Friday, August 30, 2013

Fur Kids – Forever in Our Hearts

The other day was one of those I dread. Finding out that another beloved furriend had gone to the bridge is never easy, but this time it was a cat I admire so much for his amazing spirit and his ability to teach us about love and acceptance.

Homer the Blind Wonder Cat was just one cat, as Gwen said, but he was one of the most special cats the world has ever had the privilege to know. His story, Homer’s Odyssey, touched the hearts of millions…and inspired countless people to give blind cats a chance.

Homer proved time and again that you don’t need eyes to be worthy of love. He showed us that a physical disability doesn’t define who we are, it’s just one part of what makes us unique. I love that, through Homer, so many people came to understand that every cat deserves a forever home, even one without eyes.

I love that Gwen and Homer’s incredible bond was captured so eloquently on paper for the world to read and understand. If we are lucky, we will all get to experience the kind of life-altering love these two shared.

I know I have that kind of bond with my Annabelle, and when I read Gwen’s incredibly touching tribute post to Homer, I saw so much of myself in what she wrote. This post foreshadows my own future, that fateful day I will have to bid the love of my life goodbye. It’s not something I want to think about…ever…but it’s reality. I know I will feel what she is feeling now, and I only hope I can be as strong.

I truly believe every soul that comes into this world has a purpose. And that includes cats. We’re all here for a reason, even if we never discover what that reason is. Homer was one of the lucky ones. He knew exactly what he’d come to do…and he did it so well, that his legacy will live forever. I know that’s a bit clich├ęd, but it is the truth.

I was privileged to “interview” Homer for my other blog a few years ago, and one of his answers to my questions has always stayed in my mind:

Me: If you could tell people something about blind cats that they might not already know, what would it be?
Homer: That a blind cat, in the end, is just a cat who is every bit as capable of loving you and living a wonderful life as any other cat. Too many people didn't want to adopt me as a kitten because I was “different.”  But just because someone's a little different doesn't mean they're too different to love.

I know some of you have read that interview, but if you haven’t and want to learn more about how wise and wonderful Homer was, you can read it here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Happy Birthday, Warden!!

Our Mom, aka The Warden, is elebentyy billion years old today. Ok, we don’t exactly know how old she is, because she says it’s a secret – and apparently it’s more closely guarded than what goes on at Area 51. Hehe.

When she woke this morning, I was curled up next to her in my favorite spot: right underneath her chin. I purred “Good morning and Happy Birthday, Momma. Last night while you were sleeping, I left your present right there on the bed where you’ll be sure to see it. It’s not as grand as the one Rocky left for you on the floor the other day, but I hope you like it.”

I don’t know why, but she wasn’t exactly over the moon about my gift!! So apparently I missed the mark. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

Our Mom is determined to have a happy day today, despite feeling kinda blue. See, her own momma has been so mean to her lately. This evil woman (remember, we don’t call her Grandma since she says we aren’t important because “we’re not human”) has been sayin the most awful things that no one should say to anyone, let alone their precious daughter.

She treats our Mom so horribly, it makes her think her own Mother wishes she’d never been born! I thought Moms were sposed to love their kids no matter what, but apparently non-Grandma didn’t get the memo. Besides, it’s not like our Mom did anything to deserve this. She’s a kind, thoughtful, loving daughter. She gave up a wonderful life in California to move here to help that nasty beast, and was told “You shouldn’t have come here for me, because I don’t need any help.”

She tells our Mom “You don’t have any friends; no one likes you because you’re not a nice person.” Wow, non-Grandma that is harsh! We know it’s not true because our Mom thinks of all of YOU as her friends even though she’s never met you in person.

Our Mom’s sister and nephew came for a visit and they’re staying over at the beast’s lair. Yesterday, non-Grandma told our Mom’s sister “If you’re going to celebrate her birthday, DON’T DO IT HERE!!” Wow again, non-Grandma – that’s harsh even for you!

Us kitties are so thankful our Mom was borned all those years ago. She grew up to be a wonderful person in spite of the beast, and then she rescued us. We love her because she loves us with every inch of her heart, and we know she’d never treat her own children the way non-Grandma treats her.

If you want to leave her a meow or a woof on this special day, I just know it would make her purr!

~Love and kitty licks,

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Funnies – When Hairballs Attack!

Yak? What yak?
Warden Julia here. You all know how much I love my three cats, right? To the moon and back. But on the flip side, there are also a few rather…um…repugnant things that go hand in paw with having cats.

For me, hairballs are at the top of that short list. There is only one sound more disconcerting than a cat about to yak, and that sound is…drumroll please…a cat about to yak in the middle of the night.

If there’s anything more terrifying than being woken up from a sound sleep to the disconcerting gurgle of a cat in full yak mode, I don’t know what it is. It happened to me last night. It was dark, I was groggy but suddenly wide awake and I knew that I had less than a minute to jump out of bed and grab something – tissue, towel, piece of paper, anything I could get my hands on – to mitigate the impending indignity heaped upon the poor carpet.

Also, a minute is not nearly long enough for a sleepy brain to decide whether to just lie there and deal with the carnage in the morning, or jump up like the house is on fire. Most of the time I choose not to spring to action. I’m not proud of that, exactly, but I’m just not in peak form when startled awake at 2 a.m. And that pre-projectile minute goes by so fast!! Soon enough I know it’s already too late. Once the damage has been done, what’s the point of waking up to clean? Right?

In the morning, I thought I might have to search for the yak, but there it was in the middle of the bedroom floor – the ugliest, most humongous hairball I’d ever seen. It was the length of a full grown cat, I swear!

It wasn't my yak, I swear
I stepped around the hairball because I was still too sleepy to deal with that atrocious thing. Hairball cleanup before coffee?? I don’t think so. Unfortunately, by the time I’d fed the cats and puttered around the kitchen, I’d forgotten all about that THING in the bedroom. How that could actually happen is beyond me…but it did.

I forgot all about it. That is, until I sauntered into the bedroom on a mission, stepped in something squishy and felt something cold and slimy on the back on my leg!!

Yep, I not only stepped in the yak with my bare feet, but I crushed it with such force that it flew up into the air, hit my back leg and slid down it all the way to the floor.

Eww!! Eww!! Eww! I screamed to no one, because the only witness to this mortifying moment was three very disinterested felines. My life will never be the same, but my cats…they just sat there nonchalantly licking the last trace of breakfast from their furry little faces.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wordless Wednesday -- Kickeroo Love!

Rocky likes to "rabbit kick" his Kong Kickeroo.

When he's done giving it a good beating, he gives it a cuddle. MOL.

P.S. Please excuse all that fur on the carpet -- we have cats!! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Green Bean Cat Burglar

This is my favorite time of year. It’s so nice and warm, and once in a great while the Warden lets me out of my prison cell into the exercise yard so I can feel the sun on my furrs.

Sometimes I sneak over to the garden and stalk the green beans. Those long, skinny things are quite fun to play with when they’re dangling from their mother, but even more delightful to play with once I’ve caught one!

I grab the green bean prey with my teeth and carry it back to the deck. I like to flip it into the air and try to catch it with my paws. Whee! Every good huntress knows the rule – you must play with your prey before going in for the kill!

Sometimes I will give it a bitey, but truth be told, it’s not that tasty. I can play with it for hours, though, before I get bored.

What usually happens is that the other nosy inmates see me having so much fun with my prey that they try to run off with it. But I guard my kill! No one is going to make off with my green bean.

The Warden laughs and calls me her little cat burglar. Say what? Lucky for her, she’s a pretty good gardener and there are lots of green beans to stalk and kill.

There’s plenty to share with her favorite fur child. Besides, she says that green beans are a really cheap cat toy!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wordless Wednesday -- Weedy!

Can you see me?

Come a little closer!

Ah, here I am, chillaxing in the weeds!

Monday, August 5, 2013

On Behalf of the Warden, I Apologize!

Annabelle here. I was supposed to have a warm and fuzzy post the other day, but the Warden hijacked my blog! (Yes, Warden, it IS my blog…didn’t you get the memo?).

Anyhoo, she was incensed over an article she read and just couldn’t hold her tongue. My brofurs and I told her to let it go, that giving the story legs would only make her feel worse, not better. The Warden rarely listens to us even though she knows we are wise beyond our cat years. Duh!

The thing about the Warden is that she just really *really* loves animals. Cats, dogs, bunnies, horses, hamsters…she loves them all. She even squees over those little white mice at the pet store and threatens to buy them all before they become dinner for some pet snake. BUT she knows that if she brought them here, they’d be OUR dinner instead of the snake’s, so what’s the point?

She loves all critters, ‘cept maybe insects. She hates those earwigs that invade her garden, but she says you have to draw the line somewhere, and that insects are unlovable. IDK if that’s true, but the Warden just can’t get behind insect adoration. She can appreciate the helpfulness of good bugs like beetles, but love ‘em? That’s too much of a leap, even for a self-proclaimed animal nut like her.

The Warden says she loves all animals more than she does most people. There are some exceptions, but for the most part animals have her heart in a way that most beans just can’t. She says she was hardwired that way…came right out of her Momma’s womb an animal lover, and her feelings just got stronger every day.


She told us a story once, about watching a Western movie as a young child. There's always fighting going on in those movies. The Warden said men were dropping like flies and she didn’t flinch. Then a horse went down and she couldn’t stop bawling. That was the last time she ever watched one of those movies, fur sure.

She can’t stand to see any animal suffer. It breaks her heart even when she doesn’t know the animal…it’s as though she can feel what they feel, because they’re connected somehow. And she doesn’t really feel that same sense of connection to most humans. Does that make sense to you?

So anyway, I want to apologize if the Warden’s last post made you sad. We will get back to our regularly scheduled, happy-go-lucky blogging now!! That’s a promise.

Love and kitty licks,

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pets Are For Life, You Idiot!

I read something that made my blood boil. It made me ashamed to be a member of the human race. It sickened me, and made me cry.

Allison Benedikt wrote a piece for Slate titled The One Thing No One Tells You Before You Have Kids: Don’t get a dog. I wish to God someone HAD told her that, before she got a dog and then casually tossed it aside after having kids.

Her dog, Velvel, was the center of her life…until she had kids. And then he became a burden, an inconvenient thing she no longer loved or wanted because she had something she considered “better.” 

I think people who decide their pets are no longer worthy of their love once kids come along are the lowest life form on earth. That she could toss aside her faithful pooch and treat him like garbage is bad enough, but to write about it so heartlessly while trying so hard to make her story “funny” is just really, really wrong.

The first offensive thing she said was: “John took the newborn hat from the hospital for Velvel to smell, to prepare him for the tiny human heading his way. That was probably the last nice thing we ever did for him.”

Unfortunately, that was just the tip of the iceberg. If I was sad for her poor dog at this point, it was nothing for how she’d make me feel as she continued her filthy foray into the depravity of her mind. She wrote: “A friend of mine once told me that before he had a kid, he would have run into a burning building to save his cats. Now that he has a kid, he would happily drown the cats in the bathtub if it would help his son take a longer nap. Here is how I feel about that statement: Velvel, avoid the bathroom.”

Then she tries to make us believe that everyone she knows who has kids wishes they had never gotten a dog. She calls that a universal truth. It may be true among her circle of friends (for if they spend time willingly with someone so despicable, their judgment is certainly a bit “off”). But it’s far from a universal truth in my own circle. What about yours?

Those who have kids and then regret having a dog (or a cat) should never be allowed to have a pet in the first place. It’s a pity there isn’t some kind of litmus test for this. If you can’t commit to loving and caring for your pet for life, don’t get one. There really is no other way.

I want to scoop up this poor dog, hold his paw and tell him that I love him and that I will always love him no matter what. It’s what he deserves but will never get. What a crying shame.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mickey is So Grounded!

Hi everyone…Warden Julia here. My oldest “son” Mickey was a bad, bad boy – and I have the gray hairs to prove it!

Mickey is one of those cats that just will not accept being indoors 24/7, at least not in the summer. In the winter, he still really *wants* to go out but he’s not fond of the cold and snow. (Well, who can blame him?).  All winter long he lounges on the back of the couch staring wistfully out the window. Come spring, he’s clawing at the door like a madman.

It stresses me out because I’m torn between wanting to keep him indoors where he’s safe, and allowing him to go out where I know he’s happiest. No matter which I choose, it seems like a no win. I can have an indoor cat who is miserable but safe, or an indoor/outdoor cat who is happy but at a greater risk of bad things happening.

I have tried making him stay in, and he comes unglued. He cries and paces nonstop, he scratches at the door and rips off the weather stripping. He just will not take no for an answer. So I compromise with him. He gets to go out during the day, where he mostly stays right on the deck, sleeping and enjoying the sun. I work from home, so I check on him many times during the day. He’s never allowed to roam at night, so when the sun is setting, I call him in. If he’s not there on the deck, he is within earshot because he comes right away. Always.

Except last night, when he didn’t. It got dark, and still no Mickey despite calling and calling him. I even shook the treat tub, which is my no-fail way to produce all cats within earshot. He still didn’t come. By 11:30, I start to worry. This is just not like him. I get my flashlight and proceed to walk around the yard, in the alley and in the neighbor’s yard. I look in the street, praying not to see a dead cat. I can’t find him anywhere.

Another hour goes by. I call him every 10 minutes, despite the possibility of waking up all my neighbors. I am dead tired, but won’t go to bed and leave him out all night long. So I wait. And call. And wait some more.

Finally, at one in the morning (!!) he appears, as though this is a perfectly reasonable hour for any cat to come home. Argh. I’m overcome with mixed emotions – so happy he’s finally home safe, but riproaring mad at him for making me worry and wait up half the night!

We have a new deal now. He comes in for dinner, and that’s it. He doesn’t get to go back out. I am NOT doing that dance again!