Category Archives: cats

Kukla’s Story

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I, Kukla, testify that the tale you are about to hear, narrated by me and transcribed by my mom, is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me, tuna.

(But first, a few words from Judy.) After reading an account of Murdo Girl’s trip to my old stomping grounds in South Dakota narrated by one of her dogs, I harangued her to let her cat narrate a tale as well. Voicing some objections to this, being that her cat can be a contrary soul, she finally assented and her cat told an interesting story showing none of that contrary nature suggested by her mom, who is prone to exaggeration, I must say. Since then, she has been similarly haranguing me to allow one of my kittens to tell a tale. So, fresh from a nap, I went in and grabbed Kukla from the pile and let her narrate to me this true story of what happened the night of my film night. I will stay out of it except to warn you against inviting even writing friends over to see the film about Emily Dickinson entitled “A Quiet Passion.”  Much as I like her poetry, this film was a depressing YAWN!!! Kukla’s tale, I hope, has more energy. Okay, here it is, straight from the cat’s maw:

Kukla’s Story

As I was wrestling with another,
our two-footed human mother
came to take my brother outside
to the sala where her friends reside
to sit there, bored and subtly snoring
as they watched a film as boring
to humans as it was to cats.
Edgy and restless, I guess that’s
why he jumped down from her chair
and scooted himself out of there.

The next act of the status quo
occurred as they prepared to go.
She thought she’d put him back inside
the guest bedroom where we reside
and certainly this may be so.
We were all sleeping, so didn’t know.
But shortly after their departing
(with much stopping and restarting)
after she had shut the gate
and come inside to cogitate
on the film “A Quiet Passion,”
regretting it, as was her fashion,
there came a huge great caterwauling––
yowling, quieting, rising, falling––
in the front yard. Some creature bitten?
Could it be an escaped kitten?

We heard her open wide the door
and give a certain panicked roar
as was her wont—a silly ditty
comprised of “Kitty, kitty, kitty?”
And what she later then related,
as soon as her query abated,
a cat like us, but bigger, tore
out from the shadows and past the door.

It must have been our feline mother
for why would it have been another?
Who abandoned us here months ago
and went where errant mom cats go
once that they have vamanoosed
from the kittens they’ve produced.
She streaked across to disappear
into the shadows that were near,
two-legged mother most surprised
for she had always just surmised
our mother was the big white cat
who had appeared months before that
fine day when we climbed up her wall––
so small to climb a vine that tall.

But this cat I have heard her say––
the one that came just yesterday––
Looked exactly like we four
as she streaked quickly by the door.
And when two-legged mother started
to close the door, one more full-hearted
yowling pealed out from the left.
It was Ollie, lost and bereft.
Somehow he’d made his way outside
and chosen just to cower and hide
until four-footed mother appeared
to warn that other mother who’s reared
us all from little lumps of fur––
who nourishes and makes us purr.

Could it be that that first mother of all––
who nursed us all when we were small––
has been watching as we grew?
Watching all we say and do?
Being sure the one she chose
deals with all our needs and woes?

Two-footed mother will never know
that it is true that it is so.
We have two mothers watching us––
enjoying all our leaps and fuss.
And in the absence of a padre,
they have conspired to co-madre.

IMG_0387I, Ollie, testify as to the veracity of Kukla’s relation of this tale. It was a harrowing night out there in the wilds. I was too agitated to tell the tale myself.

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Writing is exhausting so I had a little nap as mom polished the tale, dotting all the i’s, closing all the parentheses, spellchecking the caterwauls.

Kitty Pileup

Thought I’d go in and say goodnight to the kittens in their suite.  As usual, they piled right on.  I was Skyping to forgottenman and said I hated to disturb them, but the mosquitos were dive-bombing.  He asked if I’d gotten photos and I said no and I couldn’t get out from under to go get my camera.  He then suggested my computer cam, but it actually isn’t that easy to get photos when you can’t see what you are shooting. An additional problem is preserving one’s modesty while shooting random photos of kittens draped all over your nightgowned body.  At any rate, here are the photos that made it past the censor: 

As usual, you can click on the first photo to enlarge all and view as a slideshow.

Boxing Day with Kittens. Kitty Videos!!!!

With kittens, everything is a toy.  I put the long box their Whiskas Kitten Souffle packets came in on the floor of their playroom when it was empty and it took them about two seconds to devise a number of games to play with it, but no matter how they plotted, they always turned into a dead end.  I then opened up the other end and whole new games ensued.  Eventually, one of the kittens–I think it was Kukla–commandeered the box for her own.  I eventually gave up making videos of the fun and went into the living room.  Frannie jumped up on my lap and it was awhile before I noticed that she had noticed the videos I was trying to put on Youtube.  Her ears perked up and her eyes never left the screen.  It occurred to me I should be filming this and by the time I got my SD card out of the computer and into my camera, she had jumped up on the keyboard.  The last of the four videos is of her admiring herself.  Kittens are half pep pill and half tranquilizer.  They’ve certainly changed my life! Hope you enjoy these videos. Wish I knew how to edit them. (I must have messed up loading the second video so I’ll post it in another post tomorrow.  Have to get up early for day 3 of the kids camp tomorrow so should retire soon!)

Four kittens make good use of an empty Whiskas box:

 

Once I opened the other end of the Whiskas box, Kukla took permanent possession, but had plenty of visitors:

 

Frannie was sitting on my lap while I was trying to put the video of her and her siblings on YouTube. Suddenly, she seemed to notice she was a media star and jumped onto the keyboard to watch.

Daily Menu

Daily Menu

Lately it’s incredible
how many products edible
I’m buying daily at the store.
There’s constantly a need for more.
One type for kittens two months old,
getting more hungry and more bold.

In the morning, when I enter in,
they climb my robe or climb my skin
thinking that perhaps they may
consume kitten tuna souffle
a second before all their peers
consume it. All four little dears,
meows now turning into roar
as though only four hours before
they had not had a late night meal
of special kitten rice and veal.

Then the old cat limps out to see
the special treat that’s brought by me.
Mixed with fish oil, sardine pate—
a king’s ransom three times a day.
She deigns to feed upon this fare,
eschewing edibles less rare.
The small dog with a skin condition
consumes his own special edition
dog food for his special state
I portion out upon his plate.

Just one more left—the old dog claws
the window with his muddy paws,
demanding edibles from me
both by his barks and what I see.
I provide a different dog food for
this anxious dog who mars my door.
The menu, as you see, is varied.
As cook and waitress, I am harried.
But breakfast done, I take a rest
to do the thing that I like best. 
The minute they are finished chewing,
I present their menu for your viewing!

Seven animals with 4 different diet demands make feeding time a big job–especially with the cat and kittens who need to be fed numerous times a day.  I’m off now to apply for a bank loan so I can go to the store with a wheelbarrow for today’s provisions. When days are full, hyperbole helps.

 

The prompt word today was edible.

Little Savages

Little Savages

Hungry little savages attack the bedroom rug,
assaulting the tassels as they sortie for a bug.
They pounce upon the jingling ball, climb the sliding screen,
finding potential nourishment in everything they’ve seen.
They fall upon the kitten food and empty out their dishes,
inspecting corners of their bowls–stray morsels now their wishes.
Tidily lick my fingers, tongues curling from their lips,
mining me for fish oil caught in whorls of fingertips.

They can find adventure in anything you’d name—
pursuing errant crickets is like stalking wild game.
Every moving thing around is something to be followed—
to be toyed with, then when humans enter, quickly swallowed.
Frisky little savages win every hunting game.
They pounce upon their victim—live or plastic is the same.
They stalk their largest quarry as though they have a map—
track it down and take a leap and curl up in my lap!

(Click on first photo to enlarge all.)

The prompt word today was savage.

For Annie

e’s Annie headphones

Annie as a kitten


Everyday Kitty

Casts a fine shadow. Likes to curl up.
Has to put up with that scrawny new pup.
At her most regal when perched up on leather,
she suns on the wall in the sunniest weather.

Not very scary like Halloween cats.
Doesn’t quite go with pumpkins and bats.
But everyday kitty has her own way,
and she’s a great kitty for just every day.

 

I wrote the above poem some time ago.  I think I probably published it on my blog, but I don’t remember and I must say I’m too tired to check.  Morrie has a skin infection, the kittens are darling but take up  a surprising amount of time and now I have another patient to care for.  After being away for weeks, everyday kitty has reinserted herself into my life.  Here is the present-day story of Annie, the everyday kitty of the poem.

Poor Annie has had a hard time of it since the four kittens moved in. First of all, they drove her away from her morning meal on the wall.  Then they usurped the attention and affection of her handmaiden of 15 years. They moved into the house that admittedly she’d had no desire to enter since the third dog entered the home that she herself had reigned in for a short while after Lulu, the headcat, had moved out after the second dog moved in.  It had been a protest of sorts that they thought their handmaiden would pay attention to, but no.  She had merely divided the lawn in two, designating the cats to the front and dogs to the back, but this wasn’t sufficient.  They wanted those dogs GONE! The final result was that Lulu had moved in with the neighbors and she, Annie, had refused to venture any further onto the property than the front wall by the garage, demanding that her handmaiden deliver her meals twice a day.  This she did, but an extended hand met with a rebuff.  Annie would take her votive offerings, but no more. She was permanently miffed in only the way a queenly cat can be miffed.  The world would suffer from now on. She was not amused.

Imagine her chagrin when the new cat in the neighborhood had first deigned to scarf down her leavings and then to challenge her for firsties.  Her handmaiden had shooed the cat away, but she knew she had now and then put out fresh food for that cat at midnight when she though Annie was asleep in the field across the street.  Then.  Those kittens!  She had tried to show the needed amount of chagrin by not coming home for meals for a few days, but then when she decided to stay her fast, when she did come home, she found her wall guarded by THAT CAT!  A terrific fight ensued and sorely wounded, she had dragged herself into the walled lot across the street where she lay for two weeks, living off the reserves of rich cat foot she had been served for years.  She had caught a few small rodents as well as insects, but barely enough to keep her cat soul in her body.  Her eyes swelled up, infected from the scratches of the demon cat.  Her right hip sored her and she could barely walk at the end, dragging the right front paw which turned under, limp and unhelpful.  

How she got herself up on top of the wall she can’t remember.  It was a triumph of will, but once there, she lay entangled in the dense bougainvillea vines, too tired to struggle, unable to go frontwards or backwards.  She barely had the strength to meow when she heard the engine of the car. But her handmaiden heard her.  She, not being as agile as she had been 16 years ago when she had crawled under the car on the streets of Ajijic to rescue Annie, had been unable to hoist herself up onto the high wall, even with the aid of a small ladder.  She had clipped away at the sharp-needled bougainvillea, but to no avail.  It was such a dense tangle that she made little headway, even on the outer vines, and she could not reach far enough in to free any of the vines Annie was tangled within.

When she heard the car out in the street outside the wall, her handmaiden had immediately opened the garage door and run outside for help.  With the aid of the stranger in the car, who had climbed up onto the wall and started clipping away from one side while the handmaiden stood outside the wall clipping away at the other, they finally succeeded in moving her away from the stranger and into the arms of her human, who paid Annie’s savior with a new bottle of very good Tequila.  He was delighted, Annie was saved, and thus began a few days of trying to save her poor emaciated self.  

Annie speaks: Trips to the vet for an exam and two shots, three kinds of meds to be administered daily, bi-daily and tri-daily, setting up an emergency room in the only bathroom left in the house, the other having been usurped by the kittens, then the hours of coaxing me to eat even a small amount of food.  She tried fish oil capsules broken open and dribbled over the food, the rich beefy aroma of the vitamins spread on her finger.  I licked them off and then bit her, drawing blood.  When cats suffer, everyone suffers!  Now, after the second day, my formerly horribly swollen and infected eyes seem back to normal. I am deigning to eat small spoons full of a very expensive special cat food.  They must be mixed with another special brand of wet kitten food, dribbled with fish oil and soaked in the beefy vitamin liquid.  Then, offered in small bits by my handmaiden’s hand.  Then much kissing and scratching and petting and coddling must occur, me wrapped in a soft towel on her lap. Then I might deign to take another bite. Such it is that everyday kitties attain the rank of royalty––just as it should always have been.

Click on first photo to enlarge all and see captions.

 

 

Kitten Agenda

Kitten Agenda

Skittering upward,
Climbing my cape,
An agile kitten
Makes her escape.
Prancing the hallway,
Evading my grasp,
Rattling the padlock to
Swing on its hasp.

Scampering everywhere,
Chasing small bugs.
Acrobat tunneling,
Mounding the rugs.
Purring rapscallion
Explores with no map.
Rests at her day’s end
Secure in my lap.

The prompt today is scamper.