I could google this, but for the sake of this post, I’ll allow my curiosity to fester.
“This” is the phenomenon of my cats seemingly recognizing my (and maybe the boyfriend’s) voice. I know that I’ve read that cats respond better to women’s voices, something about the tone. Moosh and Taco seem like they respond to our voices, particularly by their names. Taco is less of a sure thing, he just talks all the time, and to whatever variation of his name we use. But he at least looks like he knows that he’s being talked to. Moosh, on the other hand, knows his name like the back of his paw. Maybe it’s just the tone that we say it in, or the way that “Moosh Moosh” sounds. Saying it sometimes gets him all worked up, like I’m petting him without actually petting him. He’ll close his eyes, purr, and look like he’s in ecstacy.
It’s funny what you discover from years of co-existing with your animals. How you can figure out what their triggers are. Why do they have the triggers they do?
The best response I can get from Moosh is by shaking my head back and forth while saying his name in a deep, cooing voice. He’ll come running almost every time. Unless he gets distracted.
Taco’s ultimate call-over involves more energy. He responds best to an excited voice. Less coo-ey, more OMG, but still in a deeper voice. He gets all jacked up and runs over. If I’m laying down, combining that with patting my chest plate loudly will get him up and on my stomach purring.
So…am I crazy? Does anyone else know quirks this intimate about their furry children or do I just look waaaaaay too far into things?
I think I probably post more pictures of Taco. This is not because he’s my favorite, it’s because he’s overly photogenic. Plus, he’s always in my face so he gets more picture opportunities, and he’s better than Moosh at not moving at the exact moment the picture is being taken. Also, Moosh, being all black, tends to end up looking like a black blob depending on what he’s laying on and the lighting.
So, because I had a hellish week that fried both my brain and my body (and because I’m extraordinarily lazy today), I’m not writing more than these introductory paragraphs and some captions. Instead, I bring you a tribute to my Boo Bear, the snuggly, perching elder son.
My mom is redoing her bathroom. While that may sound very fancy, please keep in mind that it is actually her ONLY bathroom, and has never been updated the entire time she’s lived there, save for some well-meaning wall painting I once started and never finished. And it’s rather small. Despite the fact that it’s rather small, she also shares it with the kitties’ shitbox and food dishes. I’m not sure at what point we decided this was a good place for these (I was 16 and living at home then so I have to assume part of the blame), or how much smaller the bathroom must have felt sharing it with two cats and a teenager, but this is where it has remained for two cats and 15 years.
Now, Fatty is, well, fat. And gettin’ up there in years. He also has longish hair and he’s too fat to lick his butt. Little is just weird. One of them is peeing/pooping outside the box at random intervals. Clean box, no less. This is, of course, frustrating, but I think it’s a frequent occurrence
What’s my dearly beloved madre planning to do, she says?
Have a cat door built in the back door so that they have free access to the sun porch and put the box out there.
This, on the surface, seems like a splendid idea. Fatty always runs (he’s pretty freaking fast for his size) out the back door when it’s open and chills out there. It’s totally enclosed, and other than not being insulated or air conditioned, it ensures the kitties remain indoor ones (as they all should be).
But. The ages of these cats. I don’t know that you can just pick up and move a litterbox that’s been in one place for as long as they’ve been alive. And while I can see Fatty venturing out through this new door, Little spends all his time hiding. He’s really not very adventurous. I’ve been trying to think about what Jackson Galaxy would say, and all I can think of is that he would say something like humans live around cats, not the other way around, so don’t stress them out by moving everything around. However, he HAS had people on the show move boxes around. And wouldn’t the kitties feel better doing their business without a human doing THEIR business staring at them?
So what do you think? Are they too old to move the crapboxes around? Or will they adapt? Will they like the cat door? What happens if only one of them likes the cat door? How big is the cat door going to have to be to accommodate Fatty?
This is the first time I’ve ever had (yeah, they’re still mine even though I don’t live with them anymore) a cat this old, so I don’t know how set in their ways they are. I rely on you, dear readers, with your multitudes of cats and experiences. Don’t let me down.
I’m no stranger to cats who like bathrooms. Our last kitten Jager used to sit on the toilet seat while I showered (creepy or no?). But recently Moosh has gotten a wild hair and become a creature of the bathroom. I keep my bathroom door closed because my counters are cluttered with makeup that I don’t feel like picking up off the floor every day (but I do anyway because I don’t have enough counter space for all my crap, way to give the boyfriend the bathroom with the giant counter, dumbass) so I suppose it’s kind of foreign land to him. But he’s been here for almost 5 years. The mystery should be over. The boyfriend’s bathroom, in our bedroom, is always open because there’s a shitbox in it. One Moosh never uses. The downstairs half bath, we keep that closed off too, because I would run into the door probably twice a day, and who wants guests to stare at your toilet?
So this new thing with Moosh. I realized it had become a permanent trend last night as I was in the downstairs bathroom doing my business, and I see a paw snake through the crack of the door, a black blur runs in and immediately jumps onto the counter. I sat there taking pictures (after I finished my business, of course, sorry for the mental picture, unless you like that sort of thing, in which case please stop reading my blog, you’re a weirdo) as he explored the countertop chock full of magical wonders. Like a sink. WTF.
Oh, and the flash of the camera REALLY got him interested, because his other weird quirk is loving moving light.
He’s also taken to jumping in my tub, although not while I’m in it. I’ll be doin’ up my face (what, you think I’m this gorgeous without help? I am, really. I just cover the wrinkles.) when I feel a slight rush of air on my calves. I don’t hear him, I don’t see him, but all of a sudden he’s in the tub. Just poking around.
He won’t come out until I come out of the bathroom.
Every once in awhile, when he can’t be found, he’s in the boyfriend’s tub. No apparent reason. Not sleeping. Again, just poking around. Not even licking the water. Just, you know, wanting to see what’s up.
This is all fairly new. Is he having some sort of midlife crisis? I would worry if it seemed sick-like but he just seems to be curious. He’s always been a curious cat, including some seared whiskers when he got too curious with a candle, but I would think his kitten curiosity would have worn off by now.
My only conclusion is that I have a very, very weird cat. Maybe HE needs to be on that strange addiction show.
My mom works weekends, because she has her awesomely fabulous bookstore to run (Sam’s Books, in Oldsmar, Florida, if you’re ever in town, please check her out). My birthday is Saturday, and of course this is a busy day for her, so we celebrated together yesterday. My mother is probably the reason I regard birthdays so highly, as she always acts as if mine is a holiday. We went out to lunch, browsed around a bit then went back to her house where she had a piece of vegan cake waiting for me. Man, I love cake. I love cake like a fat kid loves cake. If I ever lose that 20 pounds (that would still keep me in a perfectly normal range, so no, I do not have body dysmorphic whatever) that I’ve been threatening to lose for the last 16 or so years, I’m going unvegan for a day and eating an entire Publix cake. Because Publix has the best freakin’ cakes ever. I also got to grab a big stack of books which means I will probably not get all the things accomplished that I threatened to accomplish on my time off.
Being at my mom’s means I get to hang out with my kitties. Who I realized, are really now her kitties. Although I picked them both out as babies and was their mommy for the majority of their lives, I am only mildly tolerated now.
Fatty, my fat fat fat baby, doesn’t even do our choreographed stretch when I pick him up just the right way anymore. Of course, he IS turning 16 this year. And he wasted no time gaining back all the weight he lost when he almost died of anemia.
The other baby, Little, has never really been anyone’s cat. He keeps to himself. He allowed me to pet him briefly but was quite clear in letting me know that he was only humoring me.
There’s something sad about ex-mommy status, even though I have two boys of my own at home. I would probably be more upset about it if I didn’t take into account the reasons that I didn’t uproot them when I finally moved out of my mom’s house at the ripe old age of 24, those being that I rent (they’ve been freely allowed to scratch everything forever) and I didn’t want to separate them from my mom, who of course is an amazing mother (obvs, you can see how well I turned out). She’s good for them. I’m ok with being the sister. Besides, color-wise, I have an identical set here (black and a tabby). Life is good.
Side note, I got to go through a bunch of old stuff yesterday including my old dance costumes. I wish they still fit. I’m not kidding when I say I would prance around the house in them.
Well, I feel slightly less icky today. I would be happy about that, but the sickness has moved into the “never ending snot faucet” stage. Usually the good cold meds work — you know, the kind of you have sign for at the pharmacy so you can’t buy enough to make meth. You can’t even buy it if you’re a canadian on vacay here. I only know this because I overheard a poor, sick Canadian who really wanted the good stuff but needed a US ID to do so…that’s kinda BS. Does Canada even have a meth problem? Seems like they’re less trashy up there. Anyway, it’s not working for me.
But I am, nevertheless, enjoying watching the kitties play on the new cat tree. They’re not quite as addicted to it as I’d hoped they’d by, but at the moment Taco is, in fact, sleeping on the 4th level. Success.
Enjoy my enjoyment.
It finally happened.
After weeks of dodging germs from what seemed like EVERY PERSON IN EXISTENCE, my immune system has finally succumbed. I woke up with a sore throat and it’s just going downhill from there. It was only a matter of time. Everyone at both jobs had some variety of the sickness, including the boyfriend. So instead of enjoying the new cat tree (yes, it’s up!), I’m whining to Taco in bed.
At some point, I will get up and make some of an effort to do something. Not just yet. I also have to drink some apple cider vinegar and I really hate that. But it’s good for the ol’ mucus.
Aside from me feeling like someone stuck knives in my throat, I did take some pics of the kitties with their tree last night while I wasn’t aware of the sickness yet. The boyfriend did a lovely job of putting it together without breaking anything. They seem to vaguely enjoy it. Now if we could just agree where to put it.
Ok, so I took a lot of pictures. I was excited. Wish I still felt that energetic today. DO YOUR JOB, IMMUNE SYSTEM.
The cat tree got here safely. It was a 70 pound box, so I’m sure my UPS guy loves me. I DO have to work with the guy, after all, and he knows where I live. Sorry, Aaron. You chose this life.
Enough about Big Brown. I got home from work early last night and starting pulling the straps off (we call them “hub snakes” in the business. Insider knowledge. Easy to trip on.) and pulling all the pieces out. The boyfriend looked at me like I was crazy and said “Really? You’re going to do that now? I’ll do it this weekend.” But I was determined, and he is not to be trusted putting things together because he forgets that things are made too cheaply for his high construction standards and ends up tightening things to the point of breaking. Besides, I like putting things together. And the boyfriend has a sinus infection, which I told him he had before he went to the doctor, but NO ONE listens to me. He never gets sick. I get sick twice a year, every year, and my sinuses ALWAYS hate me. I had a minor nosebleed all day Monday. This bitch knows sinuses.
I digress, as usual. He retired upstairs as I cracked a beer and got to checking out the instructions while the cats inspected the box it came in, plus the styrofoam. I inspected each piece while I pondered starting. Then I decided that I did not, in fact, feel like putting that shit together.
So I piled things (appropriately, so the cats don’t knock piles over and hurt themselves), spilled my beer, then also retired upstairs where the sick boyfriend and I watched Tosh.O and I laughed.
Sorry kitties. I worked all day. Slaving over a hot desk so you could eat. You can wait.
They don’t care. They just want food anyway.
Yeah. So I’m lazy. Again. I DID manage to take my lazy ass to the mall today (I hate the mall) to spend christmas gift cards. I even bought a sensible dress for work. It’s leopard print, so I suppose it’s not TOO sensible, but nevertheless, sensible for me. The rest of my day has consisted of taking pictures of cats. I thought I’d share.
For many, tax time means paying money. For me, it means a fat refund. See, I know that it’s just giving the tax man interest-free monies, but I suck at saving, so really, that money is in far better hands, interest or not. A few years ago I got screwed (they changed the tax laws, as usual, and those of us with two jobs who were unprepared for it got surprised) so now I take out extra every week to avoid such unpleasantries in the future. So I’m getting a refund. Most of this refund will go in the bank, but this year, I think I’m going to splurge on the kitties.
I’m finally buying a cat tree.
It’s a little expensive, but I never did get around to building the one I threatened to (see my post about it here) and I found one I like that’s not in the thousands of dollars.
This is the Sebastian something-or-other. It’s not that much more expensive than the traditional trees of this size (I use the term “tree” loosely here) and it fits with my modern Ikea look. I’m excited. I already filed my taxes even though the IRS doesn’t start processing them until the 30th.
I showed the boyfriend last night. His response was the “dismissive head nod/half eyeroll/smirk.” This pissed me off. For someone who is always complaining that the cats take over the house, I thought that he would LOVE that I’m taking his feelings into consideration and buying something that looks more like furniture than a tacky carpet tower. I had already had a few adult beverages at this point (it was Friday. I had a long week.) and so of course, I felt compelled to respond with something like “way to be passive aggressive,” he said “don’t the cats already have enough shit” and then I stomped outside. By the time I finished my smoke, I’d already decided to leave it be and continue on with my plans. My best friend once told me the best way to get things done around the house is to just do them and then act as if whatever you did has always been like that. It works. To my surprise, the boyfriend APOLOGIZED for not being more excited about it, and told me that he just didn’t want to see me waste more money on crap the cats will ignore. I was very touched by this. A significant other recognizing FEELINGS! Even after almost ten years. I almost cried (seriously, but I’m also PMSing, so I think hormones had a little to do with the threat of tears).
Even if the cats ignore it (which I doubt, Moosh’s new spot is on top of the bookcase attached to my desk, on top of a scanner he probably shouldn’t be sitting on – Moosh is a serious tree dweller), it’s still useful as furniture, and for about the same price as a bookcase from Ikea. So really, what do I have to lose? My Mooshie gets to climb something he’s actually allowed to, and Taco, well, Taco’s favorite sleeping spot is anywhere that I wanted to sit. His other favorite spot is in my face, and I don’t think there’s a cat toy in the world that can replace that. He’s just annoying.
Am I crazy?