Happy cat.

Our pets know how to be happy. They never worry about the past or the future; they always are completely in the moment, which I think is the key to happiness.

Here’s my tuxedo cat, Sheldon, enjoying the scratchy spring grass. I think if he was physically capable of smiling, he would be doing just that.  You can click on the photos to get a closer look at this goofy little guy.

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sheldon_2016_3 sheldon_2016_4

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Cats who stare at drains.

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Sheldon, my tuxedo cat, loves to stare at drains. It makes me laugh every time he does it. He takes it very seriously though. When he stares at a drain, he’s totally focused on that drain and whatever is happening with it. He sits there motionless but from time to time cocks his head from side to side, as if pondering why. Sometimes he’ll even tentatively extend a white-mittened paw toward it, but if there’s water there, he quickly moves it away, flicking the water off. But his intent focus remains. His eyes never leave that drain.

I love this video of a Bobcat growling at a bathtub drain.

It’s a cat-tastrophe!

My daughter posted this on her Facebook today. That’s her kitten Zelda up there at the top of the tree. Maybe she thinks she’s an angel. NOT! Click to enlarge.

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😆

My cat is missing. :(

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Not a good picture, but the best one of him I could find. He’s always moving, so it’s hard to get a good shot.

In the past 4 months, the number of cats living with me has gone from 5 (plus one dog) to just 2. In July, Chunks passed away suddenly, and then Mr. Biggles, Babycat, and Dexter (the dog) all went to live with my daughter and her fiance. My housemate, Stacey, took her cat Isaiah to Florida with her last month (and by the way, I’m still looking for another housemate–the guy who was here moved to the upstairs apartment).

Now Sheldon, my tuxedo cat, has been gone for two days. Stacey actually trained him to come when he’s called and since she left, whenever I call him in for the night, he comes running. So I know something’s wrong because he didn’t come home last night, and wasn’t here in this morning and still isn’t back. 😦 I’ve called and called him, and looked everywhere and he’s nowhere to be seen. I’m starting to get really worried. Sheldon has lived with me for 4 years, going on 5, and while it’s not the first time he’s been gone this long, it’s the first time since Stacey was here.
So everyone, please keep Sheldon in your prayers that he returns safely.

ETA: About two hours after I posted this, Sheldon showed up wanting dinner! Now I’m gonna kill him.
Thanks, everyone! 🙂

Are you kitten me?

Possibly the funniest/scariest video I’ve ever seen. 😆

I want a Siamese cat.

Siamese-Cat

My roommate, Stacey, took her cat Isaiah to Florida with her (she never texted me to let me know she got there safely, so I hope she did), and now I’m down to just two: my little huntress Cleo, and my black and white tuxedo cat, Sheldon. Both are outdoors most of the time (that’s not really my choice, but once you let a cat go out, it’s almost impossible to make them indoor-only) and it almost feels like a cat-less house now.

A year ago I still had 5 cats AND a dog. That was too many animals in this small house, but it’s a far cry from only two cats around.

I can tell the cats miss Isaiah. When they are in the house, they walk around as if searching for someone and sit around and meow plaintively, as if asking me where he is. Of course they have short memories and will soon forget he was here, but I know they miss him (even though he and Sheldon used to occasionally get into spats over who was the “alpha male”).

My new roommate, a gay man my age named Kevin, moved in yesterday. He seems very nice. He was the only person who answered my ad that I felt comfortable talking to, and he’s introverted like me. He seems to like the room. He doesn’t have any pets but he likes cats (he isn’t a fan of dogs so I guess I won’t be getting one of those).

I’m thinking of getting a Siamese cat–not a young kitten, but an older one, or a young cat who’s already been spayed or neutered and had all its shots. There are always ads on Craigslist (a lot of people can’t deal with all the talking they do), and some of the Siamese I’ve seen are absolutely gorgeous.

I’ve wanted a Siamese for a long time, but held off because I already had too many cats. The only problem would be keeping him indoors (I prefer a male) since my other two cats always want to go outside. But with the colder weather coming, Cleo and Sheldon may want to be indoors more, and maybe an active and talkative new cat might tempt them to stay in.
I think a Siamese might help lift my mood a little too. They’re very intelligent and affectionate and you can almost have a conversation with them.

This video always makes me smile. These two Siamese are VERY upset about their person taking a shower and not paying attention to THEM. 😆

Spiderkitten.

My daughter’s 3 1/2 month old kitten Zelda was climbing the walls today.

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zelda2

Update on Mr. Biggles.

I wrote about Mr. Biggles in this article; he had to be rehomed several months ago (along with my black lab mix, Dexter) because I simply didn’t have the space for so many kitties or the time to devote to my dog, who was alone in the house all day (I wound up keeping Cleo here). I gave Mr. Biggles and Dexter to my ex for awhile because he is always home (that is one thing I can trust him with–animals), but now he is living with my daughter and her boyfriend and seems to be thriving. If anything, he’s fatter and hairier than ever.

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That’s my daughter holding Mr. Biggles.

Chunky (Chunks): RIP 2003 – June 20, 2015

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I am very sad right now and this will probably be the only thing I write tonight.
A couple of hours ago, my fat cat Chunks died. I think it was cancer, most likely a tumor that eventually blocked her intestines.

I got her in 2011, when she was 8. She was already middle aged, fat but sassy, and while she loved her people (especially me) she used to show my other kitties (and dog Daisy, then Dexter) exactly where they stood. One of the things she loved to do was suck on my fingers at night. She was probably dreaming of kittenhood, being fed by her mom, when she did that.

No matter how many low fat diets she was put on, or how many reduced feedings, she kept getting fatter. When I could afford to, I took her to the vet and he put her on a special diet for awhile but it didn’t work because she didn’t like the bland Science Diet he gave her.

Generally though, she was healthy–as an overweight middle aged lady can be. Occasionally I’d give her a little catnip and that would perk her up and she’d run around the house making everyone laugh because it was so unexpected and she looked so funny running around like that.

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The past few weeks I noticed she was losing weight. She started vomiting more than usual (she always puked a lot because she ate too fast) but not excessively so. I tried putting her on a blander diet and giving her smaller portions. But she started to become lethargic last week and went off her feed. I couldn’t find any vets who wouldn’t charge and I couldn’t afford to take her to one, but she didn’t really seem that uncomfortable. I spent more time with her and brought her up on my bed at night to sleep with me. She hadn’t done that in awhile.

Yesterday she stopped eating. This morning she vomited something that looked and smelled like feces. I knew her time had come. There wasn’t anything to do but wait.

She slept most of the day and at about 3 PM I heard her cry in pain. I rushed into the living room where she lay, and dark brown, almost black blood was coming from her mouth. Normally something like that would gross me out (I’m a pretty squeamish person) but when it’s someone you love, it doesn’t. You heart breaks for them of course, but the sight of blood or bodily fluids isn’t disgusting, not when there’s love there.

She went unconscious and started to convulse badly. I cried as I sat down on the floor next to her and petted and stroked her as she finally went across the Rainbow Bridge. I said a prayer and told her I was sorry I couldn’t have done more. I told her I loved her.

She didn’t suffer for long, only a minute, and the spot where she died was the exact same spot my dog Daisy died 2 1/2 years ago. Wiping away tears, I read the copy of The Rainbow Bridge, and then found a cardboard cat carrier to lay her in, put a towel on the bottom, and covered her with a little dog-and-cat printed blanket.

I’ll miss you, Chunks.

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Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

Author unknown…

Let’s stop blaming the rats!

Painting shows a scene of people suffering from the bubonic plague in the 15th century from the Toggenberg Bible. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Painting shows a scene of people suffering from the bubonic plague in the 15th century from the Toggenberg Bible. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Thumbup posted a little piece about the rats being the culprits of the Black Death. Well, that’s wrong but at least he’s not blaming the cats.

Thumbup is on the right track but he’s only halfway to the shocking truth about the Plague. Lots of people don’t like cats and it’s still popular to blame them for the pestilence–or at least it was back in those days of yore when it was considered perfectly proper to toss your bodily wastes from an unscreened window out into a gutter in the street and warn passersby there was a shitstorm on the way. No wonder there was so much illness. Of course we all know the shitstorms of yore weren’t responsible for the Plague, or we should know it if we don’t.

Back in those sanitation-challenged days of high superstition and low-numbered lifespans, cats were blamed for the pestilence. Our furry friends were regarded by the average man or woman as commiserating in secret dwelling places with The Evil One. The ignorance was so rife in those days it never occurred to anyone that maybe NOT killing the cats off might have prevented the disgusting pestilence, because the cats would have killed the rats who harbored the fleas. But we should be aware too that the Plague was actually nature’s way of correcting an imbalance–it cut down the burgeoning population in urban areas and paved the way for the Industrial Age, for whatever THAT’s worth. As if that’s a good thing, which it might be. Or might not be. I never really thought about it much. I guess it depends if you’re a Luddite who likes to grind their own coffee and make bread from scratch or a high-tech lover of the processed and ready-made.

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But I digress. I opened this post to set the record straight about the common misconception that it was rats were were responsible for the Plague. No, they really weren’t. Even though they aren’t particularly well liked, aren’t all that cute, and are usually feared because they are thought to spread disease, it’s simply not fair to stop with the rats. The rats were actually victims themselves! The rats carried the fleas which held within their evil little carapaces the bacterium Yersinia Pestis that made all hell break loose.

Yes. The fleas. The gosh-darn fleas. Those unholy little fuckers who make my lower legs look like a slab of pimiento cheese after it’s been through the grater. Those annoying near-microscopic specks of jumping hell that leap off my cats and burrow into the weave of my rugs and my bedding and make me eschew wearing shorts when it’s 104 degrees outside. The real familiars of Satan who love the taste of my blood over anyone else’s on the planet. Anyone who’s spent any time reading my online soapbox and spewing platform knows that I hold in my heart the same passionate black hatred for fleas that the medieval Catholic church held for heretics in their midst. It was the fleas who were the real harbingers of painful death by gangrenous exploding pustules, not the rats.

The rats never asked to be infested with the fleas. In fact, I bet the fleas drove them as insane as they drive me every summer. So let’s stop blaming the rats and place the blame on the source of everything that’s evil in this world–the fleas!