Addicted to the Dot.

My cats are addicted to the laser dot.

It’s problematic in that I keep 2 lasers hanging on bedside table.  Every morning, I let the cats into my bedroom and they begin a quest to reach the lasers.

I’m not a fan of playing laser dot.  It eventually cramps my fingers from pressing the button and it’s awkward to run two different dots in two different parts of the room.

But they won’t share a dot.  And Tim is ruder than Bijou, he is entirely focused on the chase and has no boundaries when the chase is on.  Her calico highness will just sit back and wait for him unless it’s directly in front of her.  But that means she gets very little fun or exercise from the dot.  So I usually have two going at once.

It’s the quest to reach the lasers that is annoying.  Because I’m between them and the bedside table.  More accurately, I’m the path they prefer to the bedside table.  They could just jump up from the floor, but that isn’t quite so annoying and therefore not Good Cat Policy.

And then once on the table there is a great deal of pushing and biting at the pointer as though this will some how create a dot that they can chase.  This often involves knocking things over and is noisy.

They understand I’m the one moving the dot.  It’s not a mystery to them.  They still adore it.  Lily loved the dot as a kitten until she realized it wasn’t real and that I was the one creating the moving dot.  Then she lost interest entirely and never did more than watch it with bored disinterest.

But they get it fully and still ADORE the dot.  Related image

Watering the Beasts

rebel tim

Above us is the Rebel, Tim.  He is usually referred to as The Kitten.  But I think he’s all grown up now.  He’s not a big cat though, so I will probably always call him The Kitten.

He’s excellent at distracting me from my chores and just generally being in the way.  In other words, he cats very well.

One of his peculiarities is that he insists on drinking his water just when he knows I will be picking it up to change it.  I’m not sure why.  It’s not because he prefers the old water because he will also immediately drink the fresh.  I’m pretty sure it’s because he knows I will stop and wait for him.  And any action that causes me to change direction or pause is  GOOD CAT POLICY.

Recently I’ve taken to putting a giant ice cube in the water bowl.  I don’t actually have an ice cube tray.  I freeze water in solo cups.  I keep two standard size cups frozen and one small dixie cup frozen.  I put the dixie one in the cat’s water.  It bobs around and makes for an excellent distracting toy and he likes to lick it.  Bijou shows zero interest.  She’s above such things.  Royalty does not deem to notice icebergs in water bowls.

Seeing that he is interested in water generally, I decided a water fountain would probably work well.  So I bought one.  Naturally, since I’ve invested money he just stares, doesn’t drink.  At least so far.  I really need for it to work because I’m supposed to take a small trip and this water fountain will make me feel less worried about the water situation with the cats.  It has a large reservoir and a filter.  So I think it will keep fresh water for up to 4 days.  And hopefully I won’t be gone more than 3.

The more you rely on cat’s reacting a certain way, the less they are reliable.  sigh.

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Here’s a young Tim, involving himself in my interests. 🙂  

 

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.

 

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!