Today is Walter and Mimi’s eighth birthday! We’re honoring the occasion with a little treat, a lot of snuggling and a sprinkling of catnip. Nothing like the love of cats to make everyday worth celebrating. And no, despite appearances, you can’t order a kitty from Amazon. At least, not as far as I know!!
Any cat lover (and I know several of you follow my blog) will appreciate the story of Ollie and Lena. Thanks to Amy for sharing. Click on “view original post” to see the video.
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.
If 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.
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!
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.
Marceline awaits Easter.
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
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.
Image Credits–Header: (Cesar Cat) © Belinda Ostrowski; (Paws and Heart) © Bigstockphoto.com
As promised, I made Jake a top hat…but it was his sister Marceline who made it work.
Aw, da kittums.
Not long ago I re-blogged a post about a book with knitting and crochet patterns for cats, Cats in Hats. I bemoaned the idea of dressing one’s cat up in costumes of any sort, but was wise enough to leave the door open for the possibility I might give in to those really cute hats.
Wise, because predictably I’ve bonded with a co-worker, Asia, over our love of cats. So much so that when I found out her kitty Jake will wear bow ties, I told her about Cats in Hats, knowing full well I was about to knit a hat for a cat. Not because she would ask me to do so, but because I couldn’t resist crazy cute.
And if I wasn’t hooked by the idea of her big orange cat wearing a knit hat, this dinosaur cap completely did me in.
IS THIS NOT CRAZY CUTE? Jake wasn’t quite as enamored of the cap as Asia and I were, but he looked adorable.
Next comes a top hat to go with his bow tie. I’m going to have to create a pattern for that one, but I’m figuring it out…after all, it’s a tube on a flat circle…should be easy.
Yes, I did try it on Walter, but he immediately shook it off and gave me a dirty look. So my cats will be staying home this Halloween.
By the way, Cats in Hats was so popular there are now multiple books available with knitted kitty clothing. We really are a crazy bunch.
Mimi has always looked with longing out her windows, but as she’s gotten older, the great outdoors is more of a passing entertainment and less of a temptation. Every once in awhile, however, the yearning has power.
Today I want to remember all the kitties from my past.
I don’t have pictures of all of them, nor is it likely I’ll remember all their names. But Hugo, Petunia, Whittier, Salem, Gabriel, Cassie, Darren, Whitney, Montero, Carter and of course, Paco, you made my life better just by being there in the morning. Even if being there meant you were pestering me for food.
Granted, the quality of many of these pictures is pretty poor, either due to age or because they’re Polaroids (or both). But you get an idea of how blessed I’ve been.
What are the kitties thinking when they peer out at the rain?
I know my Mimi would love to be outdoors, but I won’t let her wander. It’s too dangerous outside the confines of my home, with a wooded ravine in the back and a very busy street directly in front.
I house-sat last year, and hauled the cats over to this pretty place on the lake, with woods and the brush all around. No way in heaven or earth I was going to let them run free. Not only would they likely get lost, whoever did find them (probably a coyote) would discover them covered in ticks and fleas and whatever other grunge lies out there.
I know, there’s medicine for that. They can also stay inside.
Inside is pretty appealing these days, with lots of places to climb and hide. My latest creation? It happened quite by accident when I decided to protect the desk chair at the aforementioned house.
The cats had turned my own desk chair into a fine scratching post, despite having two such already, and I didn’t want to have to spend everything I made housesitting replacing my friend’s desk chair. So I covered it with a sleeping bag. Turns out this makes a great tent for cats. They spent hours under there, huddled together in one furry mass.
At our own home, I cover my desk chair with a blanket when I’m not using it. I should make one thing clear. My laptop is at a different desk, with a different (rather uncomfortable yet decor-appropriate) “desk chair.”
When they’re giving the world that faraway stare, are they sometimes thinking, what’s wrong with our mama? She isn’t happy today. I wish I could make her feel better. You do, babies. When I’m feeling sad, you always seem to know it, and you comfort me.
Do they dream of the big hunt? Right now there’s the occasional bug to stalk, but I usually reach my limit watching that game after a time and kill the thing myself. They tend to let it go otherwise. Unless it’s a flying bug. Walter is adept at catching bugs in flight, and has no compunction eating his capture.
I want my kitties to be happy, so I worry sometimes at their pensive look. But then they’ll crawl into my lap and purr themselves to sleep while I sing their favorite songs. All is well.
We have each other.
My babies are five years old this month. I don’t know the exact day, so we’re celebrating today!!
On the last day of the late great Paco’s life, I sat in the waiting room at the Cat Clinic, waiting for Dr. Rose to tell me what I already knew.
Paco, some of you may recall, was my best buddy for more than 15 years, a feline friend who saw me through some of my toughest times. I was starting a new phase of my life, and I was at peace with the timing. More change would have been too hard on him. It was time to let go.
He had advanced kidney disease, so I’d known for some time this day was looming. But knowing, being at peace, none of that prepares for you the final good-bye.
As I sat waiting, I noticed a grey tabby mama cat in a kennel a couple of feet away from me. She had been rescued with four kittens, three of whom had already found good homes. It was her turn to be adopted, and the Cat Clinic had cleverly placed her in the waiting area for all to meet.
She was looking at me with such sweet and compassionate eyes, I knew she knew what was happening. I was losing my baby, and my heart was breaking.
“It’s okay,” I told her. “I’m okay.”
She didn’t break her gaze, but shifted closer to me.
“Thank you,” I whispered to her as the doctor called me into an exam room.
It was time, Dr. Rose told me. I would regret waiting any longer. I signed the papers and said good-bye to Paco.
As I walked out, I once again passed the little lady kitty. She looked at me, and I started to cry. I bent down and whispered, “I know you’ll find the best home ever.” She purred softly, her eyes so kind.
The best home ever for this one, I told the vet tech. She smiled and nodded agreement.
Good-bye, sweet Paco.