Posts Tagged 'cats'

Introducing…Cats in the House

My usual distractions seem to be MIA (read – my procrastination techniques) so I thought it would be a good time to introduce to you, my roomies and tell you a little bit about them. I did promise to do that a while back. I’m writing a short e-book about our travels halfway across Canada where you will get to know them better. I’m pretty sure it will be a freebie.

The oldest is Cfer. She was actually Uncle Andrew’s cat, but for reasons I won’t get into here, she ended up coming to live with us. She is a Siamese cross. Her markings are mostly tabby, but she has dark blue eyes. When people come to visit, Cfer is always the favourite. She never has met a stranger and loves equally, anyone who is kind to her. p.s.  yesterday, Cfer got out of the house somehow, and the dogs had her cornered under the deck. Mum didn’t realize and assumed it was the feral cat hanging around here. When she went out later, she recognized Cfer’s meow under there. It had been raining so Cfer came in a muddy mess!

Cfer in the sun

 

 

Gus is the gal who came to live with Mum when I did. Gus and I are just a week apart in age. Gus is a big boned gal, with lots of grey fur. She has bright, yellow eyes – an oddity in this household. She has a very sweet, high voice and sounds like a very tiny kitten when she vocalizes. Not that she often does, but every now and then she goes on a tear. She loves it when the Pen lazer comes out. It’s really the only exercise she gets!

Gus in the sun

 

 

Gretchen – the baby – came to live with us quite a while after the three of us had settled into our cat routine. Did she ever shake things up! She is like a little kid and always will be, I suspect. She is a Siamese cross too, with seal points (for those who don’t know, the points are ears, nose, tail and toes and Seal refers to ‘almost black’.) She is a ‘cross’ because her points aren’t perfect; she has white on her toes. Actually she kind of wears mitts. She is a polydactyl, so she has extra toes on both her front and hind feet. Her front feet look like she is wearing baseball mitts and her hind feet look like snowshoes. Her attitude matches her somewhat goofy appearance. She is in every way, the baby of the family. She prances around with her tail straight up and the tip waving back and forth. Happy personified. When she wants some motherly love, she demands it, either seizing Mum at whatever she is doing and curling up by her neck and nuzzling whatever is in reach or by literally  climbing up her legs like a toddler, with her arms up as if saying ‘pick me up, Mummy!’ Gretch was abandoned way too young, but she is pretty well adjusted after-all. Mum calls her mostly, Kitten or Baby.

Gretchen as a kitten 

 

 

Gretchen and Gus were given their names by Mums human kids. Andrew named Gus for reasons we haven’t figured out, and Heather named Gretchen for reasons we won’t mention. Mum named me for Andrew because he and I both have an ‘attitude’. Cfer was given her name because they  couldn’t think of one. She became Cfer – as in C for Cat. She responds to it when she wants to so I guess that worked.

And finally, here is a picture of me as I haven’t figured out to get me on here otherwise…

Handsome Andy

 

 

 

P.S. Watch for the next post. It’s kind of a funny story from the E-book Mum and I are writing…

Cat Spraying – We’ve Weathered the Storm…

Last post, we talked about inappropriate inside behaviour, ie. marking. In cat parley that means backing up to a vertical service and peeing a few short bursts to ‘claim’ the area. It is very typical behaviour but obviously for inside cats, not a desirable trait. Andy and I had several serious chats about this.

I also went online and checked out a few forums. I highly recommend www.thecatsite.com . Their forum has a lot of information and tips. I also have referred before to www.calgaryhumanesociety.com as they have a number of very informative articles.

But back to our experience….Andy has never done this before except once when he was very young. I suddenly remembered that incident in the thick of wanting to smack him silly. (I didn’t, of course, but I had a lot of terse questions for him.) As I watched the behaviour escalate, I remembered him leaping up onto the loveseat a few years ago, and doing a double take at a dish towel I had left over the back of it, when the phone rang. Evidently he resented the intrusion and backed his hiney to it and gave it a spritz, while I was on the phone, right in front of me! I mention this as it is apparently a normal response and not really a cause for worry.

Fast forward to recent weeks. We had a skunk in the yard, and all the dogs found it and got sprayed. It is Spring, and as this is a rural area, there are feral cats about and males are likely marking their territory and females of course are in heat. A squirrel has found its way into the attic and is making proprietary noises. And – darnit! it’s Spring!

Now if you visit the websites I’ve mentioned you will find references to tin foil on areas where the brat is spraying (great idea), double sided tape, cat pheromone spray, odour eliminators (plain old vinegar works well in this regard too, btw) and spraying with a water sprayer when you catch them in the act. The course of action in all cases, is to first find where the spraying is occurring (this can be accomplished, in the dark, with the aid of a black-light), applying an odour eliminator and then a pheromone spray. If these measures don’t work, tin foil as a temporary measure can work very well. If taped up on the favoured spots, the sound of the spray, and the back-spray is off-putting. 

One thing that is not mentioned much, but in our case was critical, is that cats do get a little stir crazy! Especially, obviously, inside cats which of course mine are. So! I opened up the basement door. Ordinarily the cats are not allowed down there. This seems to have alleviated the problem. Now Andy has some new territory to explore and his frustration level has gone down. He still scratches at the french door, wanting out into the ‘Big Yonder’ but he is much more relaxed. Pure frustration will lead a cat to spraying behaviour. It’s not that he wants to be bad – he just sometimes doesn’t know what else to do.

Some cats are fine amusing themselves and others require a lot of stimulation. Mine are a mixed herd, so this year, I will have a run built. The cats will access it through an inside window with a pet door built in. It will be very high at the house end and be like a lean-to. It will have chicken wire all around, including underground, with the grass and sod laid over the ground portion. There will be a door for me to go in and out, from the outside, so I can change litter boxes. And it will have all manner of climbing and hanging toys.

I cannot risk them going about free. Too many predatory animals and birds. But I think they will benefit from some sun and air, and perhaps I will never have to gape in outrage as my ‘angel Andy’ pees on my couch again.

Revved Again!

We’re kinda sorta revved again. Mum feels crappy – flu – so I decided to let her have this spot. I am such a great guy!BTW – we have had issues with this blog and paragraph spacing. All problems, we blame on the server….lolAnyway, if you see no line spacing or paragraph spacing, try to think you are reading a James Joyce piece, and go with with the flow. We do see the proper spacing as we type….Anyway, here is Mum.Barb here: not altogether – together. I’m suffering the Flu. But I had such an inspiring day! I just wanted to share some of my stuff. (Not the Flu, of course)I finalized all the rest of my travel arrangements today, for Dr. Joe Vitale’s www. attractwealthseminar.com to be held the first weekend in May. And I found out that one of my very good Second Life friends (who shares a birthday with me, and guess when….of course – the weekend of the seminar!) is thinking about attending too. I’m so excited. And another good friend from Unseminar 4 may be in the area too. Some of these online and long distance friends have become the most important and special people of my life. I love them all so much!In between times, I somehow got fired up again about Andy’s book on Newbie Cat Care. It’s almost done. Look for it. There is nothing like it anywhere on the internet. It is so cool! 

Never say ‘Never’

Mum suggested today that,  since I am just getting started, maybe I could use one of her articles as a starting point. That seems like a plan.  So this blog post may be lengthy – it’s a true story, with a message. She’s going to do the work of course. I am busy carting around a huge paper ball in my mouth.

So here goes.

Not Too Late – Not Too Far

 The telephone ringing interrupted the conversation I was having with a prospective volunteer. She wanted to volunteer at the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter to help assuage the loss of her beloved cat, who had gone missing during a move from Watson Lake to Whitehorse, the middle of that winter. The cat would have been on its own for several weeks by this time.

“Have you checked at Whitehorse By-Law? – OK, what type of cat? – Long or short hair? – Colour?  Male or female? – Was it wearing a collar? – And it’s missing from where?” “OK, this will go on the pet report and will be in the papers tomorrow and on the radio. If you find your cat, please let us know and we’ll get it off the report. Good luck.”

These calls are all too frequent and sad. The percentage of recovered missing pets is very small and the numbers nationally, are even worse. The Pet Report was one of the first community services provided by Humane Society Yukon and continues to this day. And it does sometimes re-unite pets with owners.

My prospective volunteer was listening with interest. “Could I do that?” she asked. “Even after all this time?”

“Can’t think why not! Who knows? Give me your info and we’ll see.” 

She gave me very detailed information on her cat who had disappeared just before she was due to start a new job in Whitehorse. Her cat had some distinctive features, including very exaggerated tufted ears that were noted on the Pet Report. It is always a sickening experience to have to leave a pet behind, and worse if the pet is lost. Animals have a sense when change is imminent and they don’t like change any more than we human animals do. They will often disappear at times like this. It’s good to be aware of this and take precautions.

The Pet Report was sent off about six o’clock that evening and was published the next day in both local papers. Two days after that, the volunteer came in to the shelter with tears in her eyes to let me know that she’d had a call from Watson Lake from a man who said that only the day before he had found a cat of that description – those ears – under his porch and skinny, but alive and glad to have been found. She was re-united with her cat soon after.

The moral is – make no assumptions; do everything you can think of to let as many people as possible know, that you are looking for a particular animal. Give as much detail as you can, regarding appearance and distinguishing marks or features. And don’t think it’s too late ever. For this lady and her cat, it was not too late – or too far.

Copyright – Barb Harris 2005

Welcome, Welcome, WELCOME!

My very first blog post!

You will have gathered that I am a cat. I am a red-head too – that is, a flame point Siamese. There is a theory amongst my (Human) Mum’s in-law’s that anyone named Andrew or a derivation thereof and has red hair, is bound to be trouble. That may be true, but I will let others be the judge of that.

My plan here is to offer advice, anecdotes, stories and a place for you, feline or human, or any other species for that matter, to visit and exchange ideas. I have a short e-book ready for editing, that I will be offering as a freebie here. I am hoping too, that you will share your stories with me for possible future publication.

Soon you will meet the folks I share my home with, where the feline residents rule. In the meantime, though, I wish you all the best in 2008, and look forward to your comments and ideas.