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?
What I accomplished today: very little.
But I did manage to do something that, while briefly lived, was immensely satisfying. This little miracle? Making a cat sit on my lap. MY decision.
Of course, this doesn’t sound like a monumental deal. After all, cats sit on laps all the time. Taco forces himself on my lap at LEAST once a day. But this time, it was my idea, and he submitted. HE SUBMITTED!
As all kitty mommies know, our children only do things that THEY feel like doing. How many times have you decided to feed your brats (when they weren’t meowing for it) only to have them take a sniff and walk off, only to return when they deemed it suppertime? Or had a bad day and wanted nothing more than a big, furry hug from your little one, but receive the cold shoulder. If they’re feeling particularly ornery, they’ll hide somewhere you can’t possibly extract them from.
So today, a day of accomplishing nothing but finishing season 3 of Breaking Bad (yeah, 2 weekends in a row – so irresponsible and flat-out lazy), I can take comfort in that for at least five minutes, I made a cat sit on my lap. Without struggling, of course, because heaven knows I’ve forced both the brats to cuddle for periods of time. No, the only glory is in a comfortably seated, even purry cat. And I did it.
Insert Rocky music here (Bill Conti’s Gonna Fly Now, if you weren’t sure which one).
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.
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!”
I see now that this was step 1 of the evil plan.
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.
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.
As a mother of any species can tell you, you know when something’s a little off with your children. And despite the fact that my brats are never really what I’d call “all there,” they’re acting weirder than usual. I don’t know if it’s the fact that they had their parents home for a whole 5 days or the weather or if they’re just feeling their age as a result of their recent birthdays, but even the boyfriend’s noticed. It’s not anything I can put my finger on. Just some weird crap here and there.
Moosh will stop in a part of the room he usually won’t (yeah, I notice this crap) and stare at me. Usually he just waits by his food bowl and stares. He’s also being really needy. Following us around and looking at us pitifully for attention.
Taco can’t sit still. He’s in my face 24/7, and when he’s not, he’s in weird places, like my closet (this is Moosh’s usual haunt) and in Moosh’s basket (also, as you might have gathered by the title of the resting place, Moosh’s). Taco’s also started kneading me when he lays on me in bed. Yes, I know this is a NORMAL cat activity, but he’s never really been much of a kneader (Jackson Galaxy calls this “smurgling” but never explained if that’s some sort of scientific term — it seems like an odd choice for a serious scientist to choose, but whatever) and he does it ON me. I’m fairly certain that my skin isn’t as rewarding to smurgle on as, say, a cushy blanket. I don’t mind it so much. It’s more like a change-up pitch in baseball. Throwin’ a fast ball at me forever and now you’re going to throw a slider? You know what? That’s a horrible analogy. I’m assuming you get the point.
I don’t know what this all means, but it throws me off. And I hate change.
Today is the shared birthday of my baby boys.
The boyfriend refuses to believe this is possible. Moosh’s birthday is, of course, not as definite, since he was found as a kitten after being thrown out of a car, but given that Taco was birthed behind my friend’s house, I DO know this for a fact. Whatever, they don’t care when their birthdays are. As long as they get extra treats, they’re ecstatic. I don’t know how to bake cat cakes, or else I would. Maybe hash brownies with catnip instead of hash? I don’t know how to make hash brownies, either. I’m pretty sure chocolate is bad for cats, too. Well. They’ll just have to deal with a little extra love today. Crap, I think I need to buy them wet food, too. Boy, I’m an awesome mommy.
Moving on. Moosh Moosh is officially an old man at 5, which in cat years is 37.
He’s older than ME! But still younger than the boyfriend. HAH!
Taco is still a little younger than me, 3 actual years, 29 in cat years.
Shouldn’t he be running out of steam yet? He thinks he’s still a kitten. I just tried telling him that and he looked at me, then continued to lick his foot. Ah, to not care about one’s age! Then again, I think I’m still in my twenties. At what age is it no longer appropriate to wear neon? I hope never. I’m not a fan of Chico’s or Ann Taylor Loft. But I don’t want to end up looking like those ladies who can’t let go of their youth, wearing midriffs and stripper heels. Please smack me if I’m ever that lady.
I suggested taking the kitties to the beach for their birthday, after all, it’s one big litter box…but they hate fresh air, and probably water. Oh well.
Yep. It’s that day again. The day we all celebrate our moms. And deservedly so. The mothers of the world do so much for us (and put up with a lot of brats like me). I appreciate my mommy every day of the year, except, of course, when I’m trying to get off the phone with her. This is a common mom thing, I hear. I think there’s a secret school for it somewhere. You have to start at least 15 minutes before you absolutely HAVE to get off the phone.
But enough about that. I know I posted something like this last year on Mother’s Day, but it’s worth saying again.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO THE KITTY MOMMIES!
You’re underappreciated. Especially those of you with special needs kitties. It’s not often understood why someone would take on caring for a pet who needs so much help. I really want to punch people who think that animals with problems should just be “put down” because after all, “they’re just animals.” One of these days, I probably WILL punch someone for saying that. And I’ll be ok with it.
One of my fellow bloggers has a paraplegic cat. I admire the hell out of her for it. It warms my heart that there ARE people out there who don’t need to be punched. On the newest episode of My Cat From Hell, the trouble cat had a neurological disorder that made it positively heartbreaking to watch him attempt to walk. And only one eye. But he had someone that took him in and gave him the life he couldn’t have gotten on his own, or maybe even with another caretaker who wouldn’t have had the patience to love and care for him. And despite the fact that he was hell-bent on tormenting the other cat, she never in a million years would give up her baby.
Taco is vaguely special needs. He also has a neurological disorder (that makes him pee where he’s not supposed to when he has a flare-up), but it’s not life-threatening and while it wears my patience extremely thin sometimes, I wouldn’t trade him for the world. He’s my baby. So is Moosh Moosh, despite being what I’m pretty sure can only be described as “a little slow.” I love them just as hard as I would love my own flesh and blood.
So. To the responsible, loving, amazing cat moms — *I* appreciate you. And I’m giving myself a little pat on the back today, too. Because we deserve it.
We’re gettin’ serious today.
The older I get, the more I get confused as to why my biological clock isn’t yearning to procreate. After all, the boyfriend and I are in a stable relationship (stability is relative after 10 years). We’re far from rich but people raise children on far less; my mother did without taking any help (except child support, that’s a given). We’re not married, not because either of us are afraid of commitment (I think 10 years kinda proves that) but a) because neither of us are religious, therefore there’s no “living in sin” or any of that business, b) it’s cheaper to break up than get divorced and besides, it’s pretty clear that neither of us are going anywhere (right, honey?) and c) I adore being the center of attention so in light of A and B, the most fun part of getting married would be to have a wedding for ME, with a fancy dress and all sorts of selfish things, all of which are expensive, and I refuse to go into debt in order to do something that’s completely unnecessary.
But I don’t seem to want children. My best friend has a beautiful (not so little anymore, she’s almost taller than her mom now) girl, she was young and it was unexpected but from the moment she gave birth, she became this amazing mom whose world revolved around her baby. I’ve known her forever, so when I went to visit her and her newborn in the hospital for the first time, I saw the transformation. While I was awed that she made that little baby, I felt nothing more than aunty pride and love for my friend and her new addition. I don’t see babies and start cooing. In fact, I don’t even know how to treat babies, and for that matter, children. Do you talk to them like adults? Do you baby talk? Do you ignore them when they’re running underfoot? Do you pay attention to every single word they say? (If you’ve been around kids, you’ll know about that age when they never stop talking and asking questions regardless of anyone paying attention to them).
But cats. I see cats and I want to take them home with me. Cats I connect with.
I constantly wonder if I’m making a mistake. If one day I’m going to regret not having children. I’m 31 now. I expected that when I got older, more WANT would kick in. It’s not. Frankly, the idea of pregnancy alone scares the shit out of me. Nine months without a beer, even on a really bad day. Morning sickness. People touching my belly without asking. Swollen feet. And BIRTH. Gah.
And when THAT unpleasantness is over, you’re suddenly responsible for a LIFE. And it’s not just the responsibility of keeping them alive, although that’s rather important. You have to decide how to raise them. Worry about how the decisions you make will form them. I’m incredibly happy with the way I turned out, and I thank my parents for that, but I also know there’s a large genetic component there, one that I can’t control. What if my kids are nerdy and unpopular? I wasn’t the most popular kid in school, and I had my fair share of bullying, which I think most people do, but it made me stronger and I learned how to stand up for myself. I learned how to find friends that were like me and not worry about being popular. What if my kid doesn’t flourish?
I read an article this week written by a woman who regretted having children. She was incredibly open about it and although at some points I felt she was a little too callous and seemed to have a bit of a superiority complex, it made me feel better. Having a child doesn’t come with a 30-day trial. If after 9 months, I find that my “mommy instinct” doesn’t kick in, what then? It seems to me like an awfully big gamble.
Cats I can do. Cats fit with my own selfishness. They’re there when I need them (and often when I don’t) but can take care of themselves, and can do so as soon as they’re weaned. They don’t have to wait for me to take them outside to poop. They’ll go when they please.
People don’t understand this. They tell me I should want kids. That cats aren’t a substitute. Well you know what? Fuck you. Humans aren’t all they’ve cracked up to be. And there’s plenty of us out there. Too many, in fact. Kids are cute. I like them. But I also like giving them back. I love my “me” time. Cats don’t take much effort. Some food, some love, some play, and I can go about my day. I feel rewarded.
Sometimes I wish I wanted kids so I wouldn’t have to wonder about my future regret. But I can’t justify “giving it a go” only to find our that I was right in my own self-realization all along. It’s a life we’re talking about. Who wants to grow up feeling unwanted?
Part 2 of vet visit. The bill. The one that made me faint.
My vet is not a bargain vet. I could find a cheaper one. But I’ve been to a few, and I’ve learned that the peace of mind that comes with having a vet you have complete confidence in and really like is worth its weight in gold. And I don’t just like my regular vet, either. I like the other vet in the office, and the staff as well. No one talks down to me, everyone patiently listens to my bazillion questions and my overanalyzing. I find that I like women docs more, too. I can probably chalk this up to the fact that I’ve only had interactions with 2 male vets and I didn’t feel like either of them were particularly affable. I’m sure there’s plenty of really awesome male docs. I just haven’t met them. In conclusion, when your cats are your children, nothing is more important. So I’ll happily pay a lil more for their care.
I’d expected a decent-sized bill. I just didn’t expect HOW much.
1. Exam. Expected.
2. Bloodwork. Expected. Not expected? Adding the charge to recheck Taco for FeLV and FIV. Suggested because one of his pupils was noticeably bigger than the other. Apparently, even kitties have been screened for this as babies, it’s recommended that they’re screened again 2 months after moving into forever home. Taco wasn’t, and either of these could be a cause for different sized pupils. This is where paying extra for a good vet comes in…Upon your kitty’s first visit, they take his or her picture for their records, as well as make a little laminated tag to put on the carrier. My vet compared the picture to the live Taco and noted that his pupils were fine in the pic. DETAILS. I LOVE THEM. I haven’t gotten the results back yet. Also another reason I love my vet? They’re super up on technology. They email.
3. Rabies vaccine. Expected. Don’t necessarily agree with this one, but it’s required for his kitty license and if we need to board them on vacay.
4. License. Forgotten about, but expected. Stupid, because they’ll never get out. Of course it’s possible, but my cats are terrified of the outside world. Twice the door has opened accidentally and not noticed for a few hours and no one went near it.
5. Kitty probiotics.
Don’t laugh. Taco has the MOST rank-smelling poo in the world. It’s impossible for me to understand how he and Moosh eat the same thing but comes out SO much more foul from his ass. Adding the probiotics helps a bit. Worth the money. I promise.
Not expected. Was reminded it’s coming up on flea season again. Wish to avoid an invasion. And yes, I know there’s natural options for fleas but I’ve tried all of them, and trust me, they don’t work in Florida. It’s all dirt here, which is flea heaven.
7. Kitty food.
Taco’s stupid prescription food. I suppose it’s not horribly expensive but in my eyes, it is for crap food that’s not natural or organic or byproduct-free. But it helps him, so who am I to complain?
And that, my dears, is why Mommy is eating PB&Js for awhile. I never thought I’d spend so much on a vaguely healthy cat. Sigh.
Still waiting for my brats to start working. The slugs are sleeping at the moment.
I’m about to send them out with resumes.
Yesterday was Taco vet day. Just a yearly checkup thing. He’s been fairly healthy. Annoying, but that’s not a health issue. Only in regards to my mental state.
Getting Taco to the vet is a two-person job. I knew he wasn’t going to go quietly, so I asked the boyfriend to do the prep work and have him ready to go. However, the little MFer immediately ran under the bed when the carrier came out, at which point it required both of us to tag team the effort. Upon getting him in the carrier, he immediately began thrashing about. Not even out of the house yet. Then the meowing started. Then the meowing didn’t stop.
It’s a 15-minute drive. Of loud.
Of course, I then began embarking on the futile effort of soothing him with calming words. And I continued to despite the fact that it did absolutely nothing. Although I did discover that he answered me in different tones here and there, which amused me. It seemed that saying his name resulted in a slightly lower volume, but only the 1st two meows. The 3rd went back to gutteral. We continued like this all the way into the vet, where he announced himself loudly upon being carried in.
Thus begins part 3 of the vet experience. The shakes. For all of Taco’s bravado, he’s a big freaking baby. He scrunches into one corner of his carrier and shivers. With an occasional loud meow, attracting all onlookers to comment on what an adorable cat he is, which at this point, doesn’t even fill me with mommy pride because now everyone can see what a wussy cat I’ve raised.
Part 4. The exam room.
Still uncooperative. Still meowing. The vet and the vet assistant have trouble holding him. He is really quite a talented squirmer. I will give him credit for not lashing out with claws. Except that would kinda be less wussy. Despite his best efforts (and a loud, random meow on the scale), I learned that he was healthy, that he gained an ounce (this I don’t understand, he eats everything) and that he runs hot at the vet from all the shaking and flustering. Oh, then the vet noticed one pupil was larger than the other and suggested I take him to an animal ophthalmist (however the hell you spell that. I’m not looking it up.). I’m not overly concerned about this. My eyes do that too. My eye doc said it’s unlikely I have a brain tumor because I’d know it by now. But nonetheless, we threw on FeLV and FIV testing into the bloodwork just in case, because he’s only been tested for those once.
Then I paid the bill. Now I’m broke. That’s a whole other story for another post (although I will add that I wasn’t OVERcharged, he’s just expensive). And Taco still hasn’t gotten a job to pay his way. I’m not taking him to a cat eye doc until he earns his damn keep.