Tag Archives: Kitty capers

Enough About Me, Let’s Talk About My Cats (and Dogs)

I was just thinking that P’s next birthday in January will mark the start of our third year with the cats. Looking back it hardly seems like it has been that long. I have never lived with totally housebound cats without also having dogs in the mix before. I’ve got to say that cats are the way to go. The cats are so much easier to care for compared to dogs (at least my dogs). I think I would like to own a dog again in my life but I would want to have a schedule or situation that allowed the family to spend a lot of time with the dog. I still feel very guilty about the extended periods of time that I spent away from my dogs. When I was cooking and working at Bouley I would be gone from the apartment for 12-14 hours a day. I had a roomate but she wasn’t responsible for their care and attention, I was.  I read this piece in the NY Times the other day and it really got me thinking of my own “bad” dogs. While they were never aggressive like the author’s dog they had extremely bad doggie manners (i.e., jumping up, barking, whining, destructive, general disobedience) and I constantly blamed myself for my failings as a good citizen dog trainer/whisperer. I think that the dogs were happy with our life together but that is probably because they didn’t know any better. I loved them very much and they definitely knew that. Now how ’bout those cats?

bonnie mirror

My daughter’s shot of Bonnie with a mirror

BONNIE – For someone so tiny and obviously physically vulnerable, Bonnie is an extremely independant little cat. She is much less cuddly than Ponyo and rarely seeks us out for laptime. Even when she does so she seems to just want to hang out with you and doesn’t really want you to pet her that much. She is officially P’s cat and I know P wishes that she was a little mushier in temperment but that doesn’t stop P from trying to pick her up all the time. One time I was on my bed watching TV with Bonnie. We were both just chilling. We heard P coming up the stairs and I swear Bonnie let out a tiny yet audible *sigh*.  I am so glad that we stuck it out with her. Mr Awesome loves her but he wanted to return her to the shelter many many times in the beginning. It took her a lot longer to get the hang of not stepping in her own poop/diarreah than was acceptible to us or any one with a working nose or healthy fear of germs would.

ponyo holds on

Ponyo holding on in Mr Awesome’s lap

PONYO – Ponyo is such a funny cat. She has a lot of quirks and personality. She is a Chatty Cathy and punctuates her movement with little chirps and comments. I love that she still hasn’t lost her kitten-ish outlook. She loves to play with us or Bonnie but will also amuse herself for long periods with a cat toy or crumpled up piece of paper. When they both turned a year old I thought that I had to increase the amount of wet food I gave them from the recommended kitten amount to the recommended adult amount. It was essentially double the portions. Ponyo loves to eat and so she of course finished whatever I gave her. I noticed soon after that she became a lot more lethargic and slept a lot more when we were around with the extra food. Since they always have access to dry food if they like I decided to cut the wet food back to the kitten level and Ponyo soon started acting like herself again. They don’t seem to miss the extra food and it also cuts down on the cost. Ponyo is a large, solid cat and I really think the extra food would have done more harm then good. She is also very cuddly and is always looking for laptime especially from Mr Awesome. I love her pretty face, even without a full-sized right eye. We were told at the shelter that she had been previously adopted by someone who had to return her so I feel very fortunate to have her in our family. She is truly unique and plays a mean piano too.

I love all of my girls!!

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Driveway 7:30 AM

I’m in the camper. Bumping noise. Cat meowing. I look out, don’t see him. I look up and see a paw trying to get in through the ceiling vent.

I just love that little guy.

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I had to give him one.

I grilled shrimp tonight. I marinated them in a little of our lemonade (it’s all purpose!), fresh basil, salt and pepper and olive oil. They came out great!! When I was in the store I saw that they had shelled and deveined shrimp from Thailand and intact shrimp from the gulf. I decided to get the gulf shrimp because I wanted to support the people down there who will probably loose everything soon. I started cleaning the shrimp by the kitchen sink under the open window. Soon after I started I could hear Quarter meowing underneath the window. Glenn and Piper were riding bikes in the driveway and they said he was sitting there staring intently up at the window. Next thing I know there was a loud noise and I look up to see the cat hanging with both paws on the window screen peering in at me. He looked very surprised to learn that he couldn’t actually get in the window. I was glad there was because otherwise he would have come sailing straight through and probably would have landed right on my pound of shrimp. I guess that I probably shouldn’t have rewarded him for his little stunt but I gave him a shrimp anyway.

I just love that little guy.

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He had me at meow

Back when I first met my husband I had my two dogs Danny and Dylan and he had two cats, the brothers, Trevor and Nigel. When we decided to get married it was like we were some kind of furry Brady bunch. When we moved in together we were two adults and four animals trying to live together peacefully in my 650 square foot apartment. It was nerve wracking at first, these were dogs and cats that had never lived with cats and dogs before. We had a couple of fights to break up but really the worst of it was trying to keep the dogs from sneaking cat poop out of the litter box. Just like candy! When we finally moved ourselves into the country it meant we could finally give everyone the space they needed. Glenn built a heated house for the cats out in the garage so they could have free reign during the day. Trevor took full advantage of his new environment and even though he had been an apartment cat for over 7 years he quickly became a proficient hunter. He had a 1 to 2 mole-a-day habit for a while. So the years went on and sadly we lost Dylan at the age of 14 a couple of months before Piper was born. Danny followed later that summer. We were a two cat family for quite a while after that. The guys both seemed quite happy and healthy even though they were getting on in years. Trevor got sick in 2006 and needed surgery to relieve a blocked intestine which he fully recovered from. Then in the spring of 2008 it seemed like Trevor’s problems had returned. He was gone by the end of June. Nigel held on until right after Christmas this past year. He had become a mostly indoor cat and would only go out to his garage house to sleep at night. It was very sad to lose our last pet. I first got Dylan in 1989 so Nigel’s death meant the end to 20 years of continuous pet ownership. It still feels strange to go to the grocery store and not have to visit the pet food aisle. As much as they were a pain in the butt sometimes I can’t imagine my life without having had them in it. I guess that now since our home is free of animal presence both dog and cat we seem to be getting some visits from some “neighbors” that we had never met before. There is a little black female cat that my daughter calls Pumpkin (because she says she looks like a “Halloween thing”) but our favorite is this little cross-eyed gray cat we call Quarter. We were outside in the back yard for most of the day yesterday and he was out there with us almost the whole time. We can’t tell if he is a stray or not because he looks well taken care of but has no collar. He did seem very hungry yesterday – he was trying to get at an orange that Glenn was eating. We still had some of Nigel’s cat food left over so we gave him some. He is obviously still a silly kitten and will chase anything that moves. Glenn and I watched him almost snatch a large bumble bee out of the air, 3 feet up in the air that is. I really enjoyed watching him and Piper play together too. We don’t know what this little guy’s status is but if we could be sure he was a stray I would seriously think about keeping him. Right now however it is a good situation for us. We get to enjoy the company of an adorable cat without any of the responsibility for him. I’d be heartbroken if anything happened to him and I’d miss him if he stopped coming around.

The position he assumed right when Glenn said, "I hope he doesn't forget how to get home again".

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