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

The nest just became emptier

blogCallie in carWhere she came from still remains a mystery.  She was smart, she was beautiful, and she was very loving.  And now she’s gone.

One bright summer day 14 years ago, she arrived.  She wasn’t here when I left to run errands but when I returned there she was, frolicking with my three kids in our country home yard. 

“She just showed up,” my 18-year-old daughter said.  And her younger sister and brother agreed in unison, “Yeah, she just walked into our yard.”

I looked her over – she was young but she was well-groomed and certainly did not appear to be homeless.  No, she had been well-loved by someone and she had just lost her way.

“Can we keep her?” my 12-year-old son pleaded.

“No, we can’t.  She belongs to someone,” was my reply.

We searched for her family and waited patiently thinking surely whoever lost her would come seeking  and reclaim her.  But as each day passed, she worked her magic – making us love her -and she readily became a part of our family.

And who wouldn’t love her?  She was a kitten, probably around four or five months old.  Clean as could be, no sign of fleas, no tangles in her thick soft, multi-colored fur, no signs of being outdoors for very long.  She was a gorgeous calico cat with splotches of brilliant white, ebony black, and dark orange and beautiful golden eyes.  And she loved to be held and petted, so much so that she would climb in your lap and curl herself up to your neck as closely as possible.  She couldn’t get enough cuddling.  This was no ordinary stray cat.

No one ever called or came to claim her so she became ours and the kids named her Callie the Calico Cat.   She was not a typical cat.   She didn’t want to be alone, she wanted to be with you, on you, purring in your ear, lying in your lap, pushing her head into your hand demanding to be stroked.  She was especially fond of our son, curling up on him while he was asleep to nap with him, and nuzzling against his neck so she could lick his ears when he was awake. 

She was well-behaved and rarely scratched either us or the furniture but did use the wooden deck posts outside as her favorite scratching place.  She fit right into our family and was so very sociable, not aloof and independent like some felines are.  She always wanted to be in our midst and when I was recuperating from cancer surgery, she was constantly at my side purring and gazing into my eyes.  Almost like she was asking me:  Are you going to be okay? 

She watched as one by one each of our children went off to college and she always warmly welcomed them back home.  She wanted to be a part of our celebrations, activities, and even games, a part of our very lives.  And she was. When this nest emptied out, she became Mama and Papa’s constant companion.

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Playing dominoes with the family

Not only was she the most loving cat I ever owned, she was the smartest. She learned to ring a bell on a string tied to the door that led from our family room to the garage where her litter box sat.  When she wanted back inside, she rang the bell.  She learned to perform some ‘tricks’ for treats like sitting, dancing (spinning in a circle), begging, and reaching into the treat jar to retrieve her own goodie.

If she desired to venture outside, she would find me and gently reach up with her paw, tap me to get my attention, and lead me to the door.  She rarely meowed and when she did, it was a quiet and gentile me-ahh.   She loved stretching out and napping in the warm sunshine on the deck in the afternoons.  She didn’t like rain or snow and refused to go outside in either kind of weather.  She loved sitting on our master bedroom window sill at night and peering out over the front yard.  She guarded our property like a watchdog yet was extremely frightened of the road and traffic. We often thought she might be pretending to be a jungle cat when she stalked her way through the garden. 

She loved her life here at our house and only strayed away from home once.  She came back and soon produced six precious kittens to our kids’ delight and my dismay.  She was a good mother, but that would be her first and last litter. She loved new toys and especially chasing her laser mouse and she was attracted by all things shiny even if they were on your person.  She was a real girly-girl, known to ‘borrow’ earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and even my diamond engagement ring once because glittery things fascinated her and she just had to have them!

She enjoyed her toys especially the glittery ones and her favorite had to be the mouse laser; she was determined to catch that elusive red dot!  But I have to believe she loved us more than anything else. We were her people and she wasn’t happy unless she was with us.

All of that ended Monday evening.  She became very sick quickly, not eating or drinking, and her breathing became laborious.  Papa and I realized that we were losing her.  I checked on her often throughout the day and each time as I stroked her silky fur and crooned sweet words to her, she found the strength to purr as loudly as she could.  She waited until Papa got home from work so he could say his goodbye and then she slipped away.

Today, this empty nest seems so much emptier without our faithful Callie in it.  I’ve owned several cats in my lifetime but this cat was different.  I’m not an ardent animal lover yet I find myself grieving for her more than I ever imagined I would.  Tears slide down my cheeks like they have for no other animal.  She wasn’t just a pet, she was a member of our family,  and our kids are just as shocked and saddened by her death as Mama and Papa are.  From time to time, I think I hear the little bell on her glimmering pink collar and I find myself looking for her. 

She was special.  She was one of a kind.  There will never be another cat like her. And she was meant to be ours.  Callie was a gift to us and she’ll always be in our hearts.

“Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.” ~ John Galsworthy, English novelist and playwright

©2014 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com