Friday, December 30, 2005

Gemini is Talking

Chey has taught Gemini to talk--or rather complain. Chey howls at me for food whenever I am in the kitchen and I am noticing that Gemini is starting to pick that up. She's still got her sweet little mew, but it does have tones. She is becoming increasingly less patient with me about the whole food issue as I try and wean them (Chey in particular) off of canned cat food.

Ah well, all children learn the bad habits of the adults around them. Why should Gemini be any different!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Siamese Cats are Insane

My Siamese is a weird cat. Simone was strange too but Chey is beyond strange. Siamese, however probably prefer to think of themselves as eccentric and I'm not sure how anyone can resist them.

Gemini has her quarks too. She tends to sharpen claws on the sofa. Georgia can get a bit bitchy with the other cats. They all do various things I'd rather not have them do. Papers on the desk end up on the floor. They always want attention at the worst possible moments.

But I love them all. It's hard for me to pass up a cat and not think how wonderful they are simply because they are a cat.

A woman I konw was lamenting the other day that she tries really hard but she keeps failing at being a person. She feels alone and unloved. So much of her judgements are her judgements about herself rather than anything most people would notice. I think sometimes we expect so much of ourselves and forget that no one needs to be anything other than what they are to be loved.

Cats know this. I think Siamese may use this to their advantage. I'm sure that's why there are so many fans.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

What the Cat Got

One of Gemini's gifts was a toy with a bunch of feathers on it. Fortunately the packet contained three. We gave one to Gemini and Chey came over, swatted her, took it away and started growling and spitting as if she had a real live bird or something. Gemini moved back and sort of watched her, curious. Georgia too was curious. We finally gave another toy to Gemini but she continued to be more interested in Chey who continued to make a fuss.

After awhile, Chey got tired of killing the cat toy and moved on. They played with other things. Later on Chey stole the toy again and ran around the house meowing as if she had a real kill. The other cats were not impressed or fooled.

Today I came down and found feathers all over the house. The little ball that the feathers were attached to is bald. I guess Chey finally tore apart the cat toy enough.

Gemini, fortunately, also enjoyed the holiday colored catnip mice we got and has been happily batting them around. She's far less intense in her play time.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays

Okay, Gemini is celebrating Christmas. Georgia has always been a Winter Solstice sort a cat and Chey... well we're still not sure about her.

I'm glad that so many people enjoyed the photo of Gemini in her little hat! I can't believe I got that many comments on it!

Whatever flavor your holiday is, I hope it brings you warmth, love and peace.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Gemini in Hats

Well this was another photo where we were having fun placing hats on Gemini. I don't have a good one with the Santa hat and the way they are going with the ears, I think pasting them on after the fact may be the only way we get a good holiday cat photo... I'll keep working! It's just fun.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A little slow

The cats are sleeping and I'm close to having everything that needs to be done for the holidays done.

Chey has been on a tear about the food thing. She really really wants canned food only and she's decided to even be a bit picky about that. Siamese cat that she is, she isn't shy about using her voice to complain! And complain she does! I was talking to my real estate agent for about half an hour last night and she meowed through all of it! The poor woman probably thinks I'm insane to have that cat like that!

Well, we've decided her Christmas gift will be a squirt gun. Perhaps she'll learn some manners--along with Gemini!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Failed photo ops

I have this antler headdress for a small dog and I wanted a photo to upload of Gemini as a Merry Christmas to all her loyal fans. Alas, the photo op didn't go as planned. She didn't sit still. She wouldn't look at the camera and then she pulled them off.

Georgia just ran away.

Chey was lulled into sitting with me by the dangly thing on the antlers. I managed to get those on her head and we have a great shot of everything but her head as she leaps off my lap and I grab frantically for her.

Ah well.

Remember, it's the thought that counts!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Cat Chases

Okay, the cats love chasing each other around the house with the tree. They love running under the tree. They love to pull one of my handmade ornaments off the tree. They have jumped over and opened I don't know how many presents. I am thinking I need a fence, but they'd just jump over it.

On the good side of things I got down to my local natural pet store and got some new cat food. I wanted the Innova Evo, which is mostly protein and is supposed to be good. I saw it but decided that it was too high in protein for Georgia. It'd be hard on her kidneys. I got their regular cat food instead. We'll switch around with some mature for her and some of that for Gemini and Chey. The latest thing in feeding cats seems to be variety so they get a little of this and little of that and not too much of any one thing. So hopefully they'll never get on a kick and only eat one or two things! However, I might start having a hard time deciding what to purchase!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Gemini's Christmas Gift?

One of my coworkers was saying today that she could decorate the tree tomorrow because finally her cat had stopped climbing the tree.

Here I thought I was the only one who was slowly introducing a cat to the tree and the assorted play toys of the season!

Gemini has been quite adept at pulling on the strings that come off of packages. She's opened one gift bag several times. She must be hoping that it's for her, but it's not. I'm thinking about getting her a grooming clipper so I can keep her bottom clipped up. I suppose that's the cat's version of getting underware for Christmas, huh?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Photo Fun

I was having too much fun playing around with cat photos. This is the best of all of them, though Gemini in a camo hat is pretty cute too. Off to find more cut outs for the cats in hats!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Holiday Safety

Well I have a fake poinsettia and the cats have tried to tear it apart, which reminds me that the reason it's fake is that poinsettias can be toxic to pets. Remember to be careful.

Other holiday hazards include that stuff you put in your Christmas tree water can be toxic if the pet drinks out of the tree stand. Tinsel can clog up a cat's digestive system. It also has sharp enough edges that it can cause some inner tearing of the stomach. There are lots of small parts that might be enticing. Ribbons and bows are great cat toys and you may not want them playing.

Gemini has found a new hazard that I haven't had to deal with before. She wants to play with the Christmas lights as they blink off and on! So chewing on cords can be a hazard which means making sure she is not unattended around the tree!

Most pets and holidays do just fine. But remember where the main haxards are and try and minimize them! Good cheer.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Misheard Christmas Lyrics

There are many misheard Christmas lyrics. In Winter Wonderland, for example, I thought it was "Later on..We'll perspire... as we dream by the fire..." It makes as much sense as conspire, when you think about it.

Another misheard lyric? Piggy Pudding, not figgy pudding. Who has figgy pudding and what is it? But piggy pudding--this reminds me of Chey.

She is now called Piggy Pudding when she starts in on wanting her food. This is to say, I call her that most of the time.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I can't believe my kitten was ever that tiny! She's gotten so big so quickly.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

First ski day

So it was Gemini's first ever ski day. No I do not force my cats to put skis on their little feet and join me on the hill. No, they get to watch me get ready and then come home.

The first unusual happening was how early I got up. Chey was already making noise but I suspect she wasn't expecting that I'd get up and go do anything. Then I had the ski pants. The sound they make when the water prrof fabric rubs against itself had them somewhat afraid of me.

The thing that really bothered them? Well upon returning home, instead of just taking my usual shower, I sat in the bath tub with but full of hot water. Both Chey and Gemini kept coming up to the side and with ears flattened would peer over the edge and then leave. It was kinda funny. I think both girls were appalled that I would sit in all that water!

Georgia? Well she's used to this. When she wants attention, she sits beside the tub and gets her head wet while I scratch her ears. She never seems to mind.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Winter Cat Days

In Chinese Medicine they say that winter is the time to rest and restore energy. Cats must be inherent Chinese Medical philosophers. They are resting a whole lot.

I'm always surprised at the new and creative places they find to curl up. The love the stair landing. Georgia has taken a favorite spot in front of the doorway from the bedroom into the dressing area.

Chey likes the bed (no suprise)

Gemini has a favorite place somewhere. She appears from the closet sometimes as if by magic. I swear I've looked there and don't see her but leave and she'll appear. Cats are funny that way aren't they?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Broadway Show

This past weekend I was up in Issaquah and I saw a showing of Cats in their Village theater. I wasn't sure what to expect with such a small theater but overall the players were good and the show enjoyable.

In Portland, I have been a regular patron of their Broadway in Portland series for the last several years. I feel obligated to point out that Karen Kaiser (and I believe that is the spelling of her name) was head and shoulders above anyone I have seen in anything here with her rendition of Memory. This woman has a voice that is just astounding.

As this was the first time I had seen Cats, though I have listened to the sound track once or twice, my cats have been innundated with short song chants from the play.

Georgia, my calico is hounded with "Mungojerry and Rumpleteaser" as that was performed by the Calico Cats in the show. She really isn't all that rambunctious any more.

Gemini, though she is a girl, gets her fur rumpled to "Rum Tum Tugger is a curious cat."

And Chey, well Chey... She is tortured with the conspiratorial whisper, "Macavity's not there." It does, alas, fit her personality...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Still more to do.

As I sit here finishing the last of the turkey soup (very good soup, mind, but just getting tired of TURKEY!) I have to realize that I am very lucky. I live in the Pacific Northwest and currently we haven't had any major disasters. I've been reading my Best Friends magazine and am reminded of how much there is still to do for the people (and their pets) that live in the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina.

Their latest magazine talks about rescue efforts that have been going on for the last couple of months. They have a daily chronicle of what the the volunteers were doing in that area and how they were coordinating efforts. Some of this is online at their site, Best Friends. If you want to read another blog about what pet lovers are doing, Eric Rice has set up his own blog. If you're interested in how the rescue efforts are going, you might want to wander over there as well.

Best Friends has a link on their site devoted to helping lost owners find their rescued pets. They also have links to things we can do to help.

Many of us know how much a part of our family our pets are. It's important not to forget them. Best Friends does a wonderful job as a no kill shelter and it's one of the largest no kill organizations out there. Gemini and I encourage anyone to check out their site and see for themselves.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


It's Chey again making trouble. I had squash with dinner last night. After putting a pat of butter in the squash for cooking I left the butter out. When I came back, to take the squash out, the butter was gone. I thougt nothing of it. I just figured upon not finding it in the fridge that perhaps I had used it up. Coming back later I find the wrapper from a stick of butter. I think that I am a slob because I have obviously missed the garbage. I pick it up and throw it away.

Still later, I got to feed the cats. Bending down near their dish, I see beneath the edge of some cabinets a yellow stick. I look closer and pull it out.. It's the stick of butter I had pulled out earlier, rolled in dry cat food and anything else that was on the floor sitting there.

I know it wasn't Georgia, as there was a time when I could leave butter on the counter ALL the time if I wished. It's really unlikely that it was Genini as she doesn't really get that human food is food. Also butter is square and I don't think it looked like a good cat toy. Chey, skinny Siamese and Miss Piggy that she is, will eat anything that I leave out too long and has even tried to eat from my dinner plate once, is the cat I am blaming.

Note to self: No longer leave butter on the counter...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A Slow Day for the Cats

So it was a pretty slow day for the cats. They did nothing really funny or outstanding. Chey has only about one more dose of medication (I hope) and she's getting better at taking it, or else I'm getting better at surprising her. They were all a bit worried when the condo association had someone up on the roof checking out the gutters.

This afternoon for awhile when I was home for lunch, they all curled on my lap (well okay so Georgia was on top of the sofa and Gemini was beside me and not on me--only Chey was actually ON me) and had a nap while I read for awhile. It was nice to have the three of them so peaceful with me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cat Toys

Cats hate toys that are purchased for them, with a few exceptions. Mostly if I buy something for one of the cats, they ignore it. However this weekend I purchased and earring holder for myself and before you knew it, Gemini was up there batting at my dangling earrings. The holder was on a wall and there was a chair under it so that she could just about reach. I had to rearrange how things were set up so that she would be unable to play with this new cat toy.

I have several toys that none of the cats play with and they are usually the most expensive. However, those silly little balls that are colored foil? Those are fun. They are always disappearing. Cat Dancers are fun. Those silly things on a wire with about three pieces of rolled up brown paper at one end? Yes those. My cats have always loved them. Finally the best cat toy? The feather toy. Just a stick with some feathers on top. We watched the cats enjoying them at a cat show, when I was interviewing breeders before I found Chey. We got one and it's been destroyed. We are now on the second. Like the cat dancer, this is a toy that must be hidden when not in use as the cats will just shred it.

I wonder why certain toys attrack them so much while others, that look just as interesting hold no particular thrill?

Monday, November 28, 2005

One Down..

So one major winter holiday down and one more to go. Gemini was a great kitten during the holidays. Unlike my other cat who shall not be named (but she is a Siamese), Gemini can be trusted to not jump on tables and eat all the food off of them. She can be trusted when the butter is left out to not decide it's a treat. She rarely jumps on the counter, unless the birds and squirrels are playing outside the kitchen window and she wants a closer look. When she does this if you say something, she listens..

Chey on the other hand... well just say I was worried I'd take my eyes off the turkey and it would disappear.

As for Georgia.. she's a pretty good cat about food. If it falls on the floor she'll eat it but she doesn't dig in when you have your plate in front of you. I like that in a cat.

Now what to buy them for the Holiday...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Strange tastes

So, all weekend Gemini ignored the turkey and trimmings. It's amazing to me though, that Chey, the skinny Siamese that she is, continues to be skinny considering how she ate.

As both Chey and Gemini are new to the household this season, I decided to put up the artificial tree early to see what they did. I was worried they would try and climb it. Chey has batted some branches and limbs. She also seems to be under the impression that if she sits behind the pole that holds up the tree we can't see her. She's thin, but not that thin.

Gemini, well, Gemini likes to chew on the tree. This is from a cat that won't eat turkey or anything that I eat (except for the occassional green vegetable). I'm not sure why but she's enjoying that. I am hoping there is nothing that she can inadvertently swallow and do damage to herself and I also hope that as I decorate the tree she starts learning to not chew on the branches.

She is an odd little cat sometimes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gemini's First Thanksgiving

It's Gemini's first Thanksgiving. I'm sure she'll be thrilled with the turkey cat food that I got her to help her celebrate. The other two, well they will be thrilled with however much they can get of my turkey to help them celebrate.

It seems a good time to recognize all that I am thankful for. I am thankful that I have three healthy (albeit one injured) cat.
I am thankful that Chey's injury was only a deep wound and not a partially severed toe.
I am thankful that my old Geezer cat, Georgia is hale and healthy and still enjoys chasing Gemini up and down the stairs from time to time.
I am thankful that Gemini found me.
I am thankful for all the times I wake up to that kitten's soft paw on my face.
I am thankful that when I get up at night, she follows me into the bathroom with her eyes half closed, looking as sleepy as I feel.
I am thankful that Chey and Gemini really seem to enjoy each other.
I am thankful that I can provide a home that they like.

To all cats and their owners, take a moment to really be thankful for the lovely bond you have.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The bandage lasted 24 hours

So yesterday I rebandaged Chey's foot and she kept the bandage on for about 24 hours. This was 12 hours longer than I had anticipated. It looked as if for the last couple she was dragging around large portions of it behind her and Gemini found that amusing. A cat with a trail of bandages hanging off it's back leg was probably too tempting for words.

Chey, for her part, seems to be feeling well and spry and seemed to enjoy being chased, so long as it wasn't me. When I was chasing her, she just ran. I think she as afraid that I had medicine (I often did) or that I wanted to mess with her paw (and I did).

Hopefully in the next few days she'll start forgiving me for this horrible affair, that is some how my fault. Allow me to point out that I did not injure her foot and have no idea how she did it. Still, from Chey's point of view, this is my fault.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Non Gemini Cat Stuff

Neither thing today involved Gemini.

First, I'd like to point out that Gemini's Adventures is getting a little press from a very unlikely source. Fc over at fatcat politics asked to use that photo of Iggy that I posted about a week ago. Now Iggy is watching over some quick searches.

Now the other cat... Cheysuli managed to rip off a large piece of her skin this weekend. I got to rush her into the emergency clinic as it looked horrible. Fortunately it was just scraped off and they bandaged it and put some sort of biodressing on it to keep it covered. She hated her flourescent pink bandage on her hind leg but it stayed on the 48 hours they recommended. We are currently taking a break from changing the dressing.... Yeah... break. It's been all that that implies, eh?

She started howling just by being closed in a room with me. I even took the dressing off and ignored her for awhile but she didn't want that and she is a stubborn girl so she wasn't about to think that this was an okay thing. I am evil for messing with that foot. Well she should just wait until I put the bandage back on... Lucky her. Or maybe it's lucky me.

Gemini's thoughts? She really has no thoughts on Ig's photo getting used. She knows she's much too cute to key an eye on anything political and she's very glad it's not her foot, but bright pink makes a great eye catching cat toy...

Friday, November 18, 2005

My Siamese

So when I had Simone, my siamese, I thought to create a whole website devoted to her. When she died, I sort of drifted away. I came back and checked my stats and found that I had some sales on the site, despite the neglect.

I have Chey now and am thinking of updating that website with a page on her, but I don't know what to say. Gemini is the cat that purrs in my face now and she is many things but she isn't a Siamese! Chey is a lovely cat but she's not the lover that Gemini is. Still I suppose there's no reason that I can't have the site and the blog.

I love the blog thing though and am toying with the idea of combining Gemini's Adventures with the siamese site, as I don't just blog about Gemini after all! I don't know. Something to think about.

I wonder would the cats get jealous of having to share? And what about Georgia who has had neither her own blog or her own website and she's such a lovely calico cat?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Slow Day

Today I got rid of some stuff and it took it to the thrift store run by our local humane society. I hope that that generates a bit of money for them. Unfortunately not much was really pet oriented, which they can use not only for selling but also at the shelter if it's more important.

Gemini made it difficult to make the bed again. She likes to get up under the fitted sheet and then attack. I worry that she won't find her way out again and then she'll suffocate or something. It's not likely. More likely she'd chew through the sheets and blankets to rescue herself!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

This is an old enhanced photo of my Iggy cat. I love the way he looks sort of like he's evil and is just waiting for someone to haunt!

At least if he's haunting me, he sent me Gemini who is far more fun, which proves, I guess that pictures CAN lie!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Odd Kitten

Gemini has always refused table scraps. She never likes left overs. I could leave a chicken out or a tuna out and not have her figure out that she could eat my food.

Today I chopped up some vegetables, broccoli and spinach on my cutting board and then put them in the pan. I went to clean up and got a phone call, which meant that I was distracted. I came back later to realize I hadn't wiped it clean when I noticed she was eating something on the cutting board.

So this is a cat that won't eat anything else that's people food but she likes broccoli and spinach? Someone must need her greens...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Broken lamps

I came home last night to find that someone had been running around like crazy. They broke a lamp upstairs and in the closet in the master bedroom, they had knocked down everything on the upper shelf. Now it COULD have been Georgia, but I suspect that the offenders were Chey and Gemini playing a bit hard.

Certainly I know that this is what happened, but the cats don't know I know that, so I'm not sure how to make sure they never do that again--short of giving up lamps. I like light though so that doesn't seem to be an option. I know that you can earthquake proof a home if you are in an earthquake zone. I wonder if there are things like that to cat proof?

Ah well, off to think about shopping for a new lamp...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Finicky Siamese

Gemini is not particularly finicky about cat food. When she was a tiny baby she had a hard time with dry food but she seems to like her kitten food now. She doesn't seem to get the whole table scraps thing, so she doesn't eat that.

Chey, however is another matter. I do go away overnight from time to time and I want to know my cats are fine. I have been working to wean Chey off the canned food only. She doesn't seem to be at all interested in the dry stuff. She ate one hard crunchy treat once. Note that: ONCE.

I finally found some tender vittles thinking that would be a transitional food. They have been getting that in the morning. The first morning Georgia and Gemini ate most of it. They are now eating less and less. Chey continues to look more and more annoyed. They still get their can a night though.

I really think that Chey likes the drama of not eating. I think that this cat is milking the poor her for all it's worth. Gemini and Georgia don't seem to be too worried about their diets and that's a good thing. I hope. Sigh. One of these days we'll get them back to a healthy way of eating.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Like I Never Left

Well it's rather as if I never left at all. The cats are acting as they always did. Gemini purrs at me in the early morning to try and wake me up. Chey continues to thrash by my side, rolling around and purring loudly if I acknowledge her rolling... Georgia stays off the bed in the mornings now and I find her on the floor where she can watch the antics and has a good head start on the youngsters.

It is nice to be back to be watched in the morning by large kitten eyes. The longer I look at Gemini the greater the tilt of her head as she ponders what I am thinking. At least that's what I attribute to her. She may be thinking, why do those large creatures have such a funny thing sticking out of the front of their face?

Still, they are working hard on stealing my food, curling up in my space on the chair and keeping me from any privacy. It's like I never left at all!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Welcome Back

Worried when I returned that Gemini and her pals would just look at me and leave (after all cats are good at holding grudges) I was happy to see that Georgia met me at the door (but she's very forgiving). Chey was a little nervous about me and it took Gemini awhile to come down upon hearing me but she did and was very happy to be petted and held.

I think I missed her more than the others. I love the softness of her fur and the way she looks at me with her large eyes. She really is a little love.

My pet sitter said she was a bit shy at first but by the end both she and her husband were ready to adopt her she was such a sweetie. So perhaps I am not the only one to think my baby is perfect! Good to know.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Leaving the Baby

Well I'm leaving my baby soon. I have a vacation coming up and Gemini will have to fend with the other cats with the cat sitter. She loves my cats but this is a new thing for the baby cat. She hasn't been real friendly with new people, so of course, this gives me another reason to worry about her.

Still, Georgia is used to this routine about once six months (for a recurring seminar) and then one other time about every two years so she can guide the new cats through it. She knows the pet sitter well and they should be fine. Of course, I can still worry, can't I?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Cat Exercises

Okay cats don't need to do exercise. They are naturally way more flexible than any human I have ever seen. Mine at least go running around like crazy and never even get winded.

Gemini loves it when I work out on the floor. She likes to play with my hair when I do sit ups. She likes to bat at my feet while I do leg lifts. She was appalled the day I picked her up while I did my situps, using her as a mini weight ball! She's never come quite that close again. I still feel kitten toes in my hair, but she'll run if I try and reach out and grab her during this particular phase of the work out.

This silly kitten also likes to prance across the top of the Nordic Trak while I walk. I worry that she'll fall off but she never does.

I wonder if she wonders why exactly I am doing this stuff with my body. Does it occur to her while I do my wall sits that there is no chair and this is an odd thing for a person to do? Does she think I look silly doing my leg lifts or does she just think it's a normal thing that I, as a much larger, creature do when I have the urge?

I wonder...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Two out of Three

Okay so here we have two cats of three... now where's Gemini?!

I guess she likes to be the star, eh?

Monday, October 24, 2005

My Audience

I used to have one cat, my lovely lilac point Siamese who would follow me into the bathroom and sit on my lap. Okay. Gemini does this now sometimes too, especially late at night. Perhaps she gets lonesome?

However I hate it when you go into the bathroom and all three cats come in and watch. Do I stand there and watch them in the litter box? NO. So why do they not offer me the same courtesy? Bringing this up with them had no effect. They continued to look at me as if I were the insane one for talking to a group of cats while sitting half naked on a toilet seat.

I considered that the next time I heard one of the in the litter box I could watch them and see how they liked it, but decided that it wasn't worth the effort. My luck, it would put them off the litter box and then who knows where they would go?

Once again, the cats have me cornered...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

BARF diets and other food musings

It's tough to write when the cats are having times when they actually behave in ways that seem normal enough to humans. Fortunately I have no doubt that such a time won't last and they'll be back to their old tricks.

This weekend I tried making up my first batch of BARF diet.. yes, I belief it's something like biologically appropriate raw food for cats... BARF. That's something I can get my teeth into and really makes me want to feed my cats this. But I got some Instincts from my vet and whipped up a batch with the raw foods they recommend on the package. I have enough for 14 1/2 cup servings.

Gemini thought the Instincts mix part was great until I added in the raw meat. Chey is the only one who really likes it but Georgia eats a bit of it. Gemini doesn't get that it's food yet. I don't understand this cat. I'm not sure I'm up to making a raw food diet regularly particularly when the youngest cat won't eat it at all.

Having worked in a veterinary clinic back in the day when you fed one food and one food only (because it was better nutritionally) this new concept of varying the diet so that they don't get too much of any one thing and or not enough of any one thing is quite new. Still I have hope that it will work. My large orange cat, Ingold lived to be 16 (nearly seven of those years post cardiomyopathy diagnosis) and he always shared whatever I ate as well as having cat food. I don't recommend Taco Bell regularly but he was a big fan of their bean burritos and it didn't upset his digestion at all. I figure if you can eat junk and be happy and live that long, if I just keep trying to feed the cats a variety of good foods, we should be on the right track.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Cat Routines

I am coming to realize that I love this little cat. I love the look of her paws, the sound of her little mew and the way she moves.

I am also coming to realize that I can only say these things so many times before I am repeating myself.

Why did I start this? To write about something that was constantly on my mind and a big part of my life. I thought I could always talk about my cats. Lately, they've come to just sleep (not when I am) eat (preferably my food) and play the same old games (but only when it's inconvenient).

Cats are perverse creatures in that they have their own times and own ways of doing things. Right now, Gemini is no longer bouncing off the walls and ceilings. She's snoozing more, annoying the Siamese more and being a sweet little thing. I wonder how long that will last?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Snooze Button

Cats need to come with a snooze button or perhaps a reset button.

Being awakened half an hour before the alarm goes off the first time with either a meow or, better still, a cat pouncing on me chasing after another cat is getting irritating.

I wonder if I typically set myself to get up a half an hour later than what I usually do will mean that they will wake me at the time I need to get up? How do you reset the cat alarm?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Cat Healing

I am always amazed at animals when it comes to illness and pain. Watching pets that are chronically ill, there is a sense that even though they are in pain, their suffering is not our suffering. They are with the moment. Some moments there is pain but at others there is relief. They don't sit there and worry about the upcoming pain. It's a marvelous gift and one that I would wish on all human kind.

Gemini reminds me of this, when less than a week after her spay she leaps to the high dresser in my bedroom. I'd rather she didn't leap there at any time but she does. A spay is basically a totaly hysterectomy. I think any woman who had one would be thrilled to accomplish the equivalent athletic feat within a week of that surgery!

Gemini continues to be well. There is not extra swelling of her scar area and it stay clean. She is as active as ever and as curious. Cats are amazing sometimes.

Monday, October 17, 2005

My Trio

I keep thinking I'd like a photo of all three cats together. However I can only ever get two of them together. It seems like one is always running around or when they come up it disrupts the little treaty the other two have made with each other and so everyone ends up leaving.

Even if they are together for a moment, then I come in and they are all focused on me and so start moving and loose the moment of whimsy that I am hoping to capture some day.

The only time they like each other is when they are fed. Then they must all eat out of the same bowl because you know, if one is eating out of another bowl, well no doubt they have something better. And so it goes.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Crazy Cats

I don't know what gets into the cats sometimes. I sat down to work at the computer and then suddenly there was this banging sound, the door was moving and I could hear a cat running.

Chey was under the chair and Georgia was on the desk, so apparently Gemini managed to work herself up into something. She came back to meet me with her tail puffed up bigger than ever.

What do cats think when those things happen?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Cat Terms

There are a lot of amusing terms out there that people use to describe different things about their cats.

I have used
meatloaf position
making bread

I have heard
playing the cello.

I find these terms amusing because they have such wonderful picturesque value.

Meatloaf position: remember the Kliban Cats and the comment that says how much a cat resembles a meatloaf? They do when they tuck their paws under them and are sitting there watching something

Making Bread: Usually I heard this as a child as kneading their paws. It's when they move their toes out and in and look very happy. I love this term! I was at a cat show and heard the judge comment on one of the most obviously happy kittens I'd ever seen say, "Look at all that bread you're making!" as she kneaded away while he stroked her back.

Playing the Cello. I haven't used this term. I read it in a novel where the woman says her cat is playing the cello while he licks his behind! I think it's funny but I have never had cause to use it. And Gemini doesn't do that. She sticks BOTH legs up and leans forward. I'm not sure what she's doing there? Maybe trying out for the Village People and YMCA upside down?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Gemini Returns

She's home! Yeah. What a sweet cat. She's been purring at me all day. Her incision looks good and she washes it but not too much, so that's a good thing. It' s not bothering her too much.

Gemini is such a funny cat. I was laying on the sofa with a book and she decided to come lay on me. I petted her a bit. She purred. I stopped and she continued to purr for awhile before settling down. Chey came up and sat with us, so I petted her. Gemini began to purr. Chey decided to leave, so I stopped petting her. Gemini stopped purring.

I petted Gemini. Purr. I stop. Purr stops. Chey returns. I pet her. Gemini purrs. I stop petting Chey. Gemini stops purring. Chey leaves. I decide to test the theory that she purrs no matter who I pet. I run my hand over my stomach like I am petting it. Gemini attacks my hand.

Apparently she purrs only when I pet cats (any cat)...

Still she's doing well post spay and I am happy about that. As she can still pounce, everything must feel pretty okay.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Spa (y) Day

Gemini had her spa day, as they say at the vet. She went in this morning to be spayed. She'll stay overnight and I can pick her up after 10 in the morning. She loves to get going about 6 AM. Thursday is my day off so I am looking forward to sleeping in. I hope that the other cats understand that.

The technician called me about 2 PM this afternoon to say that she was waking up and doing well. They trimmed up the fur on her behind so that she's less likely to create an embarrassing mess. The tech hated to do it because she said her fur is so pretty back there but it can also be so messy.

We'll see how active the little cat is when she gets home. However Mom is happy that she's doing well so far, but of course I still worry that something could happen.

Georgia and Chey seem to be doing fine without their little cat and that surprises me. I wonder what they will do when she returns tomorrow. I've just realized how much she does rule the house--including the other cats!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Smart Kitten

I talked about Gemini and her new litter box yesterday. What was amazing to me was to watch her with the old litter box.

She has learned that getting into the new litter box sets off the rake, which she likes to watch. She has been experimenting with the old litter box to see if the same thing happens. It's kinda funny.

Still it is smart of her to make the comparison between the two litter boxes and to watch and see if they really do work the same way.

Once again cats prove that they are at least as smart as we are...

Monday, October 10, 2005

The New Cat Toy

I am cheap, I admit it. I've put off getting on of those automatic litter boxes for about two years now. I finally went ahead and did it. I have friends who say they're wonderful. They recommended the large size as the inside of the box is rather small on the regular. The mega sized has a normal sized inside.

I have it in the area of my secondary litter box and plan to switch with the main one in a week or so.

Gemini finds this fascinating. Chey is a little worried about it. Chey typically uses the secondary cat box and she did not use it last night. I *think* (hope) that she used the main litter box or else did not have to go. I'll be watching this. She was definitely worried when Gemini used the box and the rake started moving around the box. She didn't run from it, but was very worried.

Gemini found it so fascinating, she jumped back in the box after the rake finished, thus setting off another cycle so that the rake would move again about 10 minutes later, though there was nothing to clean up. I am not sure how many times during the day she did this while I was working. She was snoozing by it as I left. I think she quite enjoys the movement and hasn't figured out exactly how to attack the rake. I hope she doesn't try but it is amusing to watch her watch the movement and puzzle it out!

As an aside, I have heard from cat owner friends that their cats, too, find the automatic movement of the rake fascinating enough to enter the litter box simply for the purposes of setting it off. If I were using the batteries (as I will need to once I move it to the main litter box area) this particular feature of the box could become a problem. I hope that the novelty wears off and it becomes just another litter box to them.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Wishing for Photos

I wish there was a way to take a photo of Gemini's face as I wake in the morning. As she sits next to me purring and I open my eyes, the head is so often tilted, watching me as if she is wondering what are you thinking? Should I attack those thoughts as you twitch when you dream?

The little tufts on her ears stand out in the morning light and she watches me slowly stretching out and moving as I start my day. It's a wonderful, warm picture and I wish I could capture it on camera.

Once I'm moving though, she moves as well and the moment is lost.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Later Evening

I miss my cats.

I hate being this cat woman who misses her cats even on short absences!

I had a late doings at work tonight. I got home about 8 PM which is late for me and I am off to work early in the morning again tomorrow, which is normally a day off I take mid week. I feel like I missed something at not having my usual down time to spend with the cats surrouding me, on my lap at the computer and on the desk next to me and at my feet. I feel like I missed something in not being able to sit with them in front of the television as they purr when I pet them.

We still have some time later on for a meditation when they will curl up around me and try and distract me from my task at hand. There will be other nights but when I get home I am always surprised at how much I missed having the time to just be and be with them.

My cats are my best teachers of being mindful.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I'm a worrier

I set up Gemini's appointment to be spayed yesterday. It's not until next week. I've seen hundreds of these done in my years a veterinary receptionist. I know that almost inevitably they go well. Occassionally there's a little swelling at the site and even more rarely there might be a slight fever. In the all the time I worked for the vet, we never lost a cat to a spay.

I worry though. What if Gemini is the one? What if, while I am gone, her scar swells and I manage not to notice it and she rips all her sutures out and bleeds to death in the time I am gone. She is a feisty cat. She could do some serious ripping. What if there's a mistake at the vet and they do the wrong proceedure on her?

Then of course, there is Chey. Chey is finally starting to settle in. What is she going to think when I take Gemini off in a carrier and don't bring her home for over 24 hours? How will she react? Will she be worried that her new best pal is gone for all that time? Will she be depressed? Will she hate me?

What if something does happen to Gemini? How will Chey ever forgive me?

I know that these are all silly things to worry about. Chey will be fine after Gemini comes back. If she doesn't eat for a day, it won't hurt her. I doubt Miss Piggy will give up food but you never know. Most likely she will rejoice that she's not the one in the carrier as I take Gemini in. Gemini, for her part will no doubt find the whole thing an adventure and have many cat tales to tell when she returns home.

Still I will worry.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Snoozing Cats

I was home at lunch and it was very nice to go upstairs and check on where the cats where hiding. Chey was curled up on the bed very near (but not yet touching) Gemini. Both heads were raised as I walked in and petted them and both heads went back down to sleep as I left the room.

It looks like Gemini finally has a friend to cuddle with.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Stray cat tails

Making the bed is such a production because it's so much fun for Gemini to attack that blanket monster.

I left the room with only two sheets on the bed to take the old sheets down to the laundry room. I came back up and saw that she was off the bed. I went to walk around the bed and had to stop quickly. There under where I had almost stepped was a lump beneath the blanket that awaited being put on the bed. Beyond that was a cat tail. It was a frightening moment to think that I had almost stepped on my cat.

I was far less scared when the blanket attacked my foot as it moved beyond the blanket and bed making waited a bit longer as it was just too much fun for the kitten to play.

Later, as I sat down on the sofa, I saw a tail poking out from under the afgan which lays on the sofa. I was attacked by that blanket too.

Imagine my fear of blankets if I did not have the warning of a twitching stray cat tail?

Friday, September 30, 2005

The vet

Chey had her first visit to the vet with me yesterday. It was a very good experience. I had someone to talk to about the various diets. This clinic does complementary medicine as well as traditional veterinary medicine. Diet is very important. I learned about raw food diets and the pros and cons of this.

I've always been a big fan of Solid Gold and it was interesting to talk to someone about my personal concerns about feeding this to an older cat.

Gemini is going into her the vet I have always used sometime soon to be spayed. I'll be setting up that appointment from my office so I know what days I am less busy on and won't have a problem taking her in and picking her up. I worry about her but I know she'll do fine. I look at her and am constantly amazed at how big she is getting.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Icky stuff

Gemini is a lovely cat. Her fur usually is fairly smooth across her back and you notice that she's a longer furred cat mostly when she walks away. Then you can see from behind all the fur that sticks out behind her and around her legs. It's quite pretty with her billowing squirrel tail hovering above. I call it her fancy pants. I've been lucky. One reason I like shorter haired cats is because you don't have the problems with their fur like longer haired cats. Gemini's long fur is in the right position to be a problem..

Yes, those fellow cat owners with long haired beauties know where I'm going. The ick. The fecal mat. Being the cat that she is, Gemini got a fecal mat at about 10:30 PM last night. I was up because I was watching the Amazing Race, one of my few television addictions. Mostly I am online now. Anyway, she seemed to be paying unusual attention to her bottom and began scooting across the floor. I got a tissue and attemtped to pull--but that didn't help as she had already smashed fecal matter into her fur.

This cat, by the way was amazingly patient. I found an old pair of scissors and got most of it out. However she still stunk. So she got a half bath--which she wiggled through and didn't like but was actually quite easy to bathe. Still she stunk. We started wiping her behind with tissues to see if we couldn't wipe off, as everything seemed to be gone. After this I could still smell her and she continued to smell bad and she wanted to be in the bed... as now it was after 11 and I was trying to get to bed.

We went back to the scissors and started cutting more fur around her bottom. She disliked this. In fact this was the only time she started growling at me was when I continued to cut around her fur. She was up on her feet and I know I wasn't poking her or cutting anything other than hair but still she disliked this grooming thing in the middle of the night. Still after cutting off some more hair that looked strange, she stopped smelling so badly and I let her be.

She immediately began playing with the Siamese and ignoring me. When she woke me with her purr this morning, she no longer smelled.. The joy of having a longer furred cat...

Monday, September 26, 2005

I'm late

This weekend I was gone overnight. Gemini greeted me at the door standing there with a look on her face that suggested if she had arms, she'd have them crossed and if she knew how to tap a foot she would.

She's taken to walking around the house like that sometimes. I see her checking on me, on the other cats, on the food. She walks around as if she is the boss and it makes me want to laugh. If she doesn't like something, she meows loudly. Sometimes she is pleased with me and mews and puts her paws on my lap before jumping on me.

Early in the morning shortly before the alarm goes off, she does that in the bed, but she's usually standing on my chest. She tickles my face until I open an eye to see what's happening and then the purr begins. This goes on until I head downstairs to feed her and the other cats. As soon as we get to the kitchen, she goes about her bossy business to make sure I do it right.

I hope this is a phase and not a permanent part of her personality. I really don't need someone going behind me to make sure what I do, I do correctly and to their satisfaction. It's praticularly difficult when you aren't sure what (if anything) will satisfy a cat.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Cat differences

We all know cats are as different from one another as people but it's funny sometimes to notice these differences. Of my three, Georgia, my eldest is fairly round and slightly over plump. She's definitely the boss of the place and will take on any cat who threatens her authority. She's fairly friendly but not too much so. She does enjoy a good round of play time, but she's old enough to enjoy a nice comfortable nap even more.

Gemini is the kitten, of course. She still runs and plays and jumps like all kittens. Her paws, though, have outsized Georgia's nice fluffy paws and Chey's delicate Siamese toes. She's going to be a big cat. She screams when she doesn't get what she wants and anything that moves is about play. She is just learning what a nap is. She's not as coordinated as the other two but she's still learning. Nothing is beyond her to try at least once.

Cheysuli, the Siamese has a more delicate body shape. She'll end up being the shortest cat, but with a longer body length from nape of the neck to base of the tail than Georgia. She's lithe and she moves like the crack of a whip. She's also young enough to prefer play time to nap time and her movements are the conserved, exact movements of a martial artist. She is no doubt my black belt cat!

As she grows up and gets her full body growth, which I think will be larger than Georgia and Chey both, I wonder how Gemini will react to these too different adult cat mentors and who she will try and emulate most?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hungry Cats

My cats eat a lot. I thought Gemini was quite the little piggy cat when I got here but Chey is even worse. I need to move them from the canned food that Chey was eating at her old home to dry food, but this is getting frustrated. Chey, currently, has no interest in the dry stuff. I hate feeding canned.

As they meow at me and wrap themselves around my legs, I have to admit, I wonder why we called humans and animals who eat with gusto, pigs? Cats are just as bad.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Running Around

Chey and Gemini have discovered each other. Gemini has discovered a young adult cat who has more athletic ability and energy than most people would think possible. Chey has discovered a hyperactive youngster who can keep up. It's a match made in heaven--for them. It might be made elsewhere for the rest of us.

I have two scratches on my arm where a cat ran across me as I was reading and then when I was working at the computer.

It's amusing to watch sometimes. Gemini likes to stop suddenly. One time Chey almost plowed into her and she fell over the stopped kitten. She did land on the kitten, so I am not sure Gemini liked that. Another time, Gemini stopped and Chey managed to go around her but was halfway across the room before she could turn around to see that she wasn't chasing anything any more...

So far nothing has been destroyed and they both seem happy. Oh and Georgia, my older cat only looks annoyed when they decide to run around the area where she's trying to nap. Well, she's 15! You can't expect her to keep up with the kids, can you?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The new cat

This is Chey, the new cat. Lately she has been chasing Gemini around and they are having a grand old time!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Meat Loaf position

The meat loaf position is, of course, a technical term. I used it when I worked for the vet. Most techs very appropriately said "sternal". I yelled back one day when they asked me how a cat was doing and I quickly said good, he's in the meatloaf position. They said great. He's ready to go home and then the two techs holding a dog talking to me looked at each other and laughed because they both knew exactly what I meant.

I thought of that this afternoon as I caught Gemini in the meatloaf position. I think this is the first time. It's not that kittens don't do the sternal position. They just rarely sit still long enough to curl their paws under them and sit there. They are mostly actively playing or they're sleeping. There are no in betweens.

Today my baby grew up and was a meatloaf.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Making the Bed

I've heard people sound amazed that their cat can hear a can opener a mile away. I'm not surprised. Cats have great hearing. What does surprise me is that even cats who don't get canned food come running. Why do you suppose they come running?

What also amazes me is that cats always know when you make the bed. They can be asleep any where in the house, but go upstairs to the bedroom and start to make the bed and suddenly there's a cat in the middle. Gemini is particularly bad about this. She loves to suddenly appear and be under the covers (she climbs up the side of the bed) and starts attacking any movement.

I have to wonder what sound she hears to know that I am about to start this wonderful game?

Friday, September 16, 2005

A New Cat

With the new Siamese, Chey, I have tried doing what all the major cat sites and books say. It keeps being suggested that I isolate her and then let her create her own safe territory before introducing the other cats. Well she spent most the first several days terrified, except for the short introduction to my little ambassador. However, a couple of days ago she actually let me pet her and started purring and rolling on the floor. I thought great. NOW is when I let her create territory. Except for my presence, she was alone for a full day carving out her territory.

The next day, Wednesday, Gemini howlered outside the door and so I went to spend time with her. No sooner have I opened the door and Gemini peeked in, then this Siamese gives this sweet little chirp and runs over to greet the kitten! She was prancing around and rolling around and purring as hard as she could Gemimi was a bit taken aback and still isn't sure what to do about this cat. I have figured out that Chey really only needs a safe haven from me, rather than the other cats.

I have to say,thinking back on this, leave it to me to try and do the right thing with just the wrong cat!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Cats Fighting

It used to be that Gemini would attack Georgia and Georgia would turn around and wave a paw and Gemini would fall over on her back. Georgia would sit there and hold her down, looking bored. In the last couple of months, this paw waving from Georgia has required a bit more work. Gradually you could see her putting more effort into knocking the kitten over.

Lately, I've noticed that Georgia has had to look interested in the fights while holding Gemini down. Gone is the baby cat that she could push around so easily. This past weekend for the first time, I saw Gemini knock Georgia over on her side for a moment. Georgia got right back up and then Gemini paid the price for such a feat. Last night, the kitten knocked her over again and it took a moment longer for Georgia to extricate herself and pin Gemini back to the floor.

I worry a bit that my 15 year old will end up being beaten by this younger cat. She's waited for so long to be the head cat, that I'd hate to see the younger one usurp the place that she should have by rights of seniority--both in age and length of living with me. Still, I watch the two and know that this younger cat has brought out a playful side in Georgia that I haven't seen in years. I regret a bit that I didn't get a kitten for my other older cat as well.

I realize I shouldn't worry. Chey, the Siamese will be ready to play soon enough. Gemini bullied her way into the office past me this morning and Chey even chirped at the younger cat and was happier than I've ever seen her. I suspect she'll make a great companion and take the fighting kitten in stride.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


So this is Georgia, Gemini's friend. She's about 15 years old but she doesn't look it, does she? Gemini loves playing with her. The kitten often looks to Georgia to see how to react in certain situations.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Cat Tails

So this is my fictional account of Gemini's tail. I am find it fascinating to think that her tail makes her look part squirrel. It's very pretty and I think she's quite proud of it.

Before Gemini, when I had three elderly cats, my orange cat, Iggy, had the longest tail ever. He was a tall cat and large in structure. His tail went across his back and then curled over for another inch or so of length. The main part was orange and white and the tip was mostly white, with a hint of ginger. I was sure, given that he had such a long tail he was the king of cats. I told him that many times. He was the king of cats because he had the longest tail.

I think that after he died he found Gemini and led her to me because he knew how upset I was at loosing my Siamese cat so unexpectedly. As good king, Iggy had made it known for months before that he was leaving. You could see him growing slower and steadily less himself. Anyway I think my old king of cats saw Gemini and knew she'd be perfect for me. He led her to the condominium complex where I live and had her howl until I heard her. Just to be sure I knew he had sent her, he fluffed her tail out. He probably couldn't make it longer, after all she was a little girl and how could a girl be the king of cats. No doubt, I am sure that an owner is only blessed with such cat royalty once in their life anyway.

I think that he gave her the fluffy tail to be sure that I knew she was a final gift from my king of cats.

Then again, she could just have a particularly fluffy tail...

Monday, September 12, 2005

My Little Ambassador

Gemini must make a very good ambassador. Since her first visit with her new companion Chey, a lovely frightened chocolate point Siamese, Chey has begun to eat. She is still not happy about her change in circumstances but she seems to be relaxing. It's funny to watch her completely ignore me but put Gemini in the room and her ears go forward and she starts watching what's going on out there!

I've even allowed Georgia in (yes, the G names. It wasn't intentional. In fact Gemini was one of the few cats I ever actually got to name!) and she has pretty much ignored Chey. I suppose this is what happens when a cat is so obviously terrified that she isn't even on the radar.

Still Chey is now eating and eating quite a lot. She is also willing to look out at me rather than just show me her behind, as cats do when they really aren't pleased with you. It's only the second full day of her new home, so I have hopes that soon she'll be talking to me and sitting on me. As Gemini has the potential to be a cuddler, I am also hopeful that this cat will let her cuddle as well. Georgia, alas, is not a cuddler--at least not with other cats.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A new friend for Gemini

Gemini got another friend this weekend. I lost a Siamese shortly before I found Gemini and now I have another Siamese. Chey is a lovely purebred chocolate point. She lived five hours away from my home and is decidedly stressed out about the whole drive and having to live in a new home. I'm good with cats but she's not warming to me all that quickly. I decided to try the big guns. I figured Gemini was a smaller, younger cat so I let them meet. Later on I left them alone for a short while. While they are not yet buddies, Gemini at least got the Siamese out of her carrier. She's sitting near me even as I type, though she still isn't tht interested in anything I do.

Sometimes it just takes a cat to get through to another cat. Stay tuned to what adventures the three of them have as this new baby gets settled in.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Changing Cat Food

When Gemini was a tiny cat, she was so scared and little that I was worried she wouldn't eat. I put canned cat food on my finger and had to brush it on her mouth to get her to lick it off before she realized it was food. Then she about ate my finger! Her legs were so short she had to crawl into the soup bowl to eat her food.

I tried adding in dry food--hiding it in the canned food, but from that time on, she was pretty much hooked. She eats dry food a little. She at least recognizes it as food. I have tried cat treats and she doesn't get that they are food. In fact, she didn't even quite get that tuna was food. I'm not real worried about this at this point. She's a bit young to be sampling other foods just yet. And well, my last cat always got human food and he was a Taco Bell fan. You didn't eat Taco Bell in the same room with him. You always fed him his stuff and then ate yours out of reach...

I am concerned that I will be stuck feeding canned food forever though. I am slowly weaning her off the canned food thing. It's taking awhile. I hate being a mean owner/parent and tend to give into my cats. Still it's so much easier to just feed dry food and in some ways it's better for them. I'd rather feed them raw food as a supplement than canned cat food, no matter how good and organic it is! One of these days I'll just have to take the plunge. I'm sure the cats will hate me for awhile, but I'm sure they'll get it eventually...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hurricane Survivors

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is heartbreaking for both the human survivors and animal survivors. I am reading about more and more how many different animal shelters are sending aid to the pet victims of Hurricane Katrina.

My favorite pet charity is a no kill shelter called Best Friends. Best Friends is located in Utah and has sent many of their regular staffers and volunteers into the damaged region. They are working with other shelters to coordinate efforts to rescue pets left behind, reunited pets that got separated from families, and find foster homes for all those newly homeless pets.

So many families are homeless and are choosing to surrender their beloved pets to the shelters that the current facilites will quickly be overrun. As a no kill shelter, Best Friends is looking not only for donations but for volunteers who can be foster homes to some of these animals. They have a special web page devoted to the Hurricane Katrina efforts and ways in which people can help.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Kittens don't tip toe

Have you ever wondered how cats and kittens can make so much noise when they travel through the house? I am particularly amazed at how much noise they make going up and down stairs. Sometimes I wonder if I don't have elephants instead of cats. Sometimes I get up to check, but then no, they are still just cats.

I have wondered if it's the house but I have had cats in two homes with stairs and they seem to have an uncanny ability to make the most of their weight. In my next life I want to be a cat. I can be noisy and no one cares. I can be as fat as I want and make the most of it and no one cares...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Stealth Kitten

Gemini is at any age where she loves to hide and then attack. It's not very dramatic when a blanket comes at you with a large lump under it, but she seems to think she is hidden. I have to wonder what she's pretending when she does that. Do cats pretend?

The thing that got me the other day was when I was reclining on the sofa--okay I was laying there on my back thinking I would take a nap. I heard her behind the sofa. Then I thought it sounded like she had climbed under the sofa. She still does that. Then something started grabbing at my leg. It was like a sharp kitten claw. I was thinking, she couldn't be attacking me from under there could she? Sticking my fingers (a dangerous thing I realize) into the sofa, I felt a nose and then heard a purr and then was attacked with a nice sharp set of claws... Yes, I confirmed I was being attacked from below.

Most people would either yell or move somewhere else. I laid there and thought, you know in a few years, I'll be able to take a nap on the sofa again...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

How Gemini got her name

Before I got Gemini I had had a happy three cat home. One of my cats, named after a book character, was called Ingold Inglorian. He was a large orange tabby. He was also in kidney failure. About two weeks before finding Gemini he finally died. He was at home with me and went as peacefully as any ornery old curmudgeon could.

I also had a lovely lilac point Siamese named Simone. She came to me when she was six years old. She was a bit neurotic but a lover. I had worried that there was something wrong but the vets never found anything. A little over a week after loosing my orange cat, she turned yellow. She was in liver failure. She died 10 days after Ingold.

Gemini showed up, as first a pathetic mew outside my very lonely home and then as a tiny baby cat of about 4 or 5 weeks. A friend found a program online that did anagrams. We put in Ingold and Simone and got all the anagrams. Gemini seemed most appropriate as she was filling the shoes of two other cats. We did get some other interesting names.

I quite like Noel and Isolde. While Soiling Demon might have been an appropriate name, it seemed rather inauspicious to name a cat that... however it did show up on our list of anagrams. Other names were there but I have long since forgotten. Once Gemini showed up, it just seemed appropriate for her. She does answer to her name and she is a very talkative cat (much like the astrological sign). She's also very smart (again living up to the sun sign).

I couldn't name the blog just Gemini as that name was taken. It didn't occur to me until too late to have called the blog Soiling Demon. Oh well.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Happy kittens

Are all kittens so happy? Gemini seems a distinctly happy cat. Pet her and she purrs. She has settled down enough so that every time you move, she doesn't attack so now when you rub her ears she sits there and purrs and even drools a bit. I so hate it when my cats drool, yet so many of them seem to.

Her eyes convey happiness as well. They are alert and interested and even when she runs from people which do scare her, she never seems unhappy. She is always curious and there is joy in her movements. Everything is fun right now. I think even when she hides behind the plant from strangers she is actually having fun. Watching the other cat is fun. Pouncing on the other cat and getting swatted back is fun. Falling off the bed seems to be quite fun the way she races right back to do it again.

I don't remember if my other cats were that happy. My older cats weren't. My calico cat always seems to have an air of resignation about her, though she can still get excited about a cat toy and start running around. She doesn't have the same level of single minded joy. I don't recall my last kitten having that either, but perhaps I was too young to really appreciate what a gift it is to watch a kitten be joyful.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Gemini has gotten quite shy. You would think a kitten that runs and plays and acts the way she does wouldn't be shy, but she is. A friend came over and she ran and hid. Another friend came by and she hissed at her. I worry about this as I hate the idea that she is frightened of people.

It's not too surprising. She was afaid of me when I found her and took her in. She'd hiss from behind the toilet and then purr when you petted her anyway! I suspect that for the people she's currently afraid of, she'd purr pretty quickly. She's bigger now and can run and hide faster. She knows the house.

I have discovered that she likes her toys too much to completely hide. I had a friend who she was afraid of bounce the feather toy around and pretty soon she was playing happily. She didn't like being petted by her though. Still she will stay in the same room. Hopefully that will be enough for awhile and then eventually she'll enjoy people. I'll be going away for a long weekend soon and I am having some people feed her and my other cat. I am hoping that seeing she is a very food oriented little cat, having someone else feed her might allow her to trust another person.

I've had other shy cats, but they seemed to come to me shy. As time went on and they got more comfortable in their surroundings they became less shy. Still they disliked repair people and such. I've never had a kitten be that shy before though and I'm not sure why or how to work with it. I'd be open to suggestions if anyone has any.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Kitten photos

So this is Gemini. It just seemed appropriate to post a shot of her, seeing I keep writing about her... Maybe later I'll post a photo of her friend and mentor cat, Georgia. We'll see how photogenic they both feel.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Catnip Tea

My little baby cat, my sweet baby cat may already have a drug problem. Yes, it's the horror every parent faces and we certainly don't expect it so young, but this cat is precocious... Gemini has taken to having a fondness for catnip tea.

You see she has several favorite catnip mice and she has taken to dropping them in the water dish and leaving them there. I can't imagine what else she is doing but trying to taste the catnip a bit more. Most of her mice, are of course, hand me downs from other cats. My elder cat is probably getting far more catnip than is good for her. It does occur to me that this could be an attempt to get rid of the other cat or to make her too sleepy to fight back when she is pounced on.

Still, catnip mice just don't feel good when they have been floating in a dish of water for 8 hours. I can't imagine they are fun to play with or pick up in your mouth either, but if I got back a few minutes later, they are usually right back in the dish. I can only conclude that this is an addiction problem.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Cat Training

You may think that this is an article about training a cat. Aren’t you funny? I realize people claim to train cats, but I don’t believe them. Really. This is about the cat training the person.

There I was last night, holding my lamp with one hand, trying to read with the other. Gemini was jumping around trying to catch a moth attracted by the light the lamp was giving out. You may think there was an easier answer, but just the other day Gemini had knocked that very same lamp over. It’s not a beautiful lamp but I am quite fond of it. I didn’t want her doing it again for fear she would break it. So I let her chase the moth.

I could have chased the moth myself and let it out, but it was such a fun and engaging cat toy, so I held the lamp so Gemini wouldn’t knock it over, chasing the moth… You see—I have been trained.

It’s taken her about two months to get to this point in training. I’m sure that’s a record, at least for anything obvious like the lamp. Think what she’ll do by the time she’s ten. I shudder.

I realize that people train dogs. Some of them have problems training their dogs. I think these folks could take a lesson from my cat. I’m sure it’s not just that I’m trainable. Every house cat I’ve ever met has that self satisfied look of having a well trained owner.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Growing Up Kitten

Kittens grow up so fast. You figure at seven months they look almost full grown. Their bodies have not quite filled out but they look like the cat that will live with you for the next ten to twenty years. Even at four and half months when they stop playing long enough to nap, they sprawl like the cat they will become and wear an expression on their face that foreshadows the cat they will become.

An instant later, now having the extra connection to an audience they will jump up and run around the house, attacking anything in their way. Gemini is so funny like that. If you look at her, or pet her, it is still like an invitation to play! She still has her big round kitten eyes that are not quite cat eyes and they mirror only fascination with the world. What moves? What needs to be pounced on?

It’s such an interesting age to watch them be cats for a few moments and then back to kittens again in the space of s second. Of course, they still have those sharp little kitten teeth and those sharp little kitten claws that seem to grow more rapidly than any other part of their body and those are things I won’t miss so much. Another three months perhaps? I wonder what she’ll look like then?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Kitten Breath

Everyone says they hate the smell of their cat's breath. Cats do have a strong odor in their mouth and it seems like Gemini's is particularly strong. She can sit on my lap and yawn and I can smell her breath. I read somewhere were carnivores smelled more than vegetarians. This was speaking about animals and general and not just humans. Anyway I think it had something to do with the process by which the body breaks down the proteins? But it makes me wonder about why one cat's breath would smell stronger than another?

I don't have an answer. Gemini just yawned in my face and I was noticing that her breath smelled a lot. Usually that means there is some tooth decay but she's far too young and her teeth were fine a few weeks ago. It can't be diet because my older cat's breath is not that strong and they eat the same things. Really though, I have to admit I don't mind the smell. I kind of like it. It reminds me of kitten kisses on the nose. It reminds me of happy times of going ew ick when the cat of my childhood would yawn in my face. It reminds me of a lot of happy times so even though the smell is decidedly strong, it is no longer particularly offensive.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Shoe lace helper

I was tying my shoes this evening to go on my walk. I put on each shoe and then sat there and proceeded to tie the first bow and then moved to the other. I was stopped short when I realized that a kitten was attached by her mouth to the second lace and was not planning on letting go.

A look of both joy and pride was on her face, as well as a hint of mischieviousness. How on earth could I just take that out of her mouth when she had hunted it and captured it right under my nose? I left it be hers for a moment, realizing as I did so that she will only be this age once and that all too soon shoe laces will hold less interest for her than they do now. She may play with them again but soon enough I will have to entice her to hunt them.

I rolled her over on her back and let her kick at my hand for a moment while extricating my lace and tying my shoes. She had to help of course and I continued to play with her while she did that. There is something so happy about this young cat that it's infectious. However, my walk couldn't wait forever and exercising a kitten isn't very aerobic for me, so off I went. Oh she's back already while I write this. The letters on the monitor are equally fascinating.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Mindful Kittens

Kittens are funny. I watched her playing with one of her catnip mice earlier today, wondering why the tail seems longer. It appears that she has ripped off half the cloth so that it is falling apart and stuffing comes out in pieces as she play now. I should note that I purchased this particular catnip mouse for an older cat who has long since passed on about 5 or 6 years ago. Yes, that cat did play with the catnip mouse, and so did my other cat who is still with us, but apparently without the enthusiasm of the kitten.

Kittens are wonderful zen teachers. They are always fully in the moment when they play. Nothing distracts them. I have a small Buddha who sits on my desk and it mostly lands on the floor, now, being a great cat toy. I let Gemini play with Buddha as I figure the real one would not begrudge a tiny cat a bit of fun in the moment. And she is always mindful as she plays with the toy, until the next toy comes along!

When Gemini is tired, she is tired and sleeps, wherever and whenever. When she is hungry, you know. When she wants to play, she plays. Whatever she wants to play with gets played with, no matter that it’s the pen you are using to pay a bill or the earring you are trying to fasten in your ear. When you are angry with her for pulling on the earring you are fastening or messing up the check you are writing, she just looks at you with her big yellow green eyes as if to say, who me? It’s very hard to be unhappy with her.

I try very hard to be mindful of these moments and enjoy them with her. It’s tough when I have bills to pay and work to run off to. Still, it reminds me that within the busy-ness of our life, we should also find time to have fun.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Cat's purr

Cats and kittens are funny about their purrs. Gemini can be hissing at you and suddenly you pet her anyway and there is this huge purr. She can be rolled over on her back and kicking at your hand as she fights and purring loudly. It’s like an acknowledgement that she has attention and she loves it.

She wakes me up early in the morning with this loud purr next to my head as she settles down next to me. However, if I acknowledge her, I will be in for a long play time as she realizes that I am awake! So the purr seems to be a subtle way of testing whether I am awake.

I had another cat who purred at the vet. The vet would try and listen to his heart and he would begin to purr, so she couldn’t hear anything. She says that some cats are like that. Most cats don’t just purr when they are contented and happy but purr for many reasons. Often they do purr when they are stressed. What a great way to self soothe!

I have read that cats purr at the same frequency that bones heal. You have to wonder if this is why younger cats purr so much more. They are healing their bones as they grow and stimulating strong bones. The article where I read this, and I believe it was about three years ago in Best Friends magazine, said that this may be why cats survive long falls—they are healing their bones as soon as they are injured. No one knows how far distant the purr frequency lasts. Is it only good for that cat’s body? Does it help us if we can hear it? Does the cat have to be on us?

At any rate, a purr is obviously more than just a contented sigh, isn’t it?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Howl

Some cats howl when they are hurt. Gemini only howls when she is frustrated. Having proven herself indestructable, I know that when I hear the howl of this cat, there is something she wants that is not accessible to her. For instance, the elder cat in my household occassionally goes outside and right now she is howling at the door to join her.

At first she stood there and howled. Then she came and found me. Shortly after she noticed the other cat outside and went romping over and pawded at the back door for awhile and then began to howl again.

She periodically gets up on railed area on the second floor and howls. I am not quite sure what she wants to do there or if she gets confused but it seems to be a regular thing that she does.

Then there are the times when she doesn't howl but is just persistent. She really wants to play with some blueberries I am attempting to eat, but I keep moving them. I have never seen a cat who so thought human food was just another play toy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

To test for FIV or not

Now here is a question for all cat owners. When they get a new kitten, do you test for FIV or not? FELV, the leukemia virus is a given. About 30% of cats are positive for FELV. FIV is much more rare. Apparently kittens will typically show negative for the first four months of their life, even if they have been exposed. The test itself looks for antibodies to the virus so if their mother was exposed and positive the kittens could test positive in the window of four to six months but have this positve be a false positive.

Having a cat at four months old and considering adding another cat makes the decision difficult. I would like to test now, but my veterinarian has said that because the positive doesn't really mean anything at this point I shouldn't. Reading Cornell University's site, they suggest testing and retesting but for some reason my veterinarian's office is reluctant to do that.

Statsitically, about 1.3% of cats are positive for FIV (according to Cornell's website) and most of those cats are intact males who typically get and pass the virus by fighting.

I have been told by the technician to keep any cats in my household from fighting. I have an elder cat with the kitten and have observed that so long as the older cat doesn't move, Gemini doesn't attack. However, movement is fun! I suspect any cat that I acquire will want to move as well. It's just this funny thing--sometimes they do. So that leaves me to the great debate of whether to add another cat or not. Both the technician and my vet say they would add the cat to the household in these circumstances as the kitten does fit the profile of an FIV cat.

If this were a polical blog, I might have to get into my stance about profiling too.. but I'll leave that to other minds..

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My Cat, the Einstein.

People tell me I'm getting old when I say I don't remember kittens being this active. It's been 16 years since I've had a kitten. I do remember him being into everything but I don't remember random toe biting in the middle of the night. I don't remember that the other cats couldn't move for fear of being attacked. I don't remember them digging out toys from behind large furniture where I have hidden them so they don't destroy them when I'm not around!

Gemini does all of this. Dog trainers say that active dogs who people say are stupid are usually the smartest dogs because they think for themselves and don't necessarily do what their owners want. This cat must be brilliant. I don't know how she manages to think that some of the stuff she gets into would be fun but she does think it up.

Of course, she does have her moments. She thinks that pushing around the empty water or full water dish is a great joy. It's a soup dish and she just pushes it around with her nose. She seems to find it great fun. Okay, so maybe she isn't that brilliant?

Friday, August 12, 2005

How I found her

I found this cat two days after loosing the second of an elder bonded pair of cats. I heard this mewing throughout the night but couldn't find the kitten that was making the sound. My last elder cat and I convinced ourselves that someone else in our condominium complex must have gotten a tiny kitten and it was an echo. I felt comfortable doing only so much wandering around at night to find her!

The following day, during my lunch break I searched around again. At the far end of my building, I heard the mew as I approached. Looking that way I saw a tiny pair of eyes looking at me from under a fence and then as I approached it scampered away. It cornered itself in the square of the turn of our fence and I picked it up. It was filthy and covered in leaves. It was also terrified of me. Her legs were so tiny, I didn't think she was much more than 4 months old.

I took her home and locked her in my bathroom while I got some newspaper to make a small litter box and gave her some food and water. She was too sacred to eat much and it was only a couple of hours later when I tempted her with some food on my finger that she finally got the idea that there was something to eat. And eat she did. She about took my finger off before I had managed to lure her to eat out of the dish. Her short front legs couldn't quite get over the side of the soup bowl that held her food and she crawled right in and at perhaps half a can. I removed it so she wouldn't over eat and make herself sick.

It was a Friday and I immediately called my veterinarian for an appointment. Upon reaching the clinic, she was leukemia tested and found to be negative. My vet thought that based on her weight she was closer to six weeks, but I maintain that the proportion of leg to body that she was a week younger... I'd have never thought that the tiny cat with the big voice would become such a love and a terror as she grew into my household!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Four months

At four months this kitten named Gemini still runs all over the house. She likes to climb on high places, giving me a heart attack thinking she'll fall but I have to let her, as at least she'll fall when I'm there to rescue her. She hasn't done damage to herself in ages though. The last time, was it when she wrapped the metal cat dancer toy around the surge protector? Or when she wrapped the string around her neck and tried to jump off the table? Maybe it was when she fell behind the television cabinet?

She's a wild little brown tabbie and I've had her for three months now. I await her getting older but I have to wonder if she really will.