When the cat has cabin fever too

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Please let me in!

(It’s been several years since our sweet calico cat named Callie crossed the “rainbow bridge.” Just the other day I was thinking about her and remembered that I wrote a post back in February 2011 as if I were our kitty.  If you’re a long time reader of Mama’s Empty Nest, you may recall this. If not, I hope this repost amuses you.)

Don’t let them know, but after my humans left for church this morning, I turned on this contraption that Mama always seems to have on her lap now days instead of me.

I better let you know, it’s me typing this…Callie…the calico cat in the empty nest.  I don’t know why Mama keeps telling people she lives in an empty nest.   Excuse me, what am I, chopped liver

Chopped liver….that sounds pretty good actually.  Wait a minute while I scour the kitchen floor and see if they left any crumbs from breakfast lying around.

Drat, she must have swept the floor recently, nothing good to nom on.  Of course, my humans don’t eat chopped liver. 

If they did, I would know because I always instantly smell what they’re cooking or eating and patiently wait beside the kitchen table by the big tall one, the one my fun humans call Dad.  He’s a softie, that one.  He always gives me a few bites of whatever he eats.

The short round one who refers to herself as Mama, she’s a meanie.  Never gives me her food.  But she does provide pretty sweet kitty treats for me from time to time. 

However, she has the audacity to expect me to perform tricks to get a treat.  Can you believe that???  A cat doing tricks…[shakes head]

I usually comply with her shenanigans because those treats are very tasty and she’s such a stickler, she won’t just hand some over to me.  No, she makes me sit, dance, and beg. 

And then she has the nerve to make me get my own tidbits out of the can.  She’s a trip, but I do admit I like it when she pays attention to me.

Oh yeah, that’s been a problem lately.  She’s been ignoring me A LOT!  I don’t understand it.  You would think that since the fun humans moved out and left us all alone that I would be receiving the royal treatment like I deserve.  By the way, I really like those three younger humans, especially the male one; I love licking his tasty ears.

But since they’re gone, wouldn’t you think Mama would just dote on me?  Shouldn’t she be fawning over me instead of this black thing without fur?  I try so hard to see why she’s attracted to this box, but every time I attempt to walk over the typing buttons or see what’s on the screen, she pushes me away.  How rude!

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Hey, I see you — let me in!

You know I wouldn’t be so offended if it wasn’t winter and I didn’t have cat cabin fever.  I absolutely hate snow!  I hate it when it’s cold!  I don’t know why Mama gushes over and over again about liking cold weather.  I think she’s nuts.

Cold weather, that’s the problem.  I don’t want to go outside when it’s frigid, snowy or rainy.

Sometimes just because I’m feeling a little antsy having to stay in the house, Mama gets all huffy with me and dumps me outside on the front porch or on the back deck.  How could she do that to me?

So what if I make her get up from whatever she’s doing every five minutes to let me in and out of the garage?  We wouldn’t have this problem if they would keep my litter box inside the house. 

And sometimes I just like to go out there for a change of scenery.  And can I help it if I awaken from my daytime naps and I’m hungry?  I hear her telling Dad that I am a pest!  That really burns me.

She gets mad when I sneak upstairs to sleep on my missing humans’ beds.  Well, I miss them and their beds are comfy.  They always paid more attention to me than she does. 

She gets mad if I follow her around in the kitchen when I can smell darn well that she’s making food.  She gets mad if I think I might want to go outside (you know, just to check if it’s suddenly gotten warmer) and then I decide no way, it’s too cold and I run away to hide when she opens the door to the deck.

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C’mon! I hate snow!

She also gets mad when I sit at the front door and sniff to see if I can catch a whiff of something interesting. 

For some reason, she thinks I want to go out in the freezing cold weather so she opens the door and I just sit there looking at her and won’t step outside! 

And then she gets mad all over again and tells me I’m driving her crazy!

Well, she drives me crazy.   Listen, I’m not a noisy kitty.  I’m very gentile and well-mannered so I don’t loudly meow at her.  Can I help it if she’s so engrossed in her black box that she doesn’t hear my soft lady-like “mee-ahhs” when I need something?

When she ignores my pleas for help, I jump up behind her if she’s sitting on a chair or sometimes reach up and tap her with my paw and she actually shoves me away!  Then she gets mad again if I accidentally sink my claw into her leg.  Well, how else can I get her attention?

Personally, I think she wouldn’t be so provoked at me all the time if she would just do what I want her to do,  focus on my needs, play with me when I want to play, pet me when I want petted, and ignore this weird box.  

After all, I can’t wait for spring to come too.  She’s not the only one here that’s experiencing cabin fever!

I can’t wait to go outside and chase some birds.  I can’t wait to take my naps in sunshine on the warm wooden planks of the deck.  I can’t wait to guard the yard from pesky intruders in the evening. 

I can’t wait to leap at flying bugs and roll around in the green grass and eat some of it too.  I’m tired of staying in the house all winter, but it’s much too cold to be outside and I don’t want wet paws.

Instead I am cooped up in this house with one cranky Mama who tells me I’m getting too fat and that I’m annoying sometimes.  If she would just let me sleep where ever I want, eat whenever I want, and stop complaining that I’m making her hot when I’m trying to catch a few zzz’s on her lap, maybe I wouldn’t be so antsy.

She just needs to stop devoting so much time to her “blog” (I don’t really understand what that is anyway, but I know it’s not as pretty as me!) and play with me, stroke my head, and talk to me.  Is that too much to ask?

Uh-oh, I hear the garage door going up.  That means my humans are back.  I’ve got to sign off, but before I go stick my nose out the garage door to see if it’s warmer outside, could you do me a favor?

Tell Mama the cat’s out of the bag.  Tell her you know she’s been ignoring me and you won’t read the stuff she puts in this box any more until she starts paying more attention to me!

Mee-ahh.  [That’s thanks in kitty talk.]

©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Be still…and pet the cat

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Arlo, our grandkitty

Of all the cats I’ve loved in my life – and there have been many – our calico kitty was the nearest and dearest to my heart. A few years ago, she crossed that rainbow bridge folks talk about when they experience the loss of a beloved pet. 

When she was a kitten, that cat just showed up at our country home one day and our kids begged to keep her. As time went on and no owner ever came forward to claim her, she became ours. We all loved that feline, who loved us all back.

I don’t think she realized she was a cat and was supposed to be aloof and indifferent at times to us humans. Instead, she always wanted to be with us, near us, on us. She would curl herself up to my neck, start purring, and just be contented to stay there until I moved her off.

I miss that sweet pet more than any other pet I’ve ever owned. She was good-natured, well-behaved, loving, and smart. You may not believe this but she actually did a couple of tricks for treats.

During my just be still time away from blogging/writing, I got to squeeze in a few snuggles and got some kitty loving back from this beautiful orange tabby cat, Arlo, (photo above) who belongs to our son’s family.  Petting that sweet fellow filled my heart with peace. 

Arlo used to hide away whenever Papa and I came to visit, but now he seeks us out, crawls up beside us, or settles on our lap for some stroking and scratches behind the ear. It’s almost like he understands when I need to pet the cat and feel contentment doing so.

And he likes to model for my camera. He’s quite photogenic, don’t you think?

“Time spent with cats is never wasted.” – Sigmund Freud

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

A Tale of Two Kitties

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”  So begins the tale of two kitties.

I just had to borrow that famous first line from Charles Dickens’ masterpiece, A Tale of Two Cities, for today’s post.   I humbly concede that I’m no great author.  I certainly haven’t written any classic works of literature.  I write a little bit on a personal blog and somehow manage to keep a few readers and subscribers entertained or interested enough to keep me on their cyber rotations.

But I digress from my tale.  Up until last weekend, there were two cats living at my house.  And I believed while it was the best of times, it was also going to become the worst.

To explain my rationale for it being the best of times, last month our oldest daughter moved back to our home state [yay!] after a few years living down South.   Her plan was to move in with our middle daughter and her roommate in their apartment in the city, but until oldest daughter could arrange to visit the property management company, complete her application, get her name on the lease, and pick up a key, she bunked here with Mom and Dad temporarily.

She literally started her new job the day after she moved here, so between getting acclimated at her place of employment, unpacking a few clothes and necessary items, and driving back and forth to the city, she was swamped.  But for Daddio and me, it was great having her here, so  that explains the best of times. 

When daughter moved in with us for those couple of weeks, her cat was a part of the package deal.  That’s where I feared the worst of times would kick in and the tale (or should it be tail?) of two kitties ensued.

blog077Kitty #1 is the domestic dominator of our domain, her domicile.  She’s the queen bee, her royal highness.   Her name is Callie, the calico cat, and she belongs to hubby and me – or maybe it’s the other way around, we belong to her.

Anyway, I was certain she would view Kitty #2 as the unabashed usurper of her utopia.  Kitty #2 is oldest daughter’s huge black male cat who, as king of the hill, naturally ruled the roost at her apartment.

We expected this underling upstart named Jack would upset the reigning royalty, Queen Callie.   So we kept them apart to avoid a catty confrontation complete with claws.  See, Callie still possesses all of hers and Jack only has back claws.  But he is male and huge and quite strong.  And I convinced myself and everyone else that the two kitties probably should not meet.

Jack took up residence in our basement and was only allowed upstairs when Callie was outside or in the garage.  Every time we let Callie in, we had to make sure Jack wasn’t around.   It wasn’t too much of a problem at first, because Jack was skittish being in a new place, so he seemed happy to stay downstairs.

blogDSCN7959But as he adjusted to us and his temporary home, he wanted to come upstairs more often and was quite verbal about that. 

The problem was that three adult people couldn’t seem to keep track of where Callie was at any given moment.  Suffice it to say there was a lot of time wasted tracking down cats.

One night, Callie lounged on the kitchen floor.  Oldest daughter had been checking on Jack’s food and water downstairs, playing with him a bit,  and decided to bring him upstairs. 

Uh-oh….prepare for the worst of times.  At least that’s what I thought.

Callie looked at Jack as if to say nonchalantly, “Huh.  Who are you?”  She seemed totally unconcerned that this foreigner was in her territory.  And she promptly continued lounging on the kitchen floor totally non-flustered by this new visitor.

Jack, however, was another story.   Big, brawny  Jack took one look at Callie, hissed, scrambled out of daughter’s arms,  and turned into the epitome of a scaredy cat.  He hightailed it down the basement stairs.  Yep, he ran away.  While Callie yawned and went back to sleep.

All my fears about having a cat fight in the middle of my house were unfounded.  So all my worries about the tale of two kitties was just much ado about nothing.   Jack is king of his own hill again exploring his new abode at that city apartment.  And as I write about this in Page 6, in Chapter 10 of my Opportunity book, Callie is curled up at my feet sound asleep on a fleecy Steelers blanket.

Seems like it was just the best of times after all for us here at the empty nest, for Callie and even for Jack, for everyone… except for those Steelers.  But that is another story.

©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Content as a calico cat on a couch

blogCallieSometimes I envy my calico cat.

Often when I glance at her while she sleeps, I think she epitomizes the picture of contentment.

She may be curled up in a ball or stretched out all over the place,  but she sleeps soundly and peacefully with no stress or worries in her itty bitty kitty brain.

Her daily needs and requirements are met:

  • Crunchy fishy food? Check
  • Bowl of fresh water? Check
  • Warm spot to sleep? Check
  • People to love? Check
  • Toys to play with? Check
  • Occasional jaunt to the outside world? Check
  • Place for doing business?   Check

If there’s something missing in her estimation, be it food or attention, she’ll definitely let us know.  But really, kitty doesn’t ask for much.

She’s content as can be in her little world.  She doesn’t want the newest kitty toy on the market or a cute little bed in which to sleep.  She doesn’t care if she gets Fancy Feast cat food or good old reliable Meow Mix.

How vastly different we humans are.  We may have enough food and drink, a warm place to call home and people to love us, but we never seem to be content.  We’re gluttonous to satisfy ourselves in all things.

We never seem to have enough food (Supersize it!); we never think we have a nice enough house (Move to a better neighborhood!);  and we never think we have enough money. (Get a better paying job!)

We never think we have enough stuff (Charge it!); we’re never satisfied with our cars (Buy a new one with all the bells and whistles!),  or electronics, vacations, clothes, hairstyles….  (And the list goes on!)  We’re not even content with our bodies. (Have plastic surgery!)

When is enough enough? Why do we always want more?

If you look up the definition of content in the dictionary, you’ll discover it means “satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.”   Contentment is the state of being content, being satisfied, having ease of mind.   It really does not describe our society today, does it?

In our fallen world, we’ve bought into the lie that we never have enough.  We accumulate stuff, we spend money we don’t really have, and still the desire for more, more, more possesses us.  I think it’s as hideously ugly as cancer cells rapidly spreading their way through a human body consuming it.

We will always struggle with being satisfied until we fill up that cavernous hole inside of us with something that will fulfill us to the point of not wanting anything else.  I truly believe the only thing that can quench our insatiable thirst for more is a personal relationship with Jesus.

When we come to know Him, really know Him as Lord and Savior, He fills us up.  The Apostle Paul explained this in Philippians 4:11-13 when he wrote:  “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

He also gave us wise advice on this subject in 1 Timothy 6:6-7:  “But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.”

Likewise, scripture tells us in Hebrews 13:5-6:  “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,    ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’  So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’ ”

At the end of this life, it won’t matter what we have, what will matter is how we allowed Jesus to fill our empty cups to overflowing.  When we make Him Lord of our lives, we literally exude Him to others.

What have we done to further God’s Kingdom?  Do we reach out to those in need (financial, physical, emotional or spiritual) or think only of ourselves?

Do we share our Source (Jesus Christ) of contentment with those who don’t know Him or not want to step out of our comfort zones?  Do we use what earthly gain we may have been granted to help others or use it to satisfy ourselves?

Do we follow the two greatest commandments Jesus gave us in Matthew 22:37: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

That’s what I desire in my book of Opportunity, Chapter 3, Page 26 – to follow Jesus’ commandments until my cup overflows.   I want to be as content as a calico calmly cat-napping on a couch.  How about you?

©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com