Wednesday 23 September 2015

Some boxes seem bigger on the inside. The nice thing about being a cat is our flexibility. Now, I'm not just talking about the flexibility one must possess when living with the large furless humans, but that is definetly a must! Humans, probably because of their size, sometimes seem to think that they run the show, but we know better, don't we. (Just think about all of the times we stretch out on their activities, and as a reward, they pet us and coo at us, and make us feel loved. Speaking of which, I think I see some laundry that needs folding and is decidedly too hairless...


Now I'm back, where was I? Ah yes, a cat's wonderful flexibility. Besides being able to do yoga while having a bath, and being able to fit into tight spaces that we can then attack the humans from, cats are incredibly resillient in the face of the whims of the large hairless beasts with which we live.  Humans often seem to operate on a schedule of sorts, which dictates when then (and unfortunately when we,) should eat. When a cat is hungry, we feed. End of story. Therefore, it can be very frustrating to have to wait until the humans are ready to open a can, or drop down a few treats throughout the day. Yes, I know a lot of us have kibble constantly at our desposal, but really, if a human isn't serving us directly, I consider it more of a self-scavanged snack, rather than a meal.

Then there is the perceived language barrier. (I say perceived because we can fully understand most of the gutteral sounds humans throw at us, but if we jumped when they grunted "jump", we might not get away with half of our most enjoyed pass-times).  I could be laying on a sewing project, or laundry, or a book the little ones are trying to read, or a paper the humans are trying to write on, and I actually have to wait till after a series of gutteral squacks and grunts from the hairless ones are uttered, to be petted! I don't care what you're saying, just pet me! If I wanted to have a conversation with you, I would talk to you the way the rest of the animal kingdom does, through body language. So come on big hairless ones, talk with your hands, on my back, and under my chin, and on the back of my neck...purr. Oh, and by the way, when a cat purrs, he or she is not saying "I love you", we are saying "don't stop", and you should listen.

So with these things in mind, the next time you are frustrated that you must wait for your feline to move from something you misguidedly feel is important, remember how long we've been waiting for you, each and every day. Take it to heart, give me a pat, listen when I purr, grab a can...feed me.

Friday 17 July 2015

The down side of having a hurt paw is that I seem to have been robbed of my precious and beloved outside time. The humans have decided that I need rest to recover, (I'll be thanking the vet for that one later). Since I enjoy my time outside so much by climbing trees (and jumping down), perching on fence posts (and jumping down),  Hanging out on the porch (and jumping down), and just jumping up on (and down from) anything that I deem will give me a good vantage point, they've all decided that if I'm allowed out, I may continue to re-injure my paw. Inside is no better, they won't let me jump at all.

The humans have decided I need help doing everything. The mini-humans have begun to make it their life's mission to take over all (but one, thank goodness, I doubt the little beastie would fit into my private covered kitty litter), aspects of my life. Cans are brought to me (which is fine, but I hate eating lying down). The mini-humans have also decided that I require the same things to get better as they do when they are sick, so I have been dealing with so much love lately. I have been covered in warm blankets, they have inundated me with stuffed animals any time I try to catch a nap, and they even help me up onto and down from furniture (sometimes whether I'm ready to move to or not).

Don't they have anything better to do? Can't they get jobs? Why do they have to love me so much when I clearly just barely tolerate them? Oh the folly of it all! I am perched in the window, staring longingly at great outdoors, and tiny feet are coming. Can't you see that I want to be alone?  What are you doing? Oh, wait, petting me? Well yes, I suppose you have gotten rather better at that, even if you still try to pick me up with my back end in the air and my hurt paw on the ground.  Oh, the neck, yes, that's it...a little to the left, mmm-hmm, that's the spot. Oh mini-human, don't get too excited, I'm just purring, but it's more for me than you. How about the sides of my face? Yes, that's it. Alright, maybe you're not so bad. Perhaps when you're done here you can go ahead and get me another can. I suppose I can allow you to give me a little more love...feed me.

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Friday 26 June 2015

The Downfall of being High Up

Being up high is wonderful until a bad landing brings you down.  Let us examine the many reasons that many felines like myself enjoy climbing or jumping to a position of loftiness.

Reason 1: Because we can.
Reason 2: Felines in general should never be looked down on.
Reason 3: If we expect our humans to look up to us, we must put ourselves in a position that forces them to do so, they so often need our guidance, you see.
Reason 4: Because we can.
Reason 5: Why not?
Reason 6: Being high up in a tree brings us closer to possible nests, and therefore fast food in the literal sense.
Reason 7: See reasons 1 & 4.
Reason 8: A higher vantage point affords us a better look around, so we can be ever vigilant against foes crossing into our territory, food crossing into our territory, or more land that will become more of our territory.
Reason 9: Indoors, climbing and jumping allows us to see out of windows that we may not be able to see out of otherwise, and it's more convenient when we're feeling lazy and don't want to have to wait for a human to open a door for us to see what's going on outside, before immediately coming back in, and out, and in.
Reason 10: It allows us to claim things for our own that are special to the humans. After all, they've gone to all of that trouble to position the things up where the mini humans can't get them...but we can.

Now personally, one of my favourite places to sleep is on one of the larger human's over-night bag that is kept packed on the top of the tallest bookshelf.  It happens to be positioned between two doorways, and has a perfect view not only of most of the house, but also gives me a vantage point out the front and back doors.  Also, no one else comes up here and the mini-humans can't reach, therefore it is mine. Now, I'm an excellent jumper.  I don't bother wasting time with taking smaller steps down from most things that I jump and climb on.  Instead, I exhibit my agility and prowess by simply jumping all the way down to the ground. I am chagrined to say that this time it has been my downfall.

I am afraid that I landed awkwardly. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure exactly what happened. It's possible that I was distracted by the sound of an opening can or the click of the laser pointer, but I can't say for sure.  All I know is that for weeks I haven't been able to walk on it properly.  The bad side of this is that felines rarely if ever choose to show any weakness, and I'm afraid everyone noticed right away and made a fuss. The good news is that I've been able to milk this for all it's worth, and the fuss continues. My humans do everything for me now, from lifting me up onto the bed or couch, or a nice vantage point near an opened window so I can smell all the good smells that I'm missing outside, to lifting me down from anything I am up on, just so I don't keep re-injuring my paw.

He he he! The humans even bring me my can of food to wherever I'm sitting or lounging at the time! Now, this is a delicate balancing act that I'm having to maintain.  One day I made the mistake of lowering my paw and attempted to limp on it.  The humans caught wind of this and the food can was returned to the bowl area because I was "getting better." Well, I made sure to jump down off of something in front of the humans, which put them all in a panic, how grand! Anyway, I was able to resume being tri-pedal, which I've gotten very good at, and the cans have once again come to me covered in salmon oil as my "medicine."

The best part of the whole endeavour was when they took me to the vet. Now, I've seen the other cats in my home become a whirling dirvish of teeth and claws when it comes to the cat carrier, but I like to keep my humans guessing. I watched my older humans worry and stress out about the appointment for days leading up to it. Finally, when the time came, they opened the door to the carrier, ready to force me into it wearing oven mits and arming themselves with a towel.  Well, you should have seen the shock on their faces when I simply walked in, laid down, and began to purr. We carried on to the vet, who massaged me, petted me, told me what a good cat I am (of course I am as long as you keep up the petting, bub,) and even took me into a room to take x-rays. It wasn't so bad, all I had to do was lie there (which I would do anyway,) and get stroked and cooed at, and let's face it, who doesn't love that?  I was returned to my humans, and then to my home with nothing but a glowing review and a couple of doses of medicine.  I even overheard them telling my bigger human to keep giving me the salmon oil! The vet is great. We should go back there more often. I know I'm a good cat. I know I'm simply priceless, so now why don't you do what you do best...feed me.

Saturday 9 May 2015

Boxes are wonderful nondescript hiding places, but drawers work well too.  The trick to really hiding from, or scaring the bejeezus out of a human, is to hid while they're not looking. This can require a good deal of observing your humans to become familiar with their habits when opening and closing drawers.  After all, you don't want to ruffle your fur or get a paw or tail caught due to their clumsiness or nonobservance. Therefore, learn the signs that your humans exhibit before taking a chance at an opened drawer.  Things to look for:

1) The speed at which your human is walking
2) The speed of their guttural utterances
3) The volume of their attempted speech

These things can all be cues to how much of a rush your human is in.  If their gait and speed are rushed, they are likely what they call LATE, (Laziness Attributing to Tardy Endeavors), and if their voices are raised, and possibly accompanied by cursing, my advice is to just avoid them completely. To approach a human in this state will produce fruitless yields. In this harried frame of mind, they're not going to stop to feed you, (trust me, I've tried). If you choose that time to stroll gracefully across their path, you can be sure there will be no petting, and worse, they may trip, and though you'll be secretly laughing inside, it might land you outside on a drizzly rainy day.

Instead, watch for when your humans are stuck in one spot doing something they don't enjoy but are required to do, like laundry.  This usually happens in the middle of one of those days that the humans are house-bound, so you might as well take advantage of their logy dispositions. I have found that since the coming of the mini-humans, now the large ones will leave the room to stuff the miniature naked body coverings into spaces in the mini-humans' room. If perchance the large human quits the bedroom you are in with an awkward armload, look to see if they have left you an opened drawer.  A good system is to sprawl out on the top of the dresser so you can act fast the second they leave. Then you can quickly drop down into the drawer and slither in against the back of it so that the socks or shirts can partially obscure you. Now you are camouflaged well and can plan your next step, be it sleeping, or waiting until the human returns and reaches in an unsuspecting hand with another pair of folded socks.

If you're lucky, and let's be honest, as long as there are mini-humans in the house, there is a good possibility of the following happening; one of the little hairless things will spill or break something, leaving you a good chunk of undisturbed time to have a well deserved nap. The other wonderful side to this is that when they attempt to wear the body coverings at a later time, you will successfully have left your mark on them. After a good long nap, during which time they are forced to leave their folding, I kindly remind them that they can take another quick break as I stretch and meow...feed me.

Monday 9 March 2015

When humans invite more humans to come over, it is such a chore.  It's almost impossible to sleep with the constant communication of guttural noises and grunts, and the need for constant movement in order to remain the centre of attention.  Inevitably, a box will be opened on a central table, and cards, papers, and little pieces made of plastic or wood will appear.  These will be laid out on the table in some format or pattern. Their talking begins to come in turns, which they call a GAME.  I believe this to stand for Guttural Announcements Making Enjoyment, as it is often paired with boisterous laughter which comes in unladylike guffaws.

These GAMEs are another reason it is almost impossible to sleep when company comes over.  I have tried to participate in these GAMEs by sitting myself daintily on the table in the midst of their GAME items, but they don't seem to understand my refined mode of speech. This is when I try to play along by batting around their tantalizing little pieces. Instead of the normal guffaws following my turn however, I am instead banished to a nearby stack of blankets.

The Guffaws continue, and I remain awake.  Another down side to company coming is that the humans are so busy preparing for the visit, that they often forget to open a fresh can for me on time.  So There I am forced to lay, hungry and awake, and missing my beauty rest. Thankfully, it is only a matter of time before the company leaves, and 4:00 am rolls around.  If the humans find it entertaining to keep me up, then I will gladly repay the favour.  

The plan follows thusly: First, I will silently jump up on the bed and begin to walk back and forth on the bed, curling up somewhere around their feet.  My accompanied purring lulls them back into a deep, comfortable sleep. After their breathing has once again become deep and rhythmic, I will rise, and walk across them from one side to the other, back and forth until they stir.  If they don't stir, I might add in a quiet "meow," to let them know I appreciate them.  After all, who doesn't want to feel appreciated and loved in the dead of night? This is sometimes when a flying pillow or flailing arm will attempt to forcefully move me, however, that just adds the necessary bit of danger to make the revenge all the sweeter. Once they have settled down again, it is time to really annoy them. I will take the direct path up their body to the human's face. Here, I have so many options available to me.  I can sleep on it's hair, tickle their face with the fur on my tail, bat at their nose, or lick their soft lips with my sandpaper tongue. (That's always fun, and comes with it's own Guttural Announcement Making Enjoyment for me!). In the end, we both get what we want. The humans come out of their slumber enough to realize that the only way they will get me to leave off, is by getting up...dragging themselves through the cold air to the other room...and after stumbling around in the dark for a can...feed me.

Thursday 5 March 2015

It takes a lot of agility and skill to be able to make what the humans call a "kitty taco", or my favourite, the "Amazing Kitty Taco", or AKT. I love hiding, what cat doesn't, and being able to create cover for oneself in their surroundings is a very useful tool when stalking ankles, other cats, or when trying to avoid the mini-humans. This is advantageous when you just want to be left alone. You see, they haven't quite learned yet to look in things to find other things they may be searching for.  Poor things, one day they'll learn how much richer their lives can be if they start looking in the bag of cookies instead of at it. Of course, they might, if they had the jumping skills that I have, but let's face it, bipedal humans have as much skill in speed and jumping as a sloth trying to cross the road. (Alright, if we're going to be honest, they have slightly more skill than that, but my mini-humans haven't found their true potential yet, so my previous statement, for the moment, stands).

Making an "Amazing Kitty Taco" is versatile, be cause you can do it almost anywhere; the rug by the door, (a bonus, because it is full of all the wonderful outdoor smells the humans track in), or anywhere else there is material laying around.  Humans create many opportunities for us to make "Kitty tacos", and because they are so simple once you have the knack, any room in the house can become a hiding spot.  I particularly like the rug by the door for the obvious smells that I already mentioned, but also because it it right at ankle level, so when people pass by...well, you can just imagine their surprise, and my unbridled joy.  But there are other valid possibilities with other benefits. Sometimes there are blankets on the couches, so you can stay warm, comfy, have a nap, and scare the pants off of the next human that tries to sit down and cover themselves up.  I like this choice in the winter when the temperature in the house is particularly low.  It increases the frequency of possibly attacks...I mean warm comfy naps.

Laundry piles that the humans have walked away from (usually due to the actions of the mini-humans), are a wonderful place for an AKT, especially if you can make one in a way where the humans can't really tell that you've done it. If they do notice your AKT, don't worry, the humans feel that they are incredibly cute. But alas, there will be no exposed ankles anywhere near you; they will guard them well.

If one of the humans is in the middle of a sewing project, that is a great time to make a "Kitty Taco". They often lay out the material to cut it, and this is when you strike.  Run onto the material, flop on your side, grab the material with all of your claws, front and back, and roll over.
This is a great activity to do with your human, as they will repeatedly try to straighten their material, so you can have many attempts at making your "Kitty Taco" until it is perfect...or they give up and leave you in warmth (whichever is first).

So for now, I will cozy up here and wait for an unsuspecting ankle to venture near.  Perhaps they will scream, perhaps they will jump, they may even wet themselves.  In some cases they may even try to lure me out to make a safe place to walk.  To do this, they will make many attempts, and in the end...feed me.

Friday 20 February 2015

Snow is wonderful. For some reason, canines seem to have discovered this, and yet a lot of felines remain in denial.  Too many cats cringe at the offer of an open door to the snowy wilderness.  Sure, some may venture out a few feet, only to perform that domestic dance.  You know the one I'm talking about, the same one that those same cats perform during the after-rainy period when they're willing to go out once again.  Each paw does a little step-shake, step-shake, step-shake as they walk.

Frankly, I find it a little embarrassing. It's one of the few times that my species shows any kind of weakness. Here, I think some tough love might be in order.You really can't sugar coat a talking to with a cat.  To be completely honest, we don't care enough to listen.  As long as you aren't petting or feeding us, you will be granted about a three second attention span, and that's when we're feeling generous.  So I urge you humans to help steer the weaker members of the feline race into growing a little braver.  The next time you see one of us do the little step-shake because of something cold or wet getting on our paws, lovingly gaze at us to show your devotion (not for too long though, remember you only have three seconds tops), and use your guttural human sounds to chastise the pussy-cat, and call it a "Princess".

You will find this technique will be especially effective with mousers, bird catchers, tomcats, and any male cat that still has his cojones in tact. Either way, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the results.  On the one hand, the cat might squint at you and will then sulk away, unimpressed by your name-calling.  You have won!  There will be no more step-shake to his gait.  Sure he might show you his discontent later by clawing your french doors, or hocking up a hairball on your designer pillow shams, but you should be proud of yourself for lowering the number of tender-foot kitties by one.

The other possible outcome to this scenario is that the cat will realize that you are right for calling it a "princess", and will turn tail and hurry back inside your warm domicile. Then, because it's happy-outside-time has been interrupted so rudely, he or she will need comforting.  Your cat will rub against your legs (especially if you are wearing black pants), and may hop up on the couch for a nice brushing or petting.  Again, you have won, as you have proven yourself a good provider for giving your cat, well, whatever it desires.

So for now I will enjoy the outdoors.  I will frolic in the snow mounts, catch falling bits of snow from trees, or track imaginary mice that may or may not actually be under the snow.  I will spend some quality outdoor time with my humans, and prove to them that I can still climb trees even when it's sub-zero weather.  Perhaps I'll have that cuddle when my humans go in.  They might brush me, give me treats for being adorable, play laser pointer, feed me treats for being cute, play with a string and let me give chase, or feed me treats because I'm not a "princess". They will appreciate my snow play, and be amazed by me (and who wouldn't).  Just remember, when you're all tuckered out and have run out of treats...feed me.

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