cat life

Meet The Crew

MeetTheCrew

So here they are. The little dumplings that have me wrapped around their tiny paws. Don’t you just love ’em? Thelma and Weezy are sisters from the same litter and Buttons is one litter behind. It’s funny because they all get along and fight like sisters so it feels like the perfect reality show family! lol

Thelma is the quintessential cat. She will blink at you as if she is bored when you try and get her attention, but will run up and rub around your legs if she thinks you don’t notice her. Oh yeah, and she loves to sneak into the bathroom and furiously unroll the toilet paper, so we have been ‘trained’ to keep those doors closed.

Weezy is the princess. Demure and stately, she struts like a model on a runway as she makes her way around. And yet, if provoked by Buttons she will stand her ground. She loves little paper balls. Playing with them – and hiding them under the stove. We know this because she will literally lay on the floor sideways in front of it, one paw reaaaaching underneath until we notice her. And then we get down on the floor and retrieve her toy. No joke. I secretly think she gets a kick out of watching us get on the floor and get it out.  ; )

Buttons is sweet and sassy. Cute and devious. She knows how cute she looks when she rolls upside down, so now it has become a prompt when she wants something. And if we don’t take notice right away, she will go after the curtains to get our attention. She has a few little soft toy balls (that were once sparkly pom poms) that she loves to hide in various places. She uses her sweetest meow (translation: “I want my tooooooy”) to provoke us to hunt them down. I think she also loves to watch us move everything in the house trying to figure it out.

They are only four years old so they still have plenty of kitten in them. Every day is a new adventure and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

cat life

Cats Are People, Too!

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“I’m not crazy, my reality is just different than yours” – Cheshire Cat

Is it just me, or do you sometimes get the feeling that you have little furry semi-humans in your household? I noticed it when they were small, but the more we all spend time together and the older they get, the more I think of them as little cat people.

Take, for example, communication. As any pet owner will attest, pets are pretty savvy when it comes to conversation. I’m sure most folks think it applies more to dogs, but I beg to differ. Every day as I go through various routines, at least one of the girls is around to talk to. In the morning, it is usually Weezy who joins me as I am getting ready. And let me tell you, I think she looks forward to our ‘talks’ as much as I do. “How is my pretty girl today?” I always ask. She LOVES to hear that and responds favorably by jumping up on the bathroom counter and rubbing against me. Buttons especially responds to her name – even when we are talking about her and not to her. If we start a conversation and she is within earshot, we can see her little ears twitching around as she hones in on what we are saying and the minute her name pops up she’s all over it!

And personality. Each of the girls is looooaded with it. Weezy is quiet and shy – the lady of the group. Unless she is teased by Buttons, then her ninja side is unleashed. Buttons has been on the receiving end of a quick paw maneuver enough times to know she may as well give up but never does! Speaking of Buttons, don’t let her sweet face and cute demeanor catch you off guard. She knows how a simple roll upside down and reaching her little paws in your direction is just the right tactic to get what she wants. But don’t act fast enough and she knows where the curtains are and just how much we don’t want her little claws in them!

Thelma is the strong silent type, but still very playful and incredibly smart. She loves to get her ‘cheeks’ brushed, so she will sit in the back hallway outside the laundry room where we keep the brushes and let us know when it is time. We have a few brushes that we use to groom them, and one has tiny wire bristles. Thelma LOVES to rub her face against them so now when I see her sitting in the hallway I will say “Hey Thelma, are your cheeks itchy? Would you like me to brush them?” She always responds with enthusiastic meows. It is soo cute!

And intelligence. There is no question cats are smart cookies. Just let Google tell you. Google ‘Cat I.Q.’ and you may be surprised at just how many references there are. In fact, one article I came across said that behavioral specialists agree that a cats intelligence level is right up there with a 2-3 year old child! (Or is it behavior level? lol!)

Maybe this is why I am so passionate about what I do. I just love my little cat people. And I think when you finally catch on that that is what they are, they love you a little more, too!

cat life

Home is Where the Cat is

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Last Christmas a friend gave me a cute little sign that I keep on my desk. It says “Home is Where the Cat is”. Just another way of saying it is the cat that makes a home a home. But did you ever consider just how important home is to a cat?

Shortly after Thelma and Louise joined us, we were so caught up in the excitement of being new kitty parents that it didn’t even occur to us that we would need to think about their care during an upcoming weekend away. Fortunately the couple who rescued them came to our rescue as well, and graciously agreed to look after them that one time.

It was several months until our next trip, and by then we also had Buttons. What to do with three cats? Sure, several hotels now promote themselves as pet friendly so you don’t need to leave Mittens at home, but we were driving several hours and that would be really tricky with three cats. After a little research, we decided to give a local boarding place a try. We had heard good things about it, and with all of the options for play time and one on one care were sure it would be a good fit. So imagine our surprise when we stopped in to pick them up and it was evident that they did not like it at all!

I don’t think the boarding company did anything wrong, but after talking with a few other cat owners, I started to appreciate just how important familiar surroundings are to a cat. In hindsight it makes perfect sense. Cats are pretty territorial by nature, and are most comfortable in the environment they know. Especially indoor cats like ours. And when you factor in just a simple change like the absence of their owner, it is best to keep them where they feel most safe.

That said, cat sitters were a new concept to me. I was unfamiliar with entrusting my home and three babies to a complete stranger with the hope that he or she would be just as thorough in attending to everything as I. There are so many details in how we handle even the simplest of things. Take feeding, for example. We give them wet food twice daily. Divide the portion of one can three ways. But I also like to chop up any big chunks because I can’t understand how a little kitty is supposed to manage those huge bites! And litter boxes. We keep two in the basement and clean them twice daily, with a detailed scrubbing weekly. Would someone be able to match the way we do things detail for detail so the cats would get the same care?

It was a learning process, but we finally did find a good match. It’s interesting, because it was one of the things that led me to start doing it myself. There was something about knowing that if I had a specific need, others may have it, too. I really wanted to create a place where folks could feel completely safe knowing their cat was well cared for and loved. In fact, although he may not say it, I’m sure I drove my husband crazy with all of my ideas on how much better a service could be “if only they would do this” or “if only they would do that.” He used to always say “Relax, Maria. You are never going to find someone who will do things as good as you.” You know what, I think he’s right!  ; )

 

cat life

Cat Magic

“Do do….that voodoo….that you do so well…”

When Cole Porter sang “You Do Something To Me” I’m preeetttty sure he wasn’t referring to his cat! Althoooooough……

I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but there’s no question my kittos have me wrapped. And they don’t even try. Or do they? The thing is, it’s not hard to love a furry creature – any creature – let alone one that makes the smallest of cute baby gestures while purring. Or rolls upside down. Or looks at you sweetly right before climbing your curtains!!!! ; )

We currently have three, but according to Ernest Hemingway, “One cat leads to another” so maybe it is just a matter of time. The first to join the family were Thelma and Louise (Telmers and Weezy). Rescues that melted our hearts when a co-worker first shared their pictures as kittens. We didn’t originally set out to name them after movie characters, but upon bring them home it didn’t take long before Telmers squeezed her little tiny body through the small bars on the super expensive (and supposedly foolproof) cage we just purchased – with Weezy right behind her. So the names just fit. Buttons was a litter behind them. Once again, her picture had us at ‘pink nose’. Her name came from the little spot on her belly (belly ‘Button’) and the fact that she always knows how to push all the right Buttons in our hearts. Awwww……

That was a quick four years ago and already they have trained us well. So yes, it is true what they say about cats ruling the roost. Ha!

While I have learned to steer clear of cute cat pics from friends to avoid becoming the next Hemingway Home, I think – for the time being anyway – I am going to nurture my cat fixes by coddling and cooing your kittos. That’s good with you, right?