Tag Archives: cats

Poignant

I find this photo, on the REUTERS site today, very poignant yet lovely. Anyone with pets knows that there are times when the comfort they provide is totally beyond measure.

Woman n cat

A woman sleeps with her cat, inside an evacuation center for victims hit by floods caused by Typhoon Ketsana, locally known as Ondoy, in the town of Taytay, Rizal east of Metro Manila, October 13, 2009.

REUTERS/John Javellana

………………………………………..

lovelyblogawardGoodness me, I’m editing this entry, late in the day because I have three thank yous that I really need to say. I’ve just noticed that Slamdunk has highlighted my photo comp, I was very remiss yesterday for not thanking my dear and long-term blogging buddy Laura (at Snerkology) for doing likewise and Amanda at Teasingly Diverse has also promoted my cause.  You’re all very kind.  Thanks too to Amanda for giving me this Award.  I should now hand it on to 15 other people.  I hope you don’t mind if I take a while to ponder this one.  I have a hospital appointment tomorrow and I’m afraid I’m already preoccupied and stewing about it.  (I keep saying that I must have been a cat or a dog in a former life because I have an innate fear of anyone in a white coat).  Anyway, especially in my ‘wobbly’ frame of mind today, I’m really touched by bloggy friends who have taken the time to think of me.  🙂

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Man and Beast

blutoOur two new kittens have been using my legs and feet as scratching posts (I suppose their real scratching post doesn’t make that interesting squealy sound when they dig in so it’s not nearly as interesting).  Yesterday I made the mistake of shaving my legs and every little nick, bite mark and scratch that was finally healing was opened up again as a gaping wound.  It was like a scene from ‘SAW’ in the bathroom as I mopped up the resulting carnage.   I cleaned up my legs but I guess they must still have had the odour of blood about them to a sensitive feline nose because, alarmingly, as I stood later doing the washing up, kitten Harry was getting way too excited for my liking, biting at my ankles in an ever increasing frenzy.

During the afternoon two young guys delivered some furniture to our house and having noticed my ‘new kitten’ warning sign on the front door, we got talking about the new additions to this house.  They’d never heard of Bengal cats before and so wanted to know all about them.  Funny, guys don’t normally strike me as being particularly into cats yet I could see their eyes light up when I explained that they were a relatively new cross between the Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat, and yes they could grow really quite large.  Temperament?  Oh yes, very affectionate….although… I then explained Harry’s frenzy at the smell of blood that morning.  Well that was it. 

‘I’ve been thinking of getting a cat’ said one of the delivery guys ‘and I think I’m going to try and get one of these!’

I’d clearly given the impression of sharing my house with only partly tamed beasts of the forest making them sound very exciting.  Maybe I should have opened the kitchen door to show them the reality – William and Harry in all their ‘ferocious’ glory.

WillHarr_9706

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Indoor / outdoor?

Yesterday I was preparing the house for an evening dinner party out on our new terrace (it was my daughter’s 21st, so not something I could postpone).  This coincided with the hottest day of the year so far, which would normally be 100% wonderful on such an important date, except that with new kittens in the house the usual rushing around and coming and going became that much harder.  We can at least open the living room doors into the newly constructed ‘kitten cage’ but still…it was hot is all I’m saying.

In the post party lull this morning I idly looked up on the web as to current advice on when kittens can be let out of the house.  It’s not that I’m going to do it now – they definitely need more time to get used to us and their surroundings (and need further vaccinations)  – it’s just that with yesterday’s events, it was clearly on my mind.  I was quite surprised at some of the views expressed on a forum after some poor woman had been wondering exactly the same as me.  Responses included the suggestions that anyone who lets their cat out is cruel (clearly aimed at the enquirer), that the cat will die within a year (!) but that, conversely, indoor cats could live up to age 20.  Curiously enough, so can indoor-outdoor cats because here’s the deal folks:  It depends where you live.

Now …I had typed up a whole blurb below about all the unwritten rules there are to pet ownership where I live but it’s frankly too ferkin boring to relay here.  The bottom line is – we’re an overwhelmingly responsible lot in this island and we in this house are minor experts on our feline friends because we’re cat fans and have shared our lives with a fair few over many years.  I can tell you that if keeping cats inside is necessary where you live because of traffic, dangerous predators or any other safety considerations, then of course you must.   However if you have the ability to safely let your cat come and go as it pleases then I personally have no doubt at all that they will have a better quality of life.  They are, after all, little predators, and it is in their nature to be curious, rummage, hunt and explore.  They do need to be neutered and vaccinated up to the nines of course (ask your vet for advice) but then for the sake of safety so should indoor cats.  They also need a cat flap that allows them to come and go as they please – I’ve never permanently locked our cats outside at night.  (You’ll have gathered from today’s entry that I’m quite miffed at the suggestion that I am a bad cat owner – trust me, ask our vets and they will tell you that we are anything but).

Our new kitties have been going bonkers, in and on everything, exploring and endlessly running at high speed like a couple of furry, spotty little tornadoes .  They’re intelligent cats and clearly already bored with the mere 2,000 square feet that is our humble (currently virtually sealed) home  ….compared to the one room they were in before.  Seeing them at the weekend, when they finally had access to a little bit of outside, with all those exciting sights and smells was just wonderful and it dramatically altered their behaviour.  Yes they still career around, yes they’re still kitten playful/naughty but they’re calmer,  more confident and more content.

Advice on vaccinations and general kitten care and health can be found here (RSPCA),  here (Pet Planet) and here (Animal Rescue and Care).

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C'est le weekend

Feet of clayThat’s it, we’re at the weekend and the forecast is good, all the way to Monday (and beyond).  I’m going to take full advantage of it and potter around doing gardening tasks, which will have the knock-on effect of making our older cats very happy indeed.  They love it when we’re outside anyway but with the introduction of the ‘newbies’ have spent more time outside, in the garage and in the utility room, rather than run the gauntlet of Kittendom in the main house.  Gardening outside means they get us all to themselves. 

Daisy_1663What will make them even happier is that my husband is filling in the gaps on our pergola with netting.  It makes for a handy temporary ‘cage’ outside our living room, meaning that we can finally fling open the doors again to allow air into the house and give the kittens a safe taste of the outside, without of course being able to run away.  It also gives the olds a chance to saunter nonchalantly around on the outside of the netting, flaunting the glorious freedom that they are able to enjoy!

What about you, got any plans for the weekend?

Garden_9511

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New additions

As predicted, life around here has become pretty chaotic with the introduction of two new kittens to our household on this last Saturday just gone.  They have to be integrated into our family s~l~o~w~l~y so as not to upset our existing feline friends and this is the part that leaves me feeling slightly frazzled.  We have to operate an airlock system on all exterior doors so that the babies cannot escape, similarly windows must be opened no more than a crack (and it’s getting hot in here…it being early Summer ‘n all) and cat flaps are placed on ‘in’ only, meaning that I have to monitor when our big cats wish to go out.  It’s complicated, inconvenient and often tiring but experience tells me that it is all worth it in the end.  You can’t help but love them.  Like all young creatures they’re a complete joy and it’s fun watching them make new discoveries each day.  Names have yet to be decided for sure but for now we are working on the basis of ‘William’ and ‘Harry’ and like their Royal counterparts Harry is the one more likely to get into trouble.  This is the comparatively quiet and sensible William, utterly pooped after a whole morning of running around.

Meet William

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Darling Phoebe

Phoe2007Nov27My writing here and general web surfing has petered out lately because we have ‘stuff’ going on here that is exciting for me, maybe boring for anyone else.  However last week the excitement turned to devastation.  We live down a quiet country lane, one of the few places in this traffic crammed island that it’s fairly safe to keep pets, but last Tuesday some idiot must have come belting down our little lane, knocked down and killed one of our kittens … and then just drove off. 

Yes, I know accidents happen but to me there was no excuse not to stop, ring on our doorbell and face the music.  There are only two property entranceways at this point of the road so it wasn’t hard to guess where she belonged.  Instead she was left, to be found by our neighbour who was out walking his dog.

Phoe17-weeksPhoebe is gone.  Our little darling.  I can’t describe to you how affectionate she was, how very much she loved my husband in particular, and with her extremely gentle ways how loved she was by both humans and our other cats.  She made the sweetest little pipping sound when she wanted to say hello, she often lay on my desk beside me here as I typed or worked on photos, and she was the smartest little soul you could come across.  For us, all our pets have always been very much members of the family but at the stage we’re at in our lives – with children moving away – the companionship that these little furry friends provide is just priceless.  I’ve cried so much in this last week.

Phoebe’s sister, Bo, is quite shell shocked.  She has been sticking close to me, her normally sprightly and playful behaviour has become quiet and listless and at times like my usual sharing of a little bit of turkey at lunch time, she goes to the door to look for her sister.  It’s all totally heart-breaking.

Bo and Phoebe (right)

Bo and Phoebe (right)

On Tuesday I was thinking that was really it for me, I simply couldn’t have any more pets because losing them is just too painful, but two days later the strangest thing happened.  I was at the computer again, mindlessly web surfing when totally by chance I came across an ad on one of our local websites for kittens.  It’s not that I can or want to replace Pheebs but that ad started me thinking that not only would getting a kitten give Bo (who is only 16 months old) someone to play with again, just the idea of a new young life around the house was easing the pain in my heart.  The thing is, advice by vets to neuter/spay all cats that are not kept for breeding has been so very effective here that finding kittens to buy is always extremely difficult – usually it’s a case of hearing about a litter through ‘someone who knows someone’.   If ads appear, they inevitably prompt dozens and dozens of calls and if you’re not quick to phone you well and truly miss the boat.  What were the chances, I thought, that any of these kittens were still available a full two weeks after the ad had been placed?  I broached the subject of getting another kitten with my husband -who has been equally devastated by the loss of ‘his’ special little cat, and to my surprise he too had been thinking that what might help us all, both human and animal, is to introduce a new young life to our home. 

On Saturday we phoned the number on the ad and to our surprise the kittens were still available.  The long and the short of it all is that in two weeks time we will collect two beautiful kittens.  Yes, it had to be two according to my sweetheart of a husband, because no kitten should be re-housed alone. 

Look, no arms

I miss Phoebe each and every day but at least, in the space of a week, my feelings have gone from total devastation to hope for the future, when I know there will be sunshine in this house again.

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A minor incident

Cat1We had a small drama of the kitty kind here last night.  For months we’ve had a pretty little tabby cat hanging around our house and coming in to steal food.  He/she may well be pretty but he is also one of just two candidates who have been duffing up our two young cats, making them very poorly and necessitating visits to the vet. 

Last night I came across him in our garage, which adjoins our utility room … which is where our cats eat and sleep.  (I had been alerted to his presence because there was a right royal slanging match going on between felines at the time).  Since my illness I’m no longer able to run anywhere and as it was literally within minutes of ‘home time’ for my husband ICat2 decided to let the intruder linger where he was because I had a cunning plan.  Dear hubby has a very small can of compressed air that he uses for cleaning computers and I reasoned that if we squirted that towards the cat it wouldn’t hurt him in any way but he would certainly interpret it as a very big cat hissing at him.  If he thinks there is a small tiger in our house he might just stop walloping our mob. 

Husband arrived and immediately suggested opening the up-n-over garage door to let tabby out (I’m still wondering why he thought I couldn’t do that myself).  I explained the cunning plan I had and it was duly put into action.  I retreated to the utility, Husband and Daughter Number 2 (DN2) began ‘Operation Scaredy Cat’.  The garage door was opened to allow him to run out and they started the spraying.  Hiss…Hiss…Hiss… And then I heard DN2’s distressed voice:

‘Oh noooo!  …For the love of God noooo!’v_1535

Evidently tabby cat had not taken the obvious option of running out of the large opened door.  Oh no.  He had run further into the garage, jumped up onto the cluttered work bench at the back, and then up again into the gap (that we didn’t know existed until yesterday),  giving him access to the extremely small space that makes the roof void of our utility room. 

Do you think we could coax him down?  Of course not!  We had done such a plum job of scaring the pants (?) off him that he was ensconsed in there at the back of the ceiling recess.  We put down stinky, enticing cat blob close to the Cat4entrance of his new lair.  No luck.  I stood in the garage alone, blowing kisses…puss~puss~puss~puss~puss… No luck.  We left him a while on his own to contemplate the error of his ways.  No luck.  We couldn’t leave the big up-n-over door open because anyone could come in from the road and steal our crap possessions so by our own cats’ bedtime there was no option but to leave Mr Tabby in his lair, with his supply of food nearby, comfy cat bedding (should he wish to avail himself) and, of course, a nice fresh kitty litter.  (We did wonder this morning if he had tried to phone for room service).

I, of course, went to bed feeling guilty as hell because it was all my stupid idea anyway and I resigned myself to the fact that if kitty wouldn’t come out on his own, kitty would have to be rescued by humans ripping the utility roof to shreds.

Well… this morning?   No sign of him.  My heart sank.  We gave it one last go, retreating to the kitchen (where we could sneakily spy on the up-n-over) and we used the remote to open the door. Within seconds he was out and then beat a hasty retreat to the end of our drive, disappearing under some bushes.

That was the end of it.  Or so we thought.  Half an hour later we were sitting enjoying a nice cuppa when who should stroll past our living room window, cool as a cucumber?  Mr Tabby…heading towards our cat flap, no doubt to grab a spot of breakfast.  He is either a sucker for punishmet, a complete head-case or that extremely rare commodity around here since spaying became all the rage – a stray.  Aww….do you think he’s a stray!?  Aww…well that’s our guess.  In which case he needs our help.  The poor little blighter is just hungry. In which case he might need a good home….in the country….maybe with other cats to play with….  Awwww… 

You don’t think we’re sending mixed messages, do you?

cat5

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