Tag Archives: cats

Cat Napped

IMG_1990Kittens reacting to Morrie and Diego, jealousy barking at the closed gate that separates them from their arch rivals, the cats.

Cat Napped

My dear little creatures, I did not expect
that your lives and mine would intersect.
I didn’t know in the hush of my life
your antics would make such a mush of my life.

I spout silly names like “kitty” and “baby.”
Have I gone dotty? I must admit, “Maybe.”
I’m given to lying prone on my bed
letting the boy kitten claw at my head,

combing my hair with his kittenish claws
as his sisters cavort without mercy or pause,
biting my fingers and licking my knees.
I let them assault me wherever they please.

I find them adorable and entertaining.
Besotted with kittens, my interest is waning
in matters less feline. I neglect the dogs.
Leave them to possums and squirrels and frogs.

I feed them and throw an occasional ball,
but lately, obsessions more easily fall
into matters of cat, I’m embarrassed to say
it’s entirely possible one day I may

turn into that cat lady, brunt of those jokes
told by low-lifes in bars and other brash blokes
making fun of those who, although different, perhaps,
get pleasure enough from cats on our laps!!!

 

The prompt word today is expect.

Where to Find Cats

Click on first photo to see all and read captions.

G is for Gatos

Hint: It will be much easier to see enlarged photos and captions if you click on “Visit” and then click on first photo to enlarge these photos.  If you are viewing in Reader or on Facebook and just click on the first photo instead of on “Visit,” photos will be smaller and captions unreadable as they will be superimposed over the photos.

For: https://ceenphotography.com/2017/10/03/cees-fun-foto-challenge-letter-g-needs-to-have-the-letter-g-log-goggle-geometry-lodge/

Heartsick

The story of the four kittens abandoned on my doorstep 3 1/2 months ago continues. As you can see, they are barely kittens anymore, and once they’d had all their shots and been neutered and spayed, it was time to make their transition outside. I knew there were dangers, but 5 cats inside is just too much for me to handle anymore, let alone for housesitters allergic to cats to handle, so the day came when they were finally let out to the wide world as it existed within my compound walls.  I am hoping they won’t be tempted to go over the walls but know it is inevitable. A bigger worry is that they’ll venture into the backyard where Morrie and Diego are accustomed to dealing with animal interlopers in a predictable manner.  I’ve kept sliding glass doors open (screens and bars closed) hoping they’ll get used to each other, but the dogs are jealous, curious, and, well, they are dogs.  Here are the events as they have unwound over the past week, ending yesterday. All in all, a scary day.

(Click on the first photo to enlarge and read captions.)

Heartsick. When I went out to feed the kittens this morning, only two showed up. I put out the food, which usually brings them out, but Ollie and Kukla never appeared. I called out over and over, opened the garage door, looked outside, nothing. I was sobbing by the time I thought to pen the dogs up and look in the backyard. It was the worst sort of suspense thriller–the kind of movie I hate–as I combed every inch of the backyard, expecting to find their little bodies everywhere I looked. I had heard the dogs take after something last night and a loud screech, and I had brought the dogs in immediately, but the screech was not catlike and when I called out for kittens, no one answered. Now I regretted not looking closer last night.

I looked everywhere again. As I searched behind the studio, both dogs came around the back way as though they were helping me to look, but nothing. I wondered if the cats had gone hunting in the lots across the street because I was a half hour late in feeding them this morning, thanks to my spider poem. Finally, I went back to the house and let the dogs out, then once again combed the plants around the studio. Diego kept running behind a monster pot containing aloe vera on the terrace near my bedroom, and eventually Morrie joined him. Beside it were two other pots too large to move and they were all tangled up in the thunbergia vine that covered the wall, all of the tall plants around the studio and behind my bedroom, and also had grown up the telephone post and along the wires. I tried to pull the pots back but they were too heavy. I finally pulled one smaller palm pot out and searched behind all the pots. Nothing. But, I thought I detected a tiny squeak.

I put the dogs in again and went back and repeatedly called “Kitty, kitty, kitty.” Finally, Ollie jumped down out of the vine tangle and nonchalantly strolled across the patio, looking very closely for dogs. I called again and a few minutes later, Kukla joined us. I was so relieved!!! I carried them around the house as I’d exited through the doggie domain and was not about to carry them through the room occupied by Morrie and Diego. I put them in the front yard, closed both of the barrier gates, let the dogs out and put the two wayfarers into the house so I could feed them separately from their sisters, who had already eaten. When I went out to get a collar to put on Kukla, however, the other cats got in, so I put another dish of food out, got a collar on Roo and Kukla but not Ollie. Fifteen minutes later, Frannie is the only one who has kept hers on for two days. The rest of the collars are lost somewhere out in the cat jungle. Phew. Motherhood.

Collared

 

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A few days ago I bought collars with little bells on them for all the kittens.  I put the first one on Roo, and it was a disaster!  Her eyes went round and she went bucking like a wild bronc all the way across the patio.  She tried to claw and scrape and bite the bell off.  Then the other kittens joined in the chase and they went careening off into the dense jungle underbrush of the front yard.  There was no way I could follow them there, but eventually she bucked her way out of the thicket and I grabbed her and tugged the collar off.  Luckily, I had insisted on easy release collars, fearing that they’d get caught up in a tree branch or vine, so it was easy to free her.  

It was not so easy to cut the bells off all the collars.  It took heavy metal cutters and even at that, I had to twist and twist to get the little bells off, actually cutting them off their soldered link and then had the fun of cutting the sharp metal pieces off the loop still attached to the collar. I’d ordered tags with my phone number to attach to the collars–my guarantee that no one would think they were feral cats once they inevitably climb up the bougainvillea vines and make their way out onto the street side of the wall.  I was to pick the tags up a few days later, and since the man who did the engraving insisted I put “recompensa” (reward) on the other side of the tag, I could visualize neighborhood children ringing my doorbell daily, kittens in arms.  Ah well.  What was a few pesos bribe, anyway?  It was a bit like the insurance given to neighborhood thugs in the barrios of NYC in bygone days, and perhaps in the present.  At any rate, I eventually got bell-less collars on all of the cats except for Roo, who to this day is a collar virgin. Within minutes, however, the opened collars lay scattered like breadcrumbs across the terrace.  Only Frannie retained her collar.  I gave up on the rest for the time being.

 (Click on first photo to enlarge all.)

Ollie will stand in as spokesmodel for all the rest.  Needless to say, he hated his collar with or without a bell. The bells, here seen isolated from their collars, will no doubt be welcome toys if not welcome jewelry for the cats.

Frannie and the New Toy

I bought Yolanda one of those new (rather expensive) self- wringing mops at Costco.  It is  microfiber and the strings were looped at the end with a twist handle so you could just circulate the handle and the mop would wring itself without having to put your hands on the wet part.  The other day I asked how she liked it and she said it was fine, but she had cut the ends off so it was like her old mop.  Oy vey!!! At any rate, it is just as good a toy for the cats either way.  Here Frannie does a little dance with Yolanda. Usually, she puts them out when she mops, but thought you’d like to see the fun.

(Click on first photo for larger views of all.)

In the Catbird Seat

 

jdbphotos. Click on first photo to enlarge all and read captions.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, “in the catbird seat,” it means to be in a position above the action or perhaps in control.  This is what I am when I’m in my studio, which has one wall entirely comprised of windows looking out on my garden and another window to my right that looks out over my spare lot down below and ultimately at the lake spread out on a lower plane with Mount Garcia and Colima Volcano behind it on the other shore.

In the Catbird Seat

After a year of no time at all in the studio, I’ve spent 4 days there in the past few weeks. It feels wonderful, even though the last day I spent there was entirely spent organizing, sorting, putting away, reorganizing.

My studio is a separate small building I had built in the garden below my house. My dogs, unaccustomed as they are to my being there, followed me down, no doubt remembering I keep a bag of dog biscuits down there. Fortified, they wandered off, but eventually returned to spend the morning outside my door––Morrie plastered horizontally across the base of the locked screen door, Diego perpendicular to him, stretched out along the brick walkway.

The kittens, relegated to the front yard and house, have seen neither the back yard nor my studio. I fear what my dogs, intent on doing away with every soft fuzzy creature that enters my yard, would do to them, even though they’ve been seeing them for almost four months now through the glass, bars and screens that form most of the walls of every room in my house.

That is why I was so distressed when I heard the plaintive meow of one of the kittens coming from the wrong direction. Not from the side of the house where they have a walled-off outside run all their own, but seemingly from the street behind the studio or from the empty lot down below me. I listened closely, hoping it was just my one hearing-impaired ear that was misdirecting the direction from which the sound was coming; but, when I stepped out into the yard, I could hear it clearly.

I called out to Pasiano, telling him I thought one of the kittens had made its way out of its safe zone.

“No, senora,” he insisted.

“Yes! Listen,” I insisted as the loud meow came again––several times.

He shook his head, laughing, and gestured up into the pistachio tree, from which one bird was cawing an insistent bird call, another creature mewing back an insistent interspecies reply. It was a bird, he told me. He led me closer to the tree and as he did, a black bird flew down from that tree to a large castor bean plant in the spare lot. The bird in the tree cawed and chirped. The bird below in the spare lot meowed back,

It was a magpie that had evidently been hanging around the kittens for too long. A mother knows her kids’ voices and this was a perfect replica of my kittens’ bossy demands to be fed.

When I told Yolanda about this strange occurrence, she laughed and said she had done exactly the same thing two days earlier, sure one of the kittens had escaped.

Now this story, as unbelievable as you might find it, has a precedent in my family. When my 11-year-older sister was a tiny girl, she was in the habit of coming to the back door and calling out, “Mommy, Mommy! This occurred so many times during the day that my mother had told her that unless it was an emergency, she should come into the house to find her instead of expecting her to drop whatever household task she was doing to come to the door. Betty heeded this request perhaps one time out of three, which was an improvement, at least.

One day, my mother heard he calling out to her, but when she came to the door, no Betty! She went back to her work on the other side of the house, only to hear he call out again. Once again, she went to the door, but no Betty. This time she called her in from her play, gave her a scolding and told her not to do it again. But Mommy, she hadn’t done it, my sister insisted, but in that way Mommy’s develop, my mom just shook her head and said, well, not to do it again.

Barely had she gotten back to the kitchen however, when she heard my sister demanding her presence again. This time really angry, she stamped back across the house to the screened-in porch to see—absolutely no one standing on the front door stoop. This time, however, the mystery was quickly solved. In a large cage on that screened in porch was a magpie with a damaged wing that my father had brought in from the ranch. Even as my mother entered the porch, he had called out once more in my sister’s voice, demanding her presence.

Most mimics only get themselves in trouble due to inappropriate material. This mimic was most adept at passing the blame. True story, as is the more recent magpie story above.