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Cat Stories Part Two
9 years ago

Tux otis01.jpg
Otis sarah01.jpg

I have two miracle cats but I will start with the oldest.

Ten years ago I had this female cat (Tange) who was a replacement for a cat that I loved to death who went missing. They looked exactly the same but acted very different. Tange had a litter of four kittens. The first was an orange thing (what we call orange, short-hair tabbies. They are everywhere) we named her C-For then this black and white one, Tux, another orange thing, Ginger, and finally Smudge. I think that the name is self explanatory. By the time the kittens were six weeks old we gave Tange three of the four kittens away. The one we kept was Tux, he was the runt and I had a special bond with him. By the way, the reason that we gave Tange away was because she was just mean and I had a 1-year-old at home. She needed a family with no kids and that is what she got.

About six months later Tux came home with half of his tail hanging by a piece of skin. He seemed to be in no pain but he would walk around whacking it against things trying to get rid of the hanging piece. I took him to the vet and he needed surgery to remove what was left. At the same time I had him fixed. That was a hard thing for us to do because we were just 19 years of age with a baby trying to figure out life. We managed to come up with the $1000.00.

About a year after that on Thanksgiving he managed to get into the garbage while we were eating dinner and he ate a turkey bone, or should I say "tried". It got stuck in his throat and he had very little passage to breathe so back to the vet and another $500.00. Two years after that he became very ill and I took him into the vet again. This time he had a urinary tract disorder. He was almost in a coma. The vet told me that it was going to be $500.00-700.00 and he only had a 50% chance of pulling through. I told them to go ahead with whatever they needed to do and he lived.

Now here is the miracle part of my story. On Halloween day of 1997 I went to call my now three cats in for the night. Two of them came but not Tux. I searched everywhere and he always comes when I call. He was gone. My heart just shattered. Sarah and Otis (my other two cats) and I canvassed the area for weeks ran adds in the paper, went door to door, put up rewards, everything and he was gone. My husband figured that wild dog's got him. I didn't want to believe that. I even went door to door six months later. Still nothing. I finally faced the fact that he was gone. A year later we moved from that house and a year after that something remarkable happened. My husband was home early from work which is unusual and I made him dinner to eat in the living room which is also unusual. He decided to go channel surfing and stopped at our local SPCA show. I don't know why, we never watch it. Then a cat came on and my husband called to me "Hun you should come see this cat. It kinda look's like Tux." I responded with "I don't want to see unless it is Tux."

Next thing I know I hear a loud "HUmmum" (his mouth was full) I was startled by the sound and came running in to see what was wrong. I looked at the TV and saw my baby's paw that I use to groom every night. I flew over our railing and down the stairs to the corded phone, no time to look for the cordless, and called the SPCA. They were closed. I was crying and trembling with hope that I found my "poosydat" (my pet name for him). I did not sleep a wink all night wondering how old the show was, am I going to get him back.

9 years ago

The next morn I made my hubby drive me to the SPCA at 9:00AM and they open at 11:00AM. I had many pictures of him to prove that he was mine. I was hugging the pictures and pacing back and forth looking through the windows hoping that I could see him. Finally a lady came out, I think that I was driving her crazy, and she asked "Can I help you dear?" I gave her the picture and cried "This is my cat, I saw him on TV and I lost him two years ago". She offered to take the picture and look through to see if he was still there. She came back empty handed. I pleaded with her to let me look, I know my baby. She did let me under the condition that I was very quiet because they were filming another show. I raced through there and he was nowhere to be found. I really broke down crying then. I was so close but so far away. I even had the people at the SPCA crying as they were trying to console me. Finally a man spoke up "We sometimes give the older cats to a pet store here in town. Let me call". So he called and asked if they had a long haired cat there and they said yes (I could tell, his eyes lit up.) I jumped in with "Does he have half of a tail? Does he have a mustache?" The answer to both of those questions was yes and I was out of there like a bolt of lightning.

We got to the store and it is BIG. I didn't know where to look so my husband tried to find someone to ask but I couldn't wait. I raced through that store till I found the cat section. I saw him in his little cage, ran to it, didn't care what the worker at the cage next to his had to say, ripped it open and held him and cried. I think that she thought that I was crazy but I didn't care. When I was able to talk I explained the whole situation to her. She thought that it was a nice story but had to ask "What happened to his tail?"

I took him to the truck and he sat on my lap with his head under my arm all the way home purring. When we pulled into the driveway he lifted his head and started to pant with fear. This wasn't home, we moved. I got him in the front door and called the other two. They came running as always and saw him. They were happy also; I think that they missed him more that I did! They were rubbing against him and talking to him. They didn't let him out of their sight for two weeks. We had to get him shaved due to matted fur but all is back to normal now another two years later.

I don't know what happened to him but I do know now that his mission for those two years was to find home and he did it. If he could only speak English…

Miracle #2

In Tux's story I mentioned Sarah and Otis. Sarah is a long haired tortoise shell. My best friend brought her to our house and my husband fell in love with her. We let her have a litter so my son can experience childbirth. When the first kitten came, she didn't know what to do so I called the vet and he talked me through cleaning off this kitten. She watched me and figured out the rest. All of her kittens were orange things, but the first one was special. He loved my husband and vice-versa so we kept him and hubby named him Otis.

Otis is this skinny, fragile, short-hair. He is not much to look at but boy is he smart. He is our "People cat" or our "such a baby" (his pet name). He has to bath with you every time you bath and he speaks, not only speaks but has to have the last word. He say's "I Love You" and "Mama", "Dada" and "Joel".

Last November he became very sick so we took him in. He had kidney failure. They thought that it had to be antifreeze for how bad he was but I disagree because there is no way he got near antifreeze, he doesn't leave our yard. We took his lab results to another vet to see if we had any hope. That vet agreed with the first and told us that we would be lucky if he lasted a week and we should put him down. I asked if he was in severe pain and they said "NO" so I won't kill him. I wouldn't kill my kid so why my cat. Anyway, he is still with us. He got better. I took him back to the vet and they were very surprised. They said that his kidneys are still very bad but he is not ready to leave us yet. He is so skinny that when you pet him you can feel every bone but he does eat and drink and play. I don't know how long we have but I know that he is not leaving us now.

Copyright © Cassie VandeCaveye
June 18, 2001
The Tale of the Two Orange Kittens
9 years ago


Once upon a time two orange kittens lived behind a Ralph's grocery store in San Clemente, California. The two orange kittens were brother and sister. They were only two months old but already did the normal kitten things... they ate out of a garbage container and caught the occasional mouse or lizard for dinner.

Suddenly one day they were captured in a catch cage and their lives would never be the same again.

A lady who owned a business near where the kittens lived wanted to give the kittens a chance for their very own true and fated home. The lady wanted the kittens to have a home with no fleas, with regular meals, and where they would never be cold or mistreated.

Quicker than you could say CATNIP the brother and sister kittens were taken to a veterinarian and spayed and neutered (this was not the highlight of their journey).

The next thing they knew they were getting a bath... then a second bath because the first bath didn't quite take care of all the fleas the first bath was supposed to take care of (this was definitely not the highlight of their journey).

The next day the lady who owned the business near Ralph's called another lady who might be able to find them a home. We'll call this second lady Cleo.

Cleo brought the kittens to her house. It was a scary place filled with lots of other cats. Fortunately for brother and sister kitten there was a good hiding place underneath a bed. Occasionally the kittens would venture out for food or to use the litter box. Sometimes the kittens would be very brave and come out from under the bed to play with the other kittens who were waiting to be adopted. A few times the scary humans would pick the kittens up. The kittens would go entirely limp and hope that the humans would put them down soon. Once in awhile brother and sister would join in with 2 other kittens and play chase the feather toy. Even though the game involved the humans it was still fun.

As luck would have it Cleo did know of a possible home for the brother and sister kittens. Brother and sister kittens went to their new home but were still very frightened of the humans they encountered. We will call the lady who adopted the kittens Allatadrama (pronounced UH . LOT . UH . DRAMA).

A few days later sister kitten began to get sick and she threw up lots of very disgusting, long, white worms. This totally upset Allatadrama. Allatadrama tried to pick up sister kitten. Sister kitten hissed and scratched Allatadrama.

Allatadrama called Cleo and was so upset. Allatadrama said she was going to the hospital to get stitches and a tetanus shot. She asked Cleo to pick up the kittens because they were so wild. Allatadrama told Cleo that when sister kitten threw up the worms it was like something out of The Exorcist. Allatadrama warned Cleo to bring large gloves used to pick up feral cats.

Cleo went over to Allatadrama's house and brought the large gloves. By the time Cleo arrived Allatadrama was no longer bleeding and had changed her mind about having to have stitches. Allatadrama warned Cleo to put on the big gloves because the kittens were so wild.

Cleo decided to try to gather up the kittens without the big gloves at first because the big gloves were kind of scary looking. Cleo herded brother kitten into the bathroom and closed the door so he couldn't get out. Then she scooped up brother kitten into her arms. Brother kitten did what he always did when he was picked up by a human and went totally limp. Cleo took brother kitten and put him into a carrier.

Allatadrama told Cleo that sister kitten, the Exorcist kitten, was the one who was really wild.

Cleo herded sister kitten into the bathroom and shut the door. Sister kitten leaped into the bathtub. Cleo scooped up sister kitten into her arms. Sister kitten went completely limp and Cleo was able to put her into the carrier along with brother kitten.

The next day Cleo took brother and sister kittens to the veterinarian to be dewormed.

Allatadrama showed no interest in having The Exorcist kittens back at her house so the kittens stayed with Cleo.

9 years ago

Cleo gave the kittens new names. She called brother kitten Furocious (pronounced FUR . OH . SHE . U and she named sister kitten Sigourney (like Sigourney Weaver in the movie The Aliens).

Time has passed and now Sigourney and Furocious are about 4 months old. Neither Sigourney nor Furocious hiss or scratch or bite. They still spend some time under the bed but are out and about watching TV in the living room most of the time. They still love to run after the feather toy or chase after a toy mouse. They both love to chase after the light from the laser light pen. They miss playing with the kittens they saw before at Cleo's house, Brindle and Little Bug, because they got adopted.

Sigourney will now let people pet her (especially if that person is eating chicken pot pie). Furocious is not as brave quite yet. Furocious will jump up on the couch next to those scary humans to chase after the feather toy but who do you know who could ever resist a feather toy.

Sigourney and Furocious will need a special true and fated home. They will need someone with lots of patience.

Copyright © Cleo
January 10, 2004
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

A Tale of Courage
9 years ago

Source of Photograph.....

My Phoebe isn't much of a huntress. She was taken from her mama at just 6.5 weeks, you see, and has been indoors ever since. You'd think she might have picked up a hint or two from watching Eddie, hunter extraordinaire, at play, but no. I guess her toys don't seem enough like prey to bother with learning how to plot their capture. She'd much rather just chase them around than have to worry about strategy and pouncing...

She's wonderful company, though, and she never lets me forget it. Who'd want to hunt, she says, when you can follow the human around and chat, and then get fed for no apparent reason?


In the bathroom last night, preparing for bed, we were discussing the pros and cons of being woken at 4:00AM when a huge, flickering shadow appeared on the wall. A moth. A huge, hairy moth. For the purposes of this story, it was the size of a small eagle (I'm sure there are eagles out there somewhere which are only a few inches long - even if they aren't hatched yet). It was easily the biggest moth I've ever seen, in all honesty. And I am utterly terrified of moths. I screamed. My husband came running. I screamed again: "Don't open the door! It'll get out!" He left when he discovered I wasn't actually being murdered, anyway. "It's only a moth," he said. Bastard.

Meanwhile, I was panicking, trying to figure out how I was going to get it back outside (understand, please, that moths are the only creatures capable of turning me into a blithering idiot). I could turn off the lights and open the window, then maybe it'd fly back out - but turn off the lights? Then I wouldn't be able to see it! What am I, nuts? I could... try and sneak out of the bathroom and come back in the morning, but then it'd still be in there, only hidden... shudder. And besides, I couldn't go all night without peeing!


I turned around, and there was my sweet little inept Phoebe, with 2 inches of hairy moth sticking out of her mouth. Two more crunches and it was gone. I have no idea who was happier... it would've been me, hands down, had she not looked so damned proud of herself afterwards. She slept in the bathroom last night, waiting for another one to come along. And she's been sitting in there for most of the day, watching the walls.

Personally, I hope it doesn't happen again for a long time...but if it does happen, next time I'll know who to call. And it won't be my husband!

Copyright © Krista Toupin

9 years ago
Meet Trib and Tasha

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Tribble natasha2.jpg - 24833 Bytes

I'd like to introduce you to my masters, Tribble and Natasha.

I first met each of them when they were only days old, and they each moved in with me when they were the proper age for such things. Trib, who came from a neighbor, was born in 1986 (he'll be 17 in March). When I later decided that since I was working such odd hours he needed a companion, Tasha, who was from a farm several miles away, came to live with us. She's a year younger than Trib.

Although I lived several miles from Tasha's farm, I actually had a hand in naming her. I worked with the people who had the farm, and one night on the late shift we sat around trying to name the new kittens - we ended up with Sasha, Natasha, Boris, and Klaus. Not for any particular reason (like Trib they're "Heinz cats" - 57 varieties in their bloodline), we just liked the names and they ended up sticking.

There never were any troubles when Tasha moved from the farm to my apartment - I had planned on keeping her and Trib separate, but decided to see what (if anything) might happen when they met first. So I set the carrier (which Trib always has ignored) in the middle of the living room floor, opened the door, and waited. After a few minutes kitten-Tasha came out on her own - and adult-Trib "pounced". Before I had any say in the matter he bounded across the room, knocked her over, put a foreleg across her to hold her down...

...and proceeded to wash her within an inch of her life. To this day, whenever she wants "help" with her washing she'll go up to him and put the top of her head in front of his nose. I've never seen him not give her what she wants.

They're apartment cats - they've only been out on the grass a few times, and only when I'm out with them. They don't seem to mind - I do have a balcony, and in the summer they enjoy laying in the sun, and year 'round they'll watch the birds and geese who land on the railing and on the nearby trees. Trib especially...

He is a handful. Don't let anyone ever tell you that neutering a male cat will make him calm down and put on weight. Never affected Trib one bit - even at 16 he's still as rowdy and troublemaking as ever (I'd say "curiosity killed the cat" was written for him, but he ain't dead yet).

He's into absolutely *everything*, always exploring, knocking things over that are in his way. I can't keep anything on my coffee table because he'll climb on top, and while staring straight at me clear the top with one swipe of his paw and then stretch out full-length for a nap on *his* space. I'm glad the squirt gun trick broke him of climbing curtains (although it doesn't seem to have broken him of any other bad habits) because I know he'd be tap dancing on the curtain rods otherwise.

He has 2 modes - sleep and troublemaking. He loves chasing flashlight beams around, never met a newspaper or a paper bag he didn't like. When he's in trouble (which is just about daily), he will walk over to you (by the most direct route, whatever it takes him over or through), stares at you, and cuts loose with the loudest purr you can imagine to try to charm you out of any "inconvenience" to him that might be forthcoming.

Even though he's had his share of health problems (2 bouts of "blocked cat syndrome" when he was young, thyroid trouble more recently), nothing slows him down. I suspect he's going to be going full-speed ahead until the day he dies.

Now Natasha, on the other hand, could not be more different. Her 2 modes are sleep and looking at Trib like he's absolutely insane. Where he's rowdy, she's quiet. She observes - I wish I knew what she was plotting, the better to prepare myself for what's coming. She's almost painfully shy. When visitors are here, even if they're here for days, she hides and only comes out when she's comfortable.

9 years ago

She once hid for several hours in plain sight - while staying with my parents she disappeared and they started panicking, searching the house, ready to start searching the streets. My dad finally spotted her - she was sitting on top of the piano, among several large nicknacks and stuffed animals (think of that scene in "ET" with ET hiding among the stuffed animals in the closet). The only reason Dad noticed her was that she'd been carefully watching a moth flying around a light and moved her head slightly.

She goes around things, not over or through them. She moves carefully, always watching what's around her. She'll climb on the bed to take a nap where she knows she won't be bothered, and then yowls when she wakes up because there's nobody around (and won't stop until you call out to her). About the worst thing she does is miss the litter box every once in a while. She's like the good child to Trib's problem child.

With such dissimilar personalities, you'd think Trib would be the boss. Trib might think he's the boss, but I suspect it's only because Tasha lets him think so. I've seen her smack him too many times to think otherwise (and never seen him return the "favor").

They don't play much together, they never have really. These days they remind me of a couple who have been together for so many years that they've grown comfortable together, even if they don't have much in the way of common interests. Actually, they've almost always been that way. Trib is there for Tasha's private amusement, Tasha is there to make sure Trib doesn't get too out of line.

They're both "lovers" in their own way. If I'm not feeling well, I can't keep them off of me. They greet me at the door when I come home from work, and I know they can't see me coming and I come home at different hours - they just know I'm coming. I can't sit down without getting a visit from one of them, just to say "hello".

They're just my fur-covered babies. smiley.gif - 93 Bytes

Copyright © Jeanne Hedge
December 22, 2002

Tribble crossed the Rainbow Bridge quite unexpectedly on May 1, 2003 after a very short illness. He was exactly 17 years and 2 months of age. True to the way he lived, he was the curious cat to the end, spending some of his final minutes giving the equipment in the doctor's office pokes, sniffs, and, to one device in his path as he made his inspection rounds, a rather satisfying swat.

Fare thee well, old friend.

In Loving Memory of Tribble.
1986 - 2003
He is sadly missed.

Copyright © Jeanne Hedge
July 11, 2003

Melted Butter
9 years ago

Source of Photograph.....

I'm a cat person.

Currently, three cats share my address. Or rather, I have two cats. Moses, as it happens, belongs to Spike.

Moses' story begins one July when it rained non-stop for a week. In Denver, Colorado, a week of rain is unheard of and downright depressing. I lived in a two-bedroom apartment in a complex that allowed two cats. I had Sophia, a Bluepoint Siamese who was 3 years old, and Spike, a Sealpoint Siamese who had been the runt of his litter. Spike was 18 months old.

It was a tough time. I had an injury that required doctor appointments, physical therapy sessions, and longer hours at work to make up for lost time. I was going to school. It was a low point of my life. I came home that afternoon having worked, visited the doctor, gone to PT, and classes, and I was not looking forward to the necessary studying I still had to do. I was drained. The dreary weather was making me feel even more depressed.

A stray kitten appeared on my tiny patio -- an orange tabby about 3 months old. I nearly tripped over him opening the gate, as he darted out from under the windowsill.

I wondered who would have thrown out that powerhouse purr and golden eyes? He had to be lost by accident. And another cat was out of the question. So, I put up a waterproof shelter and left bowls of food and water and an old towel. I posted signs all over the complex. No one called and left a message saying they'd lost their kitty.

While I was gone during the day, Spike liked to perch on the sill overlooking the patio. Now he was doing it at night too. The lost kitten sat under the sill. At night I'd hear Spike vocalizing softly in the darkness. I believe he was spilling the goods on me telling the kitten to "stick around, she's a softy, her heart is melted butter."

Those two must have had some terrific conversations. For six days I kept telling myself that I could not afford another cat.

On the seventh day, the dip in the concrete just beyond my patio was now a river. I came home from yet another PT session, and saw the kitten stretched across my doorstep, soaking wet, and alarmingly limp. Oh no. Not this. But as I came closer, he stirred to look up at me and he purred. Spike was right. My heart melted like butter.

But I really tried to be practical. I'll dry him off and then we'll go to the Humane Society, I told myself. He'd find a good home. Yeah, right.

I put the soaking wet kitty in the sink in the bathroom, while I went to get old towels. I closed the door, not wanting to upset the other two cats. However, when I came back into the bathroom, Spike, having opened the bathroom door, was on the counter next to the sink. He was meticulously scrubbing the kitten's face.

The kitten stood braced on the rim of the sink, eyes screwed shut, ears pinned back. Stoic and purring. I had to admire that. I'd had my eyelids scrubbed by Spike's 10-grit sandpaper tongue and my response was more of a yelp and not a purr. Of course, in my defense, at 3:00AM and sound asleep, that tongue could wake the dead!

The kitten however remained steadfast despite the force of that licking which kept knocking his head into the faucet with every stroke (thud, purrrrr, thud purrr).

After rubbing the kitten dry, I left to phone my vet for an appointment to get our newest family member checked out. When I came back to the bathroom, Spike and Moses had curled up in the bathtub and were both asleep. Spike's black and cream body wrapped around the little purring ball of orange and white fluff. I tiptoed out.

9 years ago

Amazingly, Sophia, my eldest cat, never seemed to notice the kitten other than a growl and a hiss (the spot on the pillow next to the human is mine, so don't even try to go there). Spike adopted a buddy, a playmate, and a portable bed warmer, especially as Moses outgrew Spike's petite 5 pounds in 6 months.

Now when they curl up to sleep, it's Spike who gets his face washed with a stoic grimace.

Sophia and Moses? Well, they nod in polite acknowledgement in passing and then ignore each other most of the time, except for midnight hallway romping when no one is the wiser.

So that's how I ended up with three cats sharing my address, although I still maintain that I technically only have two cats.

Moses is Spike's cat, and one of these days Spike had better get a job to pay for all that food Moses eats!

Copyright © Martha Cowley
July 9, 2001
Sneaking up on Mr Owl
9 years ago

Mr Owl
Mr Owl

I used to sneak up on my old cat Mr Owl, and grab his tail (near the base) and make that 'squirrel chat' noise. He'd turn around and say "(huff) AArrgggghh!" and stomp slowly off, lashing his tail and grumbling. Not the way to treat a dignified cat!

Scene switches to the interior of my truck. Late at night, and I have to make a bank deposit on my way home. Mr. Owl is asleep on the seat next to me. I am so paranoid, I park as close to the driveup as possible without scraping the paint off the truck. I even put the truck in reverse, so the back up lights would be on. I'm doing the deposit, checking the mirrors, then decide to make a quick cash withdrawal, since everything looked OK.

I put my card in the machine, punched the buttons, took another look around, and reached out with my right hand to get the $$$. Just as I grabbed the cash, I FELT A HAND GRAB MY SHOULDER!!! I'm not the type to scream, but I fully expected to feel a gun in the back of my neck any minute. I VERY VERY slowly turn, just my head, and saw - Mr. Owl.

He had gotten tired of waiting, hopped up on the back of the seat - without my seeing him, crossed behind me, and, because the seat belt was in his way, half hopped over, so his 2 front paws were on my shoulder. His whiskers tickled my ear as he peered out, trying to see "what's the holdup?" HE WAS!!! Oh, did I mention he was a 22lb maine coon? My heart was pounding so hard, I couldn't hear anything else. I managed to get the $$ and the front end of the cat BACK into the truck, and drove home. My heart was still thundering when I got home, so I could hardly tell my husband about what happened. He nearly fell over, laughing himself silly.

Of course I knew exactly what the cat was doing, he was giving me a taste of my own medicine. So, as soon as I caught my breath, I picked up the cat, looked him straight in the eye, and promised "I will NEVER ever again sneak up and pull your tail!" Mr. Owl half closed his eyes and just PURRED.

I never did sneak up on that cat again. I also never went through a driveup window with him either.

Copyright © Cathy Crossgrove

In memory of Mr Owl
November 13, 1975 to September 4, 1996
Most Beloved
9 years ago
Gidget... she's all cat

Source of Photograph.....

A herd of elephants is what it sounded like, but turns out, it was just Gidget and an empty paper grocery sack on the kitchen floor. She likes to get a good running start, fly into the sack, making it sli-i-i-i-i-i-i-ide as far as it can, come out of the bag in reverse, then run around to the back of it, and ATTACK the bag making as much noise as possible. Then, the game starts all over again, lasting until the bag is flattened out, or up against the refrigerator or wall, at which point, it becomes my turn.

Another fun game is one you all know about........the square shaped empty tissue box with object inside game. It's more fun for the humans though if you leave the perforated plastic that stretches across the box opening in place. That way, when little miss Gidget being the determined feline that she is sticks her entire head into the box to retrieve that object of which the survival of all life on this planet depends, then we get to watch her go in reverse around the living room with the box stuck over her head for a few seconds, until a human runs to her aid.

But for Gidget, there is no game more fun than Blue Jays in the summer. Last summer, one afternoon, we heard a bunch of commotion out front, so we all went out just in time to see Gidget in the yard across the street rolling and tumbling with a large Blue Jay, who was mysteriously missing all of his tail feathers. The bird who could only fly about as well as a chicken can, was staying a step ahead of Gidget though. Some more of the neighbors came out of their houses to watch the performance, which was making it's way towards the street, and 2 or 3 of our other cats also became part of the onlookers. That Blue Jay was doing some fine cussing at Gidget as they made their way into the middle of the street, or maybe he was sending out an SOS, because all of a sudden, the Blue Jay team grew to three. And those two new Jays didn't waste any time going to work on Gidget. So picture this.....a small, but extremely solid short haired all gray cat rolling, tumbling, and leaping into the air with a tailless, cussing Blue Jay, while two more Jays are cordially taking turns dive bombing the cat, and actually making contact, as I could see here and there little tufts of fur on her back starting to stand up each time one of the bombers scored a point. It was nothing short of amazing, and I remember thinking to myself "Dang, that Gidget is a hellion".

But Gidget seemed oblivious to the bomb attack, giving the tailless bird her full attention, with her ears pointing straight forward, her eyes as big and round and dark as I've ever seen, and her little cheeks where her whiskers come out of all poofed out, and she was breathing real hard. It must have been a scary sight to that bird on the ground with her. Then Bob ruined it all. No, not that one, I'm talking about our Manx, Bob. Because I spotted him about 20ft. or so away from where I was standing, and he was crouched down real close to the ground, running on his little toes and looking quite invisible (NOT) and headed for the street where all the business was going down. So, I decided 'game over', and recruited some of the human onlookers to help me herd those cats away from the whole scenario. Probably a good thing too, because that tailless Jay was looking pretty pooped out. He hopped into a hedge, and we lost sight of him, but we could still hear him cussing. He probably stayed mad for a good long time, and rightly so, because if Gidget had been a fraction of a second quicker that afternoon, she'd have made supper of that Jay.

Copyright © Bonnie
March 3, 2001
9 years ago
Cleanliness is NOT next to Milo-ness

Source of Photograph.....

It has been a while since I posted about Milo's ability to get into trouble. His latest thing is a big disdain for anything clean. Everyday we go through this little routine. I grab the sponge to wipe off the kitchen table and he goes into attack mode. I don't know why, but wiping off the table really ticks him off. He comes flying into the kitchen (how can he hear me wiping the table?) jumps on one of the kitchen chairs and just barely peeks his eyes up to table level (ears flattened so the evil sponge will not see him). Every wipe that comes within range is a swat. Sometimes he gets so excited he thinks that he can get the sponge from underneath the table (duh). As soon as I turn around, he jumps up on the table and lays all over it. Yummy. This happens every single day. No exceptions. The sponge must die!

My boyfriend's mother gave me a night-blooming jasmine tree in a huge pot. (About 2 feet across). Well as I was not sure whether or not it was harmful, and because I KNEW he would dig in it, I put it in the back hall until spring comes around and we can move it outside to the porch. As you guys know, his favorite haunt is the basement and the day we brought the plant home, he dashed downstairs to the basement skidded to a halt and said "A new plant! For me! Thanks guys!" (I heard him swear) Proceeds to dig every bit of dirt out of it. Replace dirt and try to watch cat. His white paws are a beautiful shade of well, mud. He doesn't clean them either, wears them like a boy scout badge-all over the house.

So this goes on for a week. He runs past the plant on the way to the basement, but wait...he's faking me out because he knows that I am watching him. As soon as he thinks I have gone back into the kitchen I see (I am just as sneaky as him) a little pointy ear and a little kitty eye barely peeking around the corner. When he thinks he is unobserved he runs to the plant and digs and digs and digs. Well, I have a brilliant idea. Put tinfoil around the plant. WRONG! Now he jumps on top of the tinfoil and climbs this little tree (which in no way can support his weight) and bats around the top two or three leaves. As soon as I step out the back door and say "What are you doing?" He freezes and just looks at me. The picture is priceless.

So we move the plant up to the attic. He knows it is up there. Tried to jam his head under the crack of the door sniffing for it. He was pretty depressed though. Looked out the back door and say him lying where the plant was, with his head on the first step. Totally dejected. Sorry boy.

Copyright © Jennifer T. Luck
March 3, 1998
9 years ago
Zeke and the rubber bands

Source of Photograph.....

This is Zeke's Story. We got him as a kitten from a friend. When she had tried to take him to the vet, the vet had to wear protective gloves. Then we got him and named him Zeke. He calmed down a great deal. (The same vet thought we had switched kittens on him.) Zeke is black with green eyes. He has a brown undercoat so in strong sunlight he looks more like dark chocolate than true black. In fact, our friend had called him Hershey. But he took his true name of Zeke (or bubba, or Elvis or dummie or whatever) when we got him. We also call him Tyson (He is big and black and has a squeaky voice like the fighter and he is chicken; afraid of just about everything.)

As I said, he gentled down when we got him. In fact, when he was still just a kitten, he was on my daughters lap and rolled off. He let himself fall on the floor rather than dig his claws into the kids leg.

He is real sweet now. Just a big, fuzzy "boo boo kittie" as my lady says.

Our little Zeke, (a "special needs" cat) has a thing for rubber bands. He likes to chew on them, and in the process, will eat them. Therein lies the problem.

The last time he got hold of one, he swallowed the thing whole, and it almost made it's way through the digestive process; it got "stuck" going out. Our other two cats were fascinated by the "thingie" hanging from Zeke's butt. Poor Zeke. Having something stuck in you is bad enough, but having your buds chase you all over trying to get a good look is worse. That's when my lady came to the rescue. Seeing what was wrong with Zeke, she got a paper towel and started to pull the offending band out. However, in the first attempt the rubber band slipped from her grasp and snapped poor Zeke in a most vulnerable area. OUCH! Zeke was quite vocal in his dismay, but being the good cat that he is, He let my lady pull the thing from his backside. And we have never left one of those Zeke-traps lying around since.

Copyright © Michael Stivers
August 25, 1998
9 years ago
Charlie: The case of the missing kitty

Source of Photograph.....

This happened to me about a year ago when I lived in the city and only had a tiny bedsit to live in. The couple downstairs, who actually had a proper flat, had two wonderful cats. Charlie, especially, was very friendly and communicative (I would *meaow* and he would reply, much opposite to my own kitten Calvin who only purrs, and cries when he wants noodles) and he would often come see me in my room. Whenever I came home from work he would meet me in the hall and follow me to my room. I often left my door open to let him in when he wanted, thinking nothing could happen. How wrong I was.

One time Charlie came to see me and my boyfriend and inspected the room, as usual. I must have been cooking and taken something from the cupboard as the door was open. In went Charlie and I didn't think anything of it. Sometime later I closed the door thinking he'd be out, hiding somewhere else in the room.

Maybe 20 minutes later I heard a quiet cry... (meaow) and I couldn't figure out where the cat was. It sounded as if he wasn't in the room at all. I thought I must've been mistaken and heard the cat in the hall. Few minutes later I heard more crying and then I realised it was Charlie locked up in the cupboard. Except when I opened the door the cat was nowhere to be seen.

I had only recently moved in and didn't know what was in the back of the cupboard. There was a hole, just barely cat-sized (5x5, I think) on the back board. When the bedsit had been built, the landlord had obviously had trouble with the plumbing and I found out there actually was a 6-inch gap between the kitchen units and the wall, with a similar space between the unit base and the floor, leaving a small L shaped space between the wall, floor and the cupboard.

Charlie, had found such space so interesting that he had climbed in and couldn't get out. Every time I tried to put my had in the hole and pull him out he only panicked more and hid under the unit and the floor where I couldn't reach at all. I tried to tempt him out with some ham, but he didn't seem to be able to get out. Half an hour later Charlie was still stuck and crying, but avoiding every attempt to save him.

Eventually my fiance hit the back board off, pushed it against the wall, making a gap between cupboard floor and the wall and with some ham we managed to tempt Charlie near enough for me to grab him. I got a good hold of him, and he surely got a good hold of me too with his claws. But we got him out.

I thought Charlie would've run out by now but he casually sat down and probably would've stayed the night unless I hadn't taken him out and closed the door that night. After that I made sure Charlie's visits were quick and that I knew where he was, at all times.

Copyright © Sanna Popponen
February 23, 1998

EDITOR'S NOTE: As all cat owners know, cats like to get inside of small dark areas. Please keep a close watch on your kitties to make sure that you don't accidentally lock them in cupboards and closets. In the above case Charlie was fortunate that Sanna and her fiance were able to locate him. Without their vigilance the consequences could quite easily have been tragic.

9 years ago
You must be a cat or a cat-lover
to understand it


How do you explain to other people the sorrow and grief when one of your cats 'disappears', and how do you explain the immense relief and the joy when at last you find her?

You are a female cat, 'Mambo', aged one year/4 months, neutered, vaccinated and pampered, and you have a very adventurous temperament - completely different from your sister's, who is a real 'Susy Homemaker' - you like to make expeditions in the neighbourhood. We all live in Brussels, and the environment here is the following: old town houses close the entire block, and inside of it there is a maze of gardens, yards, small buildings and wild vegetation areas, each one surrounded by the typical European high impenetrable brick walls. Cats adore to climb on the walls - with the help of trees, high bushes, compost-boxes and so on - and use these walls as a kind of roads criss-crossing the entire block. Sometimes problems arise: you slip from the wall down, or - in the emotion of the hunt - you forget that you must find your way back home, and you find your feline-self deep in a foreign garden, yard or hole, in the middle of nowhere and unable to climb again on the brick- roads... Cat mobile-phone is not yet invented - what are they waiting for??? - and you, cat, are in anguish, fear and necessity.

Your poor human, the one you proudly owns (although some are stupid enough to think they own) you... - and who takes care of you, this one is almost sick of sorrow and worries the whole day and night. No matter that there are still two cats at home. He will not accept the entire European feline population in exchange of YOU. At this moment, you are his little precious "One and Unique". After a sleepless night calling you with voice and with the tink-tink-tink of your favorite catbites in a tin, he prepares a leaflet with your cat's picture (blessed colour printer!), asking everybody to help you find your way home. He spends the entire morning and a good deal of the afternoon distributing it throughout the neighbourhood, asking everybody to allow him to enter into their yard or garden - which always is 'back' - and trying to convince mistrustful old ladies that in spite of his dark hair and moustache he is not going to murder, rob, or rape them...

Well, after many hours of hard work, he finally hears your anguished meeeow (stupid humans, with their poor, weak hearing capacity, not to speak of their null smelling sense!). He has to enter different gardens and yards - again a please-please-please plea to the owners to locate exactly that you are, finally, somewhere in a school ground, between a sports pavilion and a nuns' convent garden wall. School is closed at this time and nobody answers. The nuns, god-bless-them, are always at home, and they allow your human to enter their garden, climb on a decorative column to reach the wall, make some circus exercises risking the good state of his bones... and there he is! You are crazy of joy because he is in front of you and over you... but a glass roof of the d&$# sports pavilion separates him from you. This was, actually, what stopped you to reach your home: you tried to get out of the hole full of bushes and wild vegetation, and you slipped down on the glass roof like on ice. Your heavy human can't walk on the roof. This would mean probably to lost him forever, and who more would know how and when to pet you exactly how you like it? Good luck, he becomes a sort of Indiana Jones when he feels that you, 'his' adored cat, are in danger. He takes his coat out (he would have taken his trousers if necessary!), crawls a little over the glass roof, and let the coat hang until you can reach a sleeve and catch it with your claws. The following is very easy: he pulls the coat out of the hole and there you go, hanging from it with your little claws, like a fluffy Christmas tree decoration...

The rest has been relatively easy. Just three things to do:

  1. Bring you, cat, at home, bundled in the coat because your nerves were in a terrible state and you couldn't even think of being transported on your human's arms the sidewalk along. This was a hard work, because you tried to escape and your human had a recent-broken arm and he was suddenly and painfully aware of it.
  2. Receive food, water and a lot of pet and sweet words from your human family and lick-lick-lick of your fellow cats at home, which will grant you a wonderful, restful and peaceful night.
  3. Send your human on the next morning to a flowershop, to offer the nuns a beautiful flower bouquet for their chapel.

Well, as I said: you must be a cat, or a cat-lover, to understand all this...

Copyright © Julio N. Rancel
September 10, 1998

9 years ago

Source of Photograph.....

Hitch & Hiker

We live in Las Vegas and a recent weekend getaway to Laughlin, about 100 miles away, was full of surprises.

Friday afternoon we cranked up the diesel and drove about 5 miles to our house to "load up". A couple of hours later we were on the road to Laughlin. By 6:30 Friday evening we were settled in at the Riverside RV Park. Later that evening we were off to find dinner and maybe a couple of lucky slot machines. We scored on the "dinner" part but the futile search for lady luck kept us out pretty late. Saturday we were slow getting around.

Around noon we had finished our second pot of coffee as we sat under the shade of our awning...just a lazy day roughing it. In the distance we heard the powerboats cruising the Colorado River, also the faint cry of what sounded like a bird. We travel with Boozer, the dog, and Hooter, our cockatiel that squawks when he doesn't talk. Maybe he's picked up a new noise. We sat quietly, waiting to hear the noise again.

Suddenly a fuzzy black blob appeared under the rear of our motorhome. We lost no time coming out of our chairs. We had lived in Arizona and learned if it crawls around on the ground you jump first, ask questions later.

Second glance revealed the intruder was a tiny dark colored kitten. It barely had its eyes open and crawled along on its belly - too young and too weak to walk, all black with diesel soot. Its eyes and nose were clogged with residue from exhaust. We realized the kitten had ridden on the engine all the way front Las Vegas. The "bird" sounds we heard earlier were from this half-dead orphaned kitten. What a miracle it survived the trip but it needed to eat immediately. The daytime temperatures were still in triple digits and dehydration had set in.

We made a dash to the local market where we bought milk and a child's medicine dropper. We managed to revive this little survivor. If we didn't over feed it, it would probably survive. We knew it had desperately hung on for dear life for 100 miles the day before. The place we store our RV in Las Vegas was full of feral cats and we had considered this might happen.

We stabilized the kitten and immediately searched the coach for more kittens. No doubt this kitten was a keeper. We already travel with Boozer and Hooter. It would be easy to add one little kitten to the group. Saturday night we were out to a very late dinner and similar pursuit of lady luck as the night before. We were back to "turn in" alter midnight. And, while fumbling for the motorhome door keys we heard those same soft meows as we did 12 hours before. Was it coming from the kitten inside which we had left safely in a shoebox in our shower or was this a cry for help coming from the outside? It didn't take long to determine the cries were outside! We opened the door, grabbed a flashlight and proceeded to the rear of the "rig". The cries stopped and we couldn't see anything in the engine, just filters, fans and belts. What would the neighbors think? Our search and rescue effort had to kook real strange to anyone still awake. Here we are, middle of the night, under the coach with flashlight in hand, making mother cat noises. We expected security to arrive any minute.

Finally, like a little "plop from above" a second kitten dropped out on the ground. It had been silent while we searched with the flashlight but once it dropped it found its voice. Twelve hours after the discovery of the first kitten, we now had two, and the second kitten was equally dirty and full of diesel soot from the engine.

Luckily we were prepared to feed and care for this one, and we knew the kittens would thrive because of each other. It didn't take long to name them Hitch and Hiker because of their amazing journey, and will to survive.

Copyright © Clint & Kathy Frederick
March 4, 2001

There Must Be More Than One Way To Worm a Cat
9 years ago

Source of photograph.....

Has anyone ever noticed that the directions of the package of worm medicine for cats goes something like "simply give the cats the pills... pink ones first week, fawn ones next week, and pink ones again for the last week.." Just simple little instructions. "Give the pills to the cat."

The little pink pills went down nicely last week in tuna, so I had high hopes this morning. The fawn pills, may I add, are flat, round pills of about 1/3 inch diameter.

They give you a nice l'il dosage chart, which shows that, for instance, my fat 12 lb tabby Frodo needs five fawn pills on the second week, and my slim 9 lb Siamese, three. It helpfully suggests that the fawn pills in particular be given after a day's fasting.

My usual technique of giving cat pills consists of encasing the pill in a stuff blob of butter, sneaking up on the cat, and abruptly poking a finger down the cat's throat from the side, pushing the pill ahead of the intruding finger. This provokes dirty looks from the cat, but gets the pill down without a great deal of hassle. You can imagine how that would simply not go over with 5 huge, nasty pills that would never fit down a cat's throat. Cut them in half and we have 10 repeats of the finger-poke thing? My cats are smarter than that.

As you can see, I had a problem on my hands.

I mashed the pills into a fine powder and adulterated them with a small amount of tuna. They had a nastier smell by far than the pink ones, and I worried slightly. I put Frodo "Fat Boy"s plate down first. He dashed at it, frantic for food after a day's separation anxiety. He skidded to a stop a foot from the plate, shot me a despairing look, and set up a renewed wailing for something to eat. Random, sequestered in the bedroom, had much the same reaction when he was presented with the doctored fish..

OK, so I was going to have to be helpful.

I tried Random first, placing him between my legs and speaking nicely to him... I opened his mouth, took a fingerful of adulterated tuna, and stuffed it way at the back of his mouth. I then tipped his head up and spoke gentle, encouraging words as he attempted to run backwards through my leg, and spit tuna at the ceiling.

At least a tenth of a teaspoon went down, the rest flew about the room, making nasty splats on my sweater, my lap, the floor. I would have needed the jaws of life to get Random's mouth open again, and strange bubbles of saliva were leaking out the corners of his mouth. He looked forlorn. I left him in favour of "helping" Frodo.

In the kitchen, Frodo must have overheard Random's culinary review of today's entree, as he approached me suspiciously, hoping I was hiding real food somewhere in my pockets. My attempt to quell his appetite with the poison-laced tuna were met with violent struggles, and similar huge ropes of saliva and loud gakking noises.

I've given up temporarily. I am surrounded by drooling, glaring cats, and I am thinking of pureeing the tuna mix and perhaps running an IV tube with it...

Copyright © Elaine Miller
April 14, 2000
9 years ago
They do calm down, honest!

Cats Eating
Mocha is on the left,
Midnight in the middle,
& Morgana on the right

I live in The North East of England, with my fella and three cats. This email is reassurance (I think!) for all the other cat owners out there with beasties. I'd like to tell you a little (trust me, it's abbreviated!) about Midnight, my 4-1/2 year old neutered tom cat.

I support Darlington Cats Protection League branch by selling handmade cat toys in my local vets surgery & donating the profits to them. So far, we have raised enough to neuter about 4 cats.

I got Midnight when he was 9 months old, he is my eldest, he will be 5 on October 31st. We felt a Halloween birthday would be appropriate! Midders is a gorgeous, big, black, tom cat, (Ex Tom!!) with a serious attitude problem. He was rescued by the Cat Orphanage in Stockton (NE England) when he was found stray. Apparently his old Mum & Dad had moved & left him behind. How could anyone do that to a beautiful big tom like that??? He was roaming free for some 2 months before he was captured, and has probably sired many kittens! (Heaven help us!)

When I was looking for a cat to adopt he decided that I was the one for him, even though I was just looking at that time! He climbed into my cat basket & sung a "take me home" song. So I did!

Once home, I was left with the problem of naming my new beastie. I had a list of names & I had decided that I would award him one of them once I knew his character a little. He went mad, sniffing his new home, & kissing everything in an "I live here now" manner. This continued until the bells from the church at the end of the road struck midnight when he curled up, contentedly on my knee. It stuck! He chose me, he chose his name, and he's had rule of the roost since then!!!

He is quite a character. It all started when he was first allowed out. I had a cat flap installed, and after 5 days of intensive training (pushing through the flap from either side) he got the hang of it. There has been no stopping him since!

The first person he really annoyed was the butcher up the street. He had sneaked in, and managed to grab himself a string of sausages, about 30 in total, and ran for his little furry life! I was on my way out, and what a sight, I saw midders heading towards the house from the top of the street where the butchers was, with his string of sausages. He had one in his mouth, and the rest were trailing between his legs on the floor. As he ran, we wore out the links between them & was leaving batches of 2 or 3 sausages here, there & everywhere! Behind him ran the butcher with his cleaver! It was just like punch & Judy, The butcher had his stripy apron on & was waving his cleaver whilst shouting obscenities at my cat! I ran into the house & denied everything! When Midnight came in with about 4 sausages, (all he had left!) I cooked a couple for him to eat. He'd earned them. This happened several times, various neighbours commented that they had seen him & the butcher running about the street!

Next came the bird phase. It was fledgling season. Every Sunday morning for some 6 weeks he brought me a freshly killed fledgling & placed it on top of my just delivered, Sunday newspaper to bleed! (I only got a newspaper on Sundays, and Co-incidentally only got a bird on Sundays! Did he know?) I stopped ordering the Sunday paper, so he waited about 3 weeks, then started bring me daily birds, and placing them at the bottom of the stairs, with the beak pointing upwards, hidden just enough that when I came downstairs in my bare feet every morning I almost stood on it! Urgh!

Soon after this I moved house to be with my long distance boyfriend, some 350 miles away. Within days he became violent. The one & only time he was violent with me, Midnight attacked him, and ripped shreds out of his leg. We moved back up north that night. My hero.

I got myself a flat in Darlington, in the North East, and started again. Midnight was soon settled and was allowed out again. I had a lady who did some cleaning for myself & my flatmate & she commented that it was my cat she had seen in the town! My Midders! He had crossed 2 main roads, and walked several hundred meters of busy road to go to a pub! He had also been barred by the time I found out! (Whether it was because he was under age or he didn't have any money, I don't know!)

9 years ago

Midnight then found a new fish & chip shop. It started all over again. He brought me various fish remains from their bin, and even stole a whole side of cod whilst I was in the shop. He had sneaked round the back, over the 7ft high wall, and into the back of the shop. The lady cursed that there was a big cat in the back of the shop, and I knew it would be him. He moved over to the side of the shop where he could see me, gave me a look of "sorry but it has to be done" and off he went with his side of fish! I chased him down the street, but he went off to one of his hiding places & when he came in that night he was incredibly proud of himself & fishy. I had to go back to the shop & pay for the fish.

This kind of behaviour continued, and he became known as Mr Fishy Trousers with all of the locals. He was known by most of them, making himself a prominent member of just about everyone's family!

When my fiancée & I decided it was time to buy a house, we moved again. by this time I had 2 more cats, all rescue cases & much better behaved than Midders! Once settled, he was allowed out once more. He terrorised the new neighbourhood within a week. I had received complaints about a cat in pain, it turned out to be that Midnight was pleased with himself for some reason & was rolling about squealing! He had also let himself into 5 houses in the next street. In each one, he had helped himself to food, done his business & gone to sleep in the owners beds, just in time for them to come home from work & find him!

Just 3 weeks ago, Midnight came in with some painty-sticky-stuff on his back legs, from the "elbow" down. He had obviously sat in it. We still don't know what it was but we know it would have been bad for him if he had eaten it whilst washing. As it has a solvent smell to it, the vet said that it may have been highly toxic. We were advised to bath him. He hates baths!!! We did our best at the kitchen sink with the fairy liquid, but it wasn't shifting. We then took out my fiancée's beard trimmer & shaved his legs!!! He looks soooooooo silly!!! He has his big fluffy bottom, and then these tiny stick legs! He looks like he might snap!!! Co-incidentally, I'm covered in scratches, and I have a very interesting scratch-bruise on my collar bone where he really meant it. Little swine.

Recently he has taken to attacking parcel delivery men & post men. He sits up on his back legs, and waves his front legs about in a threatening way. I had to apologise to one yesterday. It was the second time this chappie had come back. we weren't in the other day so he was going to put a card through in the post box to let us know we had a parcel. Midnight wouldn't let him near! He had to come back with the parcel when I was in to control Midnight!

He has cost me hundreds of pounds in vet fees, he keeps fighting & getting himself injured one way or another, I have even set up a direct debit with the vet now, because he will cost me the money sooner or later, so I might as well pay monthly!

The good news is that in the last year he has calmed down considerably. He will sit on my knee of an evening, he like cuddles, and he has friends too. He calls for a cat down the street every morning, mewing until his friend comes out to play! He doesn't attack as many things/people/cats/etc now, he has really mellowed out with age. The only problem now is that I have a 1 year old little cat which Midnight has taken under his wing, and is training him to be a terror too! Just another 3 or 4 years to go with this one......hopefully!

Copyright © Liz Bet
September 18, 2000

9 years ago

Source of Photograph.....

Violetta catches a big one

Violetta is a tiny tuxedo cat with exquisite white paws and whiskers. Last night I caught her on top of one of the curtain pelmets, about 9 feet up off the floor. She knows very well she isn't supposed to be there but can't resist showing off to the other cats, none of whom has as yet been able to haul themselves up on to such a high narrow ledge.

"GET DOWN YOU LITTLE B****R!" I yell. Then I notice my pretty girl has sprouted a HUGE THICK set of thick black whiskers. Curious, I go on "What have you got on your face?". Then "OH MY GOD, you've got a bl***y huge SPIDER in your mouth. That thing must be 6" across! And those legs are STILL MOVING! OK, OK, you can stay up there this time".

Violetta clearly thinks I'm not properly impressed by what she's caught and jumps down to give me a closer look, dropping her catch far too close to my feet. It scuttles off in my direction. Aargghh! I back off, falling over Katie who's trotted in to see what all the noise is about. Violetta picks up the monster spider in her mouth again and is heading my way with it... I make an undignified retreat.

Yes, she did eventually eat the spider...

Copyright © Helen Wheels
November 20, 2001
9 years ago

Source of Photograph.....

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

Source of Photograph.....

Fussy's masterpiece

It was a grey and wet day today so I decided the perfect thing to do would be stay inside, turn up the heat, and work on a painting. (I'm best inspired on rainy days.) Normally, when I do this I put Fussy outside, but since it was such a wet day, I thought it would be mean. So I sat on my sofa with my canvas on my lap, and she sat in her chair and watched me.

That should have been my first clue. She never, ever takes an interest in what I am doing unless she is going to respond in a manner that involves teeth or claws. But she was just sitting, not poised to pounce, so I didn't pay any attention.

My second clue should have been the sound the stiff bristles of the paintbrush were making on the canvas. "Scritch, scritch, scritch" "Scrape, scrape, scrape" "Scritch, scrape, scritch". But she just sat there so I didn't pay any heed.

It had taken me an hour to do what I was doing. For some reason I find shades of green very hard to blend so my petunia plant was really the result of some painstaking labour. Then suddenly-WHAP! a ginger paw reached across my painting, smearing lovingly crafted leaves into one big blob and stamping pawprints on what was intended to be a blue building and the sky. I wailed the phrase that must be very familiar to my upstairs neighbours by now: "Fussy, NOOOO!"

Worse than a smeared painting, I now had a cat with a green foot loose in my flat. Since I was using oil paint I really wanted to contain this disaster before I really lost my damage deposit! Then I realised I had forgotten to get a piece of paper or something to put my brush on so I had to hold it between my teeth while I chased the cat. It wasn't a small brush either! Then I had to attempt to wipe her feet clean with a towel which was even harder since you can't put turpentine on a cat!

Now she's outside. As for me, the damage total is: the painting, a shirt, a pair of trousers, a towel, and a small bit of the carpet. Wonder if I can market the canvas as "Amazing Painting Done By Cat". If it sold, I have lots of other ones: "Sunset With Pawprints", "Castle With Pawprints" "Portrait of Cat Featuring Her Very Own Pawprints".

And for some reason I still love the little beast!

Copyright © Cait O'Connor
October 15, 2001

9 years ago
Catch of the Day Lands Cat in Hot Water

Source of Photograph.....

This is the story of the night my ten-year-old cat, Rudy, got his head stuck in the garbage disposal. I knew at the time that the experience would be funny if the cat survived, so let me tell you right up front that he's fine.

Getting him out wasn't easy, though, and the process included numerous home remedies, a plumber, two cops, an emergency overnight veterinary clinic, a case of mistaken identity, five hours of panic, and fifteen minutes of fame.

First, some background. My husband, Rich, and I had just returned from a five-day spring-break vacation in the Cayman Islands, where I had been sick as a dog the whole time, trying to convince myself that if I had to feel lousy, it was better to do it in paradise.

We had arrived home at 9:00PM, a day and a half later than we had planned because of airline problems. I still had illness-related vertigo, and because of the flight delays, had not been able to prepare the class I was supposed to teach at 8:40 the next morning. I sat down at my desk to think about William Carlos Williams, and around ten o'clock I heard Rich hollering something undecipherable from the kitchen.

As I raced out to see what was wrong, I saw Rich frantically rooting around under the kitchen sink and Rudy, or rather, Rudy's headless body scrambling around in the sink, his claws clicking in panic on the metal. Rich had just ground up the skin of some smoked salmon in the garbage disposal, and when he left the room, Rudy (whom we always did call a pinhead) had gone in after it.

It is very disturbing to see the headless body of your cat in the sink.

This is an animal that I have slept with nightly for ten years, who burrows under the covers and purrs against my side, and who now looked like a desperate, fur-covered turkey carcass, set to defrost in the sink while it's still alive and kicking. It was also disturbing to see Rich, Mr. Calm-in-an-Emergency, at his wits end, trying to soothe Rudy, trying to undo the garbage disposal, failing at both, and basically freaking out. Adding to the chaos was Rudy's twin brother Lowell, also upset, racing around in circles, jumping onto the kitchen counter and alternately licking Rudy's butt for comfort and biting it out of fear. Clearly, I had to do something.

First we tried to ease Rudy out of the disposal by lubricating his head and neck. We tried Johnson's baby shampoo (kept on hand for my nieces' visits) and butter-flavored Crisco: both failed, and a now-greasy Rudy kept struggling.

Rich then decided to take apart the garbage disposal, which was a good idea, but he couldn't do it. Turns out, the thing is constructed like a metal onion: you peel off one layer and another one appears, with Rudy's head still buried deep inside, stuck in a hard plastic collar. My job during this process was to sit on the kitchen counter petting Rudy, trying to calm him, with the room spinning (vertigo), Lowell howling (he's part Siamese), and Rich clattering around with tools.

When all our efforts failed, we sought professional help. I called our regular plumber, who actually called me back quickly, even at 11 o'clock at night (thanks, Dave). He talked Rich through further layers of disposal dismantling, but still we couldn't reach Rudy. I called the 1-800 number for insinkerator (no response), a pest removal service that advertises 24-hour service (no response), an all-night emergency veterinary clinic (who had no experience in this matter, and so, no advice), and finally, in desperation, 911. I could see that Rudy's normally pink paw pads were turning blue. The fire department, I figured, gets cats out of trees; maybe they could get one out of a garbage disposal.

9 years ago

The dispatcher had other ideas and offered to send over two policemen. This suggestion gave me pause. I'm from the sixties, and even if I am currently a fine upstanding citizen, I had never considered calling the cops and asking them to come to my house, on purpose. I resisted the suggestion, but the dispatcher was adamant: "They'll help you out," he said.

The cops arrived close to midnight and turned out to be quite nice. More importantly, they were also able to think rationally, which we were not. They were, of course, quite astonished by the situation: "I've never seen anything like this," Officer Mike kept saying. (The unusual circumstances helped us get quickly on a first-name basis with our cops.) Officer Tom expressed immediate sympathy for our plight. "I have had cats all my life,"he said, comfortingly. Also he had an idea. Evidently we needed a certain tool, a tiny, circular rotating saw that could cut through the heavy plastic flange encircling Rudy's neck without hurting Rudy, and Officer Tom happened to own one. "I live just five minutes from here," he said; "I'll go get it."

He soon returned, and the three of them, Rich and the two policemen got under the sink together to cut through the garbage disposal. I sat on the counter, holding Rudy and trying not to succumb to the surreal-ness of the scene, with the weird middle-of-the-night lighting, the rooms occasional spinning, Lowell's spooky sound effects, an apparently headless cat in my sink and six disembodied legs poking out from under it.

The sink was lifted gently out of the countertop, with one guy holding the garbage disposal (which contained Rudy's head) up close to the sink (which contained Rudy's body). We laid the sink on its side, but even at this more favorable removal angle, Rudy stayed stuck.

Officer Tom's radio beeped, calling him away on some kind of real police business. As he was leaving, though, he had another good idea: "You know," he said, "I don't think we can get him out while he's struggling so much. We need to get the cat sedated. If he were limp, we could slide him out." And off he went, regretfully, a cat lover still worried about Rudy.

The remaining three of us decided that getting Rudy sedated was a good idea, but Rich and I were new to the area. We knew that the overnight emergency veterinary clinic was only a few minutes away, but we didn't know exactly how to get there. "I know where it is!" declared Officer Mike. "Follow me!" So Mike got into his patrol car, Rich got into the drivers seat of our car, and I got into the back, carrying the kitchen sink, what was left of the garbage disposal, and Rudy.

It was now about 2:00AM. We followed Officer Mike for a few blocks when I decided to put my hand into the garbage disposal to pet Rudy's face, hoping I could comfort him. Instead, my sweet, gentle bedfellow chomped down on my finger, hard, really hard and wouldn't let go. My scream reflex kicked into gear, and I couldn't stop the noise. Rich slammed on the breaks, hollering "What? What happened? Should I stop?" checking us out in the rear view mirror.

"No," I managed to get out between screams, "just keep driving. Rudy's biting me, but we've got to get to the vet. Just go!"

Rich turned his attention back to the road, where Officer Mike took a turn we hadn't expected, and we followed. After a few minutes Rudy let go, and as I stopped screaming, I looked up to discover that we were wandering aimlessly through an industrial park, in and out of empty parking lots, past little streets that didn't look at all familiar.

"Where's he taking us?" I asked. "We should have been there ten minutes ago!" Rich was as mystified as I was, but all we knew to do was follow the police car until, finally, he pulled into a church parking lot and we pulled up next to him. As Rich rolled down the window to ask, Mike, "where are we going?" The cop, who was not Mike, rolled down his window and asked, "Why are you following me?"

Once Rich and I recovered from our shock at having tailed the wrong cop car and the policeman from his pique at being stalked, led us quickly to the emergency vet, where Mike greeted us by holding open the door, exclaiming, "Where were you guys???"

9 years ago

It was lucky that Mike got to the vets ahead of us because we hadn't thought to call and warn them about what was coming. (Clearly, by this time we weren't really thinking at all.) We brought in the kitchen sink containing Rudy and the garbage disposal containing his head, and the clinic staff was ready.

They took his temperature (which was down 10 degrees) and his oxygen level (which was half of normal), and the vet declared: "This cat is in serious shock. We've got to sedate him and get him out of there immediately." When I asked if it was OK to sedate a cat in shock, the vet said grimly, "We don't have a choice." With that, he injected the cat; Rudy went limp; and the vet squeezed about half a tube of K-Y jelly onto the cat's neck and pulled him free. Then the whole team jumped into code blue mode.

(I know this from watching a lot of ER) They laid Rudy on a cart, where one person hooked up IV fluids, another put little socks on his paws ("You'd be amazed how much heat they lose through their pads," she said), one covered him with hot water bottles and a blanket, and another took a blow-dryer to warm up Rudy's now very gunky head. The fur on his head dried in stiff little spikes, making him look rather pathetically punk as he lay there, limp and motionless.

At this point they sent Rich, Mike, and me to sit in the waiting room while they tried to bring Rudy back to life. I told Mike he didn't have to stay, but he just stood there, shaking his head. "I've never seen anything like ," he said again. At about 3 am, the vet came in to tell us that the prognosis was good for a full recovery. They needed to keep Rudy overnight to re-hydrate him and give him something for the brain swelling they assumed he had, but if all went well, we could take him home the following night. Just in time to hear the good news, Officer Tom rushed in, finished with his real police work and concerned about Rudy. I figured that once this ordeal was over and Rudy was home safely, I would have to re-think my position on the police.

Rich and I got back home about 3:30AM. We hadn't unpacked from our trip, I was still intermittently dizzy, and I still hadn't prepared my 8:40AM class.

"I need a vacation," I said, and while I called the office to leave a message canceling my class, Rich made us a pitcher of martinis.

I slept late the next day and then badgered the vet about Rudy's condition until he said that Rudy could come home later that day. I was working on the suitcases when the phone rang. "Hi, this is Steve Huskey from the Norristown Times-Herald," a voice told me. "Listen, I was just going through the police blotter from last night. Mostly it's the usual stuff: Breaking and entering, petty theft but there's this one item. Um, do you have a cat?"

So I told Steve the whole story, which interested him. A couple hours later he called back to say that his editor was interested, too; did I have a picture of Rudy? The next day Rudy was front-page news, under the ridiculous headline:

Catch of the Day Lands Cat in Hot Water.

There were some noteworthy repercussions to the newspaper article. Mr. Huskey had somehow inferred that I called 911 because I thought Rich, my husband, was going into shock, although how he concluded this from my comment that his pads were turning blue, I don't quite understand. So the first thing I had to do was call Rich at work. Rich, who had worked tirelessly to free Rudy--and swear that I had been misquoted. When I arrived at work myself, I was famous; people had been calling my secretary all morning to inquire about Rudy's health. When I called our regular vet (whom I had met only once) to make a follow-up appointment for Rudy, the receptionist asked, "Is this the famous Rudy's mother?"

9 years ago

When I brought my car in for routine maintenance a few days later, Dave, my mechanic, said, "We read about your cat. Is he okay?"

When I called a tree surgeon about my dying red oak, he asked if I knew the person on that street whose cat had been in the garbage disposal. And when I went to get my hair cut, the shampoo person told me the funny story her grandma had read in the paper, about a cat that got stuck in the garbage disposal.

Even today, over a year later, people ask about Rudy, whom a 9-year-old neighbor had always called the Adventure Cat because he used to climb on the roof of her house and peer in the second-story window at her.

I don't know what the moral of this story is, but I do know that this adventure cost me $1100 in emergency vet bills, follow-up vet care, new sink, new plumbing, new electrical wiring, and new garbage disposal, one with a cover.

The vet can no longer say he's seen everything but the kitchen sink.

I wanted to thank Officers Tom and Mike by giving them gift certificates to the local hardware store, but was told that they couldn't accept gifts, that I would put them in a bad position if I tried. So I wrote a letter to the Police Chief praising their good deeds and sent individual thank-you notes to Tom and Mike, complete with pictures of Rudy, so they could see what he looks like with his head on.

And Rudy, whom we originally got for free (or so we thought), still sleeps with me under the covers on cold nights and unaccountably, he still sometimes prowls the sink, hoping for fish...

Copyright © Patti Schroeder
Gram to the Rescue
9 years ago

Source of Photograph.....

Andy is my grandson. When he was about 8 or 9 he had this pretty orange kitten named Sunkist. One day he and his kitty were out playing in the yard when Sunkist, frisky as kittens are, went flying across the yard and straight up the trunk of a very tall tree.

When he got as high as his momentum would take him, he came to his senses. There he was, way, way up in a tree and suddenly too frightened to come down.

Everyone said that eventually he would climb down on his own but three days later Sunkist was still high in the tree emitting a constant piteous meow. Andy was beside himself and spent nearly every waking moment beneath the tree looking up and calling to poor Sunkist.

On that third day Andy called the Police and Fire Departments, but they told him they no longer rescued cats. One person callously told him the cat would come down because nobody had yet found cat bones in a tree.

So what did Andy do next? He called me, Gram, of course.

In his eyes I was Gram, Doer of the Impossible, Accomplisher of the Miraculous.

I drove over to his house and as soon as I got there, he looked up at me with big sad eyes and said ever so trustingly, "Gram, you have to DO something."

So I went off to scope out the situation and sure enough, way, way high in the tree sat Sunkist meowing weakly from his tall prison.

I went into the house and thought and thought, wondering who I could find that could get his beloved kitty down. Finally I asked myself the right question, "Who climbs trees?"

Well, tree surgeons, of course! I opened the phone book and turned to Tree Surgeons in the yellow pages and started calling down the list.

I wasn't too successful at first. Nobody was interested in rescuing a cat in a tree, but finally I reached a sympathetic lady.

With worried Andy next to me, I filled her in on our situation. I told her in great detail about my very sad grandson who had been sitting vigil under the tree for three days now and his tiny, scared kitten trapped at the top of the tree.

I said I couldn't bear to hear Sunkist's pitiful little mews and that my grandson was depending on me to reunite him with his kitten. I told her I'd gladly pay for someone to rescue this kitty.

She agreed to check with the men when they came back to the office and said she'd call me if one of them would do it.

A little while later she called back with the news that a rescuer was on his way!

Back to the tree went Andy, me and a whole tribe of neighborhood kids. The tree climber pulled up to the house, but he didn't come alone -- he brought his wife and children so they could watch Daddy rescue the cat.

In front of the awed neighborhood kids and the tree climber's family, the brave man clipped big tree climbing spikes to his boots, clumped over to the tree, studied it for a moment and then and up, up, up he went.

Just a few minutes later down he came with scared little Sunkist clinging to him. When he reached the bottom, he handed Sunkist to a very relieved Andy. Andy rewarded the tree climbing hero with a huge smile and everyone cheered.

9 years ago

I took out my wallet and paid the tree climber $35 without a second's hesitation. The look of gratitude and love Andy gave me was worth every penny!

Copyright © Ruth Harding
August 5, 2003

9 years ago
I met a flabulous cat tonight!

Source of Photograph.....

I went to a party this evening and saw a flabulous cat. Note that this is "flabulous" with a small f - Dusty is still **Flabulous** with a capital F.

Actually, there were two cats there - one was a tortie and the other one, the generously proportioned one, was a brown tabby. Both were girls. And both were total love %#&!*%. Some cats, upon seeing a crowd of humans descend on their territory, run for the hills. Not these two. They sprawled on their backs and showed their bellies to anyone willing to look and touch. They sat on everyone's lap and purred. When the tabby cat (name: "Big Cat" - and yes, the tortie's name is "Little Cat") sat on my lap, she kept alternately licking and nipping my fingers. Cute! (One of the hostesses of the party told me that, in addition to Big Cat and Little Cat, they had another kitty who had been feral and was still pretty shy, so was hiding. She's even smaller than the other two, and her name is "Mini Cat.")

Anyway, at one point, the hostesses put on some salsa music. I was standing in the hallway, and I saw Big Cat run down the hallway toward me. Her belly was swinging back and forth in time to the music as she trotted down the hall. Fabulous Big Cat! (Oops, I mean *flabulous* Big Cat. smiley.gif )

Copyright © Joyce W.
November 12, 2001
9 years ago
How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Source of Photograph.....

I have just come back from visiting a niece in the state of Washington who lives on a large farm so the cats have plenty of space to play and roam. She has four cats. I have always lived with one cat at a time, so it was quite a different thing to live with four. I had forgotten how cuddly a cat in the night can be. They were so much fun and they each had their own foibles and personalities but they were united at breakfast. The first person downstairs had to feed the greedy little guys or they wrapped themselves around your feet and would not allow you to get your own breakfast. They all demanded "Us first, us first".

After breakfast each retired to his own napping space. But even sleeping their radar was working. Decide to go up to the garden or pick blackberries and there they were, following right behind like four gamboling puppies.

Jaspurr is the hunter, so practically every morning there was a dead present outside my bedroom door. Believe me, I came out with my eyes open and my feet stepping carefully. Jaspurr is also the bravest and moat curious. I have seen him go right up, nose to nose, with a deer and neither one showed any fear.

The cat door is on the second floor and Danny, the oldest cat was the self-appointed guardian of the door. He lay in front of it an would not allow any of the other three to come in or go out. Anyone who tried got his ears boxed. So my nephew put in another cat door on the first floor but didn't tell Danny which left Danny very puzzled as to where everybody went and how they were getting in and out of the house.

Unfortunately my visit came to and end but I won't forget my four furry friends.

Copyright © Ruth Harding
September 14, 2002
9 years ago
Jazz and the Mothership

Source of Photograph.....

Well, this afternoon I was in the kitchen cleaning up some stuff. As usual, Jazz was in there with me. He usually sits on his little chair, with the tip of his tail just curling a bit so it doesn't touch the floor, and waits there quietly until I finish what I'm doing. Then we go off to another room.

Today, though, he didn't go near the chair at all! He spent the entire time sitting IN FRONT of the kitchen door (which opens up into the garage) staring straight up at the ceiling. He didn't move his head the entire time, but his ears were standing straight up like he was listening to something. He wasn't scanning the ceiling either which happens when he sees some creepy, crawly up there.

I waited a while before I said anything to see how long he would stay like that. I don't know exactly how long it took for me to finish my chores but Jazz just stayed in the same position the entire time. I didn't want to say anything, just in case he was getting some really important instructions from the Mothership.

Hey, X-FILES Season 9 starts tonight, so maybe the Mothership was telling him about the show. Let's see how he reacts when we crank up the sound and the X-FILES theme comes on.

Copyright © Lydia Woods
November 12, 2001
9 years ago
Cat walks on water

Jasper Carrie

She did. Cathi and I saw it with our own eyes.

Carrie and Jasper are never going to get on. Today, Carrie ventured out into the garden, but found herself with Jasper between her and the safety of the house. Jasper wanted to play. His butt wiggled furiously, and then he pounced.

Carrie meowled angrily, hissed, and ran. There was a brief stand-off, then Jasper pounced again. Carrie turned and fled.

I don't think she had realised how close she was to the pond. But when she came to the edge, she didn't stop for a second. Now that is quite a wide pond, and looking at it afterwards, I am quite sure she must have touched down twice on the way across. But she still reached the safety of the other side unscathed, and although her tummy and the full length of four paws were soaked, everything above that line was still bone dry.

We have lily pads on our pond, so I can only guess that the combination of the speed she was doing and the resistance to sinking of the leaves served to give her *just* enough support to get across. But it was an impressive sight!

Copyright © Richard Miller & Cathi Martin
August 19, 2000
9 years ago
Feeding Time

Source of Photograph.....

"Mommy! Pleeeease give me some food! I'm SO hungry! I'm STARVING! I'll never make it! I don't know what I'm going to do! Help me please!"

"But honey, I just gave you a whole can of food. Salmon dinner! See! Its right here! And you've still got a whole plate of dry food here. What's the matter darlin'?"

"OhgodOhgodOhgod, I'll never make it! Please Mommy, I'm starving! I don't know what to do! My tummy is growling soooooo loud now! I need some food!"

"Babydoll, its right here! Nice salmon dinner!"

"Nooooooo! I can't eat THAT!"

"But you gobbled it up just the other day! You wanted more!"

"Mommy, please help me! I'm starving!"

"I thought you liked this one, you ate it just fine last week."

"OhgodOhgodOhgod, that was LAST week! Its NOT food THIS week! I could not eat that! Its like cardboard! Please help me mommy! I'm starving!"

"Look honey, its nice and creamy and chunky, just the way you like it - and like I said, heres your whole big plate of dry food. You're not going to starve. Really!"

"But I want something GOOD!"

"Oh I see, you're not in the mood for this just now. Well, you'll just have to make do until the next meal hon."

"Noooooooooooooooo! How can you be so cruel! You can't just let me starve! I don't know what I'm gonna do! Please help me Mommy! You want me to eat better don't you!?!?"

*Sigh* "Okay sweetie, there you go, you've tugged at my guilt strings now. And it works. Okay, let me see what else we have up here. *rustles around in cabinet* "Okay, how about oceanfish dinner with chunks?"

"Oh yes Mommy! You're the best! Oh ThankyouThankyouThankyou! Oh can't you get it on the plate any quicker!?!?! Oh PleasePleasePleasePlease!"

"Here you are darling. Does this one meet with your approval? I hope you like it. Remember, we aim to serve here at CatCafe."


Copyright © Susan F.
April 22, 2006
9 years ago
Cat's Best Friend

Source of Photograph.....

My friend Shirley is a sucker for stray animals.

I don't know why, but at any given time you can find at least five strange dogs lounging in her backyard. In fact, most of the dogs look so content I have a hunch that they really aren't lost at all -- they're merely on vacation.

They just wait for their owners to turn their backs, then dash straight to Shirley's house for a bit of relaxation, good food, and a nice change of scenery. Call me weird, but I could never fully understand why such a strong, sane person like Shirley could let animals walk all over her like that.

Of course, that was before my family was taken hostage by a stray cat. Now normally an occasional cat in the backyard wouldn't be a problem, but I could tell by the way this one peered into the window and meowed that it wasn't just passing through. For some reason I can't understand, this cat wanted desperately to come inside our house.

Now I've always loved cats, but any animal that voluntarily chooses to live with my family has to be a little, well... off.

Oh, it's not like we're bad people. But there is nothing -- nothing about us -- that says we need a new cat. Or want a new cat. In fact, I don't even have a good track record with pets. My childhood was a blur of hamsters followed by a plethora of goldfish and hermit crabs that all met untimely, tragic deaths. I still carry the guilt around to this day.

But, try explaining that to a stubborn fifteen-pound cat clinging on to your screen door.

"I wonder why it wants to come in so badly?" my daughter asked.

"Maybe it's lost," my husband said.

"Or maybe it just wants someone to pet it," my son said.

My theory is that perhaps the mounds of broken plastic toys, baskets of dirty laundry, and crumbs mashed into the carpet had confused the cat into thinking my living room was really a deserted back alley, somewhere on the shady side of town.

At first I tried ignoring it. When that didn't work, I did the only thing I could think of -- I fed it. Now, I know that it is exactly the kind of thing people are always warning you about, but I figured since it was already meowing at the same volume as say, a Metallica concert, there was no harm in giving it a little snack.

"Don't worry, it'll be OK," I assured my husband. "You'll see."

By the next morning the cat had torn the screen off the sliding door and began circling the house in an obsessive, Kathy Bates sort of way.

At one desperate point, I called my neighbor Julie, who has five cats. "Say, you aren't missing a particularly persistent cat with a fluffy orange tail, are you?"

"No, why?"

"There's one outside trying to break in."

"So, let it in."

Now, even I know that once you let a cat in, any type of freedom you had is over. It is now your cat. In fact, I bet the word would be out on the street in minutes and tomorrow I would find five more cats circling my house. Then ten.

So, I put a scary look on my face, looked the cat straight in the eye, and said firmly, "Go away."

9 years ago

And that would've been the end of it, except for the fact that the cat purred, then walked between my legs and into the house.

So I decided to let it stay. But just for a little while. After all, I'm a mature adult and I can handle one small cat without letting it take over my life. (Famous last words!)

Oh, and about what I said earlier about Shirley -- if you don't mind, let's just keep that between you and me.

Copyright © Debbie Farmer
May 4, 2001
9 years ago

Source of Photograph.....

We have two cats, "Chairman Meow" and "Sir Lick a Lot". Sir Lick a Lot is the smarter of the two. I've been teaching him to play chess. Actually, he's not all THAT smart, as I can still beat him two games out of three.

Chairman Meow on the other hand, is NOT mensa material. You would think that a cat living around here would know about things like aerodynamics.

Apparently not!

Our bird feeder is aprox. 10 feet off the end of the back deck on a 4x4 post about even with the deck height of 8 feet. Yesterday, the Chairman was seen on the deck assiduously studying flight dynamics as he envisioned them applying to cats and bird feeders.

We watched him sit there quietly as he no doubt worked out the physics and mentally constructed the wanted trajectory against his aerodynamic profile.

I of course being the more "experienced" member of the family already knew that the Chairman's flight envelope bore a close resemblance to a brick. My lovely wife of 35 years however, was actually showing some signs of concern.

"Can he make it?" she said!

"Well", I said, looking at our over fed; over weight fur creature, "perhaps with a ladder, or if he has eaten those baked beans I left for him in his dish."

As I spoke, my wife let out a scream as it became instantly apparent that the Chairman had done the math. He twitched his tail and made his takeoff run. Unfortunately, his math was either very bad, or he had used the wrong base. He reached Cso [cat stall/paws and tail extended] and rotated at Cr [idiot cat liftoff speed]. All four paws came out as he serenely soared over the top rail. Somewhere between Vx and Vy he came to a complete understanding with Isaac Newton. Actually, Bernoulli was never even a factor. He came to an absolute stop in mid air for just an instant; I could swear that he looked back at me with a sort of stupid smile on his face. Then down he went, right into the rose hedge.

The problem with the Chairman is that he never actually learns anything. If he could shave, it wouldn't be with Ocam's Razor. In his mind I'm sure he feels that the gravity was especially bad yesterday.

He will no doubt re-study the problem and try again.

Copyright © Dudley Henriques
9 years ago
A story about my Cat, Banshee

Banshee Stache

I was never really a cat person. My wife and I got one cat Stache, a few years ago. She wanted a cat as an anniversary gift. We got our second cat, Banshee to keep Stache company. But as Stache was six months old when we first got her, Banshee was only five weeks old. I felt she was too young to be away from her brood at that point, but no one listens to me anyway.

Banshee was really tiny. I thought she must have been the runt of the litter. She looked like a little puffball with stubby legs. You could hold her whole body in one hand. Yet, Banshee and I had and still have a bond of sorts. As I stated I'm not a cat person, but Banshee always curled up on my shoulder when II sat on the couch and fell asleep. Unfortunately Banshee had the distressing habit of hiding in dark places. I guess her eyes were sensitive, being only a few weeks old at that time. She crawled under the couch cushions, under the pillows and mattress...anywhere soft and warm. At the time I worked at the pentagon as a Multimedia Technician and platoon Sergeant.

Well, One day I came home from work and my wife was gone. She worked in the evenings. Stache was asleep on my computer chair, her favorite spot at the time. But I didn't see Banshee. I took the the trash out to the dumpster. Then I looked for Banshee. I couldn't find her in any of her usual hiding places. Oh, I begged Stache to do a lassie-like move and give me a hint on where the tiny kitten was, but she just rolled over to one side and ignored me!

"I'm doomed!" I thought. Mary will kill me if I don't find that kitten. Then I remembered how she liked to hide in dark places. Omigod! Banshee probably crawled into the trash bag. She had an amazing ability to slip beneath things. She was probably under all of the crap in the bag and I just threw her away! I ran outside and down the street to the dumpster. Keep in mind I was still in uniform...and jumped into the trash. It was full, it was hot outside and there were flies galore. But I started ripping trash bags open hoping to find the one I threw in and my kitten. Just then my neighbor came down to throw her trash out and saw me in the dumpster. Here I am, in a dumpster, in uniform, covered in trash and ripping trash bags apart. She looked at me and her jaw dropped. I said weakly "I threw away my cat."

My neighbor ran back inside laughing. I followed and went into my apartment to strip off my now smelly uniform and take a shower. As I put my shirt in the hamper I saw a gray and white puffball sleeping on the uniform I had put in there the day before. BANSHEE! The entire time she had been in the hamper! I would have been annoyed, but I noted she was curled up on my uniform just between the name tags that read my name and US ARMY.

Ever since then Banshee has always made it a point to sleep on my uniforms, as if she knew. And even though she pisses me off at times, Banshee will always be my cat. Hell, I've even given her the honorary rank of corporal.

Copyright © D4 Everman
August 21, 2000
9 years ago
Kitty Thieves

Source of Photograph.....

My in-laws have a cat named Cletus, a very beautiful Snowshoe, but mean! We were all over at their house playing a boardgame, and my sister-in-law, Heather, brought her two kids, Toni and Corey. Both of the kids were playing on the stairs, and Toni came up to us crying because someone stole her glasses. The only part we all caught was "...he stole my glasses and I try to get it back from him and he scratched me". We all thought she was talking about Corey, but he came down and said that Cletus did it. Toni repeated her story, and this time, she said that Cletus took off with her glasses. I went to check under the beds, and there he was, under the bed with Toni's glasses. I got her glasses and gave them back to her, and picked Cletus up, he looked at the kids and hissed. My mother-in-law said that he's like a mean little kid.

Then there's Sabrina. She had given birth to a litter of kittens on Ash Wednesday on 2001. For Easter dinner, we made a turkey, and naturally, we didn't eat it all. A few days later, Frankie (my husband's grandmother) went into the kitchen to make her a sandwich with the leftover turkey. The turned around to put the turkey back in the fridge, and when she turned back to her sandwich, the turkey was gone from her bread. Sabrina had stolen the slice of turkey and wolfed it down.

Thieving cats!!!

Copyright � Jennifer Stafford
November 20, 2002
9 years ago
Why Am I Surprised?

clembaby01.jpgA 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.jpgThe 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
9 years ago
Sasha vs. the Marshmallow

Source of Photograph.....

I'm sitting at my desk working on my dissertation proposal, and there is a small bag of marshmallows sitting on the desktop. Sasha, my DMH tortie and all-around glamour cat, hops up on the desk to see what's what. Purr, headbonk, putter around the desktop to find the optimum comfort spot under the 100W desk lamp. Suddenly Sasha sees the bag of marshmallows and starts pawing at it. Usually this means she is playing (she likes the sound the plastic makes when she paws it) but now she's trying to get her head into the bag. Hmm, I think -- could Sasha the finicky, who usually refuses all human food, be interested in marshmallows? So I pull one out and put it on the (dark wood) desktop, where it sits looking remarkably like a fuzzy mouse.

Looking at Sasha, I am amazed to see that she is crouched to pounce, eyes dilated, mouth open and making that little ack-ack sound that she usually reserves for sparrows in the lilac bushes outside the window. Crouch.. butt-wiggle... POUNCE! She sinks in her fangs.

It is clear that the marshmallow never saw this coming. Sasha sits absolutely still for a moment, mouth full of marshmallow, waiting for a reaction. Nothing. With a little growl she shakes it, to make sure it's dead, tosses it gently into the air a little, and lets it fall to the desktop. Now what?

Pinning it down with one enormous paw (for a small cat, Sasha has very big furry feet), she starts to lick it gently. Lick, lick, pick it up, shake it a little, drop it, lick fluff off paw. Pick it up again, chew a little, drop it again. You can hear her purring in the next room. Pretty soon there are sticky little spots of marshmallow fluff all over the desktop and one very sad-looking marshmallow crouching on the mousepad. Sasha moves in for the kill...

Oops. Now I'm going to have to reprint my proposal. I've returned slightly mangled papers to my students before ("Sorry, my cat ate your homework") but I don't think my committee will like to read this version: 11 pages plus one marshmallow.

Actually, make that 5/8 of a marshmallow.

Copyright © Kate Alexandra Lingley
April 8, 2000
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.

9 years ago

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
A Funny Story

Source of Photograph.....

I have to share a funny cat story with you!

Whilst getting ready for work this morning, I could hear my cat and another cat hissing and meowing at each other from the front yard. I rushed to the front loungeroom window and saw my cat (on my side of the fence i.e.: my front yard) and another cat (in our neighbour's front yard) obviously arguing over territory.

The funny things is, they were both at the side fence bounding our house with our neighbours on either side, and were meowing at each other through a little hole. Nothing new here, but mind you, the part of the fence they were at, is just under waist height so they could have easily jumped over for a 'proper' disagreement! I broke the argument up, however it was a funny sight to see two little cats acting all 'tough' with each other through the safety of a fence, yet neither was willing for a real battle!

I find myself laughing at the antics of my cat or other cats each day.

Copyright © Sally Zanic
February 12, 2002
9 years ago
Old Cat, New Tricks

Source of Photograph.....

I find that you can teach an old cat new tricks so to speak. She develops more and more habit patterns every day, it seems, and involves herself in very special activities.

There's a ritual about going to bed at night. When she was very little, I'd put her down in the rec room at night and close the door. I'd let her "bump" down the stairs (the sound of kitten feet bumping down stairs at a run. And I'd tell her "go bump-bump-bump" as she went.

Older now, the ritual still holds, although she doesn't go nearly as fast ... but the bump-bump-bump is still a part of it. Now she sits and looks at me and hollers unless I tell her those three words. That means it's time to go to bed. She doesn't feel all of the ritual has been properly followed without it.

I wonder what goes on in that little cat brain.

Copyright © Frank Pierce
February 21, 2001
9 years ago
Vacuum cleans the cat

Source of Photograph.....

Old order of things:

Two cats are sleeping peacefully; Grey Tabby on the sofa, Black&White in the big chair by the heater.

Enter left: Human Slave with vacuum cleaner.

Grey Tabby launches himself into orbit; B&W couldn't care less.

Slave cleans the whole room, except the big chair by the heater. She politely asks B&W to vacate the chair just for a couple of minutes. No response. Slave tries coaxing, arguing, pleading, ***ing, to no avail. She sighs, lifts B&W up to carry him off. B&W has other ideas. He digs his left front leg claws into the upholstery of the chair and hangs on. Slave moves backwards, only to discover that B&W's leg has turned into chewing gum. However, his body and hind legs are getting ominously tense. Slave isn't feeling up to an encounter of the third degree. She advances to chair, extricates claws with her free hand and moves away again. This time his right front leg claws are stuck.

Procedure is repeated several times, and goes on for months and months.

Finally, Slave has had enough. She walks up to motionless B&W and tells him he has two options: move or get vacuumed.

He doesn't move. Slave applies vacuum cleaner to B&W's back. It works. B&W shoots up into the air, lands in the chair, and stands still. Tail flying, back undulating, he purrs ecstatically and butts his head against Slave's hand.

New era:

Slave enters left with vacuum cleaner. Grey Tabby launches himself into orbit. B&W leaps up to take his position in the middle of the floor, saying with exquisite feline eloquence: ME FIRST!!

Copyright © Magnhild Kvernmo
May 9, 2002
9 years ago
New Friend

Source of Photograph.....

Some ask how I can remember all my cats names... it's not too hard.

Let's see, Twinner (the Mamma). Her kittens: Cow, Spazz, Shyly, Runt, Hisser (who is Twinner's step brother but when five weeks old decided she was his mom, they are inseparable) Wide Diamond, Squirrel, Pauline, Cheeto (named after the food, my son thinks those calico markings are delicious), Trouble and Tribble the Tabby Twins (how alliterate!) who much like the television tribble always seem to wind up in your arms purrrrrrring. Ugly (poor fellow) and Stripe. Then there is Wish... Twinner's mom and her two sons Tux (the cell phone addict) and Bear. All are related, without line breeding... calicos, tabbies, Norwegian forest cats... a big happy family. We love cats... or couldn't you tell?

Obviously NOT big enough the cats decided.

Recently my significant other, our three year old son and I went on an eight day road trip. We left a good friend in charge of the cats. His mission? Feed, water, count heads and pet. Luckily he isn't allergic, this is a gregarious, chatty and quite affectionate crew. (Ever slept with this many cats? Neither have I, they take over the bed... I get the throw pillows in front of the computer.) We called him on the third day, worried about our furry family.

"How are the cats?" Significant other asks.

"Good good." Was the blase reply....

"All accounted for?"

"Yep I did a head count this morning on the porch." (We built the cats a two story kitty condo right in front of the front window, they LOVE it).

"They were all there?"


We waited.

"They were all asleep when I got there. On the porch. So I stood on the porch and did a head count. Kitty kitty kitty kitty possum kitty kitty...Huh? Kitty kitty kitty kitty possum kitty kitty...what the....and there it was. About the size of Cow (who is around 12 pounds and growing), a possum, curled up and sleeping with the cats!"

We burst into gales of laughter. Concerned, I asked about the youngest kittens (seven weeks old). They were among the crew sleeping with the frozen petrified possum. Obviously they were taking care of the critter!

We haven't seen our cats new possum pal yet, but we know he's there!!

Copyright © Jacquie Bates
January 10, 2002

9 years ago
The Very Sick Little Cat

#34 Rescued 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 positive.

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.

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 tell me about this kitten. Joe would say, “He’s real sick and hungry and cold and, and... he's so sick.”

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 me.”

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 okay 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.

Copyright © Cleo
February 11, 2001

PS: #34 rescued cat was adopted by one of our math teachers on April 7, 2001. Her new name is Lolita.
The Lion doesn't sleep tonight
9 years ago

Source of Photograph.....

My Lovely Bride and I were idling on our porch last night, here in wintery Florida (must be all of seventy). The pussycats were circulating around, sniffing the breeze and lounging. Then, in the distance, a loud cough. Then a distinct roar.

Here in Palm Bay, we have a Lion Rescue. A guy finds home for the animals that idiots try and raise and he generally has a lion or three on hand at all times.

Well, the wind was right, the lion(s) were restless and they had something to say.

The pussycats all stood up at the first cough. Listened intently, ears forward. (roar) The gang of fur strode quickly and purposefully toward the bedroom. Gazelle had a ridge of fur up on her spine.

Walk in the bedroom, no pussycats. Look under the bed. Three pairs of glowing eyes. "We ain't coming out, we know we are small predators."

LB and I packed up for the night and went to bed. It wasn't until about an hour after all the doors were closed that Himself and Pooka slunk out and climbed in bed. Gazelle spent all night under there.

There was no need for introductions: "Lion, Pook, Pooka, Lion". They knew what was out there in the night.

Conscience, that quiet voice that says "Someone may be watching".

Copyright © Paul F. Austin
December 6, 1998
9 years ago
A Day the Sun Shines

Source of Photograph.....

"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.

9 years ago

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.




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

     Please stay tuned for Part Three.....
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