Archive for the 'pets' Category

Mealtime

Come upstairs, already!!!! Where ARE you, WC????

My mother used to tell us that she ‘wasn’t running a restaurant’. If we didn’t like what she was serving when she was serving it we could fend for ourselves. I like to pretend that I am that strict with my cats, but our reality is a bit different. WC (and GC when she was still alive) takes medicine for her thyroid. My technique for giving medicine to these cats is to grind up the pill and put it in their wet food. While some may prefer the ‘grab, hold firmly, pop it in their mouth, and rub throat” method, I’ve found that our cats, like ourselves, are more willing to accept unpleasantness if there is good food to ameliorate the situation. Unfortunately this means that I must stand guard over the plates so that the right cat eats the right food. When GC was alive she was convinced that the other 2 plates might have something BETTER than her plate, even though everyone got the same food and WC had the same medicine.

In order to maintain some illusion of control, I don’t put the plates on the floor until both WC and BC are in the kitchen. BC understands this concept. I come down in the morning, go through my routine and BC is right there with me. WC, who is old, and sometimes cranky, and completely deaf, is usually here, but not always. If WC decided to sleep in the basement, she does not always hear me in the kitchen and doesn’t see me. I try stomping on the floor (she seems to feel vibrations and maybe even hear them) and I flip the lights on and off. I call for her, even though I know that she can’t hear. BC sits there, looking for her, waiting for breakfast. Ultimately WC will come slowly up the stairs, still rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Ah, mealtime!

Postscript: Came down to my computer this morning to work. Not only had ‘someone’ turned off the power strip, apparently ‘someone’ walked all over my keyboard before shutting off the power. Have now spent over 20 minutes trying to get things back the way they should be. All I see are innocent little faces. Who ME?????

I’m here, I’m here. Make it worth my while.

Hard at Work

Look at that sweet, innocent, baby face.

SOME of us are extremely busy at our day job. It is not easy to keep the furniture in place, or to keep the rug from bunching. And you thought YOU had stressful tasks?

I am Darkness

Cat Reality

Sometimes (most times) I find the reality of life around me to be a bit stressful. Hurricanes. Fires. Politics. Protests. Covid19. Unemployment. Weeds. No-see-ums. Micro and Macro events can create a sense of “It’s so big and I’m so small”. At those moments I look to the experts for guidance on relaxation. I’m told that sitting in a box is very calming. The red couch is yet another place of serenity and peace. The red couch is usually occupied but perhaps I can find a sufficiently large box.

Sleep Well, Beloved GC

Siri 1

GC passed over the rainbow bridge last night. We knew it was going to be any day now. We’ve been cherishing her, and trying to give her last treats and indulgences. This weekend we had been giving her cream, and a little bit of cheese, and any cat food she wanted, and greenies.

baby kittens all together

Baby kittens in their new home

She did not seem to be in any pain. She has been growing weaker and less steady for weeks, months. No matter how much we fed her she was growing thinner. She was a happy girl, though, and stuck to the regular schedule. She got her cuddles, her skritches. She came to check out visitors. She and WC were born in August 2002 and came to our home in October 2002. Someone had dumped them in a dumpster next to a pet grooming business. We brought them and their little rescue mate brother (from a litter dumped 2 weeks after theirs) home together. We had only planned on 2 kittens, but there was no way we would leave any of them behind. We were determined that being dumped in a dumpster would be the last indignity and cruelty they would ever suffer.

baby gc exploring the new world

baby gc exploring the new world

We brought them home to our 6-month old puppy who ADORED them. She promptly adopted them and took care of them. Her favorite thing was to lick their ears for them – we called that a Mu-do, a shortening of the dog’s name. While the others seemed to take getting a Mu-do in good humor, GC merely endured it. 🙂

gc Oct 2002 after what might have been her first Mu-do

gc Oct 2002 after what might have been her first Mu-do

From the time she was a little kitten, we were fairly certain that GC was going to be a couch potato. She loved to eat and sleep and sit around watching everyone else work. Everyone needs a manager, and GC figured she’d be perfect for the role. She had a special affection for our son – he was “her boy”. I used to tell her when “her boy” was coming home so she could have the fun of anticipation.

baby wc and gc oct 2002

sisters learning the world can be good

She was so plump and cuddly. Do any of you remember Gund stuffed animals? They are/were the softest plushiest cuddliest stuffed animals. GC was what Gunds would be if they came alive. She was beautiful, so beautiful. She looked like she could have had Russian Blue blood in her, her coat was that color. Her paw pads – I always called them a dusty rose color. They weren’t pink – they were much more subtle and interesting than just pink.

GC and LB 2005

GC and her little brother, who was quite a bit larger

Oh my G kitty – we will miss you so very very much. May you be where you can have all the treats you want and a warm comfy place to nap.

Beloved GC

Beloved GC

double-decker sisters

double-decker sisters

Didn't happen often but they DID get along

Sharing a seat didn’t happen often but they DID get along

GC and her little brother on the steps 2005

WC is/was, oddly enough, much braver than her siblings. They’d sit on the stairs during parties while she would venture into the room once the crowd thinned out

sisters 2005

Before we had the fireplace, warm radiators were the place to be

gc and wc snuggling 2005

snuggling sisters

3 cats on a couch

proof that there were times when we were one big happy family, no sibling issues

Deceptive Appearance

wc napping on kitchen floor

She looks oh so innocent, doesn’t she? Adorable, sweet, quiet. You might ask, “WHY is she sleeping THERE?” Why? Because if she is there, the moment I move from my chair she will know, and begin meowing piteously for more cat treats. She has become addicted to Greenies. She will meow and meow and meow until she falls asleep in exhaustion. That is NOT a picture of sweet innocence. That is a picture of the fierce predator in wait for the prey. 🙂 I ❤ WC.
wc still stalking

Social Distancing With My Cats

Social Distancing With My Cats

My sister got me a prezzie the other day. 🙂 The true names of GC, WC and BC are on the shirt, but I’ve cropped them out to protect them from the paparazzi. We will be distancing more than ever. My brother-in-law was running a fever all day yesterday. Now there are MANY things that can cause one to run a fever. But until we know why, we are being much more vigilant and distance. We’ve all signed up for testing over the weekend. Time to get back out in the garden.
GC social distancing
WC social distancing
BC social distancing

The Cats are Happy

BC in fireplace bed

Living a life of ease

I love my cats. You know I do. They also make me crazy, but that is the nature of cats. I’ve seen so many memes about how dogs all over the world are so happy that their people are home all the time. I’ve also seen memes about how all the cats are complaining because their people are home ALL the time. My cats have always enjoyed when I worked from home. It always turned into extra cuddles for BC, earlier dinner time for WC, and sometimes extra breakfasts for GC (we think she may actually be a hobbit but we haven’t quite reached 7 meals a day). There has been one other great joy for the cats now that we are both home, all the time, every day.

wc on chair

WC pretending she is a little angel, never doing anything annoying

Last July WC came close to extinction. She decided somewhere in the spring that the carpeted stair landing would do very well for a litter box. We assumed this was some sort of aberration, that maybe she didn’t have the energy to walk down to the basement and use the boxes there. So one weekend my husband ripped out the carpet on the landing and all the stairs. I spent several days with several different chemical products attempting to remove stain and smell from the wood. I did a pretty decent job. We thought we’d solved the issue. As is so often the case, we were wrong.

GC under dining room table

Lately GC has decided to sit under the dining room table. I guess she needed a change of scenery.

It turned out not to be about too far and difficult to walk to the basement. WC walked up the stairs to the carpeted upstairs hall and began to use THAT as her litter box. No amount of spraying or other little barriers seemed to dissuade her. My husband got wise this time and hired someone else to pull up the carpet. The poor contractor nearly passed from the fumes. You need to know that besides the 3 current cats, we have had 3 other cats before them and a dog. The people from whom we bought the house also had at least one dog. The carpet came with the house. Years ago we had already pulled out all of the carpeting from the downstairs (oh my the stench) and put in new wood floors. “Ah hah!”, we thought. Surely NOW we have solved this problem. I’m sure you sense what happened next.

BC on couch

I’m a little angel too!!!

WC noted the lack of carpeting, noted that the litter boxes were still in the basement and noted that we were still completely lacking in understanding the true need. She began to urinate on our beautiful, comparatively new, wood floor. In the dining room. In the living room. I went a little crazy. We scheduled an appointment with the vet and in the meantime I debated locking her away. Trying to lock one cat away when you have 3 is awkward. When we ‘rescued’ BC we had to remove nearly everything from a small storage room and live with the removed items piled up all over until BC was clean and past her quarantine. (Sound familiar?) I couldn’t face emptying that storage area again. At this point I thought of bringing up a litter box to put in the bathroom on the 1st floor. Our dog was trained to use what we called ‘wee-wee pads’ (very classy, I know). We had them in that 1st floor bathroom. The dog was trained to use the pads. This saved us from having to walk her when we didn’t want to walk a dog. Every time she used the pads she got a treat (biscuit). Everyone – family and friends alike – were all trained to praise her and tell her how wonderful she was and give her a biscuit. Then we disposed of the dirty pad and put down a fresh one. We were all so effective at this that our male cat figured out that using the pads resulted in food, so HE started using them. Unfortunately male cats are not built to the same specifications as female dogs. That necessitated a new alignment of pads on the walls, not just on the floor. No, we did NOT give him treats. We didn’t really want to reward HIS behavior.

1st floor bathroom

My apologies. Never thought I’d post a picture of a toilet and litter boxes.

I put down a wee-wee pad in the corner of the bathroom and put a small litter box on top of it. WC used it immediately (or near enough to immediately). That was the issue – she wanted her commode on the 1st floor, thank you very much. Well, you know that if WC was using the commode on the 1st floor, everyone else wanted to do the same. Four wee-wee pads and 2 litter boxes later, we all use the bathroom on the 1st floor. My husband and I are less than thrilled about this. The dog had wee-wee pads. That was it. The cats also have LITTER. It sticks to their little messy paws, they kick it out of the box, sometimes on the pads, sometimes they are exuberant and it reaches the floor. Every day starts with cleaning the boxes, adding fresh litter, cleaning and readjusting the pads and sweeping the floor in the surrounding vicinity. It doesn’t last long. The first cat in kicks litter out. We spend the entire day cleaning the litter boxes in that room. They spend the entire day using the litter boxes in that room. When we worked in an office that was NOT in our home, we avoided hours and hours of litter box use. We had litter-free bathrooms in our office buildings. Ah, those were glorious days and we failed to appreciate them properly.

WC being petted on couch

One other joy of us being home – sitting with Dad on the couch while he reads his paper. GC and WC vie to see who can get there first and won’t let the other join. “He’s scritching ME!”

Back in those halcyon days we thought that after the kitchen renovation, we’d redo the bathroom as well. We can see that there is no point in pursuing THAT dream. There may be memes about cats complaining that their people are home all day, but OUR cats think it is fantastic. Clean litter box EVERY SINGLE TIME!!! Oh yeah, keep those folks working from home!! The cats are very, very happy.

GC and WC on couch

No people on the couch? We can share happily.

Life Lessons From My Cats

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How to Pass the Time – Option 1

Ah, to be a cat. Or more specifically – one of MY cats. I’ll concede that not all cats have it as good as my cats have it. In this time of covid19, self-quarantining, social distance, what does an extrovert DO all day if there are no other people??? My cats are demonstrating the way to survive. Nay, not survive – THRIVE. Yes, they are thriving. They have no issue with social distance – WC is on the couch, BC is on the chair (MORE than 6 feet away) and GC is in the living room. What to do? Sleep. Do nothing. Periodically get up and eat. Use the litter box. Sleep. Do Nothing. They are the experts. So far the part I’ve learned the best is get up periodically and eat. 🙂

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How to Pass the Time – Option 2

Cat Birthday Haikus

cat poem birthday card

Today is my son’s birthday. As you can see by the picture above, I found a card that I thought was perfect for him. Although he is far from our home these days, and far from his/our cats, his love for them is strong. They love him too, assuredly, that is, as much as cats love people. He does soooooo much for them when he is here. He cuddles them, he plays with them, he finds new toys for them. He will even feed them and clean their litter box if need be (meaning I ask for help *grin*). I thought it would be considerate if they wished him a happy birthday. I offered to help them write a birthday haiku for him. I thought something like this might be appropriate:

Kind hands stroking fur,
Dangling string toys, scritching ears,
We love when you’re here.

When I proposed a poetry writing session to the kitties, I was greeted with scorn or indifference. GC, who considers my son “her boy” (as opposed to his considering her ‘his cat’) suggested this instead.

Feed me feed me FOOD!
More food NOW! poop sleep pee sleep.
Feed me feed me FOOD!

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Do I look like I am in the mood to write poems?

WC is nowhere near as interested in food as GC. WC believes in TIMING, not quantity. She starts the meowing for her dinner sometime after 3:30 pm and will continue until she receives food. At which point she will eat 3 bites, maybe, and then walk away. She spends most of her day in her bed. The exceptions to that are when she’s puking or using the litter box. Somehow I have an unerring knack of walking past that room while she is in the litter box. Why can’t mother cats teach their babies to puke in the litter box?? That would save me SO much cleanup. Anyway, once I finally roused her to creativity, here is what she had to say.

MeNOW! MeNOW! Food!
ick. disdain. sleep. nibble. puke.
MeOW. Just because.

IMG_3220

Too much creativity exhausts me.

BC – *smiling* – yes, it’s true, I’m extremely partial to BC these days. She knows it, too. The other 2 have me hopping and jumping and dancing attendance on them from the time I wake up til the time I go to bed. GC really does spend the most time with my son when he is home, but BC is a close second. They both (my son and BC) like playing games. Once she remembers that he is “safe” she’s very happy to hang about. Poetry is not her main talent, however, nor is paying attention, but she tried.

Do you belong here?
Oh right. You. Amuse me now!
Red laser dot game?

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Look how cute my belly is! What’s a poem?

Sometimes you are better off having a blank card than a poem from your cat. *grin*

So Glad It’s Friday

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Shhh. I’m sleeping. And I’m adorable.

It has not been a good week. Let me be clear – my problems are mostly what we laughingly call “first world problems”. But they are MY problems and they are dispiriting and draining. None of them are insoluble, just very very annoying and frustrating. I know it will all get better. But for today, I’m so glad that I can at least shove all the work-week issues aside and concentrate on more fun problems: my son coming home for the weekend, throwing a Super Bowl party for 30-40 people, seeing my niece and grand-niece, seeing all my friends, going to hear some fantastic live music, and taking Monday as a vacation day.

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Can you NOT see that you are interrupting me???

But it’s gray and dismal again this morning, my back is hurting, I’m tired, and I still have meetings to attend. At times like this, it helps to remember what is truly important. WC will tell you that HER life is always very difficult, no matter the day of the week. You can see that for yourself.

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The new beds are too small. I need an entire chair.

GC will tell you that as long as there is food, there is no problem. BC will tell you “SHE had a bad week??? What about ME??? She took me to the VET!!!!” A beautiful thing about BC is that she does NOT hold grudges. She needed a LOT of cuddling yesterday to recover from the vet trauma. (She is healthy and perfect – it was her yearly checkup.)

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I love you, Mommy. Thank you for my bed!


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