Who’s In Charge Here?

A few years ago a co-worker told me about some research she’d read stating that, if we own cats, our lives are controlled by these feline friends. I laughed at the time but now I’m thinking that study may have been correct.

What’s the first thing I do in the morning? Feed the cats.

Where do I sit? Anywhere the cats are not.

Have I ever changed the channel on the TV to pacify my cats? Of course. If one of them seems agitated by what they’re hearing or seeing on the screen, click goes the remote. Well, sometimes I just mute it for a time.

20190606_185007 MimiIf both cats are showing me a lot of attention, I’m fairly certain that in their furry little minds it’s time for dinner. Even if it’s only 3:00 in the afternoon.

My world is better with my cats, so I don’t mind their control. I do, however, sometimes get annoyed with others controlling my life. For example, my local grocery store chose to stop stocking my favorite juice. I know the manager there so I asked him why, and he didn’t have an answer. They sold plenty of it. Perhaps it was a supply issue, he suggested.

At my job I had to work a series of pretty crummy shifts because of a co-worker who took a whopping eight weeks off for her daughter’s wedding. As you might imagine, this woman is pretty controlling in a number of ways–how many brides would allow their mother that much oversight?

Management approved this time off and couldn’t hire anyone to replace her or they would have been overstaffed when she came back. Not that they should be worrying about that. She’s asked for another three weeks off in the short time since she’s returned.

I don’t know who I’m more critical of in that case, my co-worker or management.

Of course as I gripe about this I wonder if there are areas in which I’m taking advantage of anyone else. I don’t think I am–I’m pretty sensitive to that sort of thing–but you never know who might be muttering under their breath about you.

Anyway, the bottom line is, none of us has complete control of our lives.

I just wish the cats would give me my chair back.

The Tide is Turning

Things are turning around. 

In the past few months, I’ve posted about my problems finding a job as well as the stress of having two cats who (suddenly) don’t get along. The latter was due to what’s known as “displaced aggression.” One of my cats, Mimi, saw something that upset her, and she took it out on her brother, Walter.

Well, I’m thrilled to say that’s changed. While Mimi still might growl a little if Walter gets too close, they’re almost back to their old selves. I can’t begin to express what a relief this is. For the past few months, any reminder of my cats brought about feelings of guilt and frustration. I had to separate them, and to do that, one was locked in a bedroom while the other had the run of the place. Then I’d switch.

As you can imagine, that gets a little tricky when you’ve got obligations outside the home. There were times when one of them had to be locked up for eight hours, and that killed me.

Now I even can leave my bedroom door open at night without fear there will be fighting. They’ve worked this out between themselves. Mimi stays with me and Walter goes to the living room. As much as I’d like to have Walter snuggle up to me at night, if that works for them, I’m not interfering.

On the job front, again, good news. I’ve got a freelance writing gig that looks like it will continue for several, perhaps even many, months. Like any new job I’m learning my way, but I believe I’ll be able to do it and do it well.

Thanks to all of you for the encouraging words. For so long it seemed like nothing was going to change, and even though I know that’s not the way life works, it was difficult pushing through it at times.

I’d like to get back to my blogging again, so I hope to see more of all of you soon!

Walter and Mimi are more than willing to help me with my blogging.

Image credit: (c) geosap — stock.adobe.com

Some time ago I wrote about my precious cat Mimi, who’s experiencing a case of displaced aggression. That’s when one thing upsets a cat (in this case, a stranger cat peeking in through the front window) and she takes it out on another (her brother Walter). I’ve had to separate the two for six months now.

I tried last week to reunite them, and only succeeded in upsetting Mimi to the point she won’t leave my bedroom anymore. She’s cautiously approaching the door, but nothing more. I should add that Walter is placed in another room when I try to lure Mimi out, so she’s safe. But she isn’t so sure.

On Friday I was convinced I was going to need to find a new home for one of them. I was devastated and the grieving process began. I cried and cried — sobbed, really — and in the end realized I wasn’t ready to make that move. Saturday I spent all day knowing that, ready or not, it was inevitable, but Sunday I came up with a plan that will give each cat enough space to run around in while keeping them away from each other. It’s not ideal, but it’s fair.

Is this situation likely to resolve itself? Everything I’ve read says it’s a challenge and can take up to a year. Sometimes it never happens. I may have restarted that calendar by trying to reintroduce them too soon, I don’t know.

It’s painful all around. I don’t have any wise words to summarize my thoughts here.  Just thanks for listening.

Catfight in the OK Corral

For the last three weeks, I have fruitlessly tried to reconcile my warring cats.

I believe it started when Mimi looked out the front window and saw another animal: maybe a cat, maybe a raccoon, but mostly likely a dog. My street is a dog-walking thoroughfare.

She turned on Walter, and the fighting began.  Redirected aggression, they call it. Let me say this before I go any further, because I know what suggestion is coming: you cannot let cats “fight it out.” That method will only escalate the problem.

It’s been twenty days of playing musical cats. Mimi gets my bedroom, Walter gets the spare room. Sometimes we switch rooms. One or the other is always out, but poor Mimi is stuck in my bedroom all day when I work.

She’s taken to it pretty well, but everyone once in awhile she bolts when I open the door. Well, not so much now. A friend loaned me a baby/pet gate, and that’s firmly guarding the entrance. Usually she’s sitting behind the door when I open it. It’s her safe place. That spot used to be the back corner, behind a chair and the closet door. At least she’s come to the front.

If this goes on much longer, I’ll have to block off the downstairs so she can reign there, while Walter stays upstairs. He wouldn’t like that all, and is likely to sit by whatever blockade I’ve set up, and cry.

I was the one crying out the other day when (pre-baby gate) Walter shot into Mimi’s (a.k.a. my) room. I dove to catch him and hit my eye smack dab on the door knob. That hurt. I was, however, successful in keeping Walter out of the room.

So I went to work the next day with a black eye and absolutely no way to explain it to the majority of my 140 co-workers. “I hit my eye on a door knob”? “It was my cat’s fault”? “No, really, I’m okay.” I got several knowing looks from women who’ve barely met me.

This war must end, and I believe we are making progress. I know exactly when it will be over. The day I shell out every penny I have to separate downstairs from upstairs.


Photo credit:  © Stefano Garau — stock.adobe.com

Celebrating Milton (It’s Caturday!)

Today we celebrate my mom’s cat Milton, a sweetheart with a difficult past who found his permanent place of residence a few years ago. Now he’s King of the Castle, reigning with benevolence and charm.

20171125_1029091336609722.jpg
Stop this darn picture taking and feed me!!

 

Pondering…pondering…


Image Credits–Header: (Cesar Cat) © Belinda Ostrowski; (Paws and Heart) © Bigstockphoto.com