Diary of a Cat Lover


March 4th 2007

Even the cats are getting really bored. Fluffy was sitting on the windowsill with her tail dangling below the curtain and Frank, (bored and bigger than her), leapes up from the floor to nip her ass. Fluffy yowls, wags tail and goes back to street watching. Frank, (still bored), does it again. This goes on for a good ten minutes until Fluffy gives up and ceeds the window position to him. Of course, he doesn’t want it now.

March 19th 2007

And the cats have just been fed twice. I heard the sound of R putting down their bowls. It isn’t much point saying anything as they will have inhaled the second helping at the first sign of interruption.

March 22nd 2007

Yes, we know spring is coming. Frank is shedding clumps of chocolate-colored fur but Olly? OMG. She is the result of an illicit meeting between her mother and a squirrel. She doesn’t run like a cat, she lopes like a squirrel and her tail … It is this enormous squirrel brush.

So I creep out of my office to see if I can keep down some soup and find I will have to run the vacuum around. There is fur everywhere and I know they haven’t been fighting. Now if the cats weren’t scared of the vacuum, we could solve this problem at source and they wouldn’t get hairballs. But they are and take off at top speed, shedding enough fur to stuff a duvet in the process. Sigh.

September 2nd 2007

Frank the cat is very tubby and loves food. He also likes going outside but has lost this particular avenue of pleasure for some time. (He got himself catnapped a couple of years back and we had to pay a $200 ransom to get him returned.) Anyhow, the dh has just had a fence built for our backyard. He has also put chicken wire along the bottom so it is more or less cat proof because Frank the cat isn’t a jumper. The weight to mass ratio won’t accomodate a six foot leap.

So R let Frank the cat out in the backyard this afternoon and promptly mislaid him. Very concerned, he calls me down because he wants the cat found before he goes out to get his oil changed. He wants to start a neighborhood search. I pick up the box of cat biscuits, go to the back door, rattle box, call ‘Din dins’. Both cats come belting out of the shrubbery in a mad race for the kitchen door and food. (They are both overweight, incidently). Time taken to find cat? Around fifteen seconds.

He is a pedigree snowshoe so he is a target. Thus the concern. Olly is probably a cross between a squirrel and a cat. She is very fluffy with a supersized tail and lopes rather than runs. She also won’t go near strangers, unlike Frank the cat.

September 26th 2007

Apparently, Frank the cat thought R had done something terrible to me and buried me in the backyard because he wouldn’t go near R. All the time I was away at the convention he gave poor R the ‘lemon’ look and didn’t come for scritchies.

When I got back I got treated to a barrage of rubs and trills. One in particular caught my attention. Frank has taken to belting out ‘Harr-row’ whenever he sees me come into a room. It does bear an uncanny resembalence to a greeting.

July 27th 2008

We had to go into the city yesterday to get some more memory for the pc. While we were there I made a point of getting a longer leash for one of our cats. He huffs and grunts when trying to jump up to a window so you would think he wouldn’t manage a six foot fence with chicken wire at the bottom to prevent any tunneling activities, but no, so a harness and long leash it is. Feeling a bit mean at what I was doing I just happened to snag a little treat for the boys.

Ok so we get home and unpack but for some reason I left the treat on the counter. A while later, when we were sitting downstairs in the family room, we notices a certain strange noise coming from the kitchen. On investigation, my guess proved correct. One of the boys, Meowser, had jumped up and stolen the treat all by himself. It was organic catnip in a ziplock baggie and you wouldn’t think they could smell it through there but they did. After Meowser finished killing the ziploc baggie, about an hour later, he lost concentration and Frank stole it off him to have his own hour long session of killing the baggie. We had to take it away from them in the end as it was starting to leak. I took it up when I went to bed and shut it in my office. Just guess where both of them were parked this morning?
Jan 21st 2009

Me. I am sitting quietly, working on my stuff, totally immersed when I am jumped out of my skin.

Cat. ARAAAHZZZZZ (At at least 200 decibels.)

Me. Heart slowing down again, wondering if the new cat has gotten out of her room. (Yes, we are keeping her).

Cat. Owwowwoww rouwlel owowwlow. Continuous and definitely coming from upstairs and not down.

Me. Goes upstairs to see Ollie sitting on the windowsill nose to nose with a Stranger through the glass.

Cat. ARAAAHZZZZZZZ. Another 200 decibels.

Me. What is your problem?

Cat. Owoowowllow rowlelow. Prolonged and followed by best hiss.

She is outstandingly brave at cussing other cats through double glazed windows. She is also half the size of the Stranger. I wouldn’t be wearing her paws when she sneaks out past someone’s legs in Spring. Every action has a reaction.

Jan 31st 2009

Frank, the snowshoe heads for the basement to find new cat on the loose. *A stranger! I know you have been lurking down here. I smelled you! I hates you*

Puss puss. *I don’t go a bomb on you, either* Best hiss.

Fisticuffs ensues. Screeches of unkind words are screamed. Fur flies.

Frank emerges looking like a sheep in Spring with a serious malting problem. Puss Puss is hiding under one of the kid’s abandoned couches. No permanent damage is done to either combatant. The integration process has begun.

Lemon looks dominate the day.

March 10th 2009

Around xmas there was a wicked cold snap with temps dipping down to -46. This is when we found our newest cat in deep trouble hiding under our bay window, crying for help. She had been abandoned in an Alberta winter. Ok, so we are softies. New kitty has a forever home with us.

Frank, the snowshoe is not impressed with this humanitarian and bizarre decision on our part. He does not share well. I should explain at this point that our home is a four level side-split and our family room is half a level down from our kitchen with a railing aperture providing extra light from the upper level. It also gives the cats an extra entrance to the kitchen, where two of them are fed. We are still feeding the newcomer in the basement due to certain ill-natured vocalizations and furryicuffs.

Unfortunately the new cat has proven to be a thief of the other cats food. This has mega ticked off both long term residents, who had gone to a lot of personal inconvenience to establish how fussy and finicky they were in their eating habits. Suddenly, all food, in whatever form, is acceptable. The alternative is to be forced to rush into the kitchen to scare off new cat, who disappears into the family room through the railings. At this point a brown face with furious blue eyes glares through the aforesaid with an ‘I kills you now’ look.

What goes around really does come around. R put new cat’s food in the kitchen this evening, at some distance away from the other two. They ganged up to force a retreat and ate the lot, to the fury of new cat, the thief. There is a supply of dry food in the basement, as there is in the kitchen, but it is not the prime wet food. Much glaring and mumping is to be seen.

They seem to have divided the house into distinct territories and thou shalt not pass. The staircase from the third level to the second level is the cut off point with one at the top, ‘I hates you to death’, and the other at the bottom, ‘Just you wait until you are napping and then I steals all your biscuits.’

Frank, the snowshoe got so ticked this afternoon that he felt the need to beat up Ollie the fluffy hoe, who he usually naps with. He managed to look a trifle guilty when I yelled at him and desisted immediately. Order was soon restored. I have to wonder how a cat apology is couched?

March 13th 2009

We get home and notice Frank, the snowshoe has a very swollen head on one side. He had a furious furrycuffs with New Cat, the thief a day back. This is not good. So take an extremely ungrateful and swearing animal to the vet, who confirms he has an infected wound and a temperature. The cat must now stay overnight at the vets for a procedure to lance and irrigate this mess. It will involve a general anesthetic and we can collect the bad-tempered culprit in the morning, along with antibiotics. Oh the fun of the cat pill.

I shall have to sort out through the basement stuff to see if we have an old snow jacket left over from one of the kids when they were younger. The least painful method of administering the dreaded cat pill is to insert the cat into a sleeve so that its head pokes out of the cuff and its weapons are confined within. Of course the jacket end needs to be secured so the cat can’t attempt to back out. One is then faced with a furious flat-eared head incapable of all defensive maneuvers except swearing. Regrettably for the cat, swearing and hissing involve opening the mouth, which then gets a pill trust in and a hand around the muzzle to prevent all attempts to spit the thing out. Yes, we have tried putting the pill in wet food, but the cat concerned will merely pick all around it. We have also tried wrapping a butter-coated pill in a large swirl of black forest ham. The cat concerned will take off with extreme velocity to unwrap the ham from the pill and leave a nasty butter mark just where I don’t want one. The jacket method is by far the swiftest and least traumatic for all concerned.

Ollie, the hoe, is now at an extreme disadvantage, because she has been very vocal to New Cat, the thief. She does this while bravely standing behind Frank, the snowshoe, who is not here tonight. Ollie is currently hanging out on the upper level landing, very timidly.

Now I am going to the shop to download all those chapters I have been trying to crit this week and lost because of the Amazing Persona. With any luck, I can accomplish this before my connection craps out again. Looks around hopefully for a luck fairy.

March 14th 2009

We got Mr. Grumpy from the vets today. His operation went well and the goo has been thoroughly irrigated. We don’t have the misery of the CAT PILL as there is a new injection for antibiotics out that lasts ten days. Yeah. I really don’t like chasing ungrateful creatures all over the house to administer something they need and really don’t want in their mouths. Four hundred and sixty dollars later … Ouch.

It is only a matter of minutes from the vets to our home, but the cat made his displeasure at the whole situation very clear by peeing on my van seat. Wonderful. I get the eau de pee scent until I can get the darn thing out in summer and thoroughly hose it down. Despite the clean up I did already, I know there will be a residue. Mumbles about aforesaid grumpy and expensive cat.

Frank is now trying to get off his head bandage. Good luck on that one, little bud. It will come off when I cut it off and not before. I don’t care if you look like King Tuts pet kitty, and I don’t care if the other cats don’t recognize you right now. Shouldn’t be grumpy, should you?

Because I know some of my friends are going through sad times, I thought something a little lighthearted might help bring a few happy moments. I got this one off the web a few years ago and I might add, this is not what we do.

How to Give a Cat a Pill

1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from yard.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink one beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbor’s shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with rubber band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of Scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Call fire department to retrieve the friggin’ cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.

13. Tie the dang thing’s front paws to rear paws with twine and bind tightly to leg of dining room table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour two pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

14. Consume remainder of Scotch. Get spouse to drive you to emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15. Call your Vet to administer general anesthesia to your cat and insert pill directly into cat’s stomach.
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March 18th 2009

I had to take my furries for their shots prior to boarding them while we go away. This did not go down well. I also have to take them one at a time as we only have one cat carrier. I caught Ollie, the hoe first, after having to pry her out from under the stairs in the basement with a curtain rod.

Ollie: I sees the box. I know what that means. I am not going to the vets.

I eventually force a furious furry into the box, whereupon the most dreadful howls arise. This continues for the duration without let up.  I then go back with her to get Frank, the snowshoe, who I left enveloping one of the heat registers in my livingroom. He has vanished. A frantic search later reveals him hiding under my desk in my office.

Frank: I am invisible, so you can’t see me here. NOOO go away. I am not going in the box. I am not going to the vets!

He dug his hooks in my rug and had to be dragged, inch by inch from under my desk. He then braced his feet against the box to prevent insertion. It became a test of strength that I won, eventually. The yowls of outrage started immediately and didn’t terminate until he was back home again.

Ok, two down and one to go. This one should be easy as I have already locked Puss Puss in a basement room. Oh yeah, what was I thinking. Cat runs around the walls and somehow flies past my head on the way out. I eventually capture the animal under a table after an extended chase. If I thought the other two were loud I hadn’t heard anything yet. This one would have put a flight of banshees to shame.

$220 later and probably irrevocable hearing damage, all cats have their shots. Frank’s head is healing nicely and Puss Puss is estimated to be around three years old. The animal is also a fixed boy and not a girl, as I said in the first place, but the dh thought otherwise. He doesn’t have any microchips inbeded so there is no possibility of tracing his previous owners. Despite the howling and fury, no one got hurt, excepting for feelings.

I am now a horrid and evil person, excepting for that brief moment in time when I fed them. They are now all sulking.

April 8th 2009

I have just had the irritation of having to throw out all my large potted plants. Frank, the snowshoe has been using them as a bathroom in protest at the newest member of our family. Words have been spoken, heads have been smacked and noses have been inserted in the offense. The plants are now toast and outside. It is still too cold out to hose them down outside and re-pot. Besides which, the plants are obviously dying.

The boys are now getting along better and I think this protest is at an end. However, I will be getting replacement plants with big coverage in small pots that don’t have the space for such badness. If a pot wobbles then the cat won’t be tempted. I will also be searching for my spritz bottle if I must be on plant patrol.

Not impressed. Really not impressed.

April 29th 2009

Our furrys have a set routine. When we have breakfast they get their beloved wet food. They have nutritious dry food online all the time, but they like wet food. When I start supper they get another helping of wet food. Get the picture? Me cooking equals wet food.

So I decided to do caponata to go with a quish this evening. That means it must chill for two hours at least before being served so I did it when i got myself lunch. See the problem? I cook, and no wet food appears in cat bowls.

Serious upset in cat world. She cooked and therefore we get wet food. She walked away. No wet food. Oh noes. We has to go whine.

And they did. All afternoon; collectively, or by themselves, with great feeling and volume. This horrendous glitch in cat world was not resolved until I started supper and caved. I have had lemon looks all evening in consequence.

May 7th 2009

So we are down one cat. Puss Puss got out on the weekend when we were barbecuing and chose to take a hike. He has not returned. We were warned this might happen and it has.

Two alpha males in the same household will cause tension; that is a given. Frank, the snowshoe was not impressed with our humanitarian ideals. He doesn’t share well unless he is king of his own dirt pile.

We are now approximately $1,000 lighter from vet’s bill, boarding and other expenses, but at least the cat was able to survive our winter. I hope the little beastie is doing fine and he finds what he is looking for. At least he had packed on the pounds and his shots were up to date.

So life returns to normal, if on a sadder note. We were fond of him.

May 10th 2009

It was a nice day today so we let Frank the Snowshoe out to play in our cat proof backyard while we worked. He was a happy camper, rolling in the dirt and getting incredibly filthy. What I wasn’t prepared

for was an altercation. A stranger cat had gotten into our backyard. Words were said. Fisticuffs ensured.

The stranger tried to get away by leaping up our fence. It fell down. When this happened the second time I ran to open the gate, realizing the problem the poor little beastie was faced with. Three times that poor cat leapt at the fence, and because I was not near enough, charged the chicken wire at a high spot in our fence line and got through. I hope it wasn’t hurt.

This makes me so damned mad. The cat couldn’t defend itself and couldn’t scale a fence because it had no claws. Frank the cat is not athletic, so we only target the low escape routes. Frank the cat is also fully capable of climbing and defending himself outside. Yes, I can see some weak-minded people might want to de-claw an indoor cat because it scratches furniture. Yes, I have had this problem. I have found they don’t scratch leather it they are supplied with scratching posts.

What beats the crap out of me is why a person would let a cat out with deliberately deformed feet for the lack of suitable observation of the problems ensuing? Why let a cat out like that anyway? So you have gone the cruel route to protect an inanimate object. What about the safety of the cat you have crippled by your selfishness? Why now let out a helpless beast of the earth, who still thinks it can scale a fence in its panic?

If I were god, then I would not only yank out the finger nails of such people, but I would yank out the bone of their first digits. I would then sit back and enjoy their attempts at successful living with amusement. I would enjoy their failure with the flubbery mess on the end of their fingers frustrating their efforts, and I would laugh.

If a cat is de-clawed, then it is an inside cat forever. It can never go out, excepting on a leash. If this is a route you feel you must take, then do the human thing and protect the pet you have chosen to cripple.

June 1st 2009

To envisage this you need to know the layout of our house. It is a four level side-split and our top level slightly overhangs our lower ground level where our family room is located. Because we love wildlife, we have hung a birdfeeder for finches on the underside of the overhang in front of one of our family room windows.

So a goodly number of finches were arguing about perch space this evening. Ollie, the hoe, who had been soundly asleep on the couch just under that window springs into life and crouches, watching, emanating hate and greed. The window is open, but the bug net is in place.

Ollie: I hates you. I eats you now.

Me: Leave them alone. You have just eaten.

Ollie, ignoring me and edging closer to the window. Hates you. Hates you. Eats you.

Bang. Bumps into bug net, which deflects her back onto the couch in a graceless heap. The bird take a hike, twittering. They might have been laughing. I don’t know for sure.

June 14th 2009

Frank, the snowshoe, has spent many months chattering and hating the flying tasties visiting our bird feeder. His previous record of catching edibles includes butterflies and crickets. He ran away from a mouse and we don’t have rats in Alberta.

Yesterday, my ten year old, hardly athletic, as in can’t scale a six foot fence, even though he has all his claws intact, bounded up a straight four feet vertically to make a swipe at a flying tastie trying to eat from our bird feeder. He missed, but not by much.

This leads us to the sad conclusion that the flying tastie that he was seen devouring in our backyard a couple of days previously was indeed his own catch and not something purloined off Ollie, the hoe, as we had previously thought. This is the cat who turns up his nose at all chicken or turkey based premium cat food. He will also shudder at any prime turkey pieces put in his dish at festive occasions. He does not like the taste of birdie, so why does he crunch and munch at a fully feathered and raw specimen? It has got to be hate.

This is their nature. I remember the first cat we had. I was digging in my veggie patch to prepare for planting. Obviously, I was unearthing worms and the birds were zooming in on them. One bird scored a big one and was in the process of taking off when this black shape sailed by me, totally committed and airborne. Instinctively, I reached out to grab the caudal appendage as the animal flew by. There was a nasty splat in the dirt. The bird and worm flew off. The furious cat bit my rubber boot with great ferocity. It spent around three days sulking about the incident. Yep. They hate birds.

July 3rd 2009

On another front, Frank the snowshoe has had his first taste of flying tasties and wants more, big time. He lurks under our deck, just waiting for them to land on the bird feeder, or, if he is stuck inside, chatters to them of his evil intentions from behind the bug net, which is about two feet from the feeder. He still doesn’t like chicken or turkey flavored cat food so why does he crave raw birdie? This is beyond me.
July 10th 2009

My dh has an elevated metabolism, which means he doesn’t feel the cold. This means that all other members of the household adapt to the chiller temperatures when he is home. Frank, the snowshoe and Ollie, the hoe have come to their own arrangements on this situation.

In winter, as we have forced air heating, the pair have isolated all the spots where the heating vents run under the floor and lounge accordingly. Summer produces its own problems. There is no heat. Oh quel horruer! Ollie, the hoe snuggles up in a blankie, but Frank, the snowshoe is far more sophisticated and upmarket. He has discovered that my laptop has a vent on the side for heat dissipation. Oh luv, luv.

July 26th

I don’t mind the snuggling, but I do draw a line at drooling on my keyboard.

I have now found a total of seven short stories I had forgotten about. All but one are on an active relocation hunt. The last one must wait for the reviewing session to open in August.

In other news, Frank the cat has found that the forty-five degree angle of my coffee table leg is just right to park his head on. It allows him to lounge while still looking directly at the bird feeder when the flying tasties alight. I think the wood also is a tad cooler for his furry head than the rug.I am not impressed by that boy. I was weeding today and the moment my back was turned he managed to plant a little brown stink seed that will not grow.

September 12th 2009

We were talking about our very first cat tonight. He occured about four days after we married, sailing over our garden fence in a plastic grocery bag as a three week old kitten. We didn’t have a honeymoon as all our cash had gone into the purchase of our first house, so we were home.

Inside the bag was a terrified ball of black fluff with an attitude. I hand reared this one with deli turkey meat and other treats until I could wean him on cat food. His attitude never changed much. Two legs were mean and he was going to get even. We were left out of the program of extreme vengence and were the only two legs safe with this beastie, who, by the nature of things, grew. And grew until he was the size of a mountain cat.

We knew we were in for problems with this one when he developed a habit of running upside down under our bed. Peeking down, we were met with this insane crinkly grin as he progressed. He was also hot on his food times. When R went to go get us coffee one Sunday morning, the cat eventually came to the conclusion, around about the bedroom door, that he was not going to be fed immediately, so he wrapped his furry feet around my dh’s bare ankle and bit him.

He also bit my widowed aunt, very deeply on the leg, when she was arguing with my dh and my father. She was very anti men and would turn a difference of opinion 180 just to score against them. The amusing part of this was watching the heroic efforts of both men not to laugh.

This was also the cat that used to follow me all the way out of our subdivision when I walked to work. The neighbors used to tell the time by him as he would come to meet me by the main road, at precisely the moment I would return in the afternoon. However, this was also fraught with peril. The cat liked to visit the washroom in this guy’s yard that had his bedding plants inserted like a regiment on parade. The guy didn’t like this, so he would stand armed with his hosepipe, ready. The cat didn’t like getting wet. I should explain that the front of the houses had a walkway but no road. This was at the back and so was the dude’s garage. The cat found which garage and then amused himself in evil kitty revenge by daily irrigating the dude’s garage door handle.

Who says cats don’t have a sense of humor?

September 28th 2009

This post comes from a memory my dh and I were sharing about a loved and gone ahead cat. At that time we were living in Ontario and had a smallish yard with a high grass bank at the back against a neighbors fence. I turned this into a flowerbed to the delight of Humphrey, our then cat. What he loved most was sliding on his back, head first down that slop in an undulating wiggle of joy. He would then go right back up and do it all again.

This was a cat’s moment of pure pleasure. I have no idea why making a skid mark in my flowerbed was a priority for him. It was enough that he was having fun. Endless cat fun in all the summer months. Cats do actually display crinkly grins when they are having mega fun. He certainly did. He lived to the ripe old age of nineteen and I like to think he enjoyed his life.

October 26th 2009

We were going out to get a few groceries this afternoon and I just went back in to get my purse but didn’t shut the door properly. My bad. Frank the cat is good at nosing open doors. Frank the cat isn’t allowed outside anymore after he was catnapped and we had to pay a $200 ransom to get him back. Yes, he is a pedigree animal and very attractive. He doesn’t like the restrictions.

Frank the cat noses open door and makes a break for freedom, narrowly avoiding the dh trying to stop him. He parks under our bay window out of the dh’s reach.

I come out, find the problem and swing my purse at the cat, who, by some extremely bad judgement call, does not flee to hide underneath the step, but away from the house. He now heads for R’s pet car that we have tarped by the side of the house for the winter.

Frank the cat gives me a very smug look and proceeds to disappear under the vehicle.

I look under the car and find he has neglected to withdraw his tail. Grab tail firmly and pull gently.

Frank the cat screams and yowls, furious he has been caught. He comes out spitting and trying to nip me.

Unfortunately for Frank the cat, I once owned a very viscious cat that didn’t like people at all, having been slung over our fence in a grocery bag as a three-week old kitten. I hand reared that one, but he never got over the circumstances and required special handling. I think I was the only one truly safe from his weapons and even I had to be careful. Frank the cat is a very gentle little soul by comparison and no match for the gentle restriction to prevent me being scratched or bitten.

Frank the cat is now in full sulk mode and won’t talk to me. He will generally sulk for a good day or so if thwarted.

I, on the other hand, am quite pleased with the outcome.

November 11th 2009

In other news, Frank the cat might have gotten whiplash. He was in a comatose state after his dinner when I played a recording of a friend’s pet starling. I think it might have taken less than a second for his head to snap upright. He then charged over to join us so that he could guard the bad laptop against any birds flying out.

I do wish he didn’t need to be like this, but I guess it is in his nature. For a very lazy animal, the only time I have seen him leap four feet vertically in the air from a zero stand point was when a bird landed on our bird feeder when he was underneath. He missed by a claw’s width.

What bugs me is that he doesn’t like the taste of avian. He will turn up his nose at any bird flavored cat food and certainly does not like any turkey bits at xmas. So if it isn’t a preferred menu item, then why bust a gut to catch it?

Frank the cat does like fish. A lot. We once bought one of the kids an aquarium with tropical fish. The wretched animal could not be trusted alone in that room as he developed serious fishing skills, once he had worked out how to get the top off. Empty tank and a cat with wet legs he was trying to lick dry gave a huge clue as to the culprit.

December 21st 2009

R just went into the kitchen to get something and one cat was upset over empty bowls. He gets dry food and pours. All of a sudden, all cats are there. Oh nos, they weren’t really sleeping, not when food was being poured out. Heads are now down and serious eating is now commencing, depite that they are not starved, having had their wet food already.

January 7th 2010

Ok, so we are spineless and helpless. There is a poor outside cat that has been abandoned for ages, since the summer as far as we know. Neither of us can get near him to bring him inside. This is bad because he has been declawed. I know this because of his attempts to scale our six foot fence in summer. People, aye?

We have been feeding him since summer and he now lives under our front doorstep. When the sun hits the step, or he hears us moving, he is there and he gets fed on demand. Dry food, wet food, turkey, whatever, as long as he gets a lot to keep up his calories and maintain his body temperature.

So today, I hear a loud plop and a furious yowl. There is a lot of snow on our roof and it has been sliding off by incriments. I guess Fluffy was in the wrong place at the wrong time. When I looked out at the front step, there he was, looking furious and very much like one of Santa’s little helpers with his fur covered by a light drizzle of snowflakes. Yes, I fed him again, but he was not amused. He is becoming very vocal and let me know just what he thought about my roof and its shortfalls.

January 19th 2010

I was deeply engrossed, writing a short last night when R decided to go to bed. I didn’t notice that he hadn’t put Puss Puss in the basement until I had finished and was about to follow him. Grrrs.

I should explain that Frank the Cat and Puss Puss are both alpha males. This does not make for a happy mix and they cannot be left unsupervised or yowling, posturing, swearing, and substantial fur loss over my house will occur.

Choice one: Do five laps around the house chasing Puss Puss to put him in the basement, where he does NOT want to go. (I don’t sleep well and have a big problem getting off in the first place. Choice one is a great way to get all night insomnia.)

Choice two: Frank the Cat is lurking under the coffee table, waiting for an opportunity to ambush Puss Puss, who is under an occasional table. Frank is remarkably untidy and has left his tail sticking out right by my foot. Now this has become a no brainer. Grins. Grabs tail and extracts Frank the pissed-off Cat.

I now have only one option and that is to break my own rules. I cannot put Frank in the basement as that is Puss Puss’ domain and there would be even more ill-feelings. So, I take Frank up and dump him on our Princess and Pea bed.

Frank: I is not allowed on here. She who must be obeyed yells at me. She put me here. Maybe I should purr, just a bit to let her know I is here? (Small purr)

Frank: She has settled down. He is asleep. Can I sleep here? Cats aren’t allowed on this beds. But I is here. (Paddles about finding multiple comfy spots). She knows I am here. I just walked on her and she didn’t yell. Oh, I can STAY. (Revs up purr engine to full capacity). PURRR PURRRRR PURRRRRRRR.

The whole bed is now vibrating with fluffy happiness. Frank is seriously competing with R, who is trying to lift the roof off the rafters with his snores. I get to sleep around three-thirty. LOL.

January 22nd 2010

We have three inside cats, who are pampered, and one poor outside cat that we cannot catch to bring inside. He appeared in a dilapidated state last spring and we have been feeding him ever since. We see him there, at the window, and then get our cue to put out food. He is now living under our front doorstep and peeks in through the window when he hears us, but runs away when we open the door to put out his food.

The choices some people make really bothers me. This sweet boy has been declawed. He should never be outside because he cannot defend himself, and yet there he is. The factoid that he is so shy of people tells me a lot about the sort of life he must now live.

Cat, our outside boy, for want of a better name and because he answers to it, is now coming out of his shell and exhibiting individual tastes, since he now has the luxury of not starving. He likes xmas turkey a lot, but he is not so keen on Whisker’s biscuits. He prefers Friskies. He does not, however, like the bits in Friskies wet food and picks that out to scatter on my doorstep. The gravy is a dim and distant memory.

One day I hope I can convince Cat that we are not bad people and that he can have a loving indoor home, where he will be protected and cared for. I wouldn’t even mind if he wanted to live outdoors in the summer, but our climate is not such that he should be forced to endure this in winter. Why, oh why do people have to be like this to their helpless pets? We have a no kill humane society to take in pets people can no longer house. Why chuck a helpless little guy out? It makes me so mad. At least he is beginning to reassert his own wants, wishes and needs. It is a first step.

February 1st 2010

Today has not all been shitty. We had an amusing moment with Frank the Thieving Cat. I must have left my office door open last night as I was greeted by chaos this morning. One of the cats had gotten in, routed through a grocery bag, where I have a few odds and ends stored from the kitchen reno that I haven’t yet found a home for. And in the bag was cat nip in a sealed bag.

Well it was once sealed. The culprit had done a good job of biting through the plastic and had liberally spread the contents, but a goodly bit did remain in the bag. So I decided to leave it to see who would think he could come in for a second sniffing high.

Went down to get lunch, leaving the door open and returned to find Frank the Cat, on his back with his feet waving in the air and his head lying on the opened baggie. Was we high? Oh yes we was. As high as a kite. I took the bag away and then he rolled and luxuriated on the bits on the rug. Guilty as charged.

Post script: The dh has just looked up cat nip and come up with this definition. A recreational substance for feline enjoyment. LOL

March 17th 2010

Subsequent to R being bitten we had a discussion on cat behavior. What he should have done when yanking an antsy cat by the tail handle out of a conflict with another antsy cat is to immediately grab the scruff when the fore part of the fighting cat emerged from the hole. Frank had got out with full intention of beating the crap out of an outside cat.

Frank the cat minds me and obeys with alacrity. If I send him to his chair, he does a 180 from whatever else he had been attempting to do and goes there. He ignores R’s commands totally. I think it is in the tone of the voice as I have only ever spritzed him twice in his entire life, but I guess the memory stuck. It is the possibility he might get spritzed by she who must be obeyed that gets him going. This is semi-obedience, as it does not stop him stealing food or sneaking into a room where he is not allowed. If caught by me, he flees to a shelf under an occasional table, where he thinks he is invisible. After a suitable length of time, when he thinks I have forgotten, he slinks out to sit on my lap and have scritchies.

The major sharp orders only happen if he makes a break for an open front door, giving him access to the outside. That is a real no no as he was cat-napped and we did have to pay a $200 ransom to get him back. The idiot was returned as a bag of bones after 10 days and a money exchange. He had refused to eat. Doesn’t learn, though and the dh is still somewhat miffed that I can turn Frank around on a dime with just one bellow.

Ollie the hoe, on the other hand is a lost cause. She was observed today coming out of the gap under our front concrete entrance stairs, shortly followed by a full, bruiser tomcat. Yes of course she has been fixed. Yes, of course I have brought this behavior up with our vet, who says a female fragment must have been left in. Not enough to generate kittens, but enough to create a hoe. And of course she was up to the obvious. At least the behavior will not be productive.

April 1st 2010

Me: I need to make up the spare bed.
Ollie the hoe: The bedroom door is open. I may go in.
Me: Spotting Ollie slithering under the bed. “Out”.
Ollie: I will make myself very small under this bed.
Sometimes, German words are very onomatopoeic.
Me: Rouse!
Ollie the hoe: Busted!
Flees with alacrity.The blurr of fur made a sharp right to hit the stairs at light speed.

There are areas we share with our friends in fur and areas they know full well they are not welcome. This was one of them. There were no consequences, since she moved to my command. If she had failed to shift, I would have been forced to bring down the vacuum. Once that fires up, they all head off to pastures new at light speed.

April 9th 2010

Before the blizzard struck, we had a nice day with warm sunshine. Now there was a tree branch that overhung the fence. This was very convenient for the cats, who used it as an escape route from the yard fenced to keep them in. So the branch is mostly gone, excepting a span that they used to sharpen their hooks.

Cats are creatures of habit and, in the fullness of time, one of them will ascend the branch to reach the top of the fence, only it isn’t there now. A flying leap may, or may not be successful, but there is that dignity thing. If they fall short, they will fall and look stupid. This is not acceptable in dignified cat world. If they fall down, they look around to figure out if anyone saw them, and then they pretend it didn’t happen. My bet is on them not trying. If I lose, then another foot will come off that limb.

They have already figured out the chicken wire at the bottom of the fence after running into it at full tilt a goodly few times. Lemon looks ensued. The chicken wire is working, which only leaves the branch route. Methinks we are going to be unpopular for a bit.

Am I mean? I don’t think so. It is a big yard and has lots of interesting places for cats to lurk while they chatter at birds. I am not so concerned about coyotes as I am the dogs roaming around. I have already lost one cat to a savage dog attack in my own yard before it was fenced. Yes, I think they enjoy going out and disagreeably rolling in the dirt, stalking birds and other small and innocent creatures. But I want them to do this in safety. Apparently, the fence is just a tad too high and a tad too smooth for hooks to be successful upward propelling mechanisms. They fall if they try and all of them have front hooks, including the one I thought had been declawed. Pressure treated wood rocks!
April 24th 1010

On a cat note:

R: lying on our hard tile floor in the kitchen trying to adjust the equilibrium of the dishwasher and muttering about ‘piece of crap’.

Ollie the hoe: Trill, trill, I want my food NOW! Pokes him in the foot with her nose.

Me: I don’t think he wants you to tickle his foot right now.

Ollie the hoe: Trill, trill. Poke, poke.

R: Now is not a good time! Scatt!!

 

May 11th 2010

Frank the cat jumps up and wants attention.

R: Did he want some more ham, then.

Me: I gave him ham today.

R: So did I.

Me: Well he is not having any more.

R: Poor Frank.

Me: Have another sausage, Frank. Get even more obese.

May 31st 2010

Frank the cat, the spoiled and pampered snowshoe, almost made a break for the big outdoors yesterday. The dh was bringing in groceries and wasn’t quite quick enough to stop the determined furry heading out the door, right into the recent snow dump. Herein starts the problem.

Frank the cat: I am FREEEEE. Oh, what is this white stuff? Oh, my feet are getting very cold and wet. This is soooo not good.

Frank the cat then turns on a dime and heads inside at the same velocity that he exited. He then sashays to his favorite lounging spot, desperately trying to pretend this didn’t happen. This doesn’t go over too well as we are both laughing hard at him. He ignored us until teatime rolled around.

June 14th 2010

This evening,Frank the spoilt and overfed cat sitting on the window ledge,watching for birds coming down to the feeder.

He is so out of luck as it is twilight and they have all gone to bed, but there he sits, glowering at the feeder.

I should point out that the window legde is a standard four inches across. Frank the cat is not. Two inches of his extended gut therefore overhang the aforesaid ledge. The birds don’t care and he certainly doesn’t. How do you explain to a cat that he needs to go on a diet?

June 14th 2010

We put Frank the cat on his diet regime today. I should explain that our home is a side-split and our family room, where we sit in the evening, is half a level down from the kitchen. There is a railed area between the two so we can see into the kitchen. The cat bowls are just the other side of the railings and in full view. Frank the cat decides to push Ollie the hoe out of her bowl when he has inhaled his own food.

Me: FraanK!

Frank the cat:(Eyes saucerize.) Oh busted. She has seen me stealing. I must go hide immediately!

Frank the cat then trots off at high velocity to the sitting room, where an 1920 hall table sits. It has a low shelf, about ten inches off the floor and has exotic plants above. Frank the cat now has camoflage above, depite this huge gap in the front of the table, where he is clearly visible. This is his ultimate time out position.

Me: Walking half-way up the stairs and glaring at him. FraanK!

Frrank the cat: I am invisible. She cannot see me. She cannot see me. She cannot see me.
Jun 18th 2010

Dh, who spoils Frank the cat, wants some quality time with him. Calls the cat, who ignores him.

Me: Frankie, come here, baby. (I am the disciplinaraion.)

Frank: Oh, she wants to see me. I must go to her immediately.

Frank jumps on my lap to get his scritchies.

Dh: That is so not fair. Why does he always do what you want?

June 22nd 2010

Me: Busy working in my office with the door shut, since certain fluffy creatures think it is amusing to jump on my keyboard.

Frank the cat:(Who is not allowed out due to him being silly enough to be catnapped once). ARROOOOOOO! ARROOOOOOWOOO! I am alone. Utterly and completely alone. Nobody is admiring me. AROOOOOOOO! ARROOOOOOOOOO!

Me: Totally interupted. Getting up to open the door and looking down into the sitting room. Frank, will you cut out the noise?

Frank the cat: Looks up. Chirrup. Belts upstairs. Barges through my legs and into my office, where he ‘knows’ I have a bag of catnip stowed. Purr, purr, scrabble, pummel, leap to investigate.

Me: You are not allowed in here. Puts him out and shuts the door.

Frank the cat:ARRROOOOO! ARROOOOOOWOOOO! ARROOOOOOOOOOO!

July 29th 2010

Ollie to hoe, lying recumbent on a kitchen chair and watching the birds in our trees: Chirrup, chirrup. I hates you to death and if I were out there I would kills you all.

Birds: Laughing, as they will when they know they are safe. Twittering even more.

Ollie doesn’t actually like eating birdie. She will turn her nose up at cooked chicken or turkey from our table. She doesn’t like chicken or turkey cat food. She does not eat her rare kills. She just hates them with a passion only known to cats.

Maybe it is the chore of stripping the feathers that none of them like, so they generally don’t eat the victim? Personally, I think the hatred comes from the fluttering and tweeting that gets on her very last nerve.

I recall our very first cat, when grown to adult size, lurking in our backyard as I was digging a trench for some potato planting. A spry looking blackbird settled on a trench to begin the task of extracting a worm. There was this black blur that flew past me at around hip height and out of reflex I reached out, just as the bird took off. I snagged a cat tail and the animal rapidly went splat on the ground, just when his hooks were within an inch of the already ariel bird. The cat was so seriously unimpressed that he had failed to snag his victim after a well-planned attack that he turned around and bit my foot right through my rubber boot.

August 4th 2010

The cats don’t know it yet, but we are going on vacation. This means a mandatory visit to the vet for their shots, which they hate. Jack has always been very gentle, caring and compassionate with them, but they all hate him to death.

To add insult to injury, they will also be visiting cat prison while we are gone. Something else they hate with a passion. It is actually a very nice and clean kennels and they have a lots of room. They will get attention and I know they will be difficult. Weight loss will occur due to excessive sulking. In the case of Frank, the cat, this will be good, as he is obese. If he elects to starve himself for the duration, then he will be a much healthier boy when his time is served. This will not be appreciated in the slightest.

Usually, they manage to slip under the radar as we have kids that will come in and feed them in situe. This time, we are taking the kids with us. I am anticipating a long period of lemon looks on our return.

August 9th 2010

Frank the Valorous has just headed down the the basement with alacrity and a busy tail. The sky has started growling and he doesn’t like it. Seems we are in for another active weather front.

He hasn’t had a good few days. For one there have been storms and for another, he went for a visit with Uncle Jack, the vet. Aside from having some hairballs on his back end, and needing his shots, we were concerned about his teeth.

Us: Getting out cat crate.

Frank the Cat: I know this means something bad. I will hide. (Goes to his time out place on the shelf under the coffee table). I am invisible now. They can’t see me.

Me: Grabs invisible cat and yanks him out. There is some considerable resistence in entering the cat crate.

Frank the Cat: I was invisible. You cheated! And I. AM. NOT. GOING. IN. THERE.

Me: Detatching cat’s front legs from the sides of the crate to slide him in.

Frank the Cat: YOWL!!!!

Us: Gets to vets. Opens crate to get cat, who now refuses to exit.

Frank the Cat: This is the bad place. I am not geting out. YOWL!!!

R: Upends the crate. Contents slither onto the vet’s table.

Frank the Cat: Oh Noes! I must hide! Shoves head in my side. See? I am invisible!

Uncle Jack: Gives the invisible and hiding cat his shots. There is a very good boy!

Frank the Cat: I hates you!!!! I hates you to bits!!!

Cat checked over and weighed is now released to dive into his crate. No reluctance is noted. He is very healthy and now covered for another year. He is not grateful. Not in the least.

August 11th 2010

This afternoon the peace officer was observed delivering a cat trap to the people trying to sell their place across the street. Obviously, it will be baited with something tasty and the attempted retrieval of the aforesaid will cause the cage door to crash shut. The captured will then be transported to cat jail and only returned if a fine is paid. Sans the fine, the victim will be terminated after a week.

Ollie the Hoe loves to go outside to decimate the rodent and bird population. This pleasurable past-time, for her, is now going to come to a screeching halt for the foreseeable future. At least until I find out when the trap has been removed and I will, even if I don’t see it go. I have my sources.

Ollie, the fixed Hoe, also likes to parade in front of her pointless suitors. It was explained to me that it is possible a part of reproductive anatomy was not wholly removed when she was fixed, hence the behavior. Not only will she be going stir crazy for her eatables, she will be hot in pursuit of Frank the cat. Oh boy.

On my next shopping trip earplugs are at the top of the list.

I am sick so I get up at dark o clock and wander into my office to start work as it is obvious that I will not be getting any more sleep.

August 26th 2020

Frank the cat: She is up. This means I can be fed right now. (He barges into office as I have not closed the door properly.)

Me: No, I am not feeding you. This is not my job and you lie about if you have been fed or not.

Frank the cat: I will wear her down with love. (Knocks my hand off my mouse and latches hooks into my housecoat. The hooks are now stuck as it is a fluffy one.)

Me: Detatching hooks. Trying to get on with my research.

Frank the cat: Knocking my hand off my mouse again and locking hooks into the sleeve of my fluffy housecoat. He is stuck and now lies his head on my arm, looking up with a soulfull expression.

Me: Detatching hooks and picking up soulfull cat. No, this isn’t going to work. I am not going to feed you now because you will wait until the other human is awake, and then you will tell him you are starving to death and neglected. You are not going to score two breakfasts. Live with it. Puts Frank the cat out of the room and shuts the door.

Frank the cat: Yowl. YOWL. YOOWWWLLLL!!!

It has been a glorious day outside and this has turned into a glorious evening. We had the third level window open, but of course, the bug net is in place.

October 8th 2010

Apparently the cats don’t share information.

Frank the cat: I see feathered munchables. Yum!

His head swivelles as he watches feathered munchables flitter by a few times. One gets close to the window.

Frank the cat: Got you! Leaps, smashes into bug net. Bounces off. Rolls down the couch and onto floor.

Humans laugh–a lot.

Frank the cat gets up, looks around and pretends nothing has happened.

Laughter continues.

Frank the cat retires to the basement.

Octo 11th 2010

One day Ollie the hoe is going to get her tail stuck in a doorjamb. When I get up, however early, she is there, scolding me. She plods, weaves to the accompaniment of mah, mah, mah in growing intensity.

What really bothers me is the way she has of sliding her tail between the doorframe and the door that is partially open and I am about to shut. It is a very beautiful tail and I am sure she is part squirrel, so full is her brush. One of these days there will be a particularly loud mah I fear. I have to watch her closely.

Of course, part of the reason she is scolding is because she is going stir crazy. Once more she is banned from outside as our nasty neighbors have gotten in a cat trap from the town. Apparently they are upset because cats have been shitting in their yard. This would be somewhat more plausible if they had, in actual fact, any flowerbeds, which they don’t. Their entire yard, front and back, is totally grassed over. Neither is there any snow on the ground that a cat would use in lieu of dirt.

I imagine having a cat trap in the yard would be astronomically impressive to any buyers they might briefly have managed to attract.

Octo 28th 2010

Frank has some peculiar habits. I had to stop wearing my embroidered linen shirt because he went into a frenzy over the buttons and would drool and slobber on them. I don’t know why they were so tasty. They were just wood buttons.

I now find he has developed another fetish for the label on my tablecloth. I had wondered why one end keeps getting pulled to the floor and now know the reason.

Me: Coming down for to get a coffee and noticing tablecloth is once more drooping on the floor. There are scurrying noises and I then see Frank the cat in hot pursuit of the label with washing instructions.

Frank the cat: Kill label. Bat, swat, pounce. Chew edge of tablecloth. Nom, nom

Me: Sighting fang marks in the corner of my tablecloth. Straightens it and tucks that edge under.

Frank the cat: Spoilsport!

October 22nd 2010

There has been recent comments about various professional people not believing animals have intelligence or feelings. Obviously, these small minded people have tunnel vision.

Humphrey the senior, drove across Canada with us. Sadly, he is no longer with us, having passed at the huge age of nineteen. Before his departure, he made sure the younger cats were savvy. I was outside in the yard at the time and this was observed through the glass panes in the back door.

Humphrey the senior: Now you can see the idiot two-legs has not properly closed the pantry door where our food is kept.

Other cats watching.

Humphrey the senior: Note the idiot two-legs has made a hole in the top of the box that contains our dried food? See, I hook it out and now lie down to stretch my foreleg into the box to get biscuits. See? I have lots of biscuits. You try.

Other cats take turns in collective theft. Results are gained.

At this point, I enter the kitchen before they devour the entire box of dried food. The younger cats are still fishing, but Humphrey the senior is busy gulping his thievings. Humphrey the senior cultivates an innocent look. It should have worked, given he was farthest from the box. However, he had been busted.

Me: Humphrey!

Humphrey the senior flees to the basement to hide while I get over how annoyed I am with him.

It occured to me, while I was thinking of this incident that this is where Frank the cat learned to go to his time out spot. I certainly didn’t teach him this. It was Humphrey the senior.

These activities involve stealth, observation, calculation, forward planning and an escape route for when busted. Not only that, there was leadership, cooperation and skill teaching involved.

I have also watched a well-fed loose dog lurking around a corner until a storekeeper put out a plastic bowl filled with food for stray cats. The dog waited until the person had gone inside and then nipped out, picked up the entire bowl and carefully trotted off with it.

Dumb animals? I don’t thinks so.

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