Birthdays and vets and kittens and fat.
Took Taco to the vet yesterday. Just the yearly checkup, which I think was 2 months late. Anyway, both the boys just had birthday, Moosh is now six and Taco four…and apparently 4 is the year to get FAT. Because according to the vet, that’s what Taco is. Tell me how I’m supposed to reduce his food when he eats all of the food? I can’t starve Moosh to cut back on Taco. I got a grazer and a gorger. Guess who wins?
And seriously, 13 lbs for a cat is NOT that bad. Sure, he was 11 lbs for the majority of his adult life but 2 lbs in a year isn’t THAT bad. As much as he runs around I cannot believe he’s getting fatter. Plus, I discovered that we’ve actually been buying “moderate calorie” food, which explains why we’ve been running through it so fast — and why the cats have been begging for food 3 hours after morning feedings.
It also is a two-man job to even get Taco into the carrier, despite careful planning. I had attempted to carry out the kidnapping without waking the boyfriend up but alas, it got too loud, which was fortunate because he heard enough to shut the bedroom door just in time to avoid Taco running in and hiding under the bed. Then came down to help, since I got Taco in but couldn’t close with one hand.
They have kittens for adoption at my vet. These kittens were adorable. I threatened Taco if he didn’t shape up, I was trading him in for a new model. His performance didn’t improve, but the vet rejected my trade offer. Go figure.
As all cat owners know (I assume all, every cat I’ve ever had is MISERABLE in the car) I endured bone-chilling howls all the way there. Slightly muted on the way back. And, upon arriving home, feeling horribly guilty for all my evil doings, proceeded to give Taco all of the treats in the world. Including turkey, which he meowed incessantly for, but didn’t know what to do with upon receiving. Shrugh.
Lick it. Lick it good.
Taco is a lot of things. King Brat. Adorable snuggler. Unwanted alarm clock. Needy pain in the ass. Loud.
What he is not: graceful.
This is unheard of for a cat, right?
This occurred to me tonight as I watched my cats eat. If you think this is weird, you’ve never done it. It’s really quite fascinating. Why did I ever do this? Well, Taco is also Jabba the Effin’ Hut, and if I don’t stand over them watching, he’ll take over Moosh’s food. Somehow (I’m not entirely sure how this works) my hovering presence keeps Moosh comfortably eating and Taco in his own dish.
Anyway, I water down their food, because Moosh barely eats any wet food and because Taco needs to get more water to ensure he stays crystal blockage-free. So the first couple of minutes of them eating is really drinking meat water.
Have you ever watched ANY cat drink water? It’s practically an art. This comes from an article in the Washington Post:
“While a dog curls its tongue like a ladle to collect the water and then pull up what it can, a cat curves its tongue under and slightly back, leaving the top surface of the tip of the tongue to lightly touch the liquid. The cat then raises its tongue rapidly, creating an upward mini-stream of water. The cat snaps its mouth shut and the water is captured before the countervailing force of gravity pulls it down.
An average house cat, the team found, can make four of these mini-streams per second.
‘What we found is that the cat uses fluid dynamics and physics in a way to absolutely optimize tongue lapping and water collection,’ said Jeffrey Aristoff, now at Princeton University but who was one of the four researchers who began the study out of curiosity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”
This is actually a fairly recent study, from 2010. Kinda crazy it took that long to get around to cats drinking water, considering Darwin studied MOTHS and shit. Forever ago. God, I love science. The mechanics of EVERYTHING is so interesting. And of course, cats are interesting anyway. And of course, I do find it amusing that cats beat dogs in the lapping game. One more reason for them to be arrogant assholes, I suppose.
Back to Taco. He is, quite literally, retarded at drinking. Watching Moosh smoothly lap up his meat juice with a rhythm you could practically set a watch to…and then compare with Taco, who laps more like an irregular heart beat. It’s almost painful to watch. In my dreams, I can NEVER run at full speed or throw a punch with all my power. It’s always like I’m running through quicksand. I don’t know what this means, nor do I particularly care, but this is what Taco’s lapping reminds me of.
This was just the catalyst that opened my eyes to how ungraceful Taco really is overall.
1. Moosh perches on my shoulders with ease.
So long as I give him the foothold, he’ll stand up there with very little wobbling and no claws. Taco, on the other hand, is like a Weeble Wobble, but he’ll sure as hell fall down, and he’ll take my skin down with him.
2. Taco still plays like a kitten.
You know how cute kittens are when they grab at stuff? Just kinda uncoordinated and grabby, no real skill at hunting. Taco’s 3. He’s not even remotely a kitten. But his paws are.
3. He falls off shit all the time. No spatial reasoning. He’ll roll over…and right off the bed.
4. When he’s jumping for a toy, he sprawls in the air and can’t hand for shit. It’s like watching Cirque De Soleil if the performers were hammer drunk. Nor does he have any consideration for what he lands on, like my foot. Or the side table.
I will give him this: There is one arena in which Taco has no equal in fluidity. And that is grabbing treats out of your hand with both paws while standing on his hind legs, checking to make sure the treat is within his greedy little paws before calmly lowering his upper half to the floor and his paws to his fat face to eat. I don’t even understand how he’s the same cat, sometimes.
Then again…like mother, like son, I suppose. I am quite possibly the most ungraceful human to walk this planet (except when I dance, and that is probably debatable, although not with me, because I think I’m bout it bout it). I’m injured every other minute. I currently have inflamed rib cartilage (not something you ever want to do, by the way, but I hear better than actually breaking one, so you REALLY never want to do that), a giant, painful bruise on my wrist I have no recollection of achieving, and I’m vaguely sure I re-sprained my thumb the other night pulling my pants down to pee. I know. Sad. But I’ve learned to laugh about it, except not right now because laughing is no bueno with the ol’ ribs.
TOO CUTE IS TOO CUTE
I know I’m not really on the cutting edge here. Too Cute is a show that’s been on Animal Planet for awhile.
But I feel it’s time that I express my utter love and devotion to it.
If you’re unfamiliar with the format of this wonderful show, it follows 3 litters of different breeds of kittens (or puppies, and they branch out with other animals on occasion) from right about the time they’re going to open their eyes to a few months old, usually when they’re old enough to wean.
Now I’m not really a proponent of breeding cats. Not that I can’t appreciate the beauty of different breeds, but a) there are a lot of not-so-reputable breeders out there who can do a lot of damage with inbreeding and such, b) it’s really going against nature and natural selection which is such an amazing process in itself that I think humans have some friggin’ nerve to try and mess around with it and c) THERE ARE A BAZILLION STRAY CATS OUT THERE THAT NEED HOMES.
They never show the people in this show except for a hand here and there and occasionally children, but I do often wonder about the back story. Are these people breeders? Do they just love their purebred so much they want to pass on the bloodline? And most importantly, how the hell do these people (who usually seems to have rather nice homes) deal with cats that aren’t spayed or neutered? Both male and female cats that aren’t fixed are prone to a host of what we conceive (double entendre! Boom.) as behavorial issues because those kitties are horny little MFers. Like spraying and howling. Cat-in-heat spray is worse than cat pee.
Despite these unanswered questions, I adore this show. And I spend the entire hour (only the cat ones, sorry dog people, I love all animals but I just don’t love them as much as cats) squealing (and I mean that quite literally). I squeal, I “aww,” I talk to the kittens as if they’re actually in front of me (and as if they give a shit). I watched last week’s episode last night (god, I love my DVR). One of the breeds was Munchkins. I know from watching Cats 101 that this is actually a controversial breed, and in fact not really a breed at all, it’s just a genenic mutation. They have tiny legs. Which is why some people feel they shouldn’t be bred for that specifically. Putting all controversy aside, watching a munchkin kitten try to get around on tiny legs is AMAZINGLY ADORABLE. Only 2 of the 6 kittens in the litter got the tiny leg trait, and they were named PORKCHOP AND NUGGET.
I could just die. There was also a gratuitously delightful scene of a kitten getting lost under a hat. I don’t think I need to tell you how cute a hat/cat turtle is.
Sometimes I can get Taco interested in the TV. He’ll sit there and stare intently. Sometimes I can’t get him into it. Maybe he’s feeling his age. Moosh watched it once. The boyfriend refuses to watch this show. In fact, he thinks I’m crazy. I think it’s the squealing and the baby talk. I can’t help it. It’s just TOO CUTE. And honestly, we need more of that in the world.
A Frankenstorm post: Help the kitties!
As a lifelong Florida resident, I am all-too-familiar with the dangers of hurricanes and the aftermath. Of course, Sandy was an anomaly in the world of hurricanes, a once in a 1000-year event, which on its own is super fascinating. However, she was also quite a bitch.
Although I am definitely a Florida girl and will likely never move, I have had torrid love affairs with New York City. I love it so that despite the fact that it actually has winters, I have actually considered moving there. I have a big place in my heart for that amazing city, and it breaks my heart to see all the damage there, not so much to the Financial District but the LES, St. Marks, the East Village…my favorite vegan bakery is without power (BabycakesNYC, heart them)! My best friend lives in Long Island and although she escaped damage, she’s expected to be without power for 7-10 days.
One of my facebook friends posted something the other day about how he hoped that an apparently famous colony of feral cats who reside under the Atlantic City boardwalk were collected by the group that looks after then before the storm. This, combined with all the fundraising efforts I’ve seen for the people affected, got me thinking about how the animal rescues there probably really need some help too. No one has benefit concerts for them, and we all know non-profit groups (especially no-kill shelters) have a hard enough time staying afloat. So I did some research.
For one, I learned that Alley Cat Allies, the group that traps, neuters and releases the feral cats under the aforementioned boardwalk, reported that “many cats have already returned to their colonies after the devastating weather.” Animals ARE smarter than humans, after all — the kitties got the eff outta Dodge. But I found this page: it lists a few of the shelters and rescues that were affected by the storm and need help. So please, if you can, remember the kitties (and doggies) and donate to a shelter up there in need. People tend to get caught up in the human element in disasters like this and forget about animals because hey, they’re just animals, right? Except they’re not, not to me. I would risk my life to save my cats. I would hope that if a hurricane hit here, which is really not that unlikely, that there would be help for my boys in the event something happened to me. Or if my roof blew off and they got out. Who knows? Nature is unpredictable.
So if you can, throw in 10 bucks. Or even give to your own local shelter in a show of moral support. They all could use the help.
So here’s what I learned about cats and candles.
Thanks to those of you that responded to my candle/plug-in harmful to cats question, I feel a little less clueless in my lack of knowledge. No one has really heard of anything.
I had to take Taco for his laser pew pew pew vet visit today, so I figured I’d ask while I was there (after gushing over the 3 black kittens waiting for homes in the waiting area! Holy crap, they were SO cute. GAWD I love black cats).
The receptionist had NEVER heard of it before, so she went back and asked the vet and vet techs…also nothing. And this is an all-cat vet, so I would assume that the field of knowledge relating directly to cats would be more vast than that of an all-around vet. There is apparently something about cats not agreeing with pine and cedar oil, but nothing about the livers and their lack of metabolizing aromas.
So I’m going to keep my Bath and Body Works plug-ins. Even though I’m not overly fond of the one in the living room currently, and my kitchen smells like a pancake. And I only burn candles every once in awhile anyway.
Oh, she did tell me to check the website for Cornell University. I didn’t see anything about this topic, but there is a TON of kitty info there. Who can’t use that?
A question for the cat people.
So last night the boyfriend and I were out with some friends, which is always nice, because the boys have bonding time and us girls talk about kitties (yeah, most of my friends are cat people. I do have some dog people friends, but I don’t think I have ANY non-animal friends. So elitist of me). She has a Persian (I think, I mix them up with Himalayas…long hair is all the same to me) and therefore she has a groomer.
Here’s my question: the last time her groomer was over, she smelled a scented candle burning and told my friend that scented candles and plug-in scents are toxic for kitties. Something about how their livers can’t process them.
Now, I am not saying that this groomer doesn’t know what she’s talking about, anyone who would risk losing a paying customer by possibly offending them by questioning their scented candle use obviously feels strongly that it’s true. But I’ve NEVER heard this before. I know that burning candles isn’t particularly good in the carcinogen sense, but I’ve never heard that the scent could be harmful to a cat. I don’t burn candles all that much, but I do have the Bath & Body Works oil plug-ins around the house. I mean, how else am I gonna cover up the cat pee smell?
So I googled a bit, and I did find a few pages that backed it up, but not an overwhelming amount. And it’s weird that I’ve never heard this before. You’d think there would be more stuff on the interwebs if it was a serious concern. I remember a while ago there were all those email forwards going around saying that using Swiffer Wet Jets were bad for your animals, which turned out to be grossly untrue.
So I’m asking you cat people out there: have you EVER heard of this? I’m really interested to know, and if you HAVE heard this, what’s my aromatic alternative? I already have lemon cats, I don’t need faulty livers on top of that. Help!
Mommy instinct is fallible. And…I think it’s gonna be one of those months.
In case you were waiting with baited breath to find out how Moosh is…
He’s fine. This has been confirmed with a vet visit. He did pee on Monday so I wasn’t worried about crystals anymore but since hanging out in the bathtub randomly isn’t always a good sign either, I decided to take him anyway. This decision was partly based on the fact that he was also overdue for his yearly visit. That fact made me feel like much less of an overreacting freako crazy cat lady.
Listen, if there’s one really good thing you can say about crazy cat ladies, we know our kitties. (Well, that and we take an awful lot of cat pictures.) When something’s off, it’s off.
But in this case, whatever was making Moosh more weird than normal had run its course by this morning, because he was acting perfectly fine. I rushed home from work, lured Moosh out from under the bed with treats and tried to stuff him in the carrier before he was fully awake. Didn’t work. The boyfriend came home just as I was attempting this lovely task, guess who got to help? And guess who got clawed? Sorry baby, thanks so much for the help though!
For a laid back cat, Moosh sure hates the cat carrier. He NEVER meows, except for when he’s hungry, and then it’s a wussy ass “meeewp” but in the carrier, he’s like Taco times 10. He’s really got quite a range.
Anyway. He’s all normal. Including his weirdness, he’s back to his normal weird, instead of the weird weird. The vet pointed out that it may be the changing weather or changing furniture. Probably has something to with the glass breakage too. I found another giant chunk of it tonight. Not quite sure where that was hiding. These boys are lucky they’re not sliced to hell. Taco, on the other hand, didn’t even eat tonight because he’s too busy hissing at Moosh. This will last 3 days. Come ON, Taco, it’s only your freakin’ brother that you see every freakin’ day. He can’t possibly smell THAT different. Starve, then. See if I care. You eat your brother’s food all the time anyway. It’s about time you know how he feels.
My boys are crazy. Just like their mother.
Oh, and then I got home, and decided to check my coolant levels because it smelled like burning antifreeze. Surprise! There’s a leak. I just got a new radiator, I am going to assume that is the most expensive thing that would cause a leak and I can rule that one out, so we’ll pretend for now that it will be a cheap fix. See? Power of positive thinking in effect. At least my babies are healthy. And I have a boyfriend willing to take a claw for me.
And I got to gush over these adorable babies at the vet!
TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED bad kitty mommy.
As you all may know, today was the first day you could pre-order the new iPhone 5. I currently have the 4 (not 4S, pre-Siri) and it’s about time for an upgrade. Why? It just is. Because I’m an adult and I can. So despite the fact that I ordered it before most people are awake, I missed the first boat and will have to wait 2 weeks instead of just one to receive it. Apparently they sold out in an hour. I would have had to be up at 3. Too early for me. I COULD wait in line at the store, but I’m not THAT crazy. I don’t like people and I don’t like waiting. Sounds horrible.
So as I sit here in between jobs (I would normally be at the gym but my leg is incredibly sore, I think I pulled something as usual), I have Taco on my lap purring, and it occurs to me that I could have bought my boys a very nice cat tree with the money I just spent on a cell phone. I barely even use it as a phone. Everything else, yes.
Moosh Moosh needs his shots, too, which is about the price of the phone, that I will be putting off, since I just bought a phone that is better but not incredibly different than the one I currently have (except it’s bigger, thinner, the front facing camera is 720p now, that’s a big deal, if you’ve ever used the front facing camera on the iPhone you will know that there is NO flattering angle even remotely possible).
Beyond the cats, I could have used the money to buy a laptop, which I actually NEED, or rather, I NEED in order to do work while watching football instead of being chained to the desk away from TVs. Which in itself makes me a bad kitty mom to WANT to do that because Taco only sits on my lap when I’m sitting at the computer (like right now – he’s so purry and cute!). He’ll probably feel so alone if I have a computer on my lap instead. He’ll be heartbroken and run away. Moosh will be fine, I suppose, he likes my shoulders better anyway.
But yeah. I’m an iWhore. We all have our vices. Don’t judge.
As most of the world is, I’m currently fascinated with the olympics. At the tender age of 30, I realize my athletic prime has passed and it’s unlikely that I’ll find my niche to win gold. But I think about the sports and activities that passed me by…like gymnastics. I’m 5’8″ now, and I’m broad. If I stopped eating, I’d still be a large skeleton. So that wasn’t a sport made for me. Rhythmic gymnastics? I remember having some cassette tape when I was a kid…it came with the stick with the ribbon and you were supposed to do twirlies with it but that’s about all I remember of it. Obviously rhythmic gymnastics didn’t make that much of an impression on me either. I did swimming for awhile, I wasn’t bad but I wasn’t Natalie Coughlin or anything. I took diving classes, I was terrified. Not of the height, but the flippy flips. I think I saw the Greg Louganis faceplant too early in life. Never been much of a runner, so that’s out. It’s just flat out amusing to watch me play tennis. I manage to hit the ball over the fence repeatedly. Fencing sounds fun but I never had the opportunity. Weightlifting, in theory, sounds like something I would be good at. I build muscle easily. But I’m also prone to injury and “clean and jerk” sounds like waaaaay too much opportunity to pop something out of place.
Now SHOTPUT. That is something I could have excelled at. Except I don’t recall them offering that in high school. Where does one go to start shotputting? I’m excellent at throwing things. Aiming, that is a different story. The safest place to be is where I am trying to throw something.
Which brings me, in a VERY roundabout way, to the subject of my post. Throwing mousies. I am SUPER KICK ASS at throwing mousies.
Unfortunately for the boyfriend, as per the above-mentioned aiming abilities, I usually hit him with the mousies. Face, crotch, the exact place on the floor where he will immediately step on it and curse me…this is not on purpose. The cats, bless their hearts, will come to a screeching halt when mousie lands on Daddy. They know better. It would probably be worse if he got hit with cat, too. I’m also one of those people who laugh at inappropriate times…which makes him even madder. My own ineptness at aiming and the hilarity that ensues brings on a giggle that can’t be controlled. The inappropriateness of it makes me giggle more, and well, you can see where that goes.
I’ve always thought that the cats lose the mousies under things and in closets and such…but after writing this I’m questioning that conclusion.
Seriously, though, if being a crazy cat lady was an olympic sport I would win gold every four years. I realize I have stiff competition, but I’m pretty crazy. I exercise my crazy cat ladyness EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY.
UPDATE: I just found the thing that I did with the cassette tape (and by that I mean I searched the interwebz) — GET IN SHAPE, GIRL! OMG I totally remember this! I wish I still had this. I sense a youtube 80s fest.
All black cats do not look the same.
I love black cats. I don’t know why. I also love the color black. I’m not goth or anything, it just matches with things so well. And it’s slimming.
Fatty, he lives with my mom, he’s rotund (as the name implies). He’s got medium length hair so he’s extra fluffy, and he’s got big, wide greenish-gold eyes.
Jager, he was our little kitten that we lost to FIP (I always want to write about him but it’s too personal to a story for me to share just yet), he was wiry and had amber colored eyes.
Moosh, he’s a big boy (like a panther, not like Fatty) and his eyes change color, but they’re mostly midway between Fatty’s and Jager’s.
They all look completely different to me. When we lost Jager, the boyfriend didn’t want another black cat, because he felt like it would remind him of Jager too much. To me, this is like saying all girls with blonde hair look the same. That’s ridiculous. Moosh won him over anyway, so that was a moot point. When I talked him into a 2nd, I wanted another black one, but he thought it would be confusing. This is why we don’t have children. What if we had twins? Chaos would ensue. Also a moot point, because Taco came along, and although he has a black brother, I didn’t have much choice in the matter, because Taco was up for grabs, not his brother Zorro.
So because all cats have slightly different facial features, eye shape, eye color, etc., it greatly surprises me when I browse around other cat blogs to see pictures of kitties that look strikingly similar to my own. This is not to say I couldn’t pick mine out of a lineup. Moosh has one little fu manchu whisker on his chin and stray white hairs here and there that I know the exact placement of. Taco has a freckle on his head and a little one on his chin.
I can usually even tell which one of them is sleeping on my feet at night, just by moving. Moosh is more bulk. Taco is more snake. He just melts into wherever he is.
Last night I was out with some friends, including the one who gave us Taco. She still has Zorro, and the momma of the two. We often compare kitty stories, but her boyfriend hadn’t heard them before and was amazed to hear that they’re so similar even though they’ve grown up in two totally different environments. Granted, my friend is one of the awesomest people that I know and a fellow crazy cat lady, so I’m sure the parenting skills are on par with my own, but cats do form their own personalities so it is pretty interesting that their genetics have such an effect on them. They’re both loud, jump chest high and get into EVERYTHING. Zorro doesn’t pee on their couch though. I got the lemon. But lemon cats are my THING, apparently, so I roll with it.
Sigh. This makes me want another black cat.