Possessed Possession

Both of the “new kitties” in my home are packrats.  Once they capture the fly/toy/whatever they get this glint in their eye… and then depart for their lair.

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I might, just might, find it later in the open… but only if it has been gutted completely.

What have I done?  My wallet will feel the pinch of supplying more and more offerings to these ….

Playful creatures.  For more playful creatures try ABC Easy Read Nature Stories about Otters! Great for young ones learning to read.

 

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Shadow and the Adults

The name “Shadow” has turned out to be purrfect for the little kitten in our household.  He follows the adults EVERYWHERE and has to try EVERYTHING that they do.

When they are playing with a toy – he has to.  When they are running down the hallway – he has to.  When they find something – he has to get in there… and not gently either.  Shadow still doesn’t take enough care with his pounces or his claws – and the adults get tired of it.

One morning as Debon carefully dips down into the pond to get a drink – Shadow leapt on him (didn’t get the photo of that – but you can imagine from this photo)

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To give Debon a break I placed Princess and Shadow in a room together… you can tell from this grainy (low light) photo the body language that says that Princess is already tired of him.

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Not to mention the fact that that is HER wheel and he is using it regularly!

There are still some grumbles in the household… still some hisses and spits… but someday soon there shall be peace.

(I am an optimist 🙂 )   –  “O” is for many things other than optimist… the link will take you to the secret window – a search for those little one’s learning to read.

The patience of a mother…

My home is usually the second best place in the world to rest, relax, recuperate… it is generally organized, filled with greenery and with warm furry companions.

Right now it is filled with a ball of energy! My room-mates (two legged and four) and I are worn right down by it.

It is a good thing that little creatures are so cute.  It is a good thing that most parents find that cuteness over-riding the desire to … well… contemplate peace.

All this reminds me that I am thankful my mother had patience with me (most of the time).  And I’m glad she taught me that patience with animals (particularly about her cougars).  That could be all that is saving this energy blurrrrrrrrr that goes by the name of Shadow.

Here he is looking totally angelic in the 0.25ths of a second that he is still… before he is OFF again and running and tearing things apart.   “Isn’t he adorable?” says the latent mom gene!AepCatShadowMomentaryPaws201805

To see him in motion go here.

 

 

Crazy Cat Lady? Definition…

Question:  How many cats does a person need before they are classified as a “Crazy Cat Lady”?

Answer 1:  More cats than people in the house?

Answer 2:  More than two?

Answer 3:  Princess thinks I am about to overstretch the number!  But Princess can have her opinion… the real answer to this question, of course, is a Google search.  Which brings a variety of answers.  Some sites say that three cats takes a person into that category.  I disagree and think that is absurdly arbitrary (for one thing living on an acreage or farm three would be too few for sure).  I think that the answer is more behavior based than number based so I REALLY liked the questions on this site.  Their test leaves me at a “Level 1 – Crazy Cat Lady In Training”.

FINAL ANSWER – what I am doing does NOT constitute me being a crazy cat lady.  So THERE Princess!

And, really, I am doing this FOR Princess.  I do not want my little girl lonely.

So – bottom line – what is all this leading up to?  The arrival of two new kitties into my home and into our lives.  Meet Shadow (he’s a youngster – only 5 months old) and Debonair (he’s a retired stud and seven years old).  They aren’t looking their very best – travel is tough.  Give them a few days 🙂

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Friendly Bermudians Help with Homesickness

I’m back working in Bermuda and missing my poor little lonely Princess.  But friendly Bermudians are making it all better as usual.

Meet “Curry” – over sixteen years of age and moving a bit stiffly – but SO FRIENDLY and with the loudest purr motor I have ever come across.  Curry is on a side street that is now my route from my apartment to the grocery store return.  Not even a detour – it is the perfect walk.

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We cuddle for quite a while and purr and pet – then I go to the grocery store.  On the way back I stop again… and after some more cuddling then a small snack.

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When I talked to Curry’s family they said that Curry loves anyone that loves Curry.  And that includes a few kitties that hang with Curry – but are only visible to me when the crinkly sound of the treat container comes out.

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But lets see what happens in the next week 🙂

 

Princess is TOO Clever

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HOW?!  How does she know?  The number of times I have had to last minute cancel an appointment at the vet because Princess has eluded my capture and disappeared into the ceiling joists in the basement (too many to count)…

I *did* succeed this time, but only just.  And only because she capitulated and let me (with sufficient unladylike swearing on her side I might add).  Oh my ears are still burning!  So let me explain.  I get up like any normal day I pet Princess – we have some love time – all good.  I go do some work on the computer – all good – she comes by and pesters as per normal.  I have the cat carrier positioned for use from WEEKS ago.

She goes and lays down on her pillow (yes her pillow) and I go and pet her (including back of neck massage like ready to lift her from the scruff), I take some photos – she is all calm.  I put phone away and I go to pet her again and she shrinks before my hand touches her… and off she goes.  I now have about 10 minutes till I need to leave the house.  I sigh.  I follow her to the bedroom where she is hiding on the far side of the bed.  I lock the kitty door.  She immediately vocalizes her displeasure.  MEEEYOWL!

We discuss back and forth her disgust at me.  I ask her to come to me.  MEEEENO! (spit)

I ask again.  (grrrr) (spit) plaintiff kitten “meewwwwno” (tiny growl).

I can’t go to her because if I leave where I am sitting against the kitty door she will come over and “pop” the lock off as she knows how.  None of my other kitties have ever discovered how to unlock the kitty doors.  So sitting there I drag the quilt and pillows off the bed and pile them against the door all the while telling her that I love her.  She denies what I say with huffing and meowling protests.

I feel that I have sufficiently blocked exit so I stand up.  I say to her that it really is just a short trip and she should stop protesting and come to me.  “HUFF! nneeeeoooo”  I step towards her and she dashes for the door and hunts around the stack evading my hands.  Suddenly there is a dejected relaxation of her intensity.  She kitten cries again and I tell her I love her and manage to get both hands on her.  She doesn’t fight but growls lightly interspersed with kitten mews.  Poor little girl.

Now with a cat that requires two hands to hold onto I must remove the stack in front of the door (which of course opens toward the stack), then open the human door (the handle of which, as you know needs a hand free…) and then carry her – now squirming with realistic hope of escape – to the carrier.

It was just a short trip (filled with YEEEEOWLS) to the vet to make sure all her vaccinations are up to date and she is protected for another year.  We are both uninjured (at least physically).  She was all purrs and tricks and play when we got back.  And after the purrs and reconciliation she went to her wheel and ran off all that contained energy – following her good example I went for a walk.

 

 

Karl & Kayla give TIGERS a home…

…and have to keep fighting to legally do this.

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This is the regal Rashid surveying his domain.

 

Big Cats eat lots.  And have vet bills.  And have other BIG costs.  One of those costs is the legal battle to continue to provide them a safe, secure, FURRever home.  If you want to help, go here right now to donate.  And now as today is “Blog the Change for Animals” (#BtC4A ) day I’ll tell you why you might want to.

For me Karl Mitchel is one of my heroes.  My kitty training started with me admiring him and Mittens.

When I was young someone at school said “cats are dumb, they aren’t like dogs, they can’t be trained”… and I just *knew* they were OH SO WRONG and I needed to prove so to them.  I had an adult male outdoor black cat (Nipper by name) in my life in a small town and although I “sort-of” spoke cRayBerwicksHowToTrainYourCatat and had been around lots of animals… I knew nothing about “trick training” an animal.  My “go to” response to needing information was either to ask someone in the know personally… and if nothing there – visit the public library.  So I went to the public library and found a book written by Ray Berwick who trained animals for Hollywood.

Now Mr. Berwick is cool and I religiously followed his ideas (and adapted them to my kitties over the years and to new knowledge as I gained some)… but who INSPIRED me to follow his ideas was Karl and Mittens.

KarlMittenRideIn the book there is a photo of Karl and Mittens (old movie of them here) – to me the photo said “free and happy together” and I envisioned my black kitty and I out riding together on my bicycle.  That never happened – but other amazing things have.

Decades after that book, and a few years ago, I stumbled across Karl and Kayla and what they are doing now; I’ve been a fan on Facebook and Instagram since.

The Mitchell’s love and respect their tigers and are not a tourist attraction.  They need financial support for day to day maintenance of their cats and unfortunately “day to day maintenance” for them, as for many refuges for animals, includes fighting legal battles to their very existence.

From an article on their website as far as the background goes: “Karl Mitchell is an ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After his return from the war, an affinity with animals that he discovered almost by accident, by training his pet cat to ride on his motorcycle, led to a career in Hollywood and on the Las Vegas Strip, and to his qualifying as a State of Nevada Humane Officer; but more importantly, it gave him the antidote to the anxiety and stress associated with PTSD.

Hence, twenty years ago, Mitchell moved to the virtual wilderness of Pahrump, and has been living there and raising tigers ever since… as you can see from the video links on his site, Mitchell gets very up close and personal with the big cats, which he socializes to a degree, but does not train to perform as they would on a stage or in a show… ”  The tigers’ days are based around how the tigers feel – a swim in the lagoon, a walk in the desert, a laze around in the shade…

The Mitchells used to help people with PTSD and other ailments by allowing visitations on their property – but unfortunately some people (that know little to NOTHING about animals and the enrichment that interaction offers) felt that was unacceptable (one of the past legal battles).  I’m so sorry about that.  But that hasn’t stopped Karl and Kayla from continuing to care about the long term well being of the tigers in their care (and the few remaining tigers anywhere).

A link to Karl & Kayla Mitchell’s website home is here.

Today’s Blog is part of …..           BtC4A-Badge-250

Princess Soaking Up Extra Attention

Princess may be hunting through the house looking for her old buddy BUT she is also an opportunistic little scamp and is not above using the situation to her advantage.  She handles the guilt “poor little me” looks well…

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This poor little waif (ignore the midlife paunch) has hunted for friendship around the house and can’t find any… and you are working… AND, worst of all, there are no treats here on this shelf for me.

The kitty NEEDS treats.  Does it work?  I’ll leave you to decide.

I have, of course, been showering her with more than a usual amount of cuddles and hugs and we are both enjoying that.  And we are enjoying lots of play.  In particular when she gets too stressed out she runs in her wheel as always, and beats up the kicker toy with her hind feet.

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We are both doing ok and will survive (and have fun too).  She sends her purrs to all.

 

Warning – In Memoriam

I will start with a photo of my sweet boy all healthy and happy.  Purrfectly placed sitting in the sliver of sunbeam smiling at me indulgently while he waited for me to take the photo and then pet him.

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A shy boy when he first came into my life Rusty became the most loving four footed friend.  He was never a healthy kitty but he had tried so hard for me. In an effort to find food he could keep down we tried all brands and settled on fresh food – raw and cooked meats specially cut.  He gained weight and energy and muscle and rallied for years.  All through those years he had good days and bad days.  On the bad days he would struggle to eat as I sat beside him and rubbed his tummy and praised him.  The vet and I pondered, did full blood work and tests on him, and couldn’t find the source of his ills.

His struggle is over and I will remember my valentine kitty with admiration for his determination to love and enjoy and play even on his bad days.

 

 

Drinking Deftly

Being a person who is fascinated by animals, particularly cats, I have always found watching them drink interesting.  And that has been enhanced by the new SloMo feature on my iPhone.  While visiting a friend her kitty would jump up near the window-sill PURRfectly backlit and drink from a “crystal goblet” (glass dish).

I love how the tongue does a “back-curl” to pick up the water.

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If you are like me and want to watch more of the drinking, the full sloMo video can be found on my YouTube channel.