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

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

Cat cabin fever

blogdscn0566Don’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!

blogDSCN0569You 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 and 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.  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.

blogDSCN0568She 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 kitchen chair or sometimes reach up and tap her with my paw and she actually shoves me away!  Then she gets mad again if I accidently 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 jump 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 speak.]

©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Why do doggies sing me love songs?

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Peaches, my sister’s doggie

“Why do dogs suddenly appear anytime I am near?”  With apologies to The Carpenters, [“Close to You”] doggies long to be close to me!

I’m really not much of a dog person.  It’s not that I dislike dogs, I’m just not someone who wants to own one. The reason for that might be because when I was a youngster, our family almost always owned a cat,  never a dog.  But I think there may be more to it.

Cats have an “I’ll take you or leave you” kind of attitude.  But a dog wants to “take you,” all the time, at least most of the dogs I’ve ever met.

Dogs want your attention a lot, and they are just so social.  Cats come find you if they want something, can be very aloof, and they are not nearly as needy as dogs seem to be.

I own a cat, although we sometimes refer to her as a cat-dog because she has some dog-like aspects.  She’s very loving, wants to lick you, wants to be with you, and believe it or not, she does tricks to receive her yummy little cat treats.

I guess I just don’t want to be loved as much as dogs want to love me,  but dogs do love me regardless.  I’m not sure what they find so attractive about me,  but anytime I encounter a pooch,  it wants to jump up on me,  lick my face, get in my face for attention, lean on me, sit on me, and/or  follow me around.  If it didn’t sound crazy, I’d think that they have love songs they want to communicate with me.

On my travels yesterday with my husband, we encountered two dogs – one was a large black Newfoundland and the other a Standard French Poodle.  The first dog, the Newfoundland, was surrounded by a huge crowd of people – more than enough people, including several children, to be attracted to and plenty of smells to sniff – but whose hand did he stretch for?  Mine.

I was merely walking past him, yet he spied me and promptly reached out to nuzzle my hand.  I had no scent on my hand like food or lotion, so why was he attracted to me? It was like he was singing, “And when I touch you, I feel happy inside.  It’s such a feeling that my love, I can’t hide, I can’t hide.”  [“I Want to Hold Your Hand” by  The Beatles]

Later, we were walking down a sidewalk at a busy shopping center.  An older gentleman was resting on a park bench with his French Poodle on a leash.   There were numerous people walking by and the poodle was warily observing everyone.  But as we approached, that poodle’s eyes lit up like a Christmas tree, his demeanor changed, and he immediately strained towards me.

I could see that “I want to kiss you all over and over again” [“I Want to Kiss You All Over” by Exile] look in his eyes as his owner tugged him back.  Even my husband noticed the dog’s attention toward me and said, “Why is it that dogs are always attracted to you?”

Many years ago when I picked up my young daughter at her friend’s house, the friend’s dog went berserk.   She wanted to crawl up on me and “kiss” me.   The friend’s mother literally kept pulling the dog off me and apologizing.  Then she actually placed a barrier between me and the furry critter and that pooch jumped over it to get to me!

It was like that little canine was singing, “Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough,  ain’t no river wide enough, to keep me from getting to you!” [“Ain’t No Mountain” by Diana Ross]

A good friend of mine owned a well-behaved Rottweiler and I must admit, a dog like that scares me just a little.  Every time I visited my friend’s house, Sasha made a bee-line for me.   No amount of coaxing or even reprimand would keep her away from me.

If I ignored her, she would come to my side and lean heavily on me, (when a strong, sturdy dog like that leans on you,  you pay attention!) and wouldn’t leave my side until her owner dragged her away.   Sasha would then be obedient to her mistress, but turn her sad, pouting eyes on me as if to sing, “Love me, love me, say that you love me.” [Love Me, Love Me by The Cardigans]

He obviously was singing, “I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it; I’m about to lose control and I think I like it.”  [“I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters] I really would have preferred if he kept his excitement to himself!

My sister’s dog Peaches also practically trips over herself to get my attention.  She meets and greets me at the door more excitedly than the Wal-Mart greeters and will not be content until I pick her up and hold her.

She doesn’t do that for every visitor to their house.  I think she must be singing,  “Hold me, hold me, never let me go until you’ve told me, told me what I want to know and then just hold me, hold me, make me tell you I’m in love with you.”   [“Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” by Mel Carter]

I’ve been told that I have a kind voice and that’s why dogs gravitate to me.  Maybe that’s what it is, they hear music in my voice and to them the music means love.   I just wish doggies wouldn’t love me quite so much.  They can sing their love songs to me, but I’d rather they kept their smooches to themselves.

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

No Sugar, Just Milk Please

blogCallieoutsideI own a cat.  Most days though she owns me.  I realize cats are not everyone’s favorite animal — a lot of people are dog crazy.

I wouldn’t categorize myself as a fanatical animal lover, but I grew up in a household that almost always had a cat residing in it.

About a year after we moved into our new house here,  I arrived home one day after running errands to find my teen-aged children holding/playing with a calico kitten. 

She was well-fed, clean and well-cared for, and very loving (she instantly draped herself around my neck when I picked her up).   According to my kids, “She just showed up in our yard!”  Right.

Searches for her owner were fruitless and so here we are nine years later.  She’s still in our yard, our house, our lives.  Actually she’s guardian of the yard, always on watch for any stray creature that dares to enter.  She doesn’t wander off our two-plus acres of ground though, she’s quite content to just hold down the home front.

She’s also declared herself queen-dictator of the house.   Apparently, in her kitty superiority complex, she’s relegated us to servants to her royal self, and we should heed her beck and call – even though her call is a very soft-spoken meow that’s pronounced “mee-ahh.”   Evidently the royal one should never raise one’s royal voice.

This quote about cats fits our Callie to a tee.  “As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows,  cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human mind.” ~ Cleveland Amory

Sometimes I catch her staring intently at me, especially when I am not performing her biding.   She gazes at me as if to say, “Why are you so dense?  Don’t you realize I want you to do something for me?”

Her majesty is obviously saying, “Look how cute I am.  You need to adore me. So pay attention, will ya and pet me already?”

Often  when I’m preoccupied on the computer, she leaps onto the back of the loveseat positioned beside the computer chair and taps me on the arm with her paw as if to say, “Hellooooooo….can you not comprehend what I need??”

If you own a cat yourself, you will totally understand what I mean.   If you’re a dog person, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Being cat owners, my family and I have enjoyed the antics of Simon’s Cat by Simon Tofield on YouTube for a couple of years now.  Simon just published another episode of his cartoon, so I thought I’d introduce you to Simon’s Cat if you haven’t already met him.

If you are a person “owned” by a cat, you’ll think it’s hilarious.  Check out the older Simon’s Cat videos too.  If you’re not a cat person, well, I still think you’ll find Simon’s cartoons amusing.

As someone once said, “I realize a cat is not everyone’s cup of fur.”

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com