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?
Taco’s been a lil scratchy-scratchy with the ol’ clawsies lately, so today is SOFT PAW DAY! WHEEEEE!
When I was younger, I never dreamed my life would be so exciting at 30.
Moosh has never had an issue with the scratching. He’s very good about only scratching things he’s supposed to, although he does like to stretch up a wall here and there, but the claws don’t really come out.
Taco, being the bad son that he is, scratches wherever he pleases, although surprisingly not the couch (but he does pee on it, so I’m not really sure which is better). He ADORES my yoga mat. While I’m on it. Have you ever had to shoo away a cat scratching under you whilst doing the downward facing dog? Because I have.
I am heartily against declawing. It is not, as many people think, just an “easy removal of claws.” It is an amputation. It is exactly like removing the top joint of your finger. Even if it weren’t such a HORRIBLY INVASIVE SURGERY that was SIMPLY for the convenience of the owners, what happens if your cat gets out? Mine are actually terrified of the outside world (once, I left for work and didn’t close the door all the way, and the boyfriend, upon leaving for work himself, discovered the open door and Moosh sitting calmly on the porch chair — a porch that is not enclosed) but things happen, and I love them too much to put them at that sort of disadvantage. Nor would I want to dismember them.
Still not convinced? It’s illegal or considered inhumane and strongly discouraged in all of the following countries:
- Northern Ireland
- New Zealand
That’s quite a list. WHERE IS THE KITTY LEGISLATION IN AMERICA, OBAMA???
There’s also possible behavioral changes, complications and nerve damage pain to think of.
So. There is no declawing in my house. There is only Soft Paws. Which really aren’t that bad. Glue in the cap, cap on the nail, hold the cat, release. Reapply as necessary. They can eat them and everything. Out of 3 cats I have applied them to, only one has had a problem with them. Surprisingly enough, it’s the good son, Moosh (who, we discovered, doesn’t need them anyway). I’ll apply them, hold him for the requisite 10 minutes for the glue to dry, and then he will walk 5 paces, sit, and determinedly begin yanking them off with his teeth. He will sit there as long as it takes to get them all off. This is an amusing process to watch, as I am far more lazy than him, apparently. I don’t have that sort of drive. Taco, on the other hand, doesn’t even notice them. He’ll just go on about his day.
Without further adieu, off I go to fit the bad son with his mittens. I am merciful this time, and picked clear instead of pink.
UPDATE: After a lengthy hunt for the claw clippers (finally found under the sofa), the soft paws were applied with little fanfare, until the “holding for 10 minutes while glue dries” part. It would seem that being held by me is akin to being held against hot coals.
What’s more annoying than Taco’s meow?
Frogs. Well, actually, toads, I think. I think we have frogs, too (I found one on my beach chair when I went to lay out one day — while I was laying on the beach chair — it was the same color green), but the toads are the uglier and stupider of the two.
Here in Florida, the amphibians loudly enjoy a good rainstorm. And if you know Florida, you know we do storms right. It’s rained quite a bit in the past week. When you walk outside, all you hear is “GGRRREEAAAAKKKK GREEEEAAAAAAAK” — it’s really annoying.
But more annoying than the noise is the fact that they will jump into my house unnoticed when the door is opened for a second.
What’s more exciting than chasing a not-alive real-fur mousie?
A living, breathing, jumping baby frog.
Sometimes I’ll catch the little idiots in time and scoot them out the door. Some aren’t so lucky to escape the “master hunters.” But I will not know about the not-so-lucky ones until I step on a half-corpsified dead one. Or half of one. Because this is the only other state that I find them in other than fully alive and cornered. I don’t know what the little carnivores do with them until they reach this state, but it is out of my eyesight. Kitty embalming? Who the hell knows.
I suppose I should be grateful. Fatty, in his younger and skinnier days, used to catch lizards, play with them awhile, and just as they were hard and corpse-y — place them thoughtfully in my bed as a present. THANKS. JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED.
But really, stepping on a dead frog (toad, whatever) isn’t much better. This year’s croaking just started, so I have yet to have this honor. But I know it’s coming.
(If you’re wondering what happened to the blog challenge, the word of the day is “mushroom” and I DESPISE mushrooms, so I couldn’t figure out how to fit it in. Oh, I just did. Go me!)
I bought my cats a 6-pack of those real-fur mousies. This is not a great vegan purchase, but they love them. This is why I have to buy more of them, because they disappear. Every once in awhile, we’ll find a cache of them hidden somewhere, like a closet or under the sofa, but when I LOOK in those places I never find them.
Taco will go apeshit over them. He spent an hour stalking, throwing and batting them.
“Go get the video camera,” I said to myself. “This would make a lovely video blog post.”
Except when the video camera goes on, all action stops. As far as I can tell, there is no way for the cats to actually know they are being recorded. There’s no flashing red light. No whirring of a shutter. It’s effing digital.
Taco went from “whoa dude, I’m totally stoned” to “methed out mouse fiend” the SECOND I put it down.
They’re such a-holes.
I’m pretty sure that not a single one of my cats has ever come out of their mother’s womb, been named something, and kept that name throughout their entire life.
Furthermore, once a cat name IS officially chosen and is permanent enough to be the one on file at he vet’s (although I have one that goes under a different name and one we had to change at the vet, read on), it is very rare that when talking to the cat, the cat is actually referred to as that particular name.
Shadow –> Baby
Ernie –> Chaos –> Fatty a.k.a. “Big Guy” at the vet, my mother refuses to let his official vet name be Fatty. In fact, she refuses to even call him Fatty.
Original name forgotten –> Mikey –> Little
Gus –> Jager
Oz –> Porkchop –> Moosh Moosh
Fernando –> Taco
Now, all of these names are used here and there, but most of the time either generic baby-talk names are instead or variations of the name. My favorites include Boo Bear, Boo Boo, Babycakes, Kittania, Snuggleface, Poopbutt, Bunny, Stinkers, Stinko, Fatboy or STOP IT NOW.
Moosh Moosh, on any given day, could be Moosh Mash, MooshyMooshyMooshy, Mooshito, Mooshcakes, Mooshface, Skooshers, Skooshy, or MoshiMoshi. When we got him, we really thought he was a good Porkchop until he smooshed our faces so much that Moosh Moosh just stuck.
Fatty? Well, that’s easy. Fat Fatty McFatterson, FattyCakes, Fatty Lumpkins, Fattilicious, Fatbaby.
Jager — Jagger, Woogie, Jagermeister or Cougar.
Taco, by far, has the most, I guess it’s just the easiest to mess around with — Taquito, Yablito, Tikki-Taco, Tablo, Cobblers, Jocko, Yacko, Taquerita, Toblerone, Yablo, Chimichanga, Blobblo or Taco-san.
And yes, I do speak to my cats in baby talk. Wanna make something of it?
I like to justify things. This is how I make myself feel better about decisions. I feel that my morals are fairly centered, so these decisions aren’t really earth-shattering.
I like to fuck with my cats. If you’ve ever put scotch tape on the bottoms of your cats’ paws and watch them run around (don’t lie, everyone I know well enough to admit this to me has done it), you’ll know what I mean. Look, I’m a vegan. I’m all for animal rights. I would NEVER do anything to harm an animal. But I’m not totally against using them for amusement here and there.
My justification? I feed them. I love them. I give them a home. I scoop their shit out of a box. No one disposes of MY waste like that. So every once in awhile, they get to dance for their dinner.
Exhibit A:Props in photos. They look miserable. But it’s a TINY moment of their lives and cats can’t recognize themselves in mirrors or in pictures so they don’t know to be embarrassed. That’s a scientific fact. At least the part about the not recognizing themselves. Lack of embarrassment is my own correlation.
Exhibit C: I have no photo proof of this, but I can exact hours of entertainment throwing stuff around for them to catch. Sometimes pretending to throw them, that always throws Taco for a loop. Always good for a laugh. This one is EXTRA justifiable, because as Jackson Galaxy says, you NEED to play with your cats for them to be happy.
PETA would probably have a shitfit about this, since they refuse to even call them “pets” — they’re “companions” — but I’m a good crazy cat lady and if I sometimes want to put a piece of harmless tape on my cat and watch him run like he’s on hot coals, I will, dammit.
I shouldn’t know so many weird things about cats.
Most recently, I learned that vets have “donor kitties” that they use to get blood from when it’s needed for a transfusion. I don’t know how they sign a consent form, but apparently they don’t mind so much.
This got me thinking about the other weird things that I know about cats.
- The floppy pooch of skin on their belly is a trait from their big cat relatives…it gives them extra stretch when hitting full stride running.
- I know what the inside of Taco looks like. It’s actually my desktop at work and my cover photo on Facebook. I find it intriguing. My vet was super excited to offer to email it to me, so I guess I’m not the only one awed by kitty vertebrae and undigested food (his little tail bones are so purrfect!).
- Revolution (the flea medicine) can be given orally. It’s not recommended. But it’s totally fine if you accidentally put it somewhere lickable. They MAY foam at the mouth, but they’ll be fine.
- Male cats were built really badly in terms of their urinary system. If you’ve ever had a male cat with crystals (and a big vet bill to go with it), this is why.
- A sign of anemia in cats is pale gums. This is NOT a useful thing to know if your cat is black with black gums.
- Speaking of black cats, they’re the least likely to be adopted. I don’t understand why ridiculous superstition has any place in modern society. Black cats are my favorite. Never had a bad black cat. I’d have a harem of them if it were up to me, but my boyfriend thinks it would be “too confusing.”
- Despite the many representations of kittens lapping up a bowl of milk, it’s actually a horrible idea to give your cat milk. Also a horrible idea to give them a ball of yarn, which they will eat and then get stuck in their intestines.
- Declawing is really really really BAD. It’s like removing the entire top of your finger from the joint. That’s not declawing, it’s an AMPUTATION. There are no health benefits for the cat and can, in fact, have a negative impact on the cat’s personality. It’s also illegal in most civilized countries. Just not the U.S. Shocker.
As you can see, I ask a lot of questions at the vet’s office (and my vet doesn’t mind, this is why I love her) and watch a lot of Cats 101 and My Cat From Hell. I’ll probably think of 10 more things the second I post this.