A Little Helper

This post is for animal lovers, and cats in particular.

If you love cats, I’m fairly certain you’ve been exasperated by one as well. They have a way of growing on you, inserting their little personalities into your life…and then have you scratching your head as to why you’re sharing your home with them. That statement right there is part of the problem. It isn’t your home, it’s theirs.

I posted almost four years ago about some kittens that my husband found at the Transfer Station. It’s a neat story, and brings me to tears every time I read it. Happy ending of course!

Two of those three kittens made their home with us. Now they are big cats, with personalities to go with it. The furniture is theirs, the kitchen counters, and my desk. We have some birds that made their home along the eaves of our house, just above the windows where I write. So of course, it was terrible of me to put my desk area in the cat’s space for bird watching. This is my little helper most mornings.

Her name is Callie. She can be a sweetheart, especially with her mother, our youngest daughter, Catherine. But don’t engage her in something she doesn’t want to do. Taking her from my desk when she’s sitting on my keyboard can be dangerous.

Callie is very social, eating meals with us. She’s sits on the long bench at our dining table, usually next to Catherine. Her little head pokes over the top of the table, her eyes blinking, giving us love. Sometimes the paws come up so she can get a better view. If you try to remove her, you could be bitten as my husband experienced a few days ago. She’s quick! She certainly keeps the grandchildren on their toes. They usually give her a wide berth when she’s sitting somewhere giving them the eye.

This is Callie checking the time before her shower.

Feonie is Callie’s sister. Her demeanor is a little better. She loves neck snuggles, and isn’t so quick to strike out. But lately she gets in a bad mood and will give Catherine the eye. This began after Catherine put them on a little diet. Instead of having their dry food out all the time, they now have meals. Neither cat is liking the new routine. It’s making them a bit cranky.

Feonie spends much of her day in the little cat bed at my feet, curled into a tight ball. She appreciates a little petting every now and then. Feonie has taken to playing with the water running down the shower curtain after we take showers. This began about a month ago. Two shower curtains later we are draping it over the faucet. Cat claws and plastic don’t fair well. My light-blocking curtains can attest to that as well!

There are days I regret very much sharing my home with cats. The mornings I get up to find a broken glass and water on the floor from playtime on the counters during the night. The days that the cats choose to fight and chase one another across the counter with my just-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie bars cooling. The times when we’d really like to sit in a certain chair, but it’s taken for a cat nap…by an actual cat.

I prefer cats over dogs. Always have. Someday I vow to not have any animals in the house. We’ll see. There are always pictures such as these that make them hard to resist.

Sometimes It Hurts

It is a sad day at our house. The two babies, (the two kittens) my husband rescued, were taken to the Helping Hands shelter in Topeka, Kansas, where we pray they find good and loving homes. They were only with us for almost three weeks, but they became a part of our lives very quickly. I must be getting old, but the emotional upheaval is more than I can stand. 20205746_10207245748420537_865269655_o

I sincerely pray that loving families adopt them, and that they have a good life. At least we know that three weeks of their lives were better than what they would have been if my husband hadn’t found them.

Last Friday night, our older cat came to the back door to eat. Cassie was to be an indoor cat, and for the most part for much of her life she was. But she really enjoyed the outdoors, and she was a very savvy cat. She would jump to the garage roof when it was not safe in the yard, and observe whatever dog, skunk, or intruder from her perch. When I left for work at 5:30 am, if Cassie was outside, and on the roof, I woke my husband to walk me to the car. Something was not right outside. Cassie would greet us each time we arrived home, running to our car and waiting for us to open the doors, greeting us with a “meow!”.

The arrival of the kittens didn’t make her happy. At one time, she rarely stayed outside after we went to bed. She would obediently come in when called, sleep with our youngest daughter, usually under the covers, and then head out again in the morning. During the cold months, her time outside didn’t last long, and on really frigid days, her nose was all that peeked out. But with the kittens here, she preferred to eat outside, or quickly in the kitchen, and then she left.

Last Friday night was the last evening she came for supper. We have called and searched, and Cassie has not answered. She was born the November of 2006, and became part of our family around Christmas time. She was a good cat.

So, we lost not one, but three cats over the past couple of days. Our hearts are heavy, and sadness meets us each time we enter a room where they once played, or snuggled on the sofa. And for now, I don’t want to hurt like this again for any family pet. I’ve lost too many over the years.

Our youngest daughter is devastated of course. I can’t blame her, but it’s the reality of life. One that I don’t understand, one that I don’t want to live through again. At times like these, you think it best to not care for anything, not let your heart melt at the touch of a kitten on your toes, or the soft feel of their fur against your cheek. For if you care for no one, or about nothing, you have little to lose. Right?

This life is painful at times. Your heart is ripped from your chest, and wounds are tore open, left to bleed. The loss of a loved one or a family pet is never forgotten. But it does ease in time. Time softens the sharp edges of pain, and blurs the memory just a bit. And I’m thankful for that. Maybe someday another cat will share our home, maybe Cassie will still return. But for now, that sharp pain is there. And I don’t like it. This is Cassie, taken last autumn.14536809_10155389110863009_1992044396_o

New Kitten On the Block

Babies of all kinds are special in my opinion. Kittens are adorable, and very difficult to turn your back on. This is why we are currently foster parents to a kitten. Is our elderly cat excited about this? Not really. Cassie has seemed to forget her days as the baby on the block.

About a week ago, our fourth child heard the plaintiff cries of a kitten outside the apartment she and her husband live in. Of course it was one of the days it was very cold outside. Our second child agreed to take the little orphan to the shelter. No animals allowed at the apartment.

Well, as you know, kittens are adorable. Second child decided to bring the baby home but after some discussion, the cute little guy ended up here. He is not to make this his home forever, more of a stopping place until the second or fourth child has the ability to shelter a cat.

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He comes with a hip set of dishes and this cool kitten carrier. The currently youngest grandchild really loves the little guy! 15368983_10154833407218804_1284910142_o

After much discussion, the name of Pip was decided upon. It compliments him very well. He has a wonderful personality and he’s done a fantastic job of cleaning out all the little areas around the house that I can’t reach. He also loves to sit on my shoulder while I’m trying to write. My lap doesn’t seem to be as comfortable, and if you’re under the desk, you can’t watch the cursor jump around! So now, for serious writing, (which I really need to get back to), the office door is closed, with Pip mewling from the other side.

There’s been a few failed attempts to locate the litter box, but now that Pip can jump off our youngest’s high bed, that doesn’t seem to be happening. Huge sigh there! So, Pip is a great new, temporary addition to our family. Unless you talk with our older cat, Cassie!

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Yes, I have featured her before. She has seemed to forgotten that at one time, she was the new baby coming into our home. She also arrived around Christmas time, at just about the same age. And now it’s been 10 years! She earned the respect and finally the love of our cat, Daisy at the time. Daisy wasn’t around for very long after Cassie arrived, maybe a year or so. Daisy was also a stray, found outside our house one cold evening when we returned home from AWANA. Kittens are cute, they are hard to ignore and now you know the scenario!

Cats are much like people. They have to establish the boss and their territory. And Cassie is putting Pip through  his paces right now, just as Daisy did to Cassie all those years ago. Daisy and Cassie became great friends, almost inseparable. When one was sleeping, the other was there. When Daisy had to leave, Cassie was devastated and lonely. She cried for days. And I don’t think she has ever adjusted to being alone.

The dance has begun. The games that we all play in this life. It amazes me each time I watch the elder and the younger, and the resemblance to my five children and their interactions at times.  This is my space, my food, my family! I’ll tease and I’ll play, but you’ll have to beg me first. If you walk past, be aware because I will swat you and make you earn the right to be here…every, single, time.

Cassie and Pip now touch noses, and just yesterday they were eating side by side. Soon, I expect to see them cuddled together, purring with  contentment. And now, maybe Cassie can spend her later years with a friend that understands what it means to be a…cat.

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Just some other cute kitties for your enjoyment!