Source of Photograph.....
A day in the life, with six cats...
5.00am: vaguely wake up as Marion goes out to work a ridiculously early morning shift for the second day running this week.
5.45am: woken by a godawful series of crashes and bangs all over the house, finally centring on the bathroom. Find Ollie and Courtney attempting to simultaneously catch a large brown bird they've brought in through the catflap while preventing their mother Marblecake and adoptive father Splodge from getting a bite. Throw two very determined kittens out of the bathroom, locate my key for the security latch, go back into the bathroom followed by two kittens, throw kittens out of the bathroom again, unlatch and open the window so the bird can fly out, emerge from bathroom fighting off two kittens and their parents attempting to get back in, go back to bed.
6.00am: respond to another series of crashes and bangs, again from the bathroom. Discover that the bird is still hiding behind the toilet and the kittens have gone out through the catflap and jumped back in through the bathroom window, scattering a shelfload of toiletries everywhere. Attempt to catch the bird, which ends up as a silent-movie chase with me and the kittens all after the bird. I grab a Palestinian scarf I have covering up some stacked pictureframes and finally manage to net the bird in it at the front door. Emerge from front door stark naked shooing the kittens back inside, unwrap the bird on the path, see that it still seems mobile enough to make a getaway, and go back to bed.
6.30am: woken by an appalling pong to find Chloe has had diarrhoea under the bedroom window. Clean it up, then when going back find out that another cat (probably Ishtar) has peed in the hallway. Throw an old newspaper over it to soak it up and go back to bed. Feed the cats, which means shutting Ishtar in the bathroom as she gets different food. Go back to bed.
7.00am: woken by Ishtar meowing that she's had her breakfast and can she get out please. Let her out and go back to bed. Manage to sleep this time.
11.00am: get up (I don't work Fridays). Make coffee (a process which always involves Splodge demanding a cuddle) and read email (doing this without Splodge on my lap is unheard-of).
Afternoon: clean up cat pee. Change both inside and outside litter trays. Get dinner started. Marion comes back home and immediately notices that my shoes (in the hallway) have been puked on. Clean that up, but while I'm doing it Ishtar decides to throw up. I manage to interrupt her and get her to finish outside. Clean it up. Step in some more cat puke in my socks.
Just now: feed the cats. This involves giving Ishtar her special food again, in the bathroom. Ollie charges in and won't take no for an answer. When I pick him up to put him in the hallway, he grips the bathmat in his claws like grim death so I have to drop both kitten and bathmat together outside the door. I don't think any of them have puked on the bathmat yet.
To Do: pick up the cotton buds that either the bird or the kittens knocked off the bathroom window shelf. Wash socks. Also the bedroom rug that Chloe had diarrhoea on yesterday, and my trousers and Marion's underwear, both of which Ishtar peed on the night before that.
I do love my furries.
Copyright © Jack Campin
June 28, 2008
Please stay tuned for the next installment.....
Source of Photograph.....
I'd like to share a cute little (night-)story about Blacky, the tomcat.
On May 28th, just before I went to bed, I had a last look after our furry folks - at that time both busy outside. And look, Blacky stood in front of the patio door. He had a present with him - in his mouth he carried a respecable mouse. But - mouse is not for the house - neither dead or alive, thats a rule here. In spite of that I would have liked to give some praise to our big black kitty, but the patio door kept being closed for the moment.
Blacky looked at me - with the mouse still in his mouth - and requested: "Open that door!" I looked back: "Hey old fellow, I am sorry, but mouse is not for the house."
Now Blacky put that mouse very carefully down in front of his fore paws and looked at me again: "OK, is THAT all right?" I still was a little bit unsure but thought, the risk to open the door now would be acceptable. The mouse sat there, absolutely motionless.
When I opened the door the latch cracked quite loudly. Blacky had been watching my hand and was distracted. The mouse - just like Speedy Gonzales (you know - the fastest mouse of Mexico) - cannoned away across the patio into the darkness and the rain. Obviously she had not been hurt at all. Blacky absolutely did not realize, that his prey had literally vanished from under his paws.
As he grasped that his mouse had run, he faced me with such a very dumbfounded look that I could not keep from laughing. Totally upset he searched for the mouse and sniffed all across the patio. That was neither the time for some praise nor for the question, whether he would not prefer to come inside for the night. He was absolutely busy with the loss of his prey.
After about ten minutes of fruitless search he concluded to stay outside for the night. So I went to bed - but without my big black furrykid.
Copyright © Michael Micha
May 30, 2007
Lady Bird, when she was a baby
I would like to share a cute little thing my "Lady Bird" cat does. I swear she is the smartest cat that has ever owned me!
It all started about a month ago when we got our water cooler. For some odd reason Lady Bird was really fascinated by the "blub blubs" the water cooler made when you dispensed water. She always runs from whatever room she was in to the kitchen and jump on the table just hear the "blub blub" noise. I think she was also fascinated by how the water came out. She always looked at it with the curious turning twisting head thing that cats sometimes do.
Well to make the story short, a few weeks later we kept hearing this noise in the kitchen like "flip flip ....flip flip". We went to the kitchen to check on what was making the noise, and to our surprise we found our Lady Bird had stretched up to the handle of the water cooler. She had learned how to press the lever and drink right from the spout! Isn't that amazing?! Please don't worry - believe me, she has plenty of fresh water she can drink from her bowl - she just prefers water from the cooler. It's just the darndest thing I have ever seen.
Has anybody ever encountered behavior like this? If so please email me, I would be interested to read your experiences.
Copyright © Bottlecap
May 18, 2002
Source of Photograph.....
To say that Emma loves tuna is an understatement. It would be more accurate to say that the mere sound of the can opener and the wafting aroma of the fish will send her in to a passionate fit of euphoria. So much is she obsessed with tuna that I have been forced to design ridiculously intricate plans just to enjoy a simple tuna salad sandwich. Tonight was no exception.
I found Emma to be asleep, snoring like a lumberjack, on the nightstand next to my bed. I tip-toed sneakily out of the bedroom into the kitchen, where I tossed a couple pieces of bread in to the toaster. With as much stealth, I assembled my ingredients and utensils in to the small laundry room off to the side of the kitchen, which was the farthest possible distance away from my slumbering carpet weasel. Just to be safe, I started the washer and dryer, figuring if the toasting bread wouldn't mask the scent, most certainly the noise of the machines would blunt her from hearing the can being opened. Ten minutes later I emerged from my lair, no Emma in sight.
Certain of my victory, I softly slithered to the living room where I grabbed a piece of rug in front of the television. I had just savored my third bite of sandwich in peace when my hand was jolted violently toward my stomach. Looking down, I spied my little tuna torpedo with her head firmly planted in the center of my remaining repast. "Can I help you?," I asked in sheer befuddlement. Emma re-emerged from my dinner, face completely coated from ear tips to chin in mayonnaise, a small bit of celery dangling from her long eyelashes, triumphantly munching her looted tuna, with a shred of lettuce dangling precariously from her smirking kisser. A quick survey of the area found a piece of cheddar shrapnel nearly embedded in the side of the sofa.
Emma's emerald eyes danced triumphantly as I carted her to the bathroom for a thorough melon washing. She purred in contentment as I started to contemplate my next anti-tuna-interruptous tactic. Somehow I envisioned this entailing me being locked in the laundry room and the clothes dryer being turned on...with me and my sandwich inside!
Copyright © Leslie M.
September 8, 2005
Source of Photograph.....
Cats can appear at the most inconvenient times. My house has always been a magnet for stray cats.
As I was packing my truck to leave on a camping trip, this beautiful gray and white cat kept coming up to me, asking to be petted. She was well-fed, and looked to be in excellent health, but I still worried about whether she had a home. I hadn't seen her before in the neighborhood, but the weather was beautiful, and I thought it best to leave her outside and maybe she'd find her way home.
I looked for the gray and white cat when I got home, but didn't see her again for several months. Then around August, she started hanging out on the side of my house with a group of other young cats from the neighborhood. Every time I came out of the house, or into the back yard, they'd all skedaddle like they'd been caught smoking behind the barn. As fall came and the weather grew colder, she hung back a bit when all the other cats left. Pretty soon she was willing to come in the house and eat.
As I do every time a stray shows up, I put up posters all over the neighborhood, but nobody called to claim the cat. I had named her Gracie, as in graceful. When she was living outside, she had a habit of running up the trees in my back yard and then running right back down again by herself. I've never seen another cat do that.
Gracie had been living with me for almost a year when I saw the poster -- "Lost Small Gray and White Cat." There were tear-off tabs with a phone number. I was on my way to the gym, so I took a tab and stuffed it in my bag, and went on.
I knew that I had to call that phone number, but I had come to love her and I just didn't want to give her up. For a couple of weeks I agonized, then decided I had to call. After all, if it had been my cat, I would have wanted to know she was OK. So, I searched my gym bag for the number. I couldn't find it! I searched a few more times over the next week, but with no luck. I rationalized that Gracie was meant to be my cat.
Several more months went by, and as I reached into an inner pocket of my gym bag for something, I pulled out that slip of paper with the phone number. Now, I had to call!
When I did, I heard an amazing story. Gracie, this robust, healthy, beautiful cat, had been thrown out of a station wagon at a stable that her owner's roommate frequented. The car took off and was never seen again. At that time, Gracie was a tiny kitten, and very sick. The roommate took her home and gave her medication for weeks -- never sure she would survive. They named her China, because she was so delicate.
Apparently, China slipped out an open door one day and was gone. They saw her once more -- peering into the screen door -- but by the time they got to the door and unlocked it, she was gone. They hadn't seen or heard about her since.
The woman I talked with asked if I wanted to keep China -- they had taken in too many cats (that sounded familiar), and in fact had just taken some of them to a friend who had a small farm. All she asked was that she be allowed to come over and see China, now Gracie, one more time. Of course I said yes.
When Gracie's former "Mom" came over, she looked at Gracie, then past her to my other cats, and asked where China was. She hadn't recognized her because Gracie had grown from a scrawny, sickly kitten into a healthy, beautiful cat. We figured she must have had at least one more home between our two, because she was already healthy when she got to me. She certainly had a long, interesting journey on the way to her permanent home.
Copyright © Jo Baer
April 10, 2002
Source of Photograph.....
Here is something for you to ponder...
After a routine trip to the vets, I was told to "stop feeding so many treats" and had my wrist firmly slapped.
So here we are, sitting watching TV, with a packet of Tiggs' favourite treats on the coffee table, its about 7:00PM (ish), and Tiggs starts his usual batting everything off the table till the treats are left, and then starts batting and prodding at them, saying "give me them NOW". Mummy doesn't have the heart to refuse him, so big bad Daddy steps in, and takes them away and tells him that he isn't allowed them till 11:00PM.
We think nothing more of it, we sit there for the rest of the evening, then up comes Tiggs (he sits on the coffee table in front of the TV to proves that cats are not transparent), and starts batting at the treats again - so Mummy gives in and gives him a few.
Suddenly I look at the clock - you know the time was 11:00PM...
Spooky Coincidence, or just plain cat??
Copyright © Purple Flea Cat
September 28, 2001
Source of Photograph.....
Got a little story about Cleo, think this goes miles to explaining how perceptive this cat is.
Okay, so last week, on Wednesday, my grandmother invites me to her cottage. Dad is bringing dinner over on Thursday, and I'm thinking maybe he can mind the cat for the weekend. So I call my Dad Wednesday night, tell him about the cottage invitation (given the weather today, didn't miss much). Ask him if he'll kindly take the Cleo home with him when he leaves Thursday, and return her on Sunday or Monday.
Now as it turned out, I got an answering machine message a short while later, and Dad said he was too busy to mind the Cleo. That I'd have to postpone my cottaging for another time. Well, I was disappointed and all, but these things happen, and the weather isn't great this year anyway for that sort of thing, so I called my grandmother to cancel.
Now, for the cute part... Dad comes over on Thursday with my favourite meal, Chicken Sandwiches. I think it's Cleo's favourite as well. I looked in my room to see Cleo in her bed, ears were flat to each side, she was a MAD CAT. Pointed it out to Dad, he said "yep she looks pissed off". I turned my back for barely a minute, when I went to look, the Cleo was gone. Thought she went to check out what Dad brought for dinner, but no Cleo in the kitchen. I checked my room, then under the bed. A scared looking Cleo was hiding in the corner under my bed.
Cleo always comes to say hi to Dad, she did the last time he was here... even though she's staying in my room a little more when he visits, she's become less demanding of my Dad's attention when he stopped shooing her away (he's got allergies and she makes his eyes water). Well he likes her now, so he pets her when she comes over to say hi (but then has to wash his hands, just like me... cat dander in my eyes is nasty).
Cleo did NOT come out the whole time Dad was there. Not five minutes after he leaves, after we ate this good smelling food and she stayed away... she comes out. She waited for him to leave before coming out. Told Dad she seemed to be scared of him tonight, he says "Maybe she heard you on the phone asking me to babysit her for the weekend". That made me laugh... I'm sure she wouldn't understand anyway, but it's the intuition I was up to something she picked up on. That was so cute.
Hopefully she'll come out to say hi next time... I'll have to be more careful to do my scheming when Cleo's out of the room.
Copyright © Rachel Upton
September 24, 2000
This is the story of how my girl 'Dusty' found me...
She came to me a little more than three years ago, the day after hurricane Floyd blew through...
We had closed the shop down because of the impending doom approaching (which thankfully passed us by). The day after, I was at work when someone told me they had seen a kitten back in the bindery department. Now, the one real soft spot that I have is cats, especially kittens, especially kittens in need. So I got up from my desk and went to the other end of the building to see if I could see the cat they were talking about.
The bindery department was very busy that day, a lot of movement, noisy paper folding machines and forklifts running all over the place. Through all of that noise I could hear a little kitten just screaming, 'MEOW! ... MEOW! ... MEOW!.. MEOW!'. All I could think was that she was calling out 'MOM! ... MOM! ... MOM! ... MOM!' and it made me crazy.
I tracked down where the sounds were coming from, and looked carefully and all I could see was the silhouette of the tiny cat, under a large palette of paper. Me and one other guy (nobody else there could have given a *** about it) moved some boxes around to block her in and keep her from running out and getting hurt, or worse. But no matter what I did, I just couldn't reach her. So I had an idea...
I went to the snack machine and got one of those ham and cheese 'snack packs'. Tearing off tiny bits of ham, I tossed them towards the edge of the palette to try and get her to come out. The first throw was right on the money, and I watched as a little, tiny, white-tipped paw come out of hiding and scoop up the piece of meat. I kept tossing the treats, and each time they were a little further away from her hiding place, and she would come all the way out, scoop up the ham, then run back.
With the last piece, I threw it right at my feet and waited. I stood there, NOT MOVING and watched her little pink nose come out first, sniffing away. Then she came out, walked over to the meat, and with one smooth motion I reached down and scooped her up.
I was afraid that she would just FREAK OUT in my hand so I held her away from my body at first, but surprisingly, she sat, rather calmly, in the palm of my hand, and looked RIGHT INTO ME and sad 'MMMMMEEEEEEEOOOOWWWWWW!!!!!!' So I pulled her close, and tucked her under my chin and she snuggled right in, purring like crazy. We bonded immediately.
I carried her back to my desk, picking up a big box on the way, but
every time I tried to put her down she would just SCREAM. So I sat at
my desk, and for about an hour, I held her in one hand while I worked
at my Mac until lunch.
Luckily, the place I have lunch every day is right across the street from a vet. So I dropped her off, then went and had lunch. I left her at the vet so she could be checked out, and picked her up on the way home. In the car, she curled up in my lap and purred all the way home.
The vet guessed that she wasn't quite six weeks old. But other than being a little dehydrated, starving and covered with fleas, dirt and dust (that's why her name is 'Dusty'), she was fine.
And although she was the baby at the time (the other cats quickly took over as surrogates), she VERY quickly became (and still is) the leader of the pride (of three) and can control the other two with nothing more than a look.
After three years she still rarely lets me out of her sight, and argues with me every day when I leave for work.
I went in for a small medical procedure this year, and when I got home and was back on the couch, she was immediately at my side, protecting me from the other cats (and some people) growling at whoever would get close (it was funny)!
The day that I found her and brought her home, my four-year-old nephew came over to see her. I told him that I found her at work, he got a little teary-eyed, his bottom lip came out and he asked me, 'But how did she get at your work?'
I told him that she came looking for me.
Copyright © John Rahn
December 22, 2002
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.
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
Source of Photograph.....
Let me tell you about "Boneca".
I live in Portugal - in a wild place with wolves - high in the mountains. My wife's mother had an elderly cousin who lived on the other side of Porto - the city where the family live. She had a haberdashery shop in one of those neighbourhoods where the streets are black with dust from the trucks that roar through the narrow streets - just past the dim and dirty window of the shop where Boneca would sit and watch folk go by. The shop had never officially closed - yet it was not really open - the old cousin just got older - her spectacles got thicker - the house got scruffier.
There had been an old man who lodged there and mended Philips razors in his room.
When he died she was all alone - she had argued with the other old ladies in the large family - or they with her - who can remember?
One day there is a scratching at her door - there is a little torty/brindle kitten - she let's her in and calls her Boneca. She bought her Friskies - and when she got so old and ill that everything fell out of order she would scrape some of her own paps onto the corner of her chair for boneca to eat. (She is behind me on my chair dictating the details now "prrrp - - prrp").
My brother in law took the old lady to the doctor when she needed - but really, because her other relatives were scattered about the world she was alone with Boneca.
When the funeral directors came for her - they found this little cat asleep on the bed with her. She had been there to her last. The Portuguese are not very nice to household animals - so they put the young cat out in the little yard and thought no more of it.
Other old ladies in the family had died in recent memory - and we did not like how relations swooped down to look for treasure in the houses. We made a policy of always going last when everyone had picked the place over - but even then there were mutterings how we had "taken the best things". This was because folk were always looking for stuff with cash value - and we just liked objects that we might use or look at every day - and be part of the departed for us - like old tools, clothes or what - objects that teach you something - just for holding them.
We had a table from the house and some funny bits and bobs from the shop - things in torn packets from the fifties and such. (Boneca has now climbed on a high chest to pointedly sniff the picture of me winning the Bridport poetry prize in UK - making sure I do justice to her tail (sic)).
My brother-in-law mentioned that there was a cat. He would take her but he was worried because he already had two rabbits living free in the yard of his antique shop (nothing in there taken from the ancient departed - he's into armour and swords and stuff) - the rabbits were taken over from a bored (spoilt?) daughter - they and the cat might get on far too well.
I managed to catch her and got her into the basket. I was not sure about having a little town kitty where we live because the rough types that lived under our granary and shared the ribs from the barby - might not give her a good time. She might not be fully housetrained - because the old dear was well sketchy at the end and hadn't been able let her out always - you can imagine.
The house was stripped for partial demolition - or some-such indignity - I had decided we could have Boneca. Suddenly I had like a tap on the shoulder and looked in the back of a shelf behind old boxes and stuff - there was a white (factory unpainted) Vista Alegre porcelain tea-pot - something I like very much. The old lady was saying "Thanks"
While she had been out, Boneca had had a romantic adventure. (She is not to "die a virgin" like her previous "donna"). Boneca was very ill with fevers during the pregnancy and we got to know our vet very well. My wife had never seen anything being born - her Serra de Estrella dog never whelped. She cannot have kids herself. Ginja and Tigrinha were born on the sofa beside her late one evening while I was asleep.
Boneca is far too much "old lady" but also fully "cat". She caught the kitchen mouse and was so proud she woke us up in the night to boast. In the morning when I went to make breakfast she had to do a full re-enaction. "Look - I ran across here - sold the dummy here - pounced right there!"
I think she is really the ancient relative transmigrated - she is no longer a virgin - in fact she gets in trouble with the most "Heathcliffe" and "Rett" of toms "Frankly my dear ... ".
She likes to be on the corner of the bed during siesta when we do the opposite of dying. When I am ill (I have serious bipolar disease) sometimes I must just lie doggo - she checks my face for signs of breathing - she won't lose another one.
What gives the game away are her food preferences - she is happy to leave the fishy scraps to her daughters - or the "Miserables" outside (Their continued right to scraps was in my conditions of adopting Boneca "lets not forget the poor") - her snack to die for is very eggy sponge cake. Wherever did she learn that?
I am very lonely right now. My oldest son (from my past marriage in UK), and the apple of my eye is now 23. He is showing signs of my illness - but laced with the terrible symptoms of his mother's - Borderline Personality Disorder. I am now the source of all his woes. I have to sever all relations with him. We used to phone every day - and by extension with my other two who still live in the house. Boneca says "Family can really let you down - but pussy cats remind you that you're not alone - you can start over and maybe it's a good thing not to die a virgin. Make an investment in someone else."
Copyright © Steve Kane, 2002http://www.flippyscatpage.com/boneca.html
Source of Photograph.....
We are all animals -- hungry for warmth but fearful of pain, some more skittish than others. Our families call us impossible.
That's why I like this little story, shared with me by Grosse Pointe dentist Ed Vermet. It is about an elderly feral cat. But it strikes me as a parable of the human condition.
When Ed and his wife, Chris, met the black-and-white kitten more than 16 years ago, Ed dubbed it Stumpy for its short legs. It was a wild cat, fed by a neighbor, that spent mornings on the Vermets' sunny porch, rubbing against the window, pawing at their fingers as they drew them across the glass.
They decided Stumpy might make a fine companion for Oreo, a cat they adopted when they were newly married. But Stumpy could not be lured inside. Only a humane trap finally confined her.
After spaying, while she was still woozy from drugs, the couple petted her fine fur and imagined a happy future.
They would not touch her again for many years.
Love goes one way
Stumpy in full consciousness was not a social cat, except for curling into a ball with Oreo to sleep. She lived in the basement. She slashed at any hand that approached. She scooted at any glance.
She told the family, in effect: "I'll take your food. But to hell with your affection."
Ed told me: "I grew to hate Stumpy."
Chris, however, "always came to her defense." She changed the cat's humiliating name to Checkers, although that didn't change its nature.
When the Vermets moved, Ed argued for leaving Checkers behind.
Chris could not. "We took her in. We couldn't let her out again."
She drugged Checkers' food, three nights in a row, in increasing doses until, protected by two heavy coats and three pair of gloves, she and a neighbor wrestled the cat into a cage.
At the new address, Checkers found the basement and stayed there.
Purr for the course
Time passed. Oreo died, and the three Vermet children longed for pets, so two adopted kittens joined the family. Pixie and Princess loved to be handled, hanging out in the kitchen, the warm heart of the home.
Checkers noticed. Growing deaf and stiff with arthritis, Checkers began to nibble from the kittens' kitchen food and let Pixie and Princess share from her dish. She began to sleep in the sun upstairs.
Ed still considered her pitiful. She had become a wheezer, and he called her Darth Vader.
Then this spring, one ordinary evening, Chris reached for Checkers, as she had hundreds of unsatisfying times, and her fingers met fur. Checkers let Chris gently scratch behind her ears and, every day thereafter, enjoyed everyone's touch without complaint, as if making up for lost time.
Last Sunday, after a Mother's Day brunch, Ed walked into the family room to find his wife asleep on the sofa and Checkers nestled at her neck.
Source of Photograph.....
Let me tell you my life's motto: eat, eat, and eat again, for tomorrow you may find yourself on a diet. It is a hard-earned lesson that life has taught me through much suffering and deprivation.
When I was a kitten, I didn't have a care in the world. I played with my toys all day long, I galloped around the house, I woke my human several times during the night so that she would pet me while I snacked on my bowl of dry food. My food bowl was never empty. Life was good.
Before I knew it, a year had passed, and it was time for the annual TED visit. For those of you kitties out there who've been lucky enough never to meet this sinister individual, TED stands for The Evil Doctor. It's a human who will manhandle you, poke you with needles, force open your mouth to look at your teeth, and will generally inflict various indignities upon your person. And all with the full consent and cooperation of your own human!
As I was saying, my human took me to my annual TED visit. At that time I was only a little over a year old. A teenager, with a normal teenager's energy and appetite. Or so my human and I thought. We soon found out we were mistaken. TED put me on the scale and exclaimed: "He weighs 7.75 kg!" (That's about 17 pounds to you North American kitties.) She was quite upset and told my human that my ideal weight was 6 kg (about 13 pounds). She ordered my human to put me on a diet. I didn't know what the word "diet" meant, but I did not like the sound of it. It gave me a kind of hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I was soon to discover how right I was to fear the evil word. After that fateful TED visit, on the recommendation of the evil vet, my human started depriving me of food!!! She would only give me 1/3 cup of dry food per meal. At 3 meals a day, that meant I had to live on one measly cup of food per day! That wasn't enough to even fill my food bowl! How can a growing boycat live on that, I ask you?
And it's not like I was that big. True, when I walked my tummy would sway from side to side, and when I lay down I looked like a big, fuzzy, kitty-shaped inflatable beach toy... And it was getting a bit difficult for me reach some parts of my fur while I was washing myself... But I wasn't fat! I was just big-boned and... fluffy. Yes, that's the word! I was fluffy! It was just my long fur which was making me look bigger! Honest! And the vet's scale was probably broken, anyway! Broken, I tell you!
I don't need a diet! Give me more food! Food! Food! Food!
Alas, my human did not listen to my numerous logical arguments in favour of keeping my bowl constantly full. She did not crumble at my piteous pleas for more food. Even when I howled loudly in her ear just as she was drifting off to sleep, or when I led her to my sadly empty food bowl and looked at her with pleading eyes, she did not relent.
Goodbye, overflowing bowl of kibble! Goodbye, midnight snacks of canned Iams! Goodbye, tasty bits of human food sneaked under the dinner table! I hardly knew ye...
I will spare you the many horrible details of my dieting ordeal. Suffice it to say that, if indeed suffering builds character, I must be the cat with the finest character in the history of the feline race. It was not all bad, however. Fortunately for me, there were other people living in the house besides my unrelenting human. Some of them were much more tenderhearted, and could be prevailed upon to provide me with snacks behind my human's back. Through much trial and error, I developed several fool-proof methods for supplementing my diet, which served me so well that it took me over 3 years to lose enough weight to satisfy TED. (I will share with you my proven strategies for getting food from unwilling humans in my next posting.)
I know that a lot of us cats like to pretend that we are picky eaters. It is a way to keep humans on their toes, to prevent them from taking us for granted. It is a way to show our superiority over the d-things (d*gs), who will eat anything and everything. That is all well and good. But my advice to you, cats and kittens, is this: eat! Eat as much as you can, as often as you can. Eat until you're so full you can barely move. Eat until you fall asleep with your face in the food bowl.
You never know when your human might decide to put you on a diet, whether you think you need it or not.
Kotyo, aka The Little Monster
(as dictated to Nadia N.)
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.
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.
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.
1986 - 2003
He is sadly missed.
Copyright © Jeanne Hedge
July 11, 2003
Source of Photograph.....
My first cat show attendance was back in 1992, the day after my former husband moved out.
My daughter and I needed something to fill the void and a cat show seemed to be just the right thing. We entered the auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska -- our home at the time -- to a cold stiffness from human and feline.
It was all business, all breed-oriented, all competition, and we stayed only a short while. Though I could hear the meows that emanated from all directions, we were allowed nowhere near the judging, nor could I touch even one cat! Though many of the cats wouldn't mind it in the least, no exceptions were granted for me to "see" the cats by touching them.
The icy, human-created rigidity spun us right out the door after we'd bought cute cat shirts.
Last Sunday, my current husband and I attended a cat show near where we now live in Washington. Upon entering the door, the familiar feline odors beckoned us in -- real cats! Real people, perhaps? Yes!
I'm sure that my "crazy cats" T-shirt alerting everyone that I was a cat person might have helped. However, the warmth of true cat lovers and the willingness of dear felines brought us together in the most purr-fect mini-relationships. Not once did I, with fear and trepidation of "no," find myself asking to pet or hold a cat. Kitties of all kinds from carefully-bred cats to housecats, were on their way to me as if magnetically.
There seemed to be an understanding that my touching or holding a prized cat would not only help me perceive the show, but it was a good "brag" for the owners and quite often a few minutes of safe, trustworthy, friendly physical attention to the cats. I felt the plush, thick fur of a blue (gray) British short-hair. The incredibly soft fur of a Persian kitten made it hard for me to let go. There was the familiar build and beauty of a Himalayan reminiscent of our Kabootle (now on the other side of Rainbow Bridge). However, the most astounding was the Devon Rex with scant but wavy fur, crinkly whiskers, huge ears and a tail whose touch was much like our Jaspur's would feel if almost shaven.
Not only did the cat owners, cats and I bond, but my husband and I were invited to attend the judging. Fearing that this was a cruel competition, totally awful for cats to endure, I was reluctant. But there we were on the bench. A female judge was very vocal in her descriptions of each cat and her choices.
There were kitties there for adoption, too. Jim had to pull me away after I'd petted or held each one! I wanted them all! And it goes without question that they wanted me! That's how it goes with cats.
After such a humane cat show experience, it was indeed an honor to be allowed to hold "best first kitten" and "best first housecat" among others. I was able to judge for myself who the first cats were -- all of them!
Yes, there were the usual concerns about spreading germs, cats smelling other cats on me or perhaps my own cats, Jaspur and Mikey, possibly leaving their scents on me. Thanks partly to antibacterial soap and spritzers, and mostly open-hearted sharing, these concerns were minimized. At one point we left with toys for our kitties and were back again -- as if the show were addictive.
But it was the unguarded acceptance by cat loving humans and all those precious felines who brought us back.
This, indeed, was my "First Best Cat Show" of all!
Copyright © Lauren L. Merryfield
February 23, 2001
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.
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
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
Source of Photograph.....
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
A message from the boss:
PEACE P. MILLER
as told to Sarah
Source of Photograph.....
I wish to inform you that things are going to be managed differently from now on, due to a rival feline who has entered through the strongholds. The offender is known as Angel, and is, bluntly, a calico. Know this: I do not tolerate any felis domisticus in the house without proper leave, and I am rightly jealous of calicos because of their technicolor fur. As a monotonous moggy, I insist that you do not call the cat pretty in my presence. Keep in mind that I have a more enjoyable aroma.
Also keep in mind that it is required that any cat wishing to sleep in my human's room must produce a deceased rodent. Therefore, I request that, in the unlikely event that Angel accomplishes this feat, I would be allowed to inspect the mouse. I should also witness such transitions as being allowed in the laundry room. I trust that, for the moment, the entire basement is mine and mine alone.
We must also consider the fact that Angel is going to give birth to kittens. Note that, while two cats might be acceptable under controlled conditions, eight cats are more than enough for a 5-human family. Find homes for the catlings, and get Angel desexed, like I am.
There are also rules of sharing, such as, do not give Angel any present that you do not have any way of sharing with me. Keep our food and water bowls separated, and remember that she is the one who likes Homestyle cat food. True homestyle is Meomie's milk. Think about this: Angel's kittens are going to be getting Angel's milk, while she, as a nursing mother, will get proper nourishment. Meanwhile, who will care about me? Consider also that, during the Christmas season, a time of peace and goodwill, it would not be pleasing to me if someone else hogged the attention...
I leave this information to you the humans. Do as you will, noting that I know how to sneak inside Gordon's underwear drawer.
I regret to inform you that I have conducted an error in my earlier announcement about the rival arrival: Angel is not expecting descendants. In fact, she has a bad gas problem, causing her to get bloated and smell bad. Like I said, I am better at smelling good. Hear that? Hear that? I am queen of the Miller house!
Sorry about that. Anti-dignity attack.
Copyright © Sarah Miller, 12 years old.
Source of Photograph.....
Here is a true story, which happened in April 2000, I want to share with you all.
It was a beautiful bright day - we all were outside. I mowed the lawn, Volker washed the cars, Puschel supervised us from the terrace, Tientje was fighting the hose, and She was hunting.
Successful as always, She brought a fat rat today - the Arnold Schwarzenegger of rats. Fortunately it was dead already. The weather was mild and nice and there was no need to keep the 'toy' alive.
So she took the rat into the living-room, with her head raised up proudly and with elastic moves. Puschel left the terrace to have a look at the rat, Tientje saw when She arrived and moved to the living-room as well.
We have a very big living-room - a soccer-field for our cats - and the game began: Tientje was the forward, She the defense, Puschel the linesman. The attack came from the right to the left, the ball, well the rat, flew over the playground, followed by Tientje and She - conscientiously watched by Puschel, who took care that nobody was fouled. The forward had a very good position (under the easy chair, lying on his back with three paws hooked to the chair to move quickly in case of need) and maneuvered the ball from left to right.
Ooops, the ball got out of his reach and the defender She took over elegantly. Moving the ball from right to left she passed the playground - linesman Puschel had to step aside quickly - and yeeesssss! Goooooaaaaaalllll!!! 1:0 for She. Tientje was very disappointed and went outside to kill a dandelion. Well, without Tientje it was half he fun for She and she went outside for hunting again. Meanwhile I disposed of the ball professionally.
Now the heroes are resting: Puschel on the bed, Tientje on my desk, and She on the sofa...
Copyright © Inge Grotjahn
September 7, 2001
Source of Photograph.....
Anyone who has said "cats don't talk" has obviously never spent more than 5 minutes around felines.
Not only do my cats speak to each other, but they speak to us humans and have even been known to have inter-species conversations with birds, mice and even the occasional canine!
How, you may ask, do I know all of this?
Well, I have spent my entire life living with felines, canines and other creatures such as rodents, birds and reptiles (only those with feet). As I am older than dirt, I guess that translates into my being an expert in the field!
Just the other day, I overheard my cat speaking with a bird outside the window. The cat was inside on the sill making a noise that reminds me of the "choppers" from M*A*S*H. It sounded to the untrained ear like "ackkkackkk". As an expert in feline-ology I knew exactly what was being said and will happily translate for you right now.
Cat: "Bird you are beautiful and so full of breast I feel inclined to swoop down upon you and devour your very self."
Bird: "HAHAHA! Foolish cat, it is true that I am beautiful and exquisite beyond measure, but you are mistaken in your ability to devour me. There is a screen between us and we are positioned on opposite sides of this barrier. Thus, you are incapable of capturing me."
Cat: "Bird, you are indeed foolish in your thoughts, for not only am I capable of escaping from this enclosure, but my paws are swift and my claws deadly."
Bird: "Oh cat, you forget that I am capable of flight, while you are earthbound. I would easily escape your fleet feet and deadly claws."
Cat: "Oh bird, how you underestimate my powers of acceleration and acrobatic leaps. I could quite easily capture you within my front claws and shred your beautiful plumage in an instant."
Bird: "It is possible you speak the truth cat. I think perhaps it is in my best interest to fly away before you can escape your earthly bindings."
Cat: "Come back here you COWARD!"
Imagine all that gleaned from just a few throaty aackaackks. And there are other conversations I've been privy to as well.
When my newest feline member was busily putting down a rebellion of cellophane candy wrappers after Halloween, the oldest female in my feline bunch sniffed and huffed at her. Not much of a conversation, you may say. But you would be wrong! In the one sniff and two huffs, the elder conveyed to the kitten that she was wasting her time on the silly candy wrappers and that she really needed to climb to the top of the cat tree and scream for a human to come carry her into the laundry room where the sock action is. When the youngster ignored her advice, a swift swat brought the youngster into line and she immediately followed the sage advice of the elder and wiser feline. This resulted in many cuddles from the human (me) and a transport into the laundry room where a sock rebellion was quickly put down.
So remember to listen to your felines. They are wise beyond words.
It has been rumored that dogs speak as well, but that is a story for another day!
Copyright © Cat Fulton
November 12, 2001
Source of Photograph.....
I just had a nice hot shower and something happened that was so hysterically funny that I laughed myself silly! Tessica sees it as her job to be the official Bathroom Supervisor - whenever one of us has a shower, she plants herself on the edge of the bath in between the curtain and the liner, and she supervises to make sure that we don't miss any bits. Sometimes she paws at the water drops on the clear curtain, but mostly she just sits there and watches.
I was halfway through my shower tonight when she noticed a bit of dark-coloured lint down at the far end of the tub, and started pawing at it... she jumped right into the tub to try and fish it out but she failed and jumped out again to consider her options. I didn't really want her getting wet, so I picked up the shower hose and washed the offending lint down the drain - and she thought this was the greatest game on the planet! She chased the floating lint down the tub from behind the shower curtain, and when it went down the plughole she jumped right into the tub again (at the wet end this time) and started frantically pawing at the plughole to try and get her toy back!
I laughed so hard that John came in to see if I was all right or if I was having hysterics! Tessie loves the bathtub and spends hours playing in it when it's empty, but that's the first time she's ever jumped right INTO the tub while the water's running - I wonder if it will be the last? She didn't seem the least bit horrified by the nice warm shower - if anything, she liked it!
Obviously nobody ever told her that she's supposed to be scared of water!
Copyright © Karen Kajikithttp://www.flippyscatpage.com/tessica-shower.html
July 10, 2007
Source of Photograph.....
As you might have heard, Brenna is a bit of a gnawer. On me. Particularly my right hand and arm. Saturday morning she was in a chewing mood. She jumped up onto the back of the sofa and proceeded to be painfully cute. When the unsuspecting hand approached and dared to try to pet her, she grabbed it firmly and proceeded to lay to with all fangs sharpened. Then she heard her Meowmie say "OW" and other things that we won't go into here. Brenna knows that she shouldn't make Meowmie say "ow", so she stopped biting the hand to see what was happening to Meowmie. (Did I mention that she doesn't seem to realize that The Hand is attached to me? She protects me from it on a regular basis.)
I proceeded to put tea tree lotion on my (minor) wounds and scolded my mighty protector like the dim hoomin that I am. In the process of scolding her, I moved The Hand in her general vicinity, so (naturally) she attacked again. And tasted tea tree lotion. Which must taste quite foul, judging from her reaction. After recovering, she tentatively tried again, but didn't even make contact with her teeth this time. After making a lot of "icky!!" faces and wiping her tongue on her posterior a couple of times, she looked at The Hand, which was sitting right there taunting her, lifted the Paw of Doom, and BAPPED The Hand twice for it's audacity of becoming foul tasting. Up until this point, I had managed to keep a straight face. I figured that if she learned that The Hand tasted foul, maybe she wouldn't chew on it so much. When she bapped my hand, however, I lost it and started laughing until I cried. I think she realized that I was laughing at the situation, and not her most feline self, as she did not react in an injured, maligned or insulted (except by The Hand) way. The Band-Aids today are almost worth it. I haven't laughed that hard in weeks!
Cats. Whatcha gonna do?
Copyright � Denise Van Dyke
June 18, 2002
Source of Photograph.....
My name is 'Sid. Short for Obsidian.
One night, I took a stroll. Mom opened up THAT door; you know, the one to a whole new place!!! Usually, I play in the dirt or in the bushes as she waters her plants and she then chases me back inside. That night, after playing in the bushes, she didn't come down right down and get me. I was feeling pretty bold. I went exploring.
There were lots of bushes
There were grassy places
There were bugs to chase
There were loud, noisy things--you know, those big, hyper things that bark
There were other people
I hid under a bush until the people went away
And the barking things.
It was a nice night. Cool. The wind was blowing too. It started blowing more and more and stuff started flying out of the grass!! That was fun. I chased, and chased, and chased.
All was wet
Big drops of wet coming from the sky!!
I'd better go home.
There's my stairs.
There's my door.
I saunter in. I'm such a big kitty!!
Where did all my stuff go??
Who is that on the couch??
I sneak up and take a peak. I don't know who that is. It's not my mom. It's not my dad. Nothing smells right. Uh oh, it's moving, I'd better hide.
I find another room. This one doesn't have any of my stuff either. It's all full of things and I don't recognize any of it. Where am I?? Who are these strange people in my house?? What have they done to my mom??
I sleep--keeping one eye open and one ear cocked. Lots of strange small people. Lots of noise. I don't know what to do. I'm hungry.
Wait . . . .
That sounds like mom!!
I peak out from under the bed. It smells like mom but I don't see her. Maybe if I climb up a little farther . . . . Oh no!! They saw me!! I still don't see mom. I try to hide but they grab me. What do I do???
It seems like forever. They try to keep me from getting back under the bed. I know I smelled mom. Where are they hiding her??
There's someone trying to get me to move again.
They're trying to grab me.
My hiding place isn't so good anymore. I better find a new one.
I rush out ready to make a dash for safety. She's here!!! Mom!!!!
She scoops me up. We go out the door. I'd hide, but she's holding on too tight.
Through the hall
Across the grass
Around the bushes
In the door
Suddenly, everything smells right. I leap to the ground and run up the other stairs. There's MY door. I try to crawl under it but I'm too big. Mom finally catches up to me. She opens the door.
ALL MY STUFF!!
ALL THE RIGHT SMELLS!!
The next day, this gate thing appeared blocking the stairs. I can't climb down and play in the bushes. I guess that's ok. Mom says that cats are supposed to be really good at finding their way home. I'm not. Maybe that means I'm not really a cat.
'Sid spent the night in a neighbors apartment. I was panicked. He usually didn't wander past the bush at the bottom of my deck stairs. He was having fun so I let him play. When it started to rain, however, I went out to see why he hadn't come in. I've always had cats who went in and out. I've never had one who got lost! I was out, wandering the sidewalks calling for him every couple hours that night. The next day, after posting signs all over, we discovered that a neighbor kid's dad had seen "a black cat wandering in their sliding glass door". It ran right out, or so they said. After looking through their apartment once--I was so hopeful--and not finding him, I had just walked into my own when one of the kids came running to my door."He's there!!" was all I got. Apparently, after I left, 'Sid climbed out from under the bed. He was petrified, to say the least, and very, very, happy to be home. I can't imagine how a cat must feel--the apartment he was in was in the same position in the building as ours, just a few buildings off. He must have felt like his whole world was gone.
Needless to say, 'Sid is Onyx's opposite. While he loves to hunt crickets (we feed them to the frog and somethimes they get out), I have a hard time seeing him catch anything. He's just turned two now and still in the terrible teens (worse than the terrible two's). He's trying to help me write -- well, trying to bite my fingers as they type.
Copyright © Susan E. Zeigler, 2002. All Rights Reserved.http://www.flippyscatpage.com/obsidian.html
Source of photograph.....
Casper, the friendly but stray kitty, came into my life when I was a Marine stationed in North Carolina.
I was recently promoted to sergeant, which allowed me to move out of the barracks and into my own place. The day I moved into my mobile home I noticed a pair of suspect peepers looking at the furniture the movers brought in.
Casper eyed the comfy items -- my fluffy couch and luxurious lazy boy. He twisted his kitty mustache and hatched a diabolical scheme to work his stray way into my home and secure a roosting spot on my couch. Casper acted coy and disinterested in the entire scene, choosing to turn his back to me and bath himself while ignoring my girly loving cat calls. He resisted my charm even as I tempted him with tuna, toys and treats. Finally, in an act of benevolence befitting a cat of his ilk, he marched his furry white tushy up the stairs and into my place.
That night, Casper snuggled up to me in bed and we fell asleep. Apparently he didn't care much for my snoring and he meowed loudly in protest and went into the living room.
In the morning, I went to greet him but the house was empty -- no kitty. He disappeared without a trace. Well not quite. His food was gone. His toys were strewn about and a calling card was left in the litter box, but no kitty. He always came back, but his disappearing act every night was driving me bonkers. Where could he be?
This went on for nearly a week and my fellow Jarheads at work said I was crazy, laughed at me and made me do push ups. My commander said I had too many night shifts.
When I asked Casper about it he just blinked at me and seemingly said, "Dear lady, I appreciate your hospitality, but a magician never reveals his tricks." I checked doors, windows and any other way he could get out. The cat truly had my tongue.
In a final act of desperation I staged a "sleep in" in the living room to find out once and for all how a cat can simply disappear. After all, I am a woman Marine -- tough as nails, no nonsense and my military posts are always secure. No one is allowed in or out without a challenge and password.
Casper sensed the jig was up, but he fell asleep on the comfy chair and I fell asleep on the couch. I woke a few times during the night and Casper was still there.
About 4am, I heard a light tapping sound in the kitchen. I went over and noticed the cabinet door under the sink was ajar. As I opened the door, I noticed for the first time a hole in the floor boards under the sink and I could see the ground outside!
Well, as I peered down the hole I saw Casper shimmy down the drain pipe, hit the ground and walk away without so much as a gaze back in my direction. Casper had used his paws to quietly open the cabinet doors and make his escape. Case solved!
Agatha Christie and Perry Mason would be so proud!
Copyright © Angela Munson
Source of Photograph.....
The Scene: It begins as a typical night in the kitchen; Jill is preparing some canned food for the pregnant foster stray upstairs and decides to give her own cats a treat.
Enter Chiggers Magoo (a papillon puppy with a penchant for overexuberance)
Chiggers: "Hey Mom! I hear the can opener! Whatcha doin?! Can I help? huh? huh? I'm a good helper! Oh cat food! Good! Great! I'll help! Can I help? huh? Can I?
Jill: "Sorry, girl. You know what canned cat food does to you when it comes out the other end. Sit. Stay. Good Girl! Here's a cookie!
Enter Jabba, casually sauntering in (brown tabby boy, extremely laid back)
Jabba: "Yo mamma! Wassup? Thought I heard the can opener, whatcha got there? Cat food? ok, cool, I can dig it." (Jabba proceeds to munch away, oblivious to the rest of the world)
Chiggers (from her sit/stay on the stairs): Hey Mom, I guess Jabba wants to eat but Rowan's not here. Let me clean it up for you...you don't want to be bothered with that mess! I'll help! I'm a good girl! Good, good girl!"
Enter Rowan (a very fat calico haughtily wandering into the kitchen coincidentally, the instant her plate is ready. She is on her way from something important to something even more important but will allow the peasants to worship for a moment)
Rowan: "Hmmmm...I see you were expecting me. I haven't all day; make your obeisance and leave me. An offering? Weeelllllll, I suppose I could stay for a moment (as her plate is being set before her)
A long pause...
What!? What is this putrid mass? This substandard glob? This is not the food that *I* am accustomed to. (lofty tones) You didn't... (tentatively reaching a paw towards the glop in front of her and quickly snatching her paw back as though burned when it touches the food) gasp! You did! You bought this ON SALE! HOW DARE YOU TRY TO FEED ME BARGAIN BRAND CANNED CRAP!!!???
Chiggers (watching with mounting excitement): "Mom! Hey Mom! I'll eat it! I like it! I love canned cat food! I'll help! I'm a good girl!
Rowan: (noticing Chiggers for the first time) "How could you? You attempt to poison me and now you allow this, this (spluttering) this dirty, uncouth, primitive beast into my illustrious presence?! Well I never! Don't try to woo me back into your heart. Your false pretenses shall not deceive me again! This grave insult shall never be forgotten or forgiven!
(Rowan stalks off mortally offended with her tail-twitching and her back stiffened.)
Silence reigns for a moment in the kitchen, broken only by the sound of Jabba happily and single-mindedly chewing away.
Chiggers: "Hey Mom! Mom! I guess she didn't want it? Huh? huh? Well, I'll have it! I'll help! I love Cat food! See watch: Meow! Meow! I'm a good girl! I'm a good helper!
Jabba (strutting over to the abandoned dish): "Hey cool! There's more over here! Don't mind if I do..."
End scene. Close curtain.
Copyright © Jill Colquhounhttp://www.flippyscatpage.com/typicalmeal.html
March 24, 2001
First, some background on how we came to acquire Samson. I work at a water garden nursery near here. We had a nursery cat, Sultan (named for a variety of water lily) that died suddenly in May 2003. I took it very hard as he was sort of "my" cat, even though he was at the warehouse. My husband, Juan, and I had been in an apartment for a long time. We'd talked about having animals if and when we ever got a house. The problem was that he said they needed to be outside and I said inside. So it seemed pointless to even talk about it since we didn't agree.
Anyway, in August of 2003 we bought our house. Ours. No landlord to tell us we can't get a pet. About September, after yet another meltdown on my part about losing Sultan, Juan says we needed to talk. He then says "I've been thinking about this. If you want to get an indoor cat, that's OK, but there are 2 rules". I ask what the rules are. He says "First, the cat cannot come into the bedroom" (after bringing Sammy home he was there in 3 days sleeping on the end of the bed). The 2nd rule? "If the cat makes any messes on the floor, YOU clean them up". I laughed and said something about the fact that I couldn't even get him to wash dishes, why would I think he'd pick up cat poop? Anyway, with both of us working all day, I didn't think it would be fair to the cat.
Then Juan's son moves in with us for a while, this was in October. Around the end of October, someone either dumps a cat off close to the nursery or the cat wandered in. He decided he liked it there. The problem was that the boss didn't want another warehouse/office cat. We have one feral living there, this cat didn't like the feral one too much. Anyway, as always, it was decided that I was the one to call the shelters, etc to try to find said kitty a home. Well, I tried our old cat's vet as they have an adoption program. Nope, too full. I tried all the no-kill shelters. They were all full, no luck. No one at work wanted him, they all have pets, so lots of reasons. So I asked Juan again if it was OK that I brought a cat home. Then I broke the news to the cat that it was either the Humane Society (and you never know their fate there) or home with us. I brought him home. He's named Samson due to the strength that he had at a vet visit. The vet went to draw blood to run the tests and he kicked so hard that the syringe flew out of his leg and onto the floor and bent, so the vet had to start over. Then it took two people to hold him down and the vet to trim his nails. Yup. He was scrawny but strong. You've seen his photo, he's not scrawny anymore....
The baby food. Well, in April of 2004 I called the vet to see what they charge for cleaning teeth. I made the appointment, as Samson had very nasty-smelling breath. They told me at the (NEW) vet clinic (I changed vets after the first visit with the kicking episode) that if they found a bad tooth they'd have to pull it. As it went, they had to pull one. The vet gives me the medicine (which he took about once) and told me that I'd better feed him soft/wet food for a couple days until he healed up. Now this is a fussy cat. He's NEVER eaten ANY canned food, no matter the flavor or brand. And he doesn't like Pounce or Temptation cat treats. He only eats one kind of dry cat food. Juan and I go to the store. He picks out 3 cans of wet food. I told him I needed to go to the baby aisle. Being the cat person that I am, I read a lot of cat magazines and books. I'd remembered reading that baby food is a good soft food for cats, especially baby kittens that haven't got a mommy anymore. So I come back with Lamb and Rice, Veal and Turkey. He shuns the Lamb and Rice. I didn't even open the Veal. I gave him the Turkey and he went insane. I swear I heard him say that he liked it even more than fresh catnip - LOL. So now he thinks that he needs his Turkey Baby Food every day. And of course, being the good mommy that I am, he gets it.
It's really quite funny. He can be laying on the floor, and totally ignoring us. I'll start out "Samson, do you love your mommy?". No response. "Do you love your daddy?". Nothing. "Do you love your t-t-t-toys" (emphasizing the t sound). Still nothing. Then I ask if he loves his "tur-KEY?". His head pops up, his eyes enlarge, he stares at me. I swear he's smiling. If he is outside and won't come in, short of picking him up and hauling his furry self in the house, I'll ask him if he wants "tur-KEY". Pretty soon he stands up, stretches and gives me a look that says "I was on the way in anyway...what's the big deal?". He is quite fond of his treat. So it's a bribe sometimes. A lot of the times at about 3 a.m. when I want to go back to sleep.
So there you have it, Flippy. He's pretty spoiled, isn't he? I write songs (to familiar tunes) about him. It drives Juan crazy. Oh well!
Copyright © Sue Banda
September 27, 2006
Source of Photograph.....
Years ago (mid 70s), our family had to move across country because of an employment situation. We were forced to move in with grandparents for a short while until we could find ourselves a new house to buy. As they already had several cats, we were forced to give our year-old cat a new home. We placed a classified ad and a young couple called us. They made arrangements to pick the cat up later that day. They lived about a two hours drive away.
I was about 10 years old at the time, but recall the event rather vividly. We were hit by a violent Maritime storm that night, high winds and wicked rain. A typical Nova Scotia hurricane. None of us could sleep with the racket outside the windows and I remember just laying in bed missing the cat we'd given away earlier that afternoon.
Around two o'clock in the morning, I heard my father's footsteps upstairs in the kitchen (my bedroom was in the basement at one end of the house). I heard him open the side door of the house, and then he called out to my mom. I got out of bed and went upstairs to see what was going on.
The cat we had given away earlier that day was now standing in the middle of the kitchen floor in a small pool of rain water, looking like a drowned rat, shivering like crazy. My parents stood there with the most puzzled looks on their faces you can imagine.
Well, we dried it all off and wrapped it in blankets for the rest of the night. We stayed up for several more hours coming up with various theories as to what had happened. We never heard from the young couple again. We don't know how the cat got away from them, or how it had managed to find its way through the fierce storm to our house. It had been out in the weather for 8-10 hours, and looked as though it had traveled a great distance.
Needless to say, we all took it as a sign that the cat was meant to stay with the family. We gave up any further attempts to find it a new home and instead took it with us when we moved. To this day we still scratch our heads in amazement when someone mentions the story. We'd all heard stories of animal homing instincts and such (a la "Incredible Journey", etc.), but this was a personal experience for our family that still leaves us wondering.
Copyright © Silent Knight
August 15, 1999
Please stay tuned for Part Five.....