasure once of keeping my mother's cat Sinbad for 6 days while she was out of town. We decided it would be easier for her to bring me Sinbad (I live in a different town and at the time was going to college, so couldn't drive the half- hour to spend time with him). During the day, he was fine. He'd sit in the floor-to-ceiling window that I had and look out at all the movement. As a "country cat" visiting the "big city" (just an apartment parking lot, but more activity than HE had ever seen), he found it endlessly fascinating.

And then, there were the nights.

On the first night, I had JUST started to drop off when I hear this....sound. The closest thing I can come to describing it would be a banshee (ban-sidhe, however you want to spell it) with a sore throat. He was WARBLING this hideous sound.
I tried EVERYTHING from cuddling to threatening to spanking to feeding to leaving the lights on. NOTHING. WORKED. For 5 days, I had to get whatever sleep I could steal between his horrible shrieks of loneliness.

On the 6th night, he was FINE. My mother, of course, doesn't believe this to this day. How could her sweet adorable fluffy-wuffums POSSIBLY make a sound quite capable of waking the dead? I must have been exaggerating.

Copyright © Gary Henderson
January 27, 1998

9 years ago
Ambassador and the Gang

I visited some friends in their big house out in the country one weekend a few months ago. They have nine kitties, most of them quite shy around strangers. However, the one cat they have named Ambassador, because he is the friendliest and always greets new guests. He's the one who checks out visitors to make sure they're okay for the rest of the kitties, it's really cute.

At first the only cat I saw was Ambassador, he is a big tabby. I knew the other cats must have been around, or hiding; now and then I would see the flash of a tail or a patch of fur whiz by the door frame or from under a piece of furniture. After getting thoroughly sniffed and scent-marked by Ambassador, he plopped his 14 pound body down next to me and wouldn't move! He'd lay on my lap, on my feet, beside me, anywhere he could to be in contact with me. It was so cute. Finally I began to see the other kitties poke their pretty whiskered faces from out of their hiding places.

Several of us were playing Trivial Pursuit until late in the evening. It was getting late and we all decided it was time for some sleep. My friend escorted me to one of the lovely guest bedrooms in their home. Ambassador was right at my heels. He jumped up on the bed to smell my overnight bag as soon as I set it down. When I got into the bed, it felt so strange! Being single, I have a small daybed at home, so sleeping in the huge king-sized bed with goose-down quilt felt really strange to me. I curled up in one corner of the bed and tried to fall asleep. I was missing my cat, Petruska, who sleeps on my bed every night, when Ambassador jumped up beside me and started purring. The purring made me drift off to sleep and I felt much more comfortable having a kitty there with me.

When I woke up in the morning, Ambassador was still laying on the bed with me. I sat up to begin to get out of bed and noticed that the door was open a crack. I looked around the room and found...eight pairs of kitty eyes staring at me! The other cats must have nudged open the door with their paws or noses and came into the room during the night. Two of them lay on the end of the bed, one was laying next to my overnight bag, one on the floor, one on a chair, two in the windowsill, one on the dresser and one on top of the oak wardrobe! It was the funniest sight! It was also very was as if Ambassador told them I was lonely and felt strange sleeping in that big bed, so he asked them all to come in and keep me company. I smiled at the nearest cat and said, "Kitty, kitty, kitty," in a pleasant voice...and ALL EIGHT CATS came running! I was pinned to the bed being sniffed and rubbed and kneaded while they all purred loudly. I guess Ambassador really lives up to his name!

Now every time I go to their house all nine kitties come running from their hiding places because they want to visit. But the first one I see is always Ambassador!

Copyright © Laurie Meyer
December 1, 1997

9 years ago
The Evil Bag Monster

This morning as I was standing in the bathroom shaving, I heard a loud THUMP! coming from the adjoining bedroom. I thought: "Sounds like some kitty knocked something off of the bureau.".

I stepped out and looked and in the dim light saw nothing out of place. Well, back to shaving. Again RUSTLE, RUSTLE, THUMP!. This time I thought "Did they tip a bag over?". Again I stepped out and looked and as I did a loud rustling noise and I am being charged by a large paper shopping bag. I sidestepped, and the bag crashed into the vanity behind me.

With the clarity of thought that only comes with long time cat ownership, I realized that one of the cats had become tangled in the rope handle on the bag. Turning quickly I prepared to capture the bag and free the cat (regardless of how much skin it might cost me).

We really can think at incredible speeds as all of these fleeting impressions occurred in less than 1/2 a second:

"How does a 12 pound cat seem to weigh 50 pounds when captured running full tilt?"

"Wow this is like trying to hold onto a gigantic python!"

"Gee I hope I don't hurt her."

"Gee I hope she doesn't hurt me."

"How am I going to get her to hold still long enough to help?"

Fortunately, the problem solved itself as the bag tore and dumped out the cat who fell out in such a way as to be free of the rope handle. In far less time than it takes to tell, she was gone under the bed. I guess that she thought that it was unfair that one of her favorite toys, a paper bag, had tried to eat her.

Copyright © Fletcher Glenn
August 10, 1999

9 years ago

The Cat Snores

My Oscar (Rainbow Bridge) used to snore. Now Oscar was no respecter of boundaries and territories. As far as he was concerned, the whole world was his oyster and all the human beings contained therein, specifically put on this earth for Oscar strokies.

A few days after we had moved into a new house, I ran into one of the neighbors who lived next door. She looked absolutely haggard. Upon enquiring as to the reason for her state, she told me of last night's Oscar adventure. Apparently she had been fast asleep, only to wake up with a start hearing a very strange noise. Being of a nervous disposition, she was terrified! She switched on her bedside lamp, only to find The Oscar curled up into a comfy ball at her side, fast asleep and snoring his head off. Deary me, they hadn't even met properly! Not knowing that Oscar was the tamest lap fungus on the planet, her not being a cat person and not knowing if he would bite or scratch, she shooed him off. Such indignity! She put him outside and went back to sleep. Well of course you know the rest. Oscar came back and back and back that night. Easy peasy for him, because she had a cat flap, but no cat.

I gave him a big talking to over breakfast and he never did it to her again. But he apparently did it to loads of other people, especially in the summer when windows were open. Lovely cat he was. We still miss him dreadfully.

Copyright © Ali Cassel
February 15, 2001

9 years ago
Cat Against The Internet

This house feels lonely,
you engage
in electronic chatter.

I leap upon Computer desk
top shelf,
legs astride the printer.

My food tray’s empty,
it is late,
cold too, nearing winter.

Cedar blinds gape open;
the moon
glows, small stars glitter.

Colours dance upon the screen,
I stand
quietly on the scanner,

then bound onto your shoulder top.
Your fixed
eyes do not waver.

I dig in desperate claws.
You shriek!
I meow: where is my supper!

Copyright © Lynette M. Arden, 2003

9 years ago

Some people wake to buzzers,
To ringing bells or beeping beeps,
They set their clocks the night before,
To wake them from their sleep.

Others wake to radios,
Or the news on their TV's,
Or music tapes on tape machines,
Or players with CD's.
I have no need for such devices,
For such sophisticated tools,
Nor do I even trust them,
And I'm not a simple fool.
My alarm requires no wires,
And it's not an hour-glass,
Nor is it made of plastic,
Wood or metal, glass or brass.
I see it well in my darkened room,
Though no lighted dial appears,
And it won't shut off on me,
If a midnight storm comes near.
It has four legs and whiskers,
It sits any place it pleases,
On my stomach or my derriere,
Or perhaps upon my knees-es.
My alarm is very vocal,
It comes with built-in sound,
I cannot shut it off,
Nor can I turn it down.
Some mornings it is much too loud,
I'd like to disconnect it,
I thrash about and kick a bit,
But none of that affects it.
I peek from 'neath my covers,
And there sitting on my chest,
Meeting me pupil to pupil,
Is my alarm clock, self-possessed.
If I so much as utter, "Shoo!"
Or dare to cry out, "Scat!"
Ear-splitting decibels are heard,
Coming from my cat.
My tired body can't sleep-in,
This alarm is quite insistent,
"Go 'way," I plead; she starts to knead,
Oh my, is she persistent.
King of the Hill!  Queen of the Pillow!
She claims her sovereign rights,
I weakly cringe, as I give in,
I am her slave; I cannot fight.
Alarm clocks come, and alarm clocks go,
They can be easily replaced,
Except, of course, the feline kind,
Which have nine lives by grace.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright January 2003

9 years ago

To find a companion for herself,
One day, a lady bought a cat,
A lovable, little ball of fur,
That would fit upon her lap.
"Play with me," the kitty purred,
While tumbling 'cross the floor,
"Scratch my whiskers and my ears,"
She begged a little more.
The woman looked down and smiled,
And patted her tiny head,
"Not just now, baby cat,
But, later on," she said.


"Please toss my little kitty ball,
Or drag my fluffy toy,"
The little kitten teased again,
Wiggling with kitty joy.
"When I get through with this, we'll play,
In just a minute or two,"
Her master's voice was promising,
But when, oh when, would she get through?
The kitten batted with her paw,
And rubbed against her master's leg,
"See me!  See me! I'm down here,"
The eager kitty begged.

Kitchen counters are not places
For cats to crawl upon,
The few times that the kitten tried,
The lady shrieked and put her down.
Every morning the little cat
Jumped up on her master's bed,
"Get up and play," she meowed each day,
9 years ago
And so it went, down through the years,
The cat, vying for attention,
Trying to be happy with
Token tidbits of affection.
As the woman and the cat both aged,
There came a change in the status quo,
And they, in their old age, revealed,
A reversal of their roles.
"Come up!  Come up!  And sit with me,"
The old lady invited the cat,
But, too late, the cat wouldn't jump up,
She'd become complacent and fat.

 "I want to hold you, little one,
And I have a treat for you,"
The woman tried to entice the cat,
But not much now could she do.
The cat had grown indifferent,
All she wanted to do was sleep,
"Don't bother me," she closed her eyes,
"Unless it's time to eat."
And so the old lady sat alone,
Rocking in her chair,
And the 'woman's home companion'
Didn't even care.

Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright March 2004
9 years ago
Kitten Days

Fritz Cat had a bad time of it as a kitten.
The little old lady whose council flat he was born in
Hid him and his brothers and sisters away in a cupboard
In a big brown cardboard box.
Fritz was the runt of the litter.
He never got kissed and cuddled.
Last in the queue at mealtimes.
His mother was so anxious about him being left out of things
That she passed her anxiety onto him.
That is why he has grown up scared of his own shadow.
He is a neurotic cat.
I got him at seven weeks old when he was all ears.
But sadly by then the damage was done.
He is a cat who sneaks the backalleys.
Not a cat who sits out on the pavement.
And he has never had any guts for fighting
But maybe that is to do with his operation.
There aren't many cats with as low an opinion
Of themselves as Fritz has.
He has to wash himself all day
To put on a sheen to face the world with.
He was never anything but nothing as a kitten
And there is not much to say about him now he's a cat.
A low grade specimen.
Not to be envied.
Poor old Fritz. He could have been something.

9 years ago
The Very Sick Little Cat

When you work with adolescents who have emotional or behavioral problems one of the big issues is helping the student develop empathy for others.

Students who display little or no empathy frequently get a charge out of
watching or, at times, causing others to have physical and emotional
pain. I have been working with one such adolescent for two and a half
years. I'll call him Joe.

Joe's behaviors roller coaster all over the chart. He has good days and
bad days. Along with the struggle of getting him to complete his class
assignments or to do his homework there is the constant monitoring of
his interactions with the other students. His moods can turn on a dime
and seemingly for no reason at all. But he has shown some improvement
over the years. Some improvement for Joe is a lot to say and considering
how big and tall Joe is now at the age of thirteen... improvement is

As a sixth grader Joe would not pass up a chance to tell me all about,
and in great detail, any dead cat he saw in the street. He would get
even more excited when he described how his dog or some other dog in his neighborhood would chase down and kill a cat. When I did not react in
horror to his stories he seemed disappointed. His graphic, verbal
descriptions of cruelty don't happen very often anymore and this, I
feel, is positive.

9 years ago
For the past two weeks Joe cornered me daily to tell me all about a
kitten he saw coming to and from school. As always, I reminded Joe and
the other students not to bring any stray cats they find in their
neighborhoods to school. The number of sick and starving cats that end
up at school on their own keep me busy enough. But Joe persisted in
telling me about this kitten.
Joe would say, "He's real sick and hungry and cold and, and... he so

Thursday after school I was in with the nurse discussing another student
when I was told I had a phone call. It was Joe calling me from his
house. Joe had picked this kitten up and taken it home. Joe's mother was
having a fit but Joe refused to release the cat back into the
neighborhood. I told Joe I would meet him at the 7-11 by his house.
I drove over to corner store and parked my car. Joe's neighborhood is
not an area where you want to be standing around for long by yourself
even if you live there. Soon I could see Joe and two of his friends
walking towards me. The sight was quite an oxymoron. Three large boys,
who looked like this was, in fact, their home turf, carrying a small
gray cat.
Joe put the kitten in my hands. It looked to be about five months old
but didn't look sick. It did look thin and dirty.
I asked Joe what made him think this cat was so sick. Joe suddenly had
an expression of horror and anger on his face. The other two boys looked
quite taken back by my question, too.
Joe said, "It's hurt!" and pointed to the cat.
I held the cat up and started to look more closely for signs of some
great trauma. As I began the inspection I asked, "Where is he hurt? Show

9 years ago
Joe said in a tone of frustration, "Look, he doesn't have a tail!"
I paused without looking up at Joe and the other boys to gather my
thoughts before I spoke. I looked up at the faces of these three young
men. The faces I saw where definitely displaying empathy for a small,
helpless animal. I simply said, "Well, I guess we have #34 rescued cat."

The tenseness in the faces of all three boys dissolved and big smiles
grew. I told Joe I would see him tomorrow and reminded him to do his
homework. He said ok and the boys turned and walked away.
The kitten was a manx.

Joe's completed homework was turned in the next morning and this, I
feel, is an improvement.


9 years ago

At night she sat in her laid-back chair,
And spun her marvelous yarns,
Which were sometimes so exciting,
She would wildly wave her arms.
If she got into the spirit,
She could lose her self-control,
Slap her knee, sit back, and laugh,
And be a silly soul.
But, were her tales of romance.
And of unrequited love,
She might moan or groan a little,
Then reach for her cat to hug.

And, sadly, if the truth be known,
Her only audience was the cat,
Who could tolerate most anything,
If held upon the lady's lap.
The tiny cat heard every word,
The lady had to say,
And at fitting times she aptly purred,
Or meowed to show dismay.
That cat went round the world with her,
To many places, many times,
And to strange lands of fantasy,
As conjured up in the lady's mind.

Sometimes her stories were of horror,
Gruesome tales of blood and war,
If the little cat cried or sighed,
The lady hugged and loved her more.
She loved to tell historical tales,
That might go back to ancient times,
Before 'Domesticus Felinicus,'
Had been discovered by mankind.
Then the cat would hide her eyes,
Afraid those tales were true,
Though safe from harm in the lady's arms,
Still snarling tusks came into view.

But, all in all, her stories,
And the tales she told were fun,
And the cat enjoyed her voice,
As it droned on and on and on.
So wise, the lady who told the tales,
So wise, the cat that listened, too,
But, in honest truth, between them both,
The cat was the wiser of the two.

9 years ago
"I don't play hard to get at all,"
Admitted the intelligent cat,
"The best place to snooze and muse,
Is on a storyteller's lap!"
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright June 2004
9 years ago
A mouse - a mouse - a little, white mouse,
Is lost somewhere within this house,
The cat is sad; she feels so bad,
Yet, she's the one that lost this mouse.
Bathed in catnip, fuzzy-furred,
Soft and pinky-white,
A present wrapped in red and gold,
A true, feline delight.
The cat enamored with this toy,
Carried it around the room,
Cats do smile; I saw her,
Her cat-world was in bloom.
She tossed the mouse into the air,
And caught it coming down,
A hundred times she did this,
Her joy knew no bounds.
Nothing there is that's so much fun,
As watching a cat at play,
Uninhibited and free,
Spontaneous and gay.
I felt a special joy, too,
As I watched my little friend,
Then a moment of distraction came,
Bringing fun time to an end.
The cat now sitting quietly,
The mouse gone - disappeared,
I said, "Honey, where's your mouse?"
She looked blank and scratched her ear.
I searched the entire place,
On hands and knees, down on the floor,
I even got a flashlight out,
The cat yawned; she was bored.
I was worn out; I was a wreck,
But I don't think she cared,
She merely went to sleep,
On the cushion in the chair.
"You idiot!"  I said to me,
As I stood with hands on hips,
Where could that little mouse have gone?
Surely not between her lips.
I picked her up and looked at her,
We met 'eye to eye.'
She made no effort to reply.
Mouses come and mouses go,
And all mouses are not edible,
Explain that to a little cat,
If you can make it credible.
Did I ever find her mouse?
Nope.  I never did,
Whatever happened to it,
It got itself well-hid.
I've also come to the conclusion,
She doesn't give a whit,
But when cleaning out her litter box,
I keep wondering, "Is that it?"
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright 2002
9 years ago
The Cat Who Needed a Night Light

On a warm August day, a dainty little cat named Dolores was receiving a special award: the American Humane Association's William O. Stillman award for bravery. The association gives the award to people who risk their lives to save animals from danger, and to animals who face down danger to save the lives of people. Either way, the winners are heroes, whether they're take charge, fearless sorts of people, or extroverted, devoted pets like Dolores.

Dolores hadn't always been an extrovert. And she hadn't seemed very devoted to anyone, either. In fact, she'd been what most people call the quiet type. When she first came to live with her owner, Kyle, Dolores rarely had anything to say. And most of the time, she didn't like being touched.

Kyle didn't know why Dolores was so standoffish. And he didn't understand something else about her: why she always became upset whenever the lights were turned out. But Kyle didn't care. Something about the cat's quiet, unassuming manner appealed to him. So, at night, he just left all the lights on in the apartment where he and Dolores lived, even when it was time to go to sleep. And if Dolores wanted to keep her distance -- well, he could respect that. Maybe, if he was patient, Dolores would someday decide to come to him, to talk to him, to be friends.

So for the next year, Kyle loved Dolores for exactly who she was. He let her keep her distance, and he didn't ask for more than she could give.

Then, one May evening, everything changed. The night started like any other. And, at evening's end, Kyle checked -- as usual -- to make sure all the lights in his apartment were on. Then, he went to sleep.

Sometime later he woke with a start. Something was jumping on his head! Paws were scratching his face! And, when he opened his eyes, his apartment was no longer brightly lit; instead it was filled with black smoke. But he could see who was doing the jumping and scratching: Dolores.

The little cat was all Kyle could see. But she was enough.

Together, the two made their way to the only available exit from the apartment -- the back door. Kyle felt his way along the walls. At the same time, he felt for Dolores with his feet and followed her. Finally, the pair reached the back door. Kyle pulled on the knob to open the door, only to have the knob fall off into his hand. The door remained firmly shut.

Making his way to the door had taken every bit of strength and oxygen Kyle had, and he collapsed to the floor. But, once again, he felt those insistent paws scratching his face. Kyle mustered his last bit of strength to hurl himself against the door, break it down and run outside to fresh air and safety. Once there, he looked around for the cat who'd saved his life.

She wasn't there.

With sickening clarity, Kyle realized that Dolores was still inside the apartment. He ran to one of the firefighters.

"My cat's still inside my apartment!" he exclaimed. "Can you find her?"

The firefighter promised to try.

Now all Kyle could do was wait. He knew Dolores's chances weren't good, but still -- maybe, just maybe, she would be found alive.

An hour or so later, the firefighters brought the blaze under control. And one firefighter brought Kyle a bundle wrapped in a towel. Kyle held his breath. Inside the bundle was Dolores -- eyes seared shut, hair singed, but alive.

The firefighter explained that Dolores had collapsed just inside the door and that a fireman had stumbled on her when he entered the apartment. After removing her from the apartment, paramedics gave the cat CPR and oxygen before bringing her to Kyle.

The fire changed Kyle's life dramatically. He'd lost all his clothes, furniture and other possessions, and had to go live with his mother for awhile. His cat had changed, too.

The once-quiet Dolores was now a talker who meowed and purred almost constantly. Even more surprising was her new desire to be touched and cuddled -- preferably while she was lying on Kyle's lap.

Now, just four months later, Dolores was being recognized for her bravery. But Kyle knew he'd gotten a bigger prize. He's never asked for more than Dolores could give -- and then found she was willing to give him everything she had.

Copyright © Susan McCullough

9 years ago
The Amazing Talking Cat

SO I AM SITTING at my computing machine earning my living, and my cat wanders in and speaks to me. I recognize that category of discourse immediately; it is meowus ordinari, the common house cry.

The two other primary varieties of cat speech are meowus bigtroubli, a sort of low growling moan, and screechus extremeli, which is an upper-register howl designed to alert people in Utah to the existence of certain troubling facts.

Those two modes of expression always demand my immediate attention. The former usually means there's an opossum in the kitchen; the latter means that the cat is being abducted by aliens -- a not uncommon occurrence, alas.

Meowus ordinari often has to do with food. Less often, it has to do with access. Boomer has a cat door, but she does not like the cat door. She is a large cat, and her door is not a large door. She would much prefer the services of a doorman.

So I am sitting, as I say, my stubby fingers flying over the keys, and the cat is standing in the middle of the room and speaking. Whatever she is talking about, I know she can wait just a minute.

I mean, she's a cat. She weighs 13 pounds. I weigh 195. I do not have claws, but I have a certain animal cunning. I can purchase weapons. I am the alpha male. If I am creating lovely sentences, the cat is going to have to like it or lump it, although she will certainly lump it.

And she can just go on lumping it until I am ready to deal with her demands. There can be nothing less than absolute clarity on the power dynamics. Me: Big human, opposable thumb, knows many words of French, can drive a car. Her: Small cat, no thumb, limited speech, owns no vehicles. I ask you: Who is the master?

BUT SHE DOES not meow just once. She meows and meows and meows. She walks up and down, as though she were doing the Meow Play in a theater-in-the-round. She attempts to establish eye contact.

Well, of course it is impossible to create prose with a damn cat yowling in one's ear. I stand up, stare down at the cat and say, "OK, what is it?"

She immediately goes into the "Quick, Timmy, come quick, old farmer Roberts is drowning in the crick" dance. She races toward the object of desire and turns to see if I'm coming. If I'm not, she runs back toward me, turns and runs away. "Follow me, Timmy, the whirlpool at Devil's Bend is dragging him under!"

Reluctantly, I follow her. Unsurprisingly, our destination is the food bowl.

I GET DOWN on my knees. I run my fingers through the kibble. "Look, Boomer, plenty of food still left. None of these Poultry Platter Flavor bits are over 24 hours old. Besides, and forgive me for mentioning this, you're a cat."

But no. The food doesn't smell right or something. I know that if I were to leave the house in a rush and forget to fill the cat bowl, then somehow the vile food that did not smell right would be all gone when I returned home to strenuous recriminations.

Boomer understands my attitude instantly. She runs in distressed circles. "Poison, poison, my master is trying to poison me. Whatever am I to do? I am but a poor neutered cat with no means of support. Oh poor me, oh dear."

I know where this is leading. If I go back into my room, she'll follow, and the dance will begin again. I get some more food and put it in her bowl.

She walks away, not wishing to seem over-eager. She lies down and starts washing herself. Food? She is indifferent to food. I let loose a howlus anguishii, the cry of the American cat owner.

by Jon Carroll, © San Francisco Chronicle.
9 years ago
Tinsel the Tattletale

First let me explain. Tinsel is our furry little girl. She's a blue point Himalayan whom we got from the local humane society. She's the best kitty in the whole wide world. She's gorgeous and she knows it. And she's incredibly spoiled and a bit of a priss. (For you South Park fans, we regularly call her Polly Prissy Pants. Especially when her britches get a little long and shaggy.) Our friend, Rich, was living with us for a little while. He had a cat named Nynex. Tinsel and Nynex got on well enough, but it was a bit like a brother and sister who would play fight but down deep they really liked each other and wouldn't let anyone else know it!

It was a sunny, warmish day in early spring in Rochester, NY. (A RARE thing up here!) I had decided to open the windows to air out the house. Tinsel LOVES when we do this, because that means she gets to sit in the window and look outside. I had gone upstairs to take a shower. I got out of the shower and Tinsel DEMANDED her "ups". (She's got this really weird thing about being picked up by someone after they get out of the shower. She LOVES it. I guess she just prefers clean humans. Frankly, I'm a little insulted by it. Like I don't smell good enough the rest of the time for her highness to be held by me. hrrmmph)

After an abbreviated bout of "lovin's", she wrestled out of my arms and continued meowing at me. Well, I knew she didn't want "ups". She continued meowing with this utterly URGENT look on her face. I walked out of our bedroom to the top of the landing. We have an open foyer, so I can see right out over the great room, where I had opened the windows. I notice the screen on one of the windows was popped out in the corner. Immediately I knew ... Nynex had busted out.

I began running around the house looking for him. All over the downstairs, no Nynex. The whole time Tinsel is following me around with the URGENT look on her face meowing. I swear if she could have sat in front of the window and pointed with her paw, she would have. MMEEE-OW. (he went thatta way... Finally, I turned to her and said, "What's that girl. What are you saying? Did Timmy fall down the well?" She was NOT amused. She gave me a look like, "NO, Nynex went out the window, but you're too D*mn stupid to understand me. And don't treat me like Lassie, she was just a DOG." (Tinsel has a BIT of an attitude.)

Then I realized, she was ratting out Nynex. She was just like a spoiled little sister telling on a sibling when they had done something wrong. "MAAAAA, Nynex busted out of the hooooouuuuussssee. MAAAA, Nynex...window...outside. Are you listening to me??? MAAAAA, Nynex is being BAAAAD!"

Finally, I go upstairs (Tinsel in tow - continuing to meow at me.) I look in Rich's room and then look in our bedroom. I look out the front windows and see Nynex, casually sniffing at some flowers. I fly out the front door to try to catch him. Just as I exit the front door the BIGGEST, most RUMBLY truck rolls by. Nynex immediately hunches down as LOW to the ground as he can get and gets a look on his face that said, "WHOAH!! That's the BIGGEST dog I've EVER seen!!" He immediately ran inside the garage and I opened the screen door and he got into the house as fast as he could.

I followed and saw Tinsel laying in the middle of the kitchen floor with just the tip of her tail twitching. "I told you so. You just wouldn't listen to me." I swear she was smiling.

Copyright © Joanne Macek
9 years ago
Alley finds home

By the time I met up with the black and white Alley cat, he'd been sitting in a small cage at the Humane Society for about one and a half years. He was one of the longest sitting residents. But out of about 60 adult cats, Alley was the only cat who met all of my criteria for adopting the perfect cat.

Due to allergies in my family, I could only have a garage cat. He needed to be affectionate but not needy, street-smart (a former stray), playful (i.e., a good mouser), and tolerant of my children. I also looked in the Petfinder profile for a cat that was dominant/intolerant of other cats, as this type of cat would be braver in the presence of loud machinery on the upstairs floor of our 2-story garage. Secondly, I thought a difficult-to-place cat would be the only kind that the Humane Society staff would allow me to keep in a garage. My 8 yr. old daughter and I spent time with several cats, but both agreed there was no need to look any further once we met Alley. Besides being a former stray and "dominant" cat, he was very affectionate, but forgot all about us when the toy came out! That's when he turned into a ferocious tiger. The husband will be very pleased with Alley's mousing skills, I thought.

I brought Alley "home" to our garage a few days later. As soon as I let Alley out of his travel box, his tail sailed straight up in the air. He looked around a minute or so, and then hurried back to me, purring excitedly and rubbing against my leg. Then he explored a few more minutes, but hurried back, excitedly purring his thanks. He repeated this procedure several times. It's funny, as I had just been hoping he would come out of hiding sometime within the first week. The best part was when I showed him his essentials. He ate just one kibble out of his bowl as if to say, "There's my food bowl..." and moved on to put his nose to the water. I then placed him in his new bed, which was oval-shaped with a soft wall around it just like his bed at the Humane Society. Alley purred and kneaded his new bed for a minute. Then he ran over to me and excitedly rubbed against me and purred. Then he ran back to his new bed and repeated the procedure. He ran back and forth several times between his bed and myself, as excited as a kid at Christmas. It was one of the sweetest incidents I've ever witnessed.

Being grateful to your new humans is one thing, but trusting them turned out to be quite another. Alley came to us with emotional wounds that come from being caged up so many months. He hissed or growled whenever he felt his new-found freedom was being infringed upon. Most maddening was when he dug his claws into my daughter when he jumped out of her arms. But time went by, and he continued to be fed and loved, and given his freedom anew each morning when I opened up the garage. After several weeks he quit hissing and growling altogether. With my daughter's steadfast love and attention, he also quit scratching her when jumping down.

One pleasant fall afternoon I sat with Alley on the hill in our yard, which over-looks a little-used road. A family strolled down the road, talking happily. Alley took great interest in the family. He sat tall, ears perked up, with whiskers pointed as forward as they would go. As I pet Alley, I thought about his past. He was once a stray in search of some nice humans to take him in. When he finally accessed some humans, they brought him to the Humane Society instead of keeping him. He looked so interested in this family now, I wondered if he was going to approach them. But they passed along, out of sight behind some trees. Once out of sight, Alley turned his eyes to me. He looked at me very lovingly, and then began to purr his heart out. I was sure he was thinking, "I don't have to go begging to humans anymore, because I already have a loving human family." It was a moment of deep gratitude on both our parts.
Alley is spending his first winter in his garage home. He has a little, insulated cat house with a heating pad and a thick cloth door to help keep him warm. He hasn't been caged in anything smaller than a 2-story garage (and then only at night) since the day he arrived. He catches lots of little rodents, gives and receives love to myself and my children (My husband is allergic), and demonstrates appreciation for his possessions and his new life every day. He is no bother, and is a pure joy.

9 years ago
My spoiled Toonces and my Persian Bailey

I have a spoiled, lovable short-hair tabby named "Toonces" who is 12 years old. Several months ago I decided that Toonces should have a companion to keep her company when I'm away. As you can imagine, I am very close to Toonces because I've had her since she was a month old. I knew it would take a special kitty for me to feel that way about another cat. So, I went about my search. I went to the Humane Society and the SPCA several times and played with every cat I saw each time. None really seemed right. I knew I'd love to have a persian, but I would accept any kitty I felt an immediate love for. Then I read an ad in the paper that a breeder was giving away some of her adult female persians. I promised her I would come look at them in the evening. In the meantime, I decided to take one more look at the SPCA on my lunch hour. The first cat I saw really caught my eye. We pulled him out of the cage and he had the biggest green eyes I've ever seen. He's a 2 year old full-bred chinchilla persian (white with silver shading on his back). But he looked so funny because his fur had been shaved into a lion haircut due to the tangles he had when they found him. The hair on his body was shaved short, but the head, legs, and tail were still bushy.

He was very warm and cuddly and purred out of nervousness. When I sat on the floor he stayed near me and shyly brushed against my leg. His furry paw playfully batted at the feather I dangled in front of him. I told the SPCA that I would think it over because I had to look at the other kitties that evening, so I left without him. Later I went to the breeder's house and somehow ended up taking home a BIG cream persian. It all happened so fast. I guess the breeder was kind of pushy and assumed I would take her and I never had a chance to say no. She was a very sweet kitty but I didn't feel a love for her. I couldn't get my mind off the little guy back at the SPCA I knew what I had to do. The next day I called the breeder to ask if she could take the cream persian back and she agreed (and was very nice about it). I went straight to the SPCA and adopted my little fluff-ball.

When I brought him home he was shy, but not too scared and he followed me everywhere. When I put him on the bed he just stayed in that spot and curled up into a ball and began to clean himself. He moved around pretty slow so we assumed he was a laid-back kitty. Boy, were we wrong! Soon he showed what a firecracker he can be. He's so playful, but always looks so sweet when he looks up with those huge eyes and pink mouth. His fur is all grown in now and he looks so sophisticated! But he doesn't act it, as he runs all over as fast as he can and terrorizes Toonces. He never meows but he constantly "chirps" and always follows anyone into the kitchen in hopes of a treat. He only wants to be cuddled on his own terms, but he loves to sleep on a pillow - even if my head is already on it! Bailey has been a big joy to us, and even Toonces hisses at him less and less each day.

9 years ago

I always thought, I am a dog person. I have 5 dogs and I was convinced, never ever will I have a Persian. My friend sent me an email that she found this longhaired cat sleeping in her flower bed but she can not keep it because it does not like her dogs and she does not have time and she would bring it to the shelter. That was my keyword. Shelter - NOOOO.

I took it in, this ragged little furball, full of fleas and ticks. Scared to death and it's big amber eyes full of fear. I gave it a bath, killed the fleas, treated the skin which was scratched and bitten open in many places, cut off the matts and tangles, still working on the ear mites, and brushed and blow dried. And out o that ragged little thing came a purebred Persian, snowwhite. She is the most beautiful and grateful cat. She gets along with the dogs just fine (and with the other cats too).

For now she is still in a cage to heal and get accustomed to her new environment. I named her Roksanna (supposedly Alexander The Great's Persian favorite). She has some behavioral problems, which is probably no wonder after such a fate! , being dumped for whatever reason. 

 - Gerti

USA, Grand Rapids, Michigan

9 years ago
BootSan & Malibu

I have two incredible persian cats. I adopted "BootSan" ( the honorable Mr. Boot in Japanese) from the pound. He was such a mess I called him Rasta Cat, his hair was in dreads! I had to run home to get my i.d. to adopt him and I asked my 14 year old son to hold on to him and make sure no one else would try to take him home. Not seeing him as a diamond in the rough, as I did, my son looked down at poor BootSan, his gorgeous shaded smoke grey in dredlocks and his copper eyes flaming from the indignity of it all, and said, "I don't think anyone will fight you for him Mom!"

The conclusion of the BootSan story is my son named him (he learned the japanese name in japanese class at school). I groomed him and continue to work on his coat daily. BootSan rules from his THRONE formerly my diving board!

My little "Malibu" is a 6 month old torti kitten with warm copper eyes. She is trying to BootSan to play but he is too regal. He cuddles with her on the white loveseat in my office and ever the gentleman, BootSan escorts Malibu to dinner nightly, waits for her to eat and then summons me to bring his dinner, in no uncertain terms.

Does your persian talk to you? I swear they can say some words, not in Pharsee, but in English. BootSan tells me no. no, no when I try to groom his tummy and when he purrs, he sounds like he is saying ah...hmmmm like a Old British Colonial Officer.

It has been a pleasure to tell you about my sweet darlings. Thank you for keeping a website and extolling the virtues of these amazing cats to those who have yet to have meet one of these Royal Cats from Persia!

all the best, Puddie

9 years ago

March 12th was a sad, sad day in our household. Blossomina has been suffering for some weeks with a nervous complaint that kept her prisoner in the house, she seemed terrified to go out, and for the last week had lived in a basket on a table in the living room.

The Vet diagnosed blindness! poor little soul was terrified to venture out because she had suddenly lost her sight! Our Vet was of the opinion that she had a blood clot or tumour on the brain, and to add to her problems, her kidneys and liver seemed to be failing! never a strong cat or kitten,

Bloss had suffered many problems in her short life (7 & a half years) as many of the poor little badly used creatures that eventually make their way to our home do. We kept her with us for another two weeks, but on March the 12th, she lost the battle, and so now is with Broc, by the wall at the bottom of the garden! She was a noisy and difficult character....very Siamese!...but was also loving and full of fun....we miss both the noise and the fun!

Now we are down to five! and I wonder if there will be any more to add to our little group?

Within the same week of losing Blossomina, we learned that my Aunt had also passed away! She had lived her entire life in Staffordshire, apart from a short while in France in her youth, and had latterly been resident in a retirement home due to ongoing health problems.

We learned that she had left her two cats being fostered with a neighbour before entering the home, and that they were still there, we took the decision that we would like to give them a permanent home, rather than continue to allow them to be fostered, and silly anyway to pay someone to look after cats that we had inherited, when our whole life is geared to cats and what they need to be happy!

So sometime in the next two weeks my son will travel down to Staffordshire to bring them home to Scotland and us! We know not if they are male or female, old or young! but whatever they are...they are welcome to share our home...our love...and the company of us all! Keep checking this page to see how we progress........

cat stories from Scotland

9 years ago
Mickey and Grace's Mouse Story

This story happened years ago but it is one of the funniest/cutest true cat stories I know.

Mickey was a large, neutered Russian Blue.  Grace was a small, petite, Russian Blue kitten (about 3 months old at the time). 

We lived in an apartment complex and were having a problem with mice.  Because there were so many cats in the complex, the manager was very reluctant to put out poison for fear of killing off cats as well as the mice.  So the tenants were given mouse traps which were actually metal boxes that had a way in but no way out.  If the tenant was squeamish about killing something caught in the trap, the maintenance man would come and dispose of the victim.

Mickey loved that box.  He always knew when something had been caught and it was his treat to dispose of the victim.  All we had to do was open up the box and he would quickly grab the mouse and run off to play with it.  He rarely ate it or even made it bloody but he would kill it and then leave it for us to pick up and throw away.

Grace also wanted to play with the mice and she always hung around Mickey, sometimes for an hour or more, with the hope of taking the mouse away from him.  Because he was quite large (12-15 lbs.) and she was quite small (less than a pound), she rarely got one.  However, one day she just couldn't contain herself and decided she would take drastic measures to get the mouse.

Mickey always played with the mouse in the kitchen.  He had a clear view of Grace when she would be near and never let he even close to the mouse, turning away from her whenever she got close.  One morning, however, she didn't go around to face him when he turned away from her, shielding the mouse with his body.  Instead, she crept up on his tail and bit it!  He yowled, dropping the mouse and, as he turned to look at her, she swept the mouse up and disappeared under a shelf that he couldn't get under.  He didn't see that mouse again.  After that, we started alternating which kitty got the mouse.

Yvonne Rowe
9 years ago
Snow white and the Seven Dwarfs (and Olly!)

I stood outside the Aviary and looked in at its few remaining inhabitants. Two very old female Cockatiel who took it in turn to sit all summer on their infertile eggs (no male!) three Budgies and an impudent Dimorphic Canary who looked like a robin, sang like an Angel and beat up any other bird that dared to approach it! Something had to be done! As it a fair sized Aviary I wondered about the possibility of having Quail to live in the bottom of it? and perhaps a male Cockatiel to keep the two lonely females happy?

Things happened very quickly, as they usually do once you begin to plan! Debbie phoned me to say that there were Quail for sale in a local paper. In no time at all we were travelling home with what looked like seven tiny chickens in a box!  We put them directly in with the other birds and they very soon began to settle down. At two and a half weeks they would soon adapt to the new surroundings. The Canary who we name General Sod (for obvious reasons) was totally delighted with them and spent all of his time on the floor of the Aviary feeding and running around with them. Instead of serenading us he flirted outrageously with all seven! (well named I say! the reason we had him at all was because he has pecked his last partner to death!) they of course ignored him!

Just as we had begun to get accustomed to the strange almost turkey like noises in the garden every morning, I was in local pet shop with Jayne and saw a most beautiful pure white young budgie. she looked sad in her tiny cage so of course she had to come too! Thus we now had Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! things were beginning to look a little busier!

Then, as I began to despair of ever getting a male Cockatiel for my two lonely females I was phoned by a woman locally who had a very much loved, one year old yellow male! (both our females are yellow) but as she was out all day and "Olly" was left on his own, he had become very destructive and it was plain to see that he would be happier with more company of his own kind. We invited her over with Olly to see if she thought that he would be happy in our garden.

She thought the situation would be ideal for him, and I suggested that both she and her daughter should visit regularly with Olly so that they didn't feel too bad about losing him. So we gained not only Olly, but new friends too! as we had never named the two females we now thought that it was the right time to do so. Behold! Olly, Molly and Polly!!! Olly settled in very well and as I entered the cage on the first morning of his new life with us, he wished me "Good Morning!" and proceeded to tell me what a "pretty boy" he was!

As I left he was earnestly telling Polly that he was pretty ----she  sat with her head on one side and looked at him  in a decidedly puzzled fashion! can Cockatiel teach each other to talk? I hope not! Goodness knows what the cats might pick up from them!

I notice yesterday that General Sod has abandoned his seven friends and gone back to singing!

All is as it should be in the Aviary, busy, colourful and full of interesting sounds! The quail look so contented sand bathing and scratching in the bottom of the cage, just like very small chickens-------I'd forgotten how much I like chickens---so soothing as they contentedly scratch and peck---and that lovely funny little noise they make when their happy--- and there's that bit at the end of the garden ----could be perfect for a couple of  spoilt hens if we fence it off---- and the fresh eggs!!!!! ----I went to search for Husband who, reading my mind as usual was hiding in his shed!

Be careful of the messages that you put out to the universe, it just might answer back!!!

Saturday morning! after a very busy week I got up late, showered and wandered downstairs collecting the local week-end paper from the hall as I passed. Looking at the front page,

9 years ago

I see a picture of four gorgeous abandoned kittens, poor little things were found huddled together in the wind and rain, starving and cold! luckily they were found, and were recovering with the local CPL. Two of them are the image of our lost Broc, (see above)  I was so tempted! so easy to pick up the phone and offer the two of them a home, I am well know to the CPL, and they know that our cats are all petted lumps! But reason prevailed! pretty kittens are always easy to re-home, and we had long ago decided that in future only the most needy, old, infirm or anti social and traumatised cats would be considered for a place here....if there was a place to let!.....

Later in the day, I told my friend Shona about the kittens, and how near I had been to making that phone call!....we joked!...I said "Well we do have a vacancy....perhaps I should just make a little sign saying...To for one feline...old age no problem...(Kittens need not apply)....."  I should have known!!! If you put that sort of offer out to the Universe...someone will reply!

Picture this! The Monday morning after, the Great Goddess Baste (cat Goddess) looks down from her gilded throne in the Hall of the Gods! One of her subjects is about to have a long and productive incarnation terminated, her owner is being taken in to a home for the elderly, he is told at the last minute that there is not room for "Trina" his 16 year old friend and companion. there is nowhere for her to go....except to the vets... aha! but what does the Great Goddess hear?...a little voice in the distance.........Later in the morning, the phone rings...

"Hello Mrs Green...this is the Buckie Vets...I wonder if you could help us?

9 years ago
The Story of Mickey

By Helena Booth

My next door neighbour found a cat living in the bus shelter near our house, everyday when she went to catch her bus he would be sitting in the bus stop , looking up at her with his big, sad eyes, all he wanted was someone to tickle his head! She felt sorry for him, and started taking food and milk for him on 2 saucers, but when she headed home with the saucers he would follow. She placed posters on lampposts , bus stop, saying ‘FOUND’ and a photo, description and her phone number, no one enquired. She felt she couldn’t continue to feed him at the bus stop, no one had owned up to him being theirs, so she let him in her home. Mickey shared his new home with 2 other cats, both females, one old, the other only a kitten, a jack russell, (who Mickey was not afraid of) and 2 hamsters. Mickey was the only cat out of the three who would jump up on my neighbours knee, curl up and go to sleep. Mickey never came on our garden, so I never saw him, my neighbour told me the whole story.

Mickey was now settled after 3 years of living with my neighbour, but she was moving, only a few roads away. Mickey obviously couldn’t settle at his new home and preferred to live at his old house. This is when I had my first sightings of Mickey, he sat at our door waiting to get in, we didn’t let him in as we didn’t know who he belonged to. The next day there was a knock at our door, it was our old neighbour, she was looking for Mickey, she eventually found him and took him home. This repeatedly happened week after week, it lasted for about 3 months. She decided to put butter on his paws so that he would stay there, lick the butter off, then go to sleep, then put some more on, this didn’t work, he walked back to our house and licked it off whilst sat on our path. In the end she would bring tins of food to our house each week for us to feed him as he was getting thin, as he hardly ate anything in his new home.

Mickey now lives at our house, he has done for 2½ years (we have no idea how old he is). He follows me to the bus stop, whilst I wait for the bus he sits on the wall behind and meows to me, when the bus comes he jumps off the wall and goes home. He has his own bed, If I’m sat watching TV he will come and find me, and with no encouragement he will jump up on my knee for a cuddle and tickle.

He is mine now as our old neighbours no longer bring him food. So Mickey has lived in a few different places, but he is now happy and settled with me and my family.

9 years ago
They think they can do as they like with me.

Jonas, the persian tomcat
Tomcat Jonas' story.
I remember the time when I was quite small , and I lived with my mother in Prague.
I was the smallest, most peaceful, and dirtiest tomcat. When my new people fetched me, my new Missus put me in the sink, and gave me the once over with plenty of shampoo to make me look presentable. That was most revolting, and I will never forget the blow-drying.

Then we went a long way in one of these stinking cars. First I went to sleep, but after a while it got so boring that I drew attention to myself thoroughly with my little voice.
My new Missus let me sit on her knee, and I could look out at last! Twice we left the stinky vehicle, they put a funny lead on me, and I was able to move about a little.
At last we reached our destination in the early morning. First they put me in the bathroom, I knew where to do my business anyway, I was not as stupid as the people thought! Afterwards my Missus introduced me to a large old grey tomcat.
That was BOOBOO.
At first I was frightened and shy, but then I tried a few of the games I used to play with my brother, but Booboo gave me a slap in the face. Slowly I learned and discovered what was allowed, and what I shouldn't do, and later we enjoyed each other's company.

The best times I had with Heleni. She was the daughter-in-law, and she was at home nearly all day long. Early in the morning everybody else disappeared, only she stayed in her bed. She had such beautiful long black frizzily hair. I was thrilled, and jumped exactly on to her hair, and played there. Meouw that was niiiice!! She laughed a lot, and cuddled me, and spoke to me in a foreign tongue. It was Greek. Many things I have forgotten since, but I believe if she was to return today, I would know what everything means, don't you think so ...?

With Booboo I was allowed out in the garden, that was most interesting! There I could be really boisterous. Only if the big Rambo-cat from next door came, did I hide behind Booboo. Booboo made himself look real big, and stupid Rambo disappeared.

Years went by, I grew a little larger, but I am still a lightweight. Booboo grew old, and suddenly he was gone, and I never saw him again. It was rather boring without the old chap.

My Heleni went away too. After a long time she returned, and was accompanied by a little child, her daughter. I did not like her, so I ran away. These little monsters don't know how to treat us cats. They pull our tail or ears, and that is no fun, and sometimes it even hurts. In due course the little one grew bigger, and understood what I enjoyed or detested. If she comes visiting now I use her as a door opener. Sometimes she gives me goodies too.

Jonas in voller Pracht
My favourite is my Missus. She grants me a lot of freedom, only cuddles me if I want her to, and gives me my favourite goodies.
Unfortunately she is the one with the most hated stupid comb too!
The combing is worst in winter, that is when I have very much, long hair because I am a Persian cat. I couldn't care less if my hair gets matted while I roll about underneath the sweet-smelling bushes ! Regrettably she does care a lot about it, always wants to comb me, meow! Sometimes it does hurt. That is why I refused to be combed last winter - but what good did it do me? She took me to the vet and he
shaved off the knots and all my fur of my rear, my legs, and half my tail !!!!!
Now what do I look like? One is absolutely embarrassed! Oh, I was so ashamed. Everybody laughed, most of all my neighbour, but I'll repay him, I'll do all my business in his garden now! Ha, ha, ha !!!
Jonas_nackt1      Jonas_nackt3

9 years ago
My pet hate is when my people go away. I know what's going on when I see bags and suitcases standing in the hallway. That means: I will be all by myself, there will be someone coming in only to give me food. During this time I am not allowed out in the garden - a very boring time for me ...
Once I punished my people for this sort of behaviour. Quickly I disappeared out of the door in front of the son, and hid in the cellar next door. For a whole week !!! Everyone was out looking for me, my people were on the phone all day long, the son put out 'Lost cat' notes all over the area, and I stayed quietly in the basement.
I had enough water, and food I did not miss while out on this revenge!!
A week later the daughter of the neighbours found me, and I had to go home.
What a welcome I got!! They were all very friendly towards me, nobody was cross.
I enjoyed it tremendously.

What I also enjoy very much is to lay on an easy chair in the conservatory up till about
9 pm. Then I demand of my Missus to let me out into the garden. She always says:
'until 11 of/clock, then you come home!' Ha,ha,ha!! Sometimes I do this, then she is very proud and tells other people, I probably have a watch in my bottom, but other times I can't be bothered to return home, if there is such interesting company outside.
There are many of us cats about in the neighbourhood. Occasionally it has happened
that I have been late, and the door was locked. In the summer I couldn't care less, but if it rains or it is cold, then I have to sleep on the outside window sill of the cellar, and that is not comfortable at all!

Another game I do love is hiding. Then everyone is on the lookout for me. The search is hopeless, because I have my hiding places and they don't know where these are!
Because my fur is pitch black I am not easily seen. Between the bags in a cupboard
for instance, or as last time on the outside window sill on the first floor, with the window open. Once my Missus closed the window, and left me out there. I ask you !!!
I let it be known loudly, but human beings do seem to be hard of hearing, they could not figure out where my voice was coming from. I also favour a tree to hide in with nobody knowing where I am. These are my most enjoyable times.

I always say: you can do as you like with me - AS LONG AS I LET YOU !

Meow, love from Jonas

Translation by Ingrid Herron
9 years ago
Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat

There's a whisper down the line at 11:39
When the Night Mail's ready to depart,
Saying 'Skimble where is Skimble has he gone to hunt the thimble?
We must find him or the train can't start.'
All the guards and all the porters and the stationmaster's daughters
They are searching high and low,
Saying 'Skimble where is Skimble for unless he's very nimble
Then the Night Mail just can't go.'
At 11:42 then the signal's nearly due
And the passengers are frantic to a man -
Then Skimble will appear and he'll saunter to the rear:
He's been busy in the luggage van!
He gives one flash of his glass-green eyes
And the signal goes 'All Clear!'
And we're off at last for the northern part
Of the Northern Hemisphere!

You may say that by and large it is Skimble who's in charge
Of the Sleeping Car Express.
From the driver and the guards to the bagmen playing cards
He will supervise them all, more or less.
Down the corridor he paces and examines all the faces
Of the travellers in the First and in the Third;
He establishes control by a regular patrol
And he'd know at once if anything occurred.
He will watch you without winking and he sees what you are thinking
And it's certain that he doesn't approve
Of hilarity and riot, so the folk are very quiet
When Skimble is about and on them ove.
You can play no pranks with Skimbleshanks!
He's a Cat that cannot be ignored;
So nothing goes wrong on the Northern Mail
When Skimbleshanks is aboard.

Oh it's very pleasant when you have found your little den
With your name written up on the door.
And the berth is very neat with a newly folded sheet
And there's not a speck of dust on the floor.
There is every sort of light - you can make it dark or bright;
There's a button that you turn to make a breeze.
There's a funny little basin you're supposed to wash your face in
And a crank to shut the window if you sneeze.
Then the guard looks in politely and will ask you very brightly
'Do you like your morning tea weak or strong?'
But Skimble's just behind him and was ready to remind him,
For Skimble won't let anything go wrong.
And when you creep into your cosy berth
And pull up the counterpane,
You are bound to admit that it's very nice
To know that you won't be bothered by mice -
You can leave all that to the Railway Cat,
The Cat of the Railway Train!

In the middle of the night he is always fresh and bright;
Every now and then he has a cup of tea
With perhaps a bit of Catnip while he's keeping on the watch,
Only stopping here and there to catch a flea.
You were fast asleep at Crewe and so you never knew
That he was walking up and down the station;
You were sleeping all the while he was busy at Carlisle,
Where he greets the stationmaster with elation.
But you saw him at Dumfries, where he summons the policeIf there's anything they ought to know about:
When you get to Gallowgate there you do not have to wait -

For Skimbleshanks will help you to get out!
He gives you a wave of his long brown tail
Which says: 'I'll see you again!
You'll meet without fail on the Midnight Mail
The Cat of the Railway Train.'

T S Elliot

9 years ago

We have had that storm here the last few days. Well tonight our sirens went off for a tornado. After last year's tornado killing eight high school students and taking up a good part of town, they don't mess around much anymore.

The siren blasts so I go to turn on the radio and look on the computer so I know what is going on. I grab my digital camera and go outside to see if I can catch anything. My neighbor, Alvin, aged 69, jumps in his truck, speeds off like a madman. I am thinking, "Gee, he must know something I don't know..." I told my husband, and his idea was maybe his daughter lives near where the tornado is or something. About 15 min later he comes back and I see his cat, Fred, riding on the dash. He said that Fred howls every night to go for a ride and it just happened to coincide with the sirens tonight.

This was the man who swore he would not take him in. But five years ago I worked on him really hard... and one day he did. Someone had shot Fred with a BB gun so Alvin said "No more" and took him in. He then built a 12 foot high enclosure (a fortress) in his back yard so Fred could "go out - since he was an outside type of guy."

Now is that a sweet man or what? Anyway I just had to share with someone who would appreciate a man driving off in a tornado to take his cat for a spin.

This is how Alvin takes Fred out to the truck.

Buddies in a truck.
This is the two of them side by side in the truck.

Alvin said that Fred was an outside kind of guy...
So he had three men out build a fence so that Fred could go out in the mornings to take a walk.

Copyright © Tracy Jordan
August 26, 2008

9 years ago
Godzilla the Cat

"Ahh!" the little animals, mice and bugs screamed as they ran down the streets. Cats jumped up high into the trees, dogs climbed the hydrants. "Godzilla" they all yelled. And here came Godzilla, my 25 pound studmuffin, Blackie J. Cat. Biggest cat on the block. This 13-year-old flexed his pudgy muscles and yawned as his abnormally long fangs frightened other animals into submission. Including myself. I could only stand there in awe as this gigantic fat furrball trotted his way into my heart. From the very first "Errr" out of his throat, I was infatuated. And not a single soul could come between us for the next 6 years. Through triumph and trial, thick (very thick) and thin, we were inseparable. But I am getting ahead of myself. My Blackie was the monstrosity of the neighborhood, biggest cat on the block. And he was all mine. It started in 1993 I would guess, 6 years ago.

A Rustle in the Brush

A hot summery day and I, Calista, was turning ten. The big two digits, yeah, I was cool. It never really dawned on me about how I needed someone like Blackie until that very day. I was pretty new to the neighborhood, we had just moved there. I had a few friends, no one close. My parents and I ate our dinner outside on the patio of our fairly large backyard, inground pool and everything. Um, lets see, dinner ended, present, present, present, rustle, ah okay, here we are. The noises I heard behind me. I being the curious ten year old turn and see a regualar, meduim weight, large build, cat looking up at me. Yellow/green eyes glowed and little fangs peaked out of his half-grinning mouth. That was technically my first cat, since the one we had before that I barely knew, I was too young. The cat jumped up onto the deck and showed himself off. My parents were coming back outside and the cat took off. I didn't say anything to my parents. I may have been young, but I knew better.

So months past and I didn't see my little friend, I began to lose hope, and memory.

September soon rolled around, and school. Ugg, no one likes school. But one thing did make it memorable for me. The cat came back, the very next day. Oh the cat came back, I thought he was a goner, but the cat came back, he just couldn't stay away. Anyway, there he was, the cat, my cat. Soon to be called Blackie, this patient ball of raggedy fluff follow me everywhere outside. He even came to the front porch to wait for me when I was at school, I later learned. And he became the biggest thing in my life. My new best friend, Blackie J. Cat.

Copyright © Calista RubyTyger
April 8, 1999

9 years ago
A Day the Sun Shines

"Where is she? I can't go to sleep at night unless she's here!" I think to myself. I'd normally pace nervously about, but I'm too old and tired for that now. So I'll just sit here in the hallway and wait.

And wait. And wait.

And wait.

After what seems like forever, there is a sudden noise that echoes through the sleeping house. The door. The squeaky noise of the door opening! I run wildly to the door.

"Oh she's home! She's home!" I say frantically.

She walks through the door, saying good-bye to some other person. Just as I come sliding in the living room across the new wood floors, she halts her conversations with that person to acknowledge me.

"Oh!" she exclaims and opens her arms, "Gimmi hugs!" I run to jump into her embrace. "Aww... You missed me, didn't you?" she says while reaching that itch behind my ear, "I'm sorry I was out so late."

"You better believe you were out late! I've been sitting in this hallway forever!" I think to myself. I don't say anything, and just relish in the massage. She takes me into the bedroom after saying good-bye to that other person and turning out all the lights.

Just as we enter her bedroom, though, there is another noise at the door. "Go to bed," she says while putting me on the floor, "I'll be right back." She heads to the living room while I'm right on her heels. Yeah, like I'll just stay put. She walks back into the living room and goes to the piano to turn on the light. Just as I am about to jump on the bench to be closer to her, she steps on me! I love her and miss her so much, and what does she do!? She steps on me!

"MEEEOOOWWW!!!" I scream and run to my secret hiding place. How dare she.

"Oh no!" She says, "Sunshine, sweetie? Are you OK? I didn't mean to! I'm sorry, sweetie. Where did you go? I'm really sorry, sweetie, I didn't mean to step on you!"

Someone yells something from another room.

"What? What did you say?" she asks.

"What in the world was that noise!?" the voice asks.

"I stepped on the cat! She's really pissed at me now. I can't find her anywhere,"

"Well, just go to bed. It's so late,"

"She'll be scratching at my door all night if I don't,"

"Don't take too long. Get to bed,"

She wonders aimlessly about the house searching for me. She's never fond me here before. Finally, she shakes my food dish. I don't fall for that old trick anymore. She's used it one too many times. Next she actually tries to fool me by shaking the bag that holds my food. Silly girl. That isn't enough to drag me from this hiding place.

Finally she leaves my sight, and I hear the familiar sound of the door that drags on the floor. My mouth begins to water. Following is the wonderful, delicious "tinking" sound.


9 years ago



It's the sound of canned food. It's the sound of when she opens that delightful, luscious, ambrosial can of food. I love canned food. This whole thing is probably another trick to get me to leave my hiding place -- but -- I can't resist. I have to see if she'll really give me that food! I run quickly into the kitchen, and end up sliding half way across the linoleum floor. There she is, like a beautiful Goddess holding a heavenly can of food.

"There you are!"

She places the can on the counter, and walks towards me. I'm defeated. It was all a trick. She won. I don't argue as she picks me up. She walks around turning off all the lights while lightly massaging my head. She knows how to win me over. Just two minutes ago I was so angry with her, and here she is now giving me a wonderful massage.

We finally get to the bedroom; she puts me down by the desk and crawls into bed to read. I sit quietly for a time and contemplate my loss. She made me wait for hours to go to sleep, then steps on me (which really hurt, by the way!), and then fools me with threats of tasty foods. Yet, she sure does give good massages. She's always around for a hug. She lets me cuddle inside blankets, and lay on soft pillows, while the other two people who live here do not. Well, I've always forgiven her before, like when she washed me with toxins, cut my whiskers off, allowed that evil other cat into my bedroom, and went through a phase where she wouldn't let me go. Yet, that evil cat is gone because she would beat me up, and she always takes my side when the dog decides to annoy me. She even helps me keep the dog out of my territory! She's a good kid. I finally jump up onto her lap and fall asleep as her fingers lightly graze my back.

Copyright © Kathleen Coyne
July 1, 2001

9 years ago
Tale of the socks


We adopted Weaner when she was thirteen years old. Weaner is a truly pathetic creature, but she is one of my all-time favorite pets. Weaner is frighteningly skinny. She weighs all of 4 1/2 pounds. She has no claws, and most of her teeth are just little nubs. When she opens her mouth, it is truly repulsive. She has a calico coat, and lips that are mostly black. I say mostly because in one corner of her mouth her lips aren't black, they're very light pink. This creates the optical illusion that her mouth is crooked. Despite her unappealing physical appearance, she is the most affectionate animal I've ever known.

So here's her story:

One night while my girlfriend and I were having dinner in the dining room, we heard long trilling cat cries coming from the bedroom. At first they were quite faint, and I wasn't sure what I had heard. The cries became louder and more insistent. When I realized it was a cat sound, coming from my bedroom, I was flushed with worry. It sounded like she was caught in a leg trap or something! We raced to the bedroom and flipped on the light to find Weaner sitting in the middle of the room. She just looked at us, blinking because of the light. Nothing. Not a thing was wrong. The look on her face was one of mild curiosity. "What do you want?" she was seeming to say.

My girlfriend and I looked around the room to see if we could figure out what the commotion was about. Nothing. We asked Weaner what she was doing, but she just looked at us like we were crazy.

The next evening, at the same hour, the same thing happened. Again we heard her crying longer and louder with a strange trill in her voice. Again we rushed in and turned on the light. Same reaction from the cat... "What's your problem?" she seemed to be asking. This time she was in one corner of the room. Next to her on the floor was a single athletic sock. It caught my eye, not because its uncommon for a sock to be on the floor (for all you female readers, it was my girlfriend's sock, not mine) but because it was the wrong corner of the room for a sock to be. When I thought about it, I realized that the night before there had been one single sock on the floor next to her too. I pointed this correlation out to my girlfriend and received a by now all-too-common "You're crazy" look.

Night three: No dinner interruption, but shortly after lights-out, Weaner puts on an encore performance. This time we were in bed in the same room. The crying started out very faint and then rose in pitch and volume. Weaner had such a strange trill in her voice, it sounded other-worldly, not like a cat at all. It was almost lyrical. Sort of a cross between purring and singing. Consumed with curiosity, I jumped out of bed and flipped on the light. There she was, in the middle of the floor, with an athletic sock on the floor next to her. She just looked at me and blinked. This was driving me crazy! What on earth was she doing? Was she mothering these socks or romancing them?

This went on for seven months. That is to say that she carried on like this for seven months. I gave up trying to figure out what she was doing. after the first week or so.

Then one evening, my girlfriend and I were watching TV in the living room with the lights out. That's when we heard the sound... and it was getting closer. We both sat very still, not wanting to disturb Weaner from her... whatever. As we watched, she came down the hall towards the living room with a single athletic sock clenched between her little black lips. She had it by the toe, and the long tube sock dragged underneath her, causing her to walk bow-legged, tripping and staggering. All the while, she trilled louder and louder. When she made it to the carpet, she dropped the sock and rolled on it, still trilling louder and louder. We sat agog in the blue light of the television, watching a ritual never before seen by human eyes. It was like an episode of National Geographic. And then BAM! a noise from the TV startled Weaner from her ceremony. She instantly became aware of her audience and in the blink of an eye she was sitting up, next to the sock, looking at us like "What do you want?"

Since that one episode, we have never seen her perform the sock ritual again. We still hear her, and we often find individual socks in strange places like the middle of the kitchen floor.

At first, all I wanted to know was what she was doing with the sock. Now that I know, I have just one question: Why???

Copyright © Bill Jones
July 29, 1998

9 years ago
Brazil Nut Fetish


My 9 month old Maggie has a thing for brazil nuts.

Since she was big enough to jump onto the kitchen benches, shes up there regularly, fishing a brazil nut from the bowl of mixt nuts, then taking it off to play with. She puts them behind things, fishes them out with varying degrees of creativity, then puts them back and gets them out a different way, maybe from a different direction.

She puts them in our shoes then tries to retrieve them, but this is a tricky one. Usually she sits there growling and swearing because she cant get them out, till someone comes along and tips them out for her. The other day she put one in an empty tissue box, stuck her head inside, then ran round backwards crashing into everything when her head got stuck. Moving furniture to vacuum usually produces a selection of brazil nuts that I then return to the bowl on the bench, for Mags to collect later in the day.

I have found brazil nuts in my car and in bowls in the kitchen cupboards if a door has been left open. One memorable, stressful day I found one in my handbag while I was out, causing me to smile and think warm kitty thoughts and feel much better! I have found them in my bed in the wee small hours, and once on my computer keyboard, a hint perhaps?

I have never had a cat with such an attachment to anything before. Has anyone else encountered this? It really is the cutest thing to see her off to find a good place to play, brazil nut in her mouth!

Copyright © Ros Grams
July 18, 1998

9 years ago
Hopie the cat: 28 was one too many

Hopie the cat was not the most affectionate being in the world, but she was had a "just" good enough a personality that she was fun to have around and sometimes actually acted like a "regular" pet (she was likely ill during those instances). Often she would grant the privilege of allowing herself to be petted for a few brief moments. You never knew if she would just sit there (very lucky), get up and leave or take a little nip of the hand that fed her and bought her treats at the Safeway.

One evening I was bored and decided to do some cat science to answer the important question "how many times I could kiss Hopie the cat on the forehead before she would have enough and would walk away." She was sitting on the end of the waterbed in her own private corner with both front paws folded underneath her - acting as if she owned the place. So I started to kiss her on the forehead (she would usually put up with one or two). I figured she would split on about number six or seven. But no. Five times - Hopie still purring apparently appreciating the special attention.
Ten times - Hopie gets bored.
Fifteen times - Hopie considering leaving.
Twenty times - Hopie looks annoyed.
Twenty-five times - I am pushing my luck.
Twenty-six and twenty-seventh kiss on forehead - way past sane.
Seems as if Hopie will put up with 27 kisses on the forehead but not one more. Twenty-eight times was over the threshold. She whipped out both front paws and wonked me on each side of chin and had her hands folded back underneath her before I could blink. The cat was a magnificent boxer with lightening fast reflexes (fairly safe bet she would have leveled Tyson). After dying from cancer two years ago, Hopie is up in Kitty Heaven, probably smacking somebody in the head for annoying her. What a cat!

What did I learn?

1) I had way too much free time on my hands a few years ago,
2) Hopie the cat did run the place, and
3) 28 times is one too many.
Hopie "this Bonkers is for you wherever you are!"

Copyright © Tim Pfohl
October 12, 1998

Rebel with a Cause
9 years ago

Source of Photograph.....

Squirrel came to us as a kitten.

Friends had found the wild tiger boy in the woods. Because we live on a farm, they called to see if we might be interested in him. At the time we only had two cats living here, so we agreed to take him.

He was feisty -- a little monster in fact. He would puff and arch and posture at everything on legs, two or four. Over time, he became used to us and even grew to love the attention.

Then came his teenage years. No animal was safe from Squirrel. He would pounce on the dogs, he would grab our legs as we walked past the chair he perched on, but his favorite activity of all was harassing Skeeter. Skeeter is a twelve-year-old Siamese who came to live on the farm late in life. Prior to that he had been an only pet and an indoor one at that.

The past few months have been filled with Squirrel attacks and poor Skeeter has taken the brunt of it. It seemed as if Squirrel would never tire of harassing, haranguing, and causing chaos. Skeeter, on the other hand, is a mellow old guy who really loves nothing more than meditating for lengthy sessions in front of one of the various heaters in the house. We began to wonder if peace would ever reign in the house again.

Then came the turning point.

Skeeter had gotten himself in a fix. In a moment of Siamese passion, he attacked a strange dog and the dog put him promptly up a tree. There sat old Skeet, a good twenty feet up on the first branch. Then it started to sleet. What a day for our heater-worshipping kitty to get himself in such a fix. We thought, "Surely he'll come down now." But no, there he sat, mewing and crying, and turning from one side to the other, staring down the trunk of that tree.

We brought out a can of cat food, pulling back the tab to let out the familiar "whoosh" sound that usually brings him running. It brought the excited meows, but he just couldn't bring himself to come down that tree. This was going to be a long afternoon.

We ran out to run a quick errand, hoping that surely Skeeter would come down and would slip through the cat door back into the safety of his warm house.

When we got back we looked immediately to the tree. Not only was Skeeter in the tree, but Squirrel was too. "Oh no" we said, "let's hope Squirrel doesn't knock him off that branch."

But Squirrel had other plans. He meowed a bit to Skeeter, then like a telephone lineman going down a pole, Squirrel backed down the tree, tail end first. When he reached the bottom, he crouched, his head craned upwards to watch Skeeter. For a few moments Skeeter explored his branch, then ever so slowly he positioned himself as Squirrel had. Within a few moments, Skeeter, with a look of abject terror on his face, scooted down the tree following Squirrel's example. When he reached the bottom he shook himself all over and Squirrel, who had not moved from his watchful position until that moment, came rushing over to sniff him. Then turning, Squirrel led the old guy towards his humans and the open door. Once Skeeter was safely inside, Squirrel turned and bounded across the yard.

That darn cat had showed Skeeter how to climb down the tree!

9 years ago

Squirrel had grown up. Our adolescent terror had become a loving and concerned friend to a tired old man. Skeeter still seems grateful to him, and Squirrel goes a little easier on him these days. But Squirrel hasn't stopped with Skeeter. Another kitten, in the very image of Squirrel, was dumped off at our farm. Squirrel found her a warm place to sleep in the barn, and alerted us humans to her presence. He checks on her often and greets her with kisses and rubs. When he enters the barn he calls to her as a mother would. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he leads her in through the cat door right onto the bed.

Our little Squirrel has gone from wild child, to teenage hoodlum, to caring gentle friend. We are blessed to have him on our farm.

Copyright © Jennifer Robinson

9 years ago
Mama Katt

Thought I would share a story about one of my special feline friends. I have four indoor cats (3 male, 1 female) that have shared our home for a few years now. But, after a recent move, we had a MaMa Katt to adopt us and grace us with a beautiful litter of kittens in our garage. She has been spayed and there will be no more kittens from her. We have elected to keep the two remaining kittens (the other 3 were placed in loving homes) and they are about 4 months old now. She is a marvel to watch and it amazes me how she teaches them everything they need to know in order to grow into ferocious felines.

So as not to upset my indoor cats, the new additions to the family sleep in the garage which has been outfitted with toys, beds, litter boxes and a vast array of wet and dry food bowls. There is a kitty door installed on the garage door and they are able to come and go as they like. I have been bringing the kittens inside in the evenings for a few hours before bedtime, so that I may enjoy their antics. On one occasion, I was putting the kittens in the garage for the night and right in the middle of the carpet (yes, I have put a large carpet in the garage for them) there was a mouse, but MaMa was nowhere to be seen. Charlie (female kitten) Instinctively knew that MaMa had brought her this present and joyfully jumped and grabbed the poor rodent in her mouth. She proceeded to toss him in the air and play before she devoured him. I watched for a minute and wondered why the other kitten did not try to take the morsel away. Suddenly MaMa rushed in through the kitty door with an equally tantalizing treat for Max (male kitten) who repeated the playful antics of his sister. MaMa sat back proudly and watched her offspring enjoying their gifts as if they were children opening presents on Christmas morning. These gifts arrive regularly and in more active states in order to create avid hunters.

I am amazed daily by MaMa's nurturing and teaching techniques and hope she graces me with her presence for a long time.

Copyright © Cheryl Valadez
Why Am I Surprised?
9 years ago

clembaby01.jpg A baby picture taken just after she came to our home from the shelter, following the obligatory flea bath. She looked so angelic, who knew she'd grow up to be a ? clemgrown01.jpg The current Clemmie, absorbed in the front-yard bird show. Since she's not allowed outdoors unsupervised, she has no idea of hunting - but she loves to watch!

Okay, so I bought these fancy "gourmet" cat treats: a buck-fifty, but I had a 50-cent coupon and Safeway doubled it, so my actual net outlay was only 50 cents, but Clementine doesn't know that, does she? She's supposed to be impressed by the elegant black pouch they came in and the fact that they're crunchy little pillows with creamy centers, "Roasted Chicken" flavored, and anyway, lately she's been willing to eat pretty much anything because she's been on a weight-loss regimen for almost a year now and she's ravenous all the time.

I brought them into the house and opened the package immediately, thinking to impress my darling with the depth of my devotion. Well, don't you know the ungrateful beast won't touch them? She did lick the first one I offered her and made a couple of half-hearted attempts to pick it up, but they're too big for her dainty little mouth, or something. The next day I tried them in our morning game, which involves skittering treats across the smooth kitchen and front hall floors so she can chase, capture and eat them. She chased and captured, but then perceived that what she had caught was one of the unworthy new treats; she gave me The Look over her shoulder, then turned 180 degrees and sat on the thing. I'm slow, but I get there eventually. I realize that Clemmie is Not Going To Eat these things. Darned Cat!

Postscript: I gave the rejected treats to a friend, who lives with one Supreme Being and two d-pets; Samantha Jane, orange tabby, sniffed them and made the "Are You Trying to Poison Me?!" face, but the d*gs consumed them with relish.

Copyright © Linda St.Laurence
June 15, 2001

A Tiger turns into a Pussycat
9 years ago

Source of Photograph.....

We are all animals -- hungry for warmth but fearful of pain, some more skittish than others. Our families call us impossible.

That's why I like this little story, shared with me by Grosse Pointe dentist Ed Vermet. It is about an elderly feral cat. But it strikes me as a parable of the human condition.

When Ed and his wife, Chris, met the black-and-white kitten more than 16 years ago, Ed dubbed it Stumpy for its short legs. It was a wild cat, fed by a neighbor, that spent mornings on the Vermets' sunny porch, rubbing against the window, pawing at their fingers as they drew them across the glass.

They decided Stumpy might make a fine companion for Oreo, a cat they adopted when they were newly married. But Stumpy could not be lured inside. Only a humane trap finally confined her.

After spaying, while she was still woozy from drugs, the couple petted her fine fur and imagined a happy future.

They would not touch her again for many years.

Love goes one way

Stumpy in full consciousness was not a social cat, except for curling into a ball with Oreo to sleep. She lived in the basement. She slashed at any hand that approached. She scooted at any glance.

She told the family, in effect: "I'll take your food. But to hell with your affection."

Ed told me: "I grew to hate Stumpy."

Chris, however, "always came to her defense." She changed the cat's humiliating name to Checkers, although that didn't change its nature.

When the Vermets moved, Ed argued for leaving Checkers behind.

Chris could not. "We took her in. We couldn't let her out again."

She drugged Checkers' food, three nights in a row, in increasing doses until, protected by two heavy coats and three pair of gloves, she and a neighbor wrestled the cat into a cage.

At the new address, Checkers found the basement and stayed there.

Purr for the course

Time passed. Oreo died, and the three Vermet children longed for pets, so two adopted kittens joined the family. Pixie and Princess loved to be handled, hanging out in the kitchen, the warm heart of the home.

Checkers noticed. Growing deaf and stiff with arthritis, Checkers began to nibble from the kittens' kitchen food and let Pixie and Princess share from her dish. She began to sleep in the sun upstairs.

Ed still considered her pitiful. She had become a wheezer, and he called her Darth Vader.

Then this spring, one ordinary evening, Chris reached for Checkers, as she had hundreds of unsatisfying times, and her fingers met fur. Checkers let Chris gently scratch behind her ears and, every day thereafter, enjoyed everyone's touch without complaint, as if making up for lost time.

Last Sunday, after a Mother's Day brunch, Ed walked into the family room to find his wife asleep on the sofa and Checkers nestled at her neck.

He took a picture.

"I never would have believed it," he told me, "but apparently love found a way."

Love and time and patience.

Copyright ©

9 years ago
Speaker Incident

Daft Joe
Daft Joe

I bought the cats some "kitty treats" on Saturday, and (having been confronted by a smiling purring cat lying next to a ripped-open bag once too often - hey, I learn quickly (after four times...!), placed the bag on the top shelf in the living room:

shelf 1: Amplifier (and normally a cat.)
shelf 2: Hi-fi/video gear (no room for cat.)
shelf 3: Videos (occasional cat.)
shelf 4: CD's. Plenty of them. Stacked all higgledy-piggledy, due to... well, just messy. no excuse. And a bag of kitty-treats. Oh yes.

Bag is a self-seal type, so odour should be minimal. I assume that Daft Joe spots bag using optical technology. Jumps on top of nearby speaker (normal path to shelf 3, occasional domain of Coffee Bean.) Instead of the one foot jump to shelf, a mighty leap to shelf 4, domain of cd untidiness and kitty-bits...

Most of DJ's body lands on stacked cd cases, but back legs not quite making contact. They start to spin in circles, shooting CD's and cases across room like a mad, crazed toaster. They really do fly quite well, by the way, especially the rare ones.

Legs run out of CD's. Kitty-treat bag is unassailable, I'm almost choking with laughter, Daft Joe has this oh %#&!*%! look on his face, falls backwards and lands on edge of speaker, but instead of doing that twisty stuff he should know about, uses his spine to cushion the blow.


With visions of thousands of pounds being spent on cat wheelchair, poor old Joe, i run over to him. He just gives me this look: Well, actually, I meant to do that, and saunters out of the room. Treading on pretty much every cd, incidentally, but at least he's okay...

Anybody's cats willing to do a mail-order course on "falling-on-your-feet"? Please?

Copyright © Ezz
May 11, 1998

9 years ago
How Ally Saved The Universe
(or How Ally Got Her White Spots)

Ally on the couch
Ally on my old couch
October 1993
Ally in the roses
Ally in the roses in my
backyard, July 1997

Nine years ago, there was a kitten named Ally. Her sisters were a little jealous of her since she had a beautiful, shiny black coat. One day as she was playing tag with her sisters Joan and Tess, Ally heard a faint little cry. "Did you guys hear that?" Ally asked her sisters.

"Nope," replied Joan.

"Nuh-uh," said Tess.

"There it is again!" Ally exclaimed. This time all three of them heard the sound. "It sounds like someone's hurt! Let's go help them out."

"I don't think that's such a good idea.." Joan said hesitantly. "I think it's coming from the Freaky house. My friend's brother's cousin said that nobody that has gone in has EVER come back out!"

"And besides, it looks like it might start to rain anytime now," added Tess. "I don't want to get wet, so see ya!" With that, Joan and Tess darted back towards their home.

As they were running, Ally retorted by yowling, "You're both just 'fraidy cats! Don't you know that we have NINE LIVES! I'll be having a BIG adventure while you guys are just licking your paws!"

Ally turned and started to saunter towards the Freaky house. Now that she looked closely at it, it did look kind of scary. But she couldn't just turn and leave someone who was in trouble. As she approached the house, she noticed that there were flashes of light. She stopped, sat down, and began swishing her tail from side to side as she wondered whether she should continue. When she heard the sadness of the cry, she decided that the right thing to do was to help the other cat.

She was at the bottom of the front steps when she finally determined that the crying was coming from under the porch. Flattening her ears, she carefully pushed her head through a crack. It was very dark, but her cat eyes adjusted quickly. ZAP! All of a sudden, there was a lightning bolt that hit Ally square in the chest. The force of the bolt knocked her back, but she landed on her feet. ZAP! Another lightning bolt broke the darkness, but Ally jumped away just in time to miss the blast. She leapt behind an old lawnmower for protection. "Mrow. I'm Delton," said a quiet voice behind Ally. "The bolts of lightning are coming from the Magic Amulet of Catadon, stolen by the evil cat Zantor. The Magic Amulet wields great power to anyone that owns it. I followed him through the dimensional portal to save this Universe."

"Where are you, little kitten?" said a low booming voice. "Show me your fuzzy little head so I can crush you like a little bird! Ha ha ha ha!"

"Delton, what can we do?" whispered Ally.

"Little one, there's not much I can do, since I'm injured. But, if you can get the Magic Amulet from Zantor, then you can save the Universe."

"How can I do that? As soon as he sees me, he'll finish me off with another lightning bolt!"

"Zantor has one weakness. When he does his evil laugh, he always closes his eyes and lifts his head up. If you're quick enough, you can pounce on him before he finishes laughing. That's your only chance."

Realizing that the future of the Universe rested on her, Ally stopped licking her chest and looked Delton straight in the eyes. "Okay."

9 years ago

Just then, Ally's sensitive ears heard the rustling of the underbrush just over one cat length away. "I will crush you! Then I'll crush you again! I am Zantor! Ha ha ..." Before he finished laughing, Ally pounced towards the sound of the voice. Ally landed and raked Zantor's right shoulder with her back claws. "Mraaooow! That hurt!" Zantor cried out. Ally spotted the Magic Amulet around Zantor's neck who was now on his back. She swatted at it with her claws extended, but just before she could hit it, ZAP! The bolt hit her in the stomach. Ally was thrown off balance and blind with pain, but she knew she had to get the Magic Amulet. She stretched out her left paw as far as she could while she rolled in mid-flight. Her claw managed to break the necklace holding the Magic Amulet. As Ally landed on her left side, Zantor leapt on top of her lunging at her throat with his teeth.

"Zantor, stop! It's all over now." At that instant, Zantor lifted his mouth from Ally's throat and slinked backwards. "By the power of the Magic Amulet of Catadon, I hereby sentence you, Zantor, to the Dungeons of Caninia." Ally looked over at Zantor, and his figure slowly darkened until he disappeared. "Ally, the universe will forever be in your debt. Sorry about your coat, though. Your beautiful black coat now has a white spot on your chest and on your stomach. They will be your scars to remind you of your act of bravery." With a flash of light, Delton was no more.

Ally slowly made her way back to the house. When Joan and Tess saw her, they came running out. "Meow! I'm telling mom that you wrecked your coat and you're going to be in big trouble!" Joan said with her nose in the air.

"That's the thanks you get when you save the Universe..." Ally thought to herself as she began grooming.

Copyright © Snow Leopard
April 10, 1998

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was written for the University of Guelph College Royal Cat Show.
One of the categories was for "Best Story" for which Ally's story won First Place.
9 years ago
Good Kitty

Source of Photograph.....

I just have to share this story; it's so cute.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was busily preparing dinner (which turned out to be more of a brunch) when Artemis started scratching at his litter box and meowing loudly. I turned to look at him and he gave this look that said "My litter box needs to be cleaned." Now I fill the box about three inches deep with litter because Artemis digs so much before and after relieving himself and that makes it harder to tell when it needs cleaning. So I got out the scoop and sure enough, it was in desperate need of cleaning. Once everything was finished, Artie when in and did his business and ambled back into the living room.

Okay, call me weird (I've been called much worse), but I swear there was almost a psychic link between us because as soon as I looked at him, I knew right away why he was mewing so loudly.

Oh, and the little cat dancer (fishing pole, whatever you call it) toy that I bought Artie last week is now his most favorite favorite toy. He will scratch at the storage drawer under my bed where I keep it when he wants to play (or just give this "I wanna play" look), and will play till he's panting, at which point I stop but he still wants to play and ends up sulking into the kitchen until I say it's okay. Over the weekend I started using one of the attachments as if it were a real mouse. Every time Artie makes a move that makes his tags and bell jingle, I move the "bait" away from him. He'll stalk and stalk and finally pounce with hardly a sound from his "jewelry". If he keeps this up, he could qualify for the U.S. Olympic Mouser Team.

Copyright © Eric Speas
November 30, 1999

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