I’ve recently been covered in fur.

I took my cats the to vet.  When cats are stressed they shed.  ALOT.

I, and I would imagine most caretakers, try to comfort the stressed cat at the vet by petting and cuddling it.  This transfers all the fur on their body onto your body.

I did it twice because Bijou, her calico highness, has deep and unnatural hatred for the carrier and I think she would probably rip poor little passive Tim into a bloody pillow if I took them together.  Particularly since I only have one carrier.  It’s a bigger carrier, and it would hold them both if required, but I decided it wasn’t required.

Bijou hates the cage so to her the actual exam room was not terrible.  She explored it thoroughly while we waited and clearly developed an escape plan.  She didn’t hide from me when I picked her up and put her on the table and submitted with dignity to all the indignities they did to her.

Tim, however, doesn’t think the carrier is a cage of horrors.  So he had to be pulled out the carrier and then glued himself into me, hiding his little face in the crook of my elbow.  There is very little as pathetic and endearing as a cat burying its face into you for safety. He did not see the exam room as an interesting place to explore.  Which is upsetting because he’s going back next week for his neutering.  When I turned away from  him to get my purse he jumped off and hid in a corner under the chair.

When we finally let him back into the carrier he scrambled in like it was home sweet home and settled in the back.

People who don’t have cats probably think of them as a monolithic sort of detached personality.  But they are not.  Like humans they come in a huge spectrum of personalities and a trip to the vet is a great place to see that.

Particularly this vet because they have a big orange office cat who helps the receptionists.  He likes to lay across the keyboards and get in their way as much as possible.  He has no fear of the barking, and meowing going on in the waiting room.  He thinks all animals are inferior to him.  It’s written so clearly in his attitude.

There was a whining pit bull in the waiting room.  His pathetic cowering noises made my Tim look brave.  Office Cat looked at that dog like he would not have bothered to bury him after he took him down in any fight he cared to enter into.    And despite the odds, I think I would have taken Office Cat in that fight.  But office cat didn’t even growl at him, just looked disdainful and walked away.   He’s wise and generous.   He let the dog live and didn’t jeopardize the good life he’s leading as Official Office Cat.

Anyway we all survived and Tim will be deballed next Friday.

 

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Growing a Kitten

They mostly grow on their own, but they do need a lot of food.

When you get a young kitten it is a delicate fragile ball of bravado.  They walk around, with the tiny brush tails sticking straight up and act like NOTHING can hurt them.

But just picking them up makes you utterly aware of how they are just fragile bones covered in fur with a tiny buddha belly if they’ve been eating properly.

Then they grow.  They stretch out in all directions and look mostly starved, like lanky teenagers often do.  They hold onto that fragile feeling because all the major muscles that bind together cats and make them such tangibly tough animals haven’t quite caught up with the growth.

So you pick them up, expecting to hold something solid with weight and instead you get a floaty bundle of fur.  Which sounds more romantic and relaxing than it is, because it’s actually a spastic floaty bundle and so you have try not to break the fragile spastic kitten that refuses to sit still while you hold it.

And then their muscles catch up.  And one day you pick up a kitten, thinking it will be floaty fragile flotsam and it’s a solid chunk.

I love the solidity of cats.  The fact that they can be given a good solid patting and it sort of rings on their body.  And what is most fun is that cats seem to like a good solid patting.   I call it banging on the kitty.   I mostly do it on their back leg or their back.  But it can’t be done to a fragile kitten.

Rebel Tim has just started to get his solid muscles.  And so I gave him some bangs and he loved it.  You would think cats would hate that sort of thing.  But I’ve never had a cat that didn’t love it.   Often it riles them up and they end up running around like maniacs. Unsurprisingly this is how it worked on Tim.

Tim is going to be one of those long lanky cats that are mostly just sleek fur over defined muscle, unlike Mrs. Fluffbutt, Her Highness Bijou.  Who is mostly thick fluff pasted to muscle and a bit of rounding out fat.  She is an exceptionally comfortable cat to hold as a result.  Just soft in all the ways.  Until she wants down.  Which is mostly immediately because she doesn’t enjoy being held.  She wants cuddles on her terms.  But every evening she condescends to allowing me pick her up for a good hug.  And doesn’t even complain.  bijou and tim

 

 

Bells in Cat Toys are music in Hell

Like an idiot I bought a set of balls at the Dollar Tree with a bell inside them.  They are hard plastic, so they make noise on hardwood floors, all on their own.  But when you add the jingle bell inside, it’s annoying beyond comprehension.

I have taken them away and hidden them several times, but Tim is very good at hide and seek.  I think I’m going to have to just throw them away.

I’m so cheap that it bothers me to throw away a $1 cat toy.  Actually 50 cents.  There were two balls in each package.

I need to just to it.  I can’t get the bell out without ruining the toy.  I had hoped at one point to do that.  But it’s not possible without a great deal more effort than a 50 cent toy is worth.

WHY do cat toys have bells?  It’s a terrible noise.  Terrible.

The Guilt of a Favorite

Whenever I have more than one cat, I always end up with a favorite.  It’s nearly always the one I’ve had longest.  In fact, I think it ALWAYS is?  I can’t think of an exception.

Anyway, despite only being with me a few months, Bijou, Her Calico Highness, is my favorite.  And I feel really bad about it.

Because on all metrics except possibly pure beauty, Rebel Tim is probably more lovable.  He’s never the one who growls or spits.  Although to be fair, Bijou was universally cheerful and sweet until the arrival the Rebel Tim, so.

But I got Tim for Bijou.  I feel like he belongs to her.  I just take care of him for her, because she’s royalty and cannot be expected to manage his needs. What’s more, I’m pretty sure Her Calico Highness knows that Tim is hers.  He is naturally oblivious.  He just loves her.  And me.  Probably equally because he’s that sweet.

Anyway, it’s not like I don’t love Tim.  But I have a preference for Her Calico Highness.

I am glad I never had kids.  I imagine I would have had a favorite and that would be awful.

So anyway.  This has been the confession of Sara, guilty cat lover.

Being Fated to Cats…

One of the drivers where I work watched someone dump a kitten at the side of the road, so she stopped and saved it.

It was a tiny tiny tuxedo baby boy.

Very upright and busy.

I have an irrational belief that cats find me. That every cat in my life is fated to be part of it.

I’ve been mulling a second cat.  I’ve had 2 cats my entire life until the last 5 years or so.  Lily, my last cat, did not enjoy other cats and for awhile I was barely fit to take care of her so we were fine, just the 2 of us.

She died last summer and after a bit another cat arrived to fill the utter void that claimed my life when she left.  Bijou.

I was quite sure I was still too hurt about Lily and couldn’t take on another cat, and then someone posted on Tumblr that a local cat needed a home.  That seemed like Bijou was supposed to be mine.

I think Bijou is a bit lonely.  And I feel quite guilty about this.  But 2 cats is, in fact, twice as many cats.  So I have been mulling and not doing much about it.

So anyway, while I was dithering, the driver walks in with this kitten.  A kismet kitten.  So I offered to take it.  But another driver was more excited and had recently lost his cat and had no cat, so in the end I didn’t bring home a tiny tuxedo kitten for Bijou.

I don’t believe in fate.  But nearly every cat I have taken into my life has been a sort of kismet of that nature.

Even when I picked up a cat at a shelter 25 years ago, I was convinced that I was going get a gorgeous calico kitten, but this bossy brown tabby literally climbed up my arm when I reached in to get the calico.  And he just kept climbing in my lap and pushing over the shy calico, who had no real interest in me. So I took him home.  Chester picked me.  I just showed up and followed his instructions on the matter.

I suppose another cat will show up soon enough. I think a kitten will be the safest thing to blend into our home, but damn they are busy.   It’s hard to guarantee to good meld if you introduce 2 adult cats to each other.  In a big space it’s not as crucial, but we are going to be in a one bedroom apartment.  It will be cozy.  We must get along.

But kittens.  They are so adorable for like 20 minutes and then you realize – they require a lot of monitoring.  Kitten proofing is necessary.  That kitten walked around our office for 10 minutes, and tried to bite cords, nearly fell off a desk, and for about a minute we couldn’t find him at all until he emerged from behind a desk covered in dust bunnies.  Tail high, jauntily walking around oblivious to any and all possible consequences.  He really was adorable.

Possibly Bijou would take on the mentoring role and keep a kitten in check.   Well, we will see what fate brings.  Not that I believe in fate.  I don’t. tuxedo kitten

Except with cats.

 

The Cat Factor of Difficulty

Until you have a cat, you don’t understand the added level of difficulty and effort that they add to all your everyday tasks.

Right now, I’m lounging in bed with my laptop, but Lily is leaning on the laptop with her head blocking part of the screen.lily computer  In order to see, I keep inching the laptop over on my lap until it’s sort of floating in midair and barely being supported by part of one leg. I don’t even know I’m doing it until the balance becomes untenable and then we have to reset with me moving both Lily and the laptop.

That is one example in a continuing daily struggle with a cat making your life more… Interesting.

They don’t let you do anything the simplest way.  mti4otkzmdq1mjm5njm4nju5
tumblr_nlts2roqfv1u6jismo2_1280You will always have to step over or around.  You will always have to factor in their ability to deliberately knock something over or rip it up.  You will always have to adjust yourself to their intentions.  19f1b8a123b8f1ded1bd0116abb7167c

 

 

 

 

 

And what is utterly amazing, is that we do this so unconsciously most of the time.  We don’t give it a second thought.  866534453510dd26868352923f9ed337

In which Lily is sure I bought a shoe box, not shoes.

I bought shoes.  For those of you who don’t remember the minutiae of my life updates, there was much debate on whether or not to buy shoes as the money that had been allocated to them was spent on trivialities. (AKA a rather painful UTI.)

Lily, the cat, has assumed that this was the purchase of an expensive box for her.  Shoe boxes are of course the second greatest thing since catnip.  And this shoe box is from Dankso, who created a non traditional shoe box to justify their expensive shoes.

Lily is fairly sure that this is like moving into the penthouse in Manhattan.  Possibly overlooking Central Park.

Caturday pictures of Lily’s new diggs will be forthcoming.  Stay Tuned!

 

Review of A Cat

3 out of 5 stars

Seller did not mention that parts continually fall off the model. Small, barely detectable parts then accumulate on all surfaces in detectable amounts. Its apparently supposed to do that, but its seriously inconvenient.

There was an attempt on the part of the manufacturer to create a system, within the model I obtained, to collect the parts before they fall off and then eject them in one place. But this is VERY disgusting and the ejection often takes place in a place inconvenient to myself.

Overall, I cannot recommend the model to anyone who has an issue with deep cleanliness.
There are redeeming “cute” and “cuddly” features, which keeps me from just throwing out the model in favor of a new vacuum cleaner. It’s probably a personal preference.

If you choose to keep the model, I would recommend training yourself to accept and ignore the constant interference that will be inflicted on you.  Since you chose to keep it, you probably love it, so throwing it across the room is not an option, however justified it may seem objectively.  Instead you must learn to adjust your daily functions to accommodate for whatever it wants to do. Because, its going to do it regardless.

Lily and I wrestle and Lily wins.

I’ve been trying to give Lily some Pepcid AC to help her with her nausea.  Lily does NOT wish to take the tiniest sliver of a pill.   Yesterday I won and she ate a quite decent amount.  I was very chuffed.

Today, Lily won.  She’s not a rude winner though.  She’s quite sportsmanlike.  She came over after I gave up and cuddled up next to me.  Although, to be honest, she does have a bit of a smug look to her.

I’m going to have buy a syringe to feed it to her.  I HATE the syringe.  I once had to force feed a cat for a week.  It is not a happy memory and although it saved the cat’s life, she did not appear the slightest bit grateful for the procedure.  I think we were both scarred by it.

I hate any of these sorts of things, where I am doing something the animal very much does not want to happen and is afraid of.  They do not understand why.  And that is what bothers me.  They can only experience it as terror without any reason.  They think I am suddenly being cruel.  I hate it.  It feels like I am torturing them because they don’t know its for their own good.

So.  anyway.  I need to go out and buy a syringe.  lily