Tag Archives: stories about cats

Cat and Mouse

Earlier today, I wrote about an inventive new idea I have recently had concerning a new concept in cat food.  If you didn’t read that post, you can do so HERE. Since that time, I have actually developed the concept, designed a label and gone into production. There is still some time to invest in what I’m sure will be a competitive product on the cat food market.  Just the first of a line that will eventually also include squirrel, garter snake, rat, lizard and cockroach flavors.  Here is the inaugural product:

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And HERE is the final refinement of the product.

Disclaimer: Fancy Feast does not indeed make a “Mouse” flavored cat food. I have altered and used their can design only as a means to illustrate my earlier poem. This is a joke, folks!!!!

Life with Catz

The Daily Addiction prompt today is “indifferent.”  What, I ask you, is more indifferent than a cat? 
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Kukla likes to be close while I’m working.
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And to help with the dishes.. especially those that have held ice cream

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I haven’t perfected my feline vocabulary, but I think that when she took a short cut across the keys of the mac I was working on, that it was her attempt to sign her name.

 

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 mj///////////////////////////////////////////////////21Q%^^^^^^^^^AT66

 

(C)AT 66(6)?  Is she signing herself in as devil cat with the first and last characters deleted? Rather sinister.

 
 
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Acting nonchalant about the whole thing, she leaps on over to the closed lid of the Acer computer to wash up.

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 When Mom goes to brush her teeth, it’s a good time to go along and check out the comforts of the towel cupboard.

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 Then back to the living room for a slumber party with siblings.

Judy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!!!

Judy and Annie and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!!!

The plans: Get up early, feed the kids, have a swim in the pool, since it was raining last night when I wanted to go in, do my blog, have a shower and wash my hair, drive to Guad, shop in Costco for Xmas gifts and groceries, stop by Home Depot to get more solar stick-in lights for around the pool, then take the car in at 2 for its first check-up, as scheduled. They’d called and I’d made the appointment a week ago and I’d cleared the day so everything should have gone fine.

What really happened: Got up early  to feed the kids, but it was raining, so—no pool. One-third of the doggie domain closest to the open door was flooded due to the rain. Mopped up the floor and set a big towel in doorway to capture further flooding. Fed the dogs. Fed the 3 youngster cats who appeared at the kitchen door. Put their food out in the kitchen rather than outside due to the rain. Called for Ollie. Not like him to miss a meal. Still no Ollie.

Took Annie’s meal into her bathroom hideout, away from the irritating youngsters. Shut the door. Went back to call for Ollie, who finally appeared and put out more food for him. The other three cats immediately swarmed around the food. Rain had stopped, so I put them out, grabbing them one at a time and ushering them out the back door. Ollie ate his food and then jumped up on his favorite chair. Rain started up again so I let the other three in again. Blew my hair dry, dressed for warmer weather in sandals, cut off jeans and a light sweater with vest. At about 10:30, I cornered all four cats again, one by one, gauging their weight as I hefted them up. Ollie and Roo, my two roly polies, seemed lighter, perhaps due to the new feeding regime. Good.

Locked up, went to the car and realized it had gotten colder again. Checked the glove box for my car maintenance book. Checked the trunk, under all the seats, in all the drawers of the garage. No book. Came back in the house. Realized it had started to rain again, so I grabbed an umbrella and set it on the kitchen table so I wouldn’t forget it. Carefully put the car keys next to it so I wouldn’t misplace them. Went in and changed clothes—heavier sweater, long pants, socks and warmer shoes. Looked for car maintenance book. Everywhere!!! Every drawer, every file, every stack of books. Nowhere to be found. Decided to go without it. Collected umbrella and keys. Glasses. Where were my glasses?  I had them on when I left the first time. Looked in both bathrooms, closet, bedside tables, anywhere they could possibly be. Finally got a box of old glasses out of the closet and found a pair of ugly far-vision glasses that would do.

Glanced at the clock. Now 11:30!  If it took an hour to get to Guad, would I have time to shop at Costco and Home Depot and still get to the car dealership at 2? Suddenly, with a sense of foreboding, it occurred to me that it was Saturday. Didn’t most businesses close at 2 on Saturday? Reclaimed my computer from where I’d hidden it and looked on my calendar to find my appointment was at noon! No way I could get there in time. Looked up Honda dealers in Guad., called Dalton Motors. Five minutes as they located someone who spoke English. Indeed, they closed at 2. Rescheduled my car check appointment.

Went out to close garage door and reclaim my purse, book and cell phone. Decided to reorganize the glove box while I was there. Found three measuring tapes, six ball point pens, two tire pressure gauges, two bottles of NoDoz along with the usual assortment of things, including THE CAR MAINTENANCE BOOK!! Picked up my purse to stuff the duplicates into it to bring them back to the house and found MY GLASSES under the purse!!!

Came back to house to find, sitting in Ollie’s favorite chair, was Kukla!!! How could there possibly be a cat in the house other than Annie? I knew I’d put four of them out. Then, with a sense of foreboding, I started looking for Annie. I mean, I looked EVERYWHERE!  Then I moved to the yard. I called. I pleaded. I cajoled. This is a cat who was on death’s door six months ago and hadn’t stirred out of the house once since then. A cat who hated the young cats and who, due to arthritis, could barely walk, let alone jump up on walls or escape enemies outside. But, she was nowhere to be found. In my hurry, I’d scooped her up instead of the fourth kitten/cat and put her outside!!!!

An hour later, I went out to search again. Then searched the house again. No Annie.

An hour later, I went out to look again, calling, looking everywhere. Then my eyes fell on this scene. What a wild tangle, but where could she find a nice warm spot away from the rain?

 

I crawled up in the planter a bit, looking in corners, behind plants,

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Closer

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Pitch black in there.  I went into the house for a flashlight.

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Would she come out? No. Has she come out yet? No. The jug is too big to lift and the minute I came close, she turned her back to me and I couldn’t get my hands around her to pull her out. The ground is uneven and my balance bad. Called Pasiano. Called Juan Pablo. No one home.

It’s 6:47. I’ve been out trying to lure Annie out of the jar with dinner.

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Maybe if I put food out near her, she’ll come out of her cave?

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Hmm. Not biting yet.

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Still playing it cool.

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Aha. I detect interest?

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But, Mexican cat standoff!

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I put the food a bit further away and leave her alone, then return in fifteen minutes. No luck. This from the cat who wakes me up at 4:30 in the morning to be fed and hounds me for bites four or five more times a day?

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7:30 p.m. Still holding out. Meanwhile, the other cats are clamoring to be let out to eat her food. Such is honor among cats.

 
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7:45 I go out to find she’s eaten most of the food I put out. If you look closely, you can see the leaf cutter ants honing in on the rest. I look in the big pot, and she’s gone but nowhere to be seen! I consider stuffing something in it so she can’t reenter as I go around the side of the house to look for her, but I don’t. When I return:

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She’s baaaa-ack!

7:50  Juan Pablo calls. I consider not having him come out into the dark and cold. He lives about 2 miles away and is just home from work. But he insists. Perhaps Annie will sleep in familiar territory tonight. Fingers crossed.

Oh Man! Juan Pablo and Yolanda arrive around 8. They lift the big jar up and Annie’s on the run!!! After 15 minutes of bushwhacking through the jungle, the fugitive is finally apprehended!! Now resting well in her own bed, but howling to be fed. Things entirely back to normal, it seems. This was a stinker of a day!!!!!

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And here are its heroes!!!!

If you want to see the happy ending, the morning after, go HERE.

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.

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.

 

 

Oy Vey! Life with Cats

Frannie is fascinated by the corn husk flowers on my dining room table.  She sniffs them, bats, them, even tastes them.  I don’t allow this, but she hasn’t quite gotten the message yet.

Kukla and Ollie, on the other hand, are very fond of lying on my computer keyboards.  Sometimes they type very unusual coded messages.  At other times, they just create music as they hit a certain key that trills a repetitive musical tone.

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I think they like the light of the screen shining on them as they have also learned how to turn on the reading light behind the bed in “their” room and in spite of all of the times I have gone in and turned it off, when I next go into the room, it is switched on and all four cats are curled up in a ball on the bed underneath it.

When Ollie somehow landed on this particular spot on the computer or possibly connected with something on the screen that was making this repeated tone, I lifted him off the keyboard.  Unfortunately, he resisted the idea by reaching out for a clawhold and when I finally got him detached, the key he had curled his claws around came off with him.

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You should know that this is a brand new keyboard I’d had installed just a month or so ago after Morrie ruined the other one by jumping into the pool and splashing water on the computer, wiping out the keyboard.  I fear my animals have proven to be a bigger item in my budget than I had expected.

Forty minutes later, I had figured out the correct assembly method for the three interlocking pieces.  It was not easy, but it seemed right.  They all fit together and everything seemed snapped into place—until I tried to snap it onto the little mounded nub on the keyboard.  I had to force it down and although it caught hold, the key didn’t work unless I POUNDED it in a manner totally unacceptable.  Prying it off again, however, proved to be even harder than making it work.  When I finally did, on my third attempt, it launched itself—each part in a different direction. The kittens found this very distracting as they tried to locate the pieces before I did. In the end, I located the pieces and put them in an envelope in my computer case. Whether I tell the computer repairman the true story of how the injury came to be will be determined at a later date.

Sometimes it is necessary to resort to a foreign language to get the true level of your frustration across. I hope my Jewish friends forgive me as I once more vent in a language I have no claim to.  Oy vey just seems the right thing to say. Did I spell that right?

Frannie? Get off the table!!!!