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Category Archives: The cats in my hat

During the winter…… during a routine trip to the shelter to pull dogs I ended up in the cat room.  BIG MISTAKE for a softie.  It is a room with maybe 50 small wire cages each holding one cat, the slightly larger cages hold two.  It was overwhelming.

I must admit going into this room was a mistake, my heart sank and I wanted to take them all home……..or at least let them all out.  🙂  I LOVE dogs but I also love cats.  I am always worried about bringing a cat to our house because of the dogs.  Not so much that the dogs would harm the cat, but more that the cats would hide under a bed in fear of a house full of dogs.  I dont want to traumatize the little buggers.

I walked through the cat room slowly, reading the cat cards on front of each cage….Name, age, reason for surrender and often a little something about the cat.  “Boo’s” card read, “Likes Dogs”.  I said to myself “LIKES DOGS?….Yeah, but what about 5 of them? Bet you wouldnt like 5 of them….”  I kept walking, observing, talking to them….wondering who had been there the longest.  Boo had been there over half a year…..I couldnt fathom being in that tiny cage for 6 months, only coming out in a small cardboard carrier for the cage to be cleaned.  Cats have always represented free spirits to me and all of those cats being confined to such a small space just broke my heart.

Now, this shelter loves it’s cats, dont get me wrong….they have a ton of them, and they run a prison cat program…….an awsome program, however all of those cats in those cages really hurt me.   I found out from my friend who pulls from that shelter more than I do, that the cats who had been there the longest were in a different area.  She said, “If they live here more than a year, they go to the cat room”.  Cat room?  *I wanted to see the cat room.

The cat room was a small room, with a window that faced the entry of the shelter, and a screen door that faced into the shelter lobby.  It housed maybe 10 plus cats.  They had scratching posts, beds, toys…….but I couldnt stop thinking about the fact that they had all been there a year or more.  I imagine that room felt like a mansion compaired to the tiny cage that had housed them for a year, but even the cat room felt small to me.

I slid through the entry door, holding back a cat who was just waiting to escape, and sat in the middle of the floor. I quickly became the most interesting thing in the room to most of the cats.  They had to sniff me and check me out one by one.  One hissed and skurried off, but most were interested in me long enough for me to pet them and give them a little scrach behind their ear.   Upon approval most slinked off to a favorite blanket or spot, however one remained……purring loudly and kneeding my Carhart jacket all over.  I mean it was a full on love fest in the cat room.  I sat in the room for almost an hour and was loved on the entire time.   I asked one of the girls who worked there how long this cat on my lap had been there and said said, “Oh I think 3 years or so”………I said, ” THREE YEARS???”

My heart felt like it rolled out of my chest and into my lap.  Three years in the shelter waiting on a family.  I couldnt belive it. 

Someone brought a dog into the temperment test it with the cats while I sat there with a cat on my lap (2 feet away) and she never flinched.  She gave a hoot less about that dog, turning her attention and glaze back at me with that squinty eye look that only a cat lover understands…..She said, “Oh I already love you” and continued kneeding me. 

Juju at home

My friend returned to the cat room and said “who’s that on your lap?”…….I just smiled and she said, “Is she going home with us too?”  I said “Yep”…….”Her and a black cat named “Boo”. 

So now I guess you can call me the cat Rescue Mama now too….. 🙂

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Since my last post………lets see what’s been going on.

 

Well for starters we have another addition to our family……a female cat who at this time remains nameless.  I have started calling her Princess Fiona but most everyone else in the house calls her “the kitty”.  She showed up out back one night when my friend Laura was coming thru the back door, she was speaking to the kitty and I said, “Who are you talking to?”  You know me……The rest is history.

 

I picked her up and she was all bones, I could feel every rib in her tiny body….. she was so thin and she was also very much in heat……Much to the delight of Mr. A.J. Moye.  (We spent the next week keeping them apart but they played footsies under the door the entire time.)  His pursuit of her reminded me of the old Pepe La-pue cartoons with Pepe chasing the cat with the white paint on its back.

 

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The only problem…. I believe she is pregnant……she is just a kitten herself…..I would guess her to be about 6 months old….her belly is full and round, I will know for sure once she goes to the vet but my instincts tell me she is.

 

She spent her first week at the house hiding and eating…….I mean really eating.  Chubby AJ Moye can put away some food but she was eating twice what he eats.  She is now getting use to everyone in the house including the dogs…….Last night she spent 2 hours mesmerized by the fire in the fireplace.  Not exactly so sure what was so fascinating about the fire but it was doing lots of popping and crackling.  ??

 

At night she and AJ zoom around the house like they are crazy.  (This is the only time AJ is not following me around like the dogs.)  I shut the dogs in the room with me at night so the cats have free roam of the house.  The free roaming turns into something more like a 3 ring circus from the sound of it…. but they seem to have a ball.

 

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I purchased a 10 foot tall Christmas tree from the Goodwill.  I LOVE it……Everyone comes into the house and says, “Oh my God, it’s huge!”  It is a slim line tree, so it’s not fat, just tall.  Tonight we are expecting 3-5 inches of snow so I am hoping the combination of the tree and snow will give me the Christmas spirit.  Something I am currently lacking……

 

Bah humbug….

 

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 Laura

 

The new photos were taken at our indoor “bonfire” when weather didn’t permit for us to have it outside.

 

Sierah brought home her new boyfriend from IU to meet the family, we had all the fixins for Smores, a huge pot of beans and rice and some “better than sex cake”……ummm…..my favorite.  Oh yeah, and a house FULL of people. 

 

Due to an anxiety disorder I don’t generally like to have lots of people in the house at once but I guess I did okay, didn’t pass out or throw up or anything…..so I guess all went well.

 

I had to corral the dogs in my room the 4 hours people were at the house, so the people who didn’t like animals weren’t frightened but also to protect the dogs from my niece.  She is seriously like Angelica from the Rug Rats……Holding the cat up in the air by its tail, rubbing its fur the wrong way while saying….”Nice Kitty” (in a little evil voice)…..

 

Speaking of cats…….AJ is now affectionately known as “Chubby”.  He is an eating machine, not only is his food and my food fair game, but he periodically even eats the dogs food.  (I hear a yipe, yipe, yipe from the kitchen and go in there to find AJ eating out of Murphy’s bowl and Murphy hiding under the table shaking.  (Murphy is such a punk)  lol     All AJ has to do is walk past him and look at him and Murphy screams and runs off.    Thinking

 

Murphy

It’s official…..it’s fall in Indiana.  Cool air has finally reached the Midwest and I am loving it.  No more 99 degrees with 100% humidity……yuk  It got down to 40 something last night and I consider that GREAT sleeping weather.

 

Yesterday I made a wreath with fall colors and pinecones on it for my front door, Acacia and I collected some wood that has fallen during the summer and had the first fire in the fireplace while we each had a cup of coffee. Ahhhh…. This is my favorite season.  I seriously love the fall.

 

~~Party

 

On the down side……I discovered yesterday where this horrible smell was coming from in my basement……I have one of those dark, damp cobweb-ie type basements……no nice finished basement at my house…..and every time I went downstairs to do a load of laundry I kept smelling this really foul smell but I could not for the life of me figure out where it was coming from. 

 

There are 3 rooms in my basement….The first one has a few items in it, but everything is bagged and up high on a shelf as we keep most everything off of the ground in the event we get water down there, the second room contains only my washer dryer and hot water heater and then the 3rd room is where all of our camping stuff is stored and a few other odds and ends items.  (Air conditioner, Christmas tree, etc)

 

Well, upon further inspection I discovered the foul odor was coming from the 3rd room……I walked slowly around the room sniffing, looking in and out of boxes looking for anything that might be rank…..and it appeared to be coming from the area where the tent was……I pulled open the tent half way looking for a dead animal and BAM it hit me…PU!!… it was promptly evident where the odor was emanating from…..A 10 person tent that had been used as a kitty litter box by one or both of my two kitties…….grrrrr…….It was all I could do to haul the giant thing up the stairs without spilling its contents and drag it to the trash can while covering my face with my shirt….Eww it was SoooooOoo nasty, I almost threw up.

 

Once I got back into the house I proceeded to pour an entire bottle of bleach on the floor below where the tent was to kill any odor that could have seeped into the cement……and then threw a bucket of water on it and swept it down the drain……

 Damn cats …..lol 

Today I pick Sierah up from the airport; she should be nice and brown from the Florida sun.  I spoke to her daily while she was gone, I just wish I could have spent some more time with her before she heads back to IU.  (In two days.) 

 

Thursday while at my family site (apartment comples) I saw some kids chasing a cat.  This black and white cat that has went from apartment to apartment.  He was originally with a young lady who was living in her unit with no electricity prior to me evicting her.  When she left she just chucked the cat outside to fend for himself. 

 

A week or so later I saw him at another apartment and he literally looked like he was trying to escape from a window upstairs…….So then on Thursday while I was driving the grounds I noticed a group of kids throwing rocks and stuff at something……I thought for a moment it was another child, but it was a cat…..the black and white cat.

 

I yelled for the kids to stop and they all ran off, and the cat was long gone.

 

About 2 hours later while eating lunch at my desk I caught a black and white blur out of the corner of my eye.  It was the cat, he was frantic and panting, it was almost 100 degrees out and he sought shelter from the sun under my van. 

 

I ran outside calling “kitty, kitty, kitty”……I got a long “Meeeoooooow” in return.  It took me almost an hour to coax him out but I finally got a hold of him and headed into my office with him. 

 

He didn’t seem none to happy about being picked up or me walking quickly toward my office with him but once we got inside the air-conditioned office, I gave him a drink of water and he sniffed out every inch of my office, rubbed all over me, he jumped up onto my desk and flopped down on a stack of papers……he then proceeded to start cleaning himself, and gave me that look like, “This will do….”

 

That’s when I noticed what appeared to be ketchup and mustard on him…..it appeared someone had been throwing food at him.  His hair was just falling out by the handful, I don’t know if its from stress or poor food, but the skinny guy seemed at ease in my office.

 

On the way home in the van he escaped from the cardboard box I had placed him in for the trip, he made two laps around the van then settled down on my lap, feet up on the door, looking out the window like a dog.  He road the entire way home like that.

 

He has been at the house for about 4 or 5 days now and has settled in nicely.  Charlie Tuna isn’t too happy about the arrangement but he seeks refuge from the new kitty in my bedroom lying directly on top of me making sure he rubs his scent on me from head to toe.

 

The new kitty is adjusting well to the dogs and bats them in the nose if they get too close.  He spends most of his day following me around, relaxing in any one of the million windows in my house or on the screened in front porch stretched out on his blanket……. eating or pooping.  He certainly seems to be making up for any lost meals.  Not only that, he also eats anything I am eating…..a serious little piggy.

 

I am going to take him to the vet next week for shots and a check up but he has already gained weight.  He is doing great.

 

Now I just have to think of a name for him……any ideas?

 

Laura

 (PS, my camera is broken, but while Sierah is home I will snap a couple photos of him and post them.) 

As you know the last few weeks I have been regrouping….

 

One of the things I have refocused on is the house.  There are still so many things that I need to get done to my old house.  Most of the items are all rather small things….other than building two walls and painting all of the rooms… but I must admit my old friend “B”(who I have been spending time with) has been a big help. 

 

One thing that has been on the top of my list is to rid my house of mice.  My lazy 3 legged wonder of a cat is lacking in the mouser department.  His idea of an extra snack is Sierah’s birdies….not mice.  When she brings the cage down and sets it on the dinning room table for cleaning….Charlie Tuna seems somehow to know this is happening…no matter where he is at in the house… he comes running…. and stalks around the table until someone leaves him alone in the room with them… then he promptly gets on top of the cage and peers down at the birds while twitching his tail and licking his chops……Interestingly enough the birds don’t seem worried about him, they go on as business as usual…..I yell into the kitchen….”Sierah…..Tuna-man is about to eat Pettie and his girlfriend”…..She yells from the kitchen “CHARLIE I’m gonna get you!”  He doesnt even bat an eye.

 

As far as the mouse goes, I have seen Charlie look at the bottom of the frig and into a kitchen cabinet that wont close all the way for extended periods of time so I knew we had some mice…. but I have never seen him even attempt to catch a mouse….nor have I had any tiny mice carcass left anywhere for me…. 

 

This is where my friend “B” came in today.  I hate setting those snap traps so this morning he set three traps for me.  I wont use sticky traps because there is just something so cruel about them……Once last year I had to remove two sparrows off of a sticky trap at work.  They had flown into the garage and somehow gotten stuck.  It broke my heart to see them stuck on there, struggling…still alive.  What a horrible death.  It took me two hours to free them…. minus most of their feathers.

 

I feel the same way about the mice…I would rather the snap trap bring them to an abrupt end, than to have them stuck to the sticky trap screaming or trying to chew off body parts to free themselves…eww @ just the thought.

 

I went home at lunch today and peered under the sink….one of my little visitors had taken the peanut butter bait and the snap trap had worked as intended….

 

ONE down, 399 more to go……

 

*Makes mental note to self…..”Buy extra large can of peanut butter this week.”  Damn mice.

 

me

Last night was the first night that “Charlie Tuna” (AKA “the three legged cat) decided he was going to sleep with me.     

 

My normal evening routine includes a shower, getting into my P. J’s, getting into bed and reading for an hour or so until I drift off to sleep……..at this time my bedroom door is open…. dogs come and go, but generally they find a spot some where in my room and settle down for the evening…..

 

Once I get into the bed I read until I fall asleep….. and then when Taryn comes upstairs to go to bed she shuts my light off and shuts the door.  (I doze off early….what can I say….)

 

At that time, any straggler dogs get sent to my room so they are not meandering around the house at night chewing up the couch or anything or deciding that they cant wait to go out in the morning to use the restroom……..

 

Well, evidently “Charlie” was asleep in the bedroom with me when the door got shut.  His normal sleeping spot is in the cabinet under the bathroom sink…….next to the tampons and toilet bowl cleaner.   

 

Not sure if he was pleased with the idea of sleeping with all of the dogs and I…..but Taryn pulled the door shut and he was stuck in there none the less.

 

At some point last night he decided he wanted to sleep on top of me.  (Literally on top of my body) No matter how many times I moved or rolled over he managed to hang on (despite having no claws and 3 legs) and move along with my body…..never falling off.    I was impressed. 

 

I laughed out loud thinking that it was kind of like one of those lumberjacks who roll those logs in the water …….I swear I dont know how they do that.  So each time I would move or roll over, he would kind of roll my body/log until I found a spot to rest…….It didn’t matter how I moved around….slow…..fast….left….right, he managed to end up on top of me after every move and he never fell off.

 

So now not only do I get sandwiched in my bed between by one giant dog on one side and two little dogs on the other side….  like a giant hot dog in a bun….  I now have a log rolling cat running up and down my body at night trying to keep his balance and stay on top……

 

Now that I think about it……I may have to go sleep on the couch alone tonight……..just to get some rest.  ………..

As you all know “Charlie Tuna” (AKA The three legged cat) showed up some time ago.  I can’t be exact as to when but I was feeding him canned food outside in the alley in June on my birthday so I know it has been at least that long….

 

He decided he was going to live at my house slowly…… when he finally made the decision to move all the way in, he did so with a vengeance.  I don’t know if he somehow knew “Him Black Cat’s” health was failing him and decided to make “the move” but there was a point that every time I would walk past the leaded glass windows on each side of my entry way door he was standing up with his little body plastered onto the window, yowling to come in.

 

Once he got into the house, he made no attempt to leave for weeks…He found his favorite napping spots, baskets to curl up in and chose a drawr under the sink that he loves to hide in……then periodically he would go to the door and request to go outside.  I didn’t oblige because he has only 3 legs and is de-clawed……a prime recipe for disaster out in the streets.

 

Now a few months have passed, the weather is warming and he wants OUT.  When a cat wants out, they let everyone in the house know they want OUT!   For having only 3 legs this cat can dart straight out the door, down the stairs and thru the fence before I can even focus good on him. 

 

Considering the sheer number of kids and dogs I have at my house, you can imagine how many times a day the door gets opened……he waits near the back door till he can make his getaway……zoom……he’s gone.

 

I think it is primarily that he likes to use the restroom outside, but I am a nervous wreck when he is out there.  He always comes back in about an hour or so, when he does manage to get out……but I worry like crazy till I see his furry little butt in on the porch waiting to get back in.

 

The little sneaky sh*t managed to slip out of the back door yesterday when I was leaving for work…..I couldn’t find him when I got home from work, called and called him……No kitty……..last night 3 times I went outside during the night and called him…….No kitty……this morning…..4:00AM I am outside in my jammies calling the cat……No kitty……I am worrying all day long at work about the cat until Acacia just called me and said, “Mom, I found the kitty, guess where he was at?”  I said, “WHERE?”  She said, “the basement.”……….

 

*as I hang my head in shame*…….

 

For 24 hours I have been worried sick about my little 3 legged cat……..and he was in the freekin’ basement the whole time………just hangin out…..

 

Cats…..ya gotta love em.

 

I noticed a “Little old cat lady” at the store the other day.  She was at the check out counter and had nearly all cat stuff……big bags of dry food, cases of canned food, cat toys and various other cat products and nearly nothing for herself.  Some part of me wanted to stop her and ask her about her cats but I was too busy tending my own bags, paying for my groceries etc.  I stood a few isles away and grinned at her as I imagined multiple felines welcoming her at her door as she returned home, purring and loving on her as she greeted them in one of those little voices only little old ladies have……”Hello my little babies….look what mummy has brought home for you……..” all the while cats twist in and out of her legs…..

 

My kids tell me all the time that when I grow old I will surely become “a little old cat lady”…….I find this observation interesting because I obviously have more dogs than cats (with only one part time cat living at my house…..)  Right now, without question, the dogs rule……although I do feed numerous outdoor feral cats.  (But we are not counting them right now)

 

Maybe it is just because the phrase “Little old dog woman” hasn’t been coined yet……not sure, but in all honesty I think they may be right…I do love cats too.

 

In my lifetime, the few cats that graced me with their presence all chose me.  There is a true honor in having a cat that has choose you……The are certainly picky creatures and if they don’t like you….no amount of bribery, treats, tuna, nothing, will MAKE them like you………If they like you, they like you…..if they don’t, they don’t. 

 

Cats are extremely cool creatures and they have something so special about them.  That special quality not only binds owner and cat together but also it somehow also seems to bind all cat lovers together too. 

 

I love dogs and cats both and can’t say I am a “dog” or “cat” person, but I certainly appreciate many things about both.

 

I love walking at the park or a day at the Lake with my dogs……those are glorious things to me that I enjoy immensely, but there is nothing like a cat who loves you, rubbing his face in your chin while he lays on your chest and purrs.  What’s not to love about that?…….

 

The jury is still deliberating…… but I guess this makes me a dog AND cat person…….

 

I imagine by the time I grow old, they will just call me “That crazy old lady!”
 
So be it!

 

I will deeply miss the little black cat who decided I would be his human……it is an honor to be picked by an animal…… I am glad he chose me to care for him.

 

I am not sure what he endured prior to his life at my house, but the few years he was with us he made a huge impact on me.  From his first Vet visit I knew his life would be short so I indulged his every whim.  I spent a large part of time spoiling him and loving him…..  he soaked it up like a sponge, and I loved every minute of it.

 

Sierah gave me a hug last night and said, “Oh Mom I’m sorry, I know how much you loved that cat…..”  I did love that old Tom cat…..and he loved me too……

 

I will miss his constant presence in my life……  he was my little buddy.

 

Rest in peace “Him Black Cat”……….rest in peace my friend.

 

 

Laura