Tagged: black cats

Voice recognition software.

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.

He's a happy boy.

He’s a happy boy.

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.

This is what happens when you're bored and have too many apps.

This is what happens when you’re bored and have too many apps.

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?

 

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Sharing my pillow.

Here I go, blaming the cats for things again.

My neck has been killing me since Monday. The kind of hurt that makes it almost impossible to turn one’s head. It’s been really fun checking my blind spot while driving. It’s feeling a little better today, but as I was going through my photos, I realized that I captured PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE pointing the finger straight at Moosh Moosh.

Yes, my “good son” is apparently to blame for my latest injury.

Exhibit A:

The photo below was taken last Saturday night. At the time, I thought, “How adorable. My son loves me SO MUCH. I’m so very lucky to have this lil snugglebunny in my life!”

mommy and kitty snuggle

I see now that this was step 1 of the evil plan.

Exhibit B:

Sunday night. Gettin’ all up in my bidness. I still vaguely found it cute, but I was wondering if he was trying to take over my pillow entirely. It was a bit uncomfortable for me, but he’s my kid, and mothers have to sacrifice for the greater good sometimes.

cat owning pillow

It was all part of the master plan. The way I see it, this angel-faced devil hatched up this plan in order to force me to sleep in an awkward position which he knew would result in a stiff neck, keeping me out of my night job so that I would be home to spend time with them and feed them at an earlier time.

On the other hand, he’s not that smart. Maybe Taco was behind it all.

A Caturday Tribute to the Mooshbear.

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.

Soft Paws only stay on Moosh for the 1st 15 minutes after I put them on. He methodically removes each one the second I put him down.

Soft Paws only stay on Moosh for the 1st 15 minutes after I put them on. He methodically removes each one the second I put him down.

He looks weird and possibly dead here.

He looks weird and possibly dead here.

Yet another awkward pic. He's obviously mid-bath, but because his tongue isn't out, he looks really stupid.

Yet another awkward pic. He’s obviously mid-bath, but because his tongue isn’t out, he looks really stupid.

It's a furry ball of Moosh!

It’s a furry ball of Moosh!

Oh hai. Can ai help youz?

Oh hai. Can ai help youz?

Now THIS is a good picture.

Now THIS is a good picture.

Can you teach old cats new tricks?

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.

Fatty making the stinkface.

Fatty making the stinkface.

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?

Lookit this giant fleshy mound of fur.

Lookit this giant fleshy mound of fur.

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.

The birth of the bathroom cat.

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.

SO EXCITING, ISN'T IT???

SO EXCITING, ISN’T IT???

Oh, and the flash of the camera REALLY got him interested, because his other weird quirk is loving moving light.

Oh, is that MEEEEE? I'm so HANDSOME!

Oh, is that MEEEEE? I’m so HANDSOME!

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.

And he always looks like he's ready to take a dump, which he has never (to my knowledge) attempted. Can you say "photogenic"?

And he always looks like he’s ready to take a dump, which he has never (to my knowledge) attempted. Can you say “photogenic”?

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.

Funny thing about cats. They don’t get daylight savings times. Neither do I.

Moosh reaching for all the sun he could get (it was a cloudy day, sunshine was in short supply)

Moosh reaching for all the sun he could get (it was a cloudy day, sunshine was in short supply)

I LOVE longer days. I don’t mind driving to work in the darkness, and I don’t even mind when a half an hour into work at 7am, the power goes out and it’s completely dark (well, except for the emergency floodlights). I DID kind of mind the power going out, because I was only a half hour into an 8-hour day of 16 hours of work. Yeah, don’t try to do the math on that, because it will never add up. But anyway, it came back on in like, 5 minutes.

I’m not a night person. I’m a morning person. By morning, I mean 8am or so, I’m not like, up at the crack of dawn. Except when I have to for work or because the cats are a-holes. So I love when the sun doesn’t go down until 8 or so. It’s Florida, what can I say?

Of course, losing an hour means that this past Monday was sucky. Because as much as you mean to go to bed earlier the night before, your clock is still off. As for the kitties, my alarm was even too early for THEM. Taco was asleep on my feet and refused to get up. Every time I attempted to force myself out of bed and rustle him off, he’d just lay back down on me wherever I rustled him and adjust back to sleepytime. This does not help one wake up. Meowing in my face helps me wake up. Not furballs draped over me, being so comfortable when I have to get up and all I really want to do is be a sleeping, comfortable furball too. Even the nighttime feedings are off. They’re usually up my ass at 7pm to get food to stuff in their fat mouths.

This was Taco 30 minutes ago.

This was Taco 30 minutes ago.

I couldn’t even get Moosh off the cat tree for food, so Taco ate it ALL. This resulted in Moosh being STARVED and sad looking in front of his food bowl at 8. I’m pretty sure this is an act. No cat looks that pathetic that’s as well-fed (except for Taco stealing food) and well-loved as dear Moosh Moosh looks when he’s decided he wants to be hungry and sits in front of the food bowl. It’s positively sad.

Of course, now they’re making a liar out of me because since I’ve started this post, they both woke up and started swarming around me. Guess their schedules are more easily adjusted than mine. I’m not feeding them yet. Brats.

Victorious!

I have accomplished a major goal today, on my 3rd day of vacation, and it’s only 8:30am (I’m a morning person, what can I say? I can’t sleep in). This means that I can officially spend the day lounging around reading if I so desire, and ignore the to-do list I already made. I just started a good one. I laughed about the writer’s name but it turns out she’s rather good. Joanna Trollope. I think I enjoy British writers more than American. Something about their cadence, I suppose. I will, however, read anything and everything, so long as something hooks me enough to find out what happens.

This goal goes back to the cat tree. I’m sure you’re all quite sick of hearing about the damn cat tree, and unless something incredibly fascinating happens with it someday, this will be the last I directly reference it. My dreams of the cat tree were mostly for Moosh, as he is a “tree dweller” sort of cat. I base this diagnosis on more than a few facts: he perches on my shoulders, he’s been found on more than a few occasions on top of the cupboards (once IN the cupboards), and he sits on top of the office bookcase. Taco just likes to go wherever, being UP on things isn’t that exciting to him. He just wants to be where the action is. I thought he’d enjoy the scratching stuff, though.

But guess who’s been using the cat tree more? Taco.

I don't know what he's looking at. Maybe the stickers numbering the pieces that REFUSE to come off. Ugh.

I don’t know what he’s looking at. Maybe the stickers numbering the pieces that REFUSE to come off. Ugh.

At first, I thought it was just him being a brat, taking over whatever space Moosh would want, but I tried putting Moosh on the highest part of the tree and he would either just jump down or step onto my shoulders and jump to the ground from there. Moosh HAS enjoyed the angled edges of the tree on various other levels, as he likes to smush his face against them. It looks very painful to me but it seems to be enjoyable for him. Whatever.

Turns out he just needed to do this on his own terms. Today, he got on the 2nd highest level. I managed to coerce him up to the next with promises of face smushes. And he stayed! I even walked away and he stayed. And realized that he had a pretty freakin’ good view.

King's view.

King’s view.

MOMMY ALWAYS KNOWS BEST, BEYOTCH.

 

Update: For no apparent reason today, I caught Moosh on top of the fridge today, where he hasn’t been seen in months, who then, upon being spotted, made a run across the cupboards, then back again to the fridge and then down the minute I sat up to attempt a picture. This is what the cat tree was supposed to solve. Sigh.

Old cats and ex-mommy status.

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.

Even Fatty's eyes are fat. I heart my big boy.

Even Fatty’s eyes are fat. I heart my big boy.

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.

HOW CUTE IS THIS??? It ALMOST makes me want a kid. Almost. Not really. I just want to wear it.

HOW CUTE IS THIS??? It ALMOST makes me want a kid. Almost. Not really. I just want to wear it.

Caturday is Blahturday.

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.

Feelin' it out.

Feelin’ it out.

Taco's chillin' in his kitty cubby hole!

Taco’s chillin’ in his kitty cubby hole!

Enjoying the upper deck.

Enjoying the upper deck.

Hard to see Moosh. The tree is black cat camoflauge.

Hard to see Moosh. The tree is black cat camoflauge.

 

Ok, so I took a lot of pictures. I was excited. Wish I still felt that energetic today. DO YOUR JOB, IMMUNE SYSTEM.

Not so patiently waiting.

I finally did it.

I bought a cat tree.

I’ve shared this fact with a few non-cat people, and their response is: “HA HA HA HA That’s a f*$#ing waste of money, you FOOL! You could MAKE that!”

Well, DUH. I’ve been saying this forever. And what HASN’T happened yet? It hasn’t been made. Which is precisely why I’ve waited until my cats are almost 5 and 3 years old to buy one. My poor, deprived kitties. All because Mommy is too freakin’ stubborn to go against her DIY ego and buy one. There’s also the fact that the nice ones are kind of expensive, and I’ve never really found one I liked. But I found one. Yeah, it’s a little more expensive than the traditional carpet-y ones, but it’s nice. It’s not AS nice as the ones I wrote about before, but it’ll do. Before I put the ol’ credit card number into the interwebz, I did way more research just to see if I could possibly find another one that I’d like better. Because it’s always my luck that as soon as I buy something, I find one much, much better. The only ones I found were, again, way out of my price range. Like this one from Urban Cat Design (in the NETHERLANDS):

Books and kitties. Two of my favorite things. (Real books, because this lady will NEVER own a damn eReader.)

Books and kitties. Two of my favorite things. (Real books, because this lady will NEVER own a damn eReader.)

So I bought the one that I talked about buying recently, the one that was reasonably priced compared to the ones I LOVED but couldn’t possibly justify spending so much money on. AND…this lady never buys anything on the interwebz without a coupon. So I got free shipping and $20 off to boot. Uh huh. I’m an awesome bargain hunter on expensive things. Like the $160 boots I got for $40. I really thought that one had to be a scam, but the boots are fabulous.

Now I wait. Because it’s coming from California. If I hadn’t held off for so long, I might have it this weekend to put together, but the boys are going to have to wait for next weekend, since I rarely have time or energy during the work week. Oh well. Moosh has been entertaining himself just fine with the silver ball of sparkles that are mostly strewn around the floor right now and I really should take away from him because Taco will eat the sparkles. Taco has a, um, sensitive butt, to put it nicely. The sparkles make it bleed a lil. Not serious, but unnerving. It’s so unfortunate because it literally is the ONLY toy that Moosh will play with, and he plays with it SO enthusiastically. Kitty mom is conflicted. Meh.

Now he can jump on his OWN furniture. HAH!

Now he can jump on his OWN furniture. HAH!

Kitty mommy problems, whatcha gonna do? Ooh, another rap song. Bam.