Category Archives: Cats
A wing-nut plastic item with a sliver coating has been rescued from the jaws of Pickle. What on earth is it? ‘Pickle, where did you get it? What have you broken?’ questions Andrew. Pickle, not surprisingly, doesn’t respond. ‘Bloody Pickle’, says Andrew, ‘he’s always breaking things’.
Yes, you all know what’s coming next. Not bloody Pickle at all. Bloody Andrew it would seem. I picked up the hair brush – now in two pieces. The silver wing nut piece, fit perfectly over the handle. Hmmm… how did this come to be broken Andrew? (Naughty school boy look). It turns out that Pickle was being naughty and Andrew was trying to make a noise to distract him by bashing the hair brush on the table. End of hair brush.
This isn’t the first time Pickle has brought us mystery objects. I found a small metal piece a while ago… well didn’t that cause a flurry in the house. We had to check all the nuts on the wheelie walker, two wheelchairs and then any other metal item in the house.
I’m not sure why Pickle feels the need to collect these things. Perhaps he is really a bower bird in disguise. A bloody big bower bird, without a passion for blue, or yellow…
Meanwhile, Andrew has cajoled Gesso into his arms and like a white flag unfurling, his little head has tipped back and the eyes are closing, sleep is near. My advice, Gesso, is don’t go to sleep. Andrew is in one of his mischievious moods. I wouldn’t be surprised if you woke up and your tail had been painted with rings of squid ink to make you look closer to a lemur. This is Andrew for you. I think he’s really aged 4.1 not 41.
Recently I’ve heard of not one, but two people getting married where their parents have refused to come to the wedding. Now there may be some people who are so estranged from their parents that ma and pa aren’t even invited. Here this was not the case. It usually takes hearing something like this to make me reflect on how good my parents are to me. I am indeed very fortunate however the praise shall stop there. If you imagine that like sun screen protection factors, there was a public praise factor, then my parents would be about an SPF 3. My parents would be far more comfortable with me airing their faults to the world.
My mother’s fault, I think I have commented upon before. She truly believes that machines are untrustworthy beasts who have a personal vendetta against her. Even toasters! (I’m sure I once wrote a blog post about her favourite INEFFECTIVE toaster but I cannot find it). To be fair to my mum, she does seem to have an unusually temperamental relationship with mechanical objects. Recently she blew up the oven (I want to know what she was REALLY cooking in there). The other day it was the vacuum cleaner’s turn.
My father on the other hand, is not a technophobe – he’s a “close-a-phobe”. Dad has a habit of leaving open cupboard doors, not shutting down the computer, leaving the radio on… and all of this drives my mother batty! I have to smile at this. If I should ever get to be with one person for 41 years of my life and the thing that irritates me most is that they haven’t logged off the computer, then I will call myself very fortunate indeed. Oh actually, I forgot something… dad invariably likes to unpack his orchids in the house. You may not think this is a great problem until you come to appreciate that these ‘little babies’ are usually packed with shredded newspaper… and some of them fall out of their pots en route. This leaves a trail of bark and paper whenever they have been which results in my mother having to interact with the untrustworthy beast that is the vacuum cleaner – or a broom – I don’t think the latter have a vendetta against my mum… or do they?
My parents also run the cat hotel. It’s 5 star accommodation for your most treasured feline companions. My girls have stayed there, as has Pickle and Gesso. My brothers boys – Tilly and Willow – have also called it home at times, and last, but not least, my grandmother’s cat Tiggy.
Best of all, the usual residents (see left for Poirot and Pippy) are reasonably tolerant of the house guests.
It was also Chilli’s home for most of her life. There she was pampered and spoilt and fed on demand as part of her anti-vomit feeding regime. She even got to sit on the kitchen bench as illustrated below – and mum or dad have given her a mat to sit on. If that’s not 5 star luxury I don’t know what is!
So when the daily post put the theme as what luxury could you not live without, the answer was clear – my public praise factor 3, technophobe, bark dropping parents. I am indeed a lucky girl.
Finding cat toys that your kitty won’t leave on the floor when they are done can be a challenge. (Abandoned toys + physically disabled person = tripping hazard).
The toy in this video come come with a clip to attach them to the top of a door or other high surface are fantastic. (Same principle as pole toy but you don’t have to hold the end). But last time we had one is died quickly. I now realise why. Pickle chews the elastic rather than the mouse!
It is with great delight that I write to tell you Pippy is home from the vet hospital! After scaring us for the better part of a week, she finally started to get better and – together with her new haircut – arrived home.
I suspect she is getting extra pampering at the cat mothership. The thing that amazes me is that after many days of little food, she has returned home and she is still fat! Joking aside, we are all greatly relieved.
Meanwhile, at my place, the girls are getting used to a new routine. Each morning I am throwing the bed covers over my head and resolving to completely ignore Licorice. So far, it appears to be working. I have also removed all loose paper from the bedroom so Saffron can’t chew it.
Lastly, I seem to be winning the war on fleas. I put a new ‘sticky mat’ in My Flea Trap and while I’ve had it out quite a number of times it does not appear to be acquiring many more black dots.
Well actually the point is that you don’t see! The combination of frequent vaccuming, flea treatment on the cats each month and the eco-flea trap appear to be doing the job. I’m sure that it does help that it’s winter. I’m determined not to use flea bomb sprays.
If you have a flea problem and have never tried “My Flea Trap” (not exactly an exciting name), then give it a go. My father didn’t believe me when I told him that it just uses alternating flashing lights and you leave it out overnight and in the morning the fleas have jumped in. That was until I got him one of these snifty things and they took it across to my grandmother’s place which only gets vaccumed when the home care lady comes. Dad returned with a flea trap that looked much more like a lamington than the one on the right. Except lamington’s taste better.
Licorice’s habit of ‘poking me awake’ appears to be getting worse. I have tried very hard not to ‘reward’ her, by not getting up until the alarm goes off. Yet it seems like she is getting more persistent. So this morning I consulted Dr Google (as many people do). Hmm… I thought I was ignoring her, but I have sometimes ‘pushed her away’ and that seems like in cat terms that’s a response. As is any talking – even if it’s no. (This morning I’m pretty sure there was a loud ‘no’ when Licorice decided to ‘stroke’ my nose. I’ve checked and there isn’t a big scratch down it but it feels like it!)
Oh dear, I shall have to reaffirm to throw the covers over my head and do absolutely nothing to encourage her.
Meanwhile Saffron was doing her morning routine – paper chewing again! Stupid me had left at piece of paper out in the bedroom.
While it may sound like I’m grumbling, I am still very happy to have them around today. Our family cat Pippy is quite sick at the moment and it’s meant the girls – and boys – have been getting extra cuddles.
Pippy has come down with a mystery illness. The vets are baffled. She is negative for FIV and ‘Feline Leukaemia‘ and it’s not cat flu either – certainly a relief; although FIV seemed very unlikely as Pippy doesn’t get into cat fights. Yet she is still a sick cat, although hopefully has turned the corner. Her temperature is slowly coming down and she is starting to eat again – if she is handfed by the vet nurse mind you! Mum, dad and I went to the vets on Friday afternoon to see her. She is sporting a new haircut – completely shaved underbelly and some off the sides too (I presume that was so they could do the ultrasound). Her eyes are still weeping, she is still snuffly and has developed a bit of a waddle when she walks, but there was a bit of spark. I put her down on the floor and she made a beeline for mum. It was very cute. Since Friday apparently her temperature has dropped a bit. She’s been sick for a week. Clearly a fighter though and I’m more optimistic now that she will pull through this. It was looking a bit grim on Wednesday / Thursday.
Since I’ve already put pics in of 3, I might as well feature the entire fur family. I never know how to answer the question, how many cats do you have? Especially while Chilli was alive. I tend to say 2, or 4, depending on the context.
If you are new to my blog, then here’s the quick version of why that’s a confusing question – I adopted Chilli in 2000. When I moved out of my family home (where Pippy and Poirot also live), I took Chilli with me. However, Chill was a bit of a special needs cat and for her well being went back to live with mum and dad. So I was catless. So in 2009, I adopted Licorice and Saffron (above). My fur family was complete. Then in 2010, I met Andrew (a man, not a cat!). Andrew didn’t have any pets. After swearing that he didn’t want one, he started to warm to my girls. So, with time, we adopted Pickle the ginger ninja and Gesso a deaf white cat. They live with Andrew but if they need to go to the vet etc, then I’m responsible. I guess you could say, it’s a shared custody arrangement! So you see, that’s why it’s hard to answer how many cats I have!
Some cats meow when they want your attention. Saffron has an alternate method, namely scratching at things – particularly hard surfaces or paper.
My couch is perfectly in tact. She doesn’t arch her back and claw the couch – she is a good girl and saves that for the scratching post. However reasons only she will understand, she loves to jump up on the cupboard and at 5:30 in the morning and ‘scratch’ the cupboard top.
Meanwhile, Licorice deploys the more traditional method of waking owners. Each morning, about half an hour before the Saffron scratching begins, Licorice starts the paw in face – walk across pillow – swing your owner and dosey do. But back to my little scratching friend.
So a while ago, I thought – I’ll outsmart you Saff. I acquired some ‘Sticky Paws’ from Cat Protection. Basically long strips of sticky stuff which you can apply to the area they tend to scratch.
I covered 75% of my cupboard top with these strips – all running at an angle.
She stopped scratching the cupboard top…
…and just moved her attention elsewhere!
Again any hard surface, or paper, is the item of choice. I have to show you this morning’s effort.
I didn’t actually realise I still had the packaging. It’s been months since I bought the sticky strips. But Saffron ‘uncovered’ the packaging from somewhere and proceeded to chew bites off the paper (and spit them out) until I found myself well and truly awake!
Whenever this happens, I try very hard NOT to get up at that moment. I don’t want to reinforce her victory. So I set the alarm for a few minutes time and force myself to put up with her destructive behaviour until the alarm goes off. Then I get up to the alarm as if it had nothing to do with her. I do wonder sometimes whether she thinks her scratching makes the alarm go off…????
I had no sooner booted up the computer to write this post about Saffy’s morning antics, when both of them, leapt into my lap where my laptop was about to go.
Typing over the top of cats, can be a challenge!
It seems that laps are for cats and not laptops. At present, we have reached a compromise situation which looks a little like this…
That is Saffron on about 2/3rd of my lap and my laptop perched on the remaining knee. It makes for rocky and uncomfortable typing so this blog post is about to end (and Saff will be victorious).
Actually this is reallly about to end because Licorice has weeviled her way between me and the keyboard and I am now typing over the top of her.
And Saffron is snoring…
If she’d bloody slept past 5:30am, she wouldn’t need a nap now!
‘You have to turn your phone off, so you don’t get international roaming fees.’ says Andrew.
‘Well, what am I to use for an alarm clock then? Without my phone and Licorice, I’d be lost!’
Hmm… Licorice in the luggage.The first challenge there would be whether she would fit. Licorice has a wider than average girth. That said, she is a cat. If any creature can fit itself into a space that is too small for it’s body, a cat can! Challenge one dismissed.
The second challenge would be convincing her it was a good idea.
Second challenge dispelled. The girls have ‘packed’ themselves.
Third challenge? Customs.
‘Miss, you appear to have some organic matter in your luggage?’
Hmm… cat alarm clock plan fail. Ah, but it would have made a good story for Border Security!
It’s been a week of coming home to just start work again. I’m preparing a 2 hour workshop for a conference – hence the lack of blogging.
In the furry circles it’s business as usual. I think Andrew is needing to negotiate his place in the bed. As I write this, Licorice and Saffron have placed themselves on my overcoat. No wonder when I was at the quilt show last week, one of the stall owners asked me if I had a cat! I looked down at my dress to find evidence of the awesome foursome.
By the royal power invested in us from the planet of Feline, we hereby declare that this armchair is now the property of the species tortoise shell and no human can enter. Bribery in the form of chest and head salutes will be considered momentarily and although we like this ‘patting’ currency, we will still reject all human efforts to take position of said armchair.
In short, it’s ours.