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?