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.
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.
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.
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?
I don’t know if anyone else have cats that seem to ADORE smashing their faces into yours, but I have one and a half. Moosh shows his love through borderline violent face smushing, hence his name, Moosh Moosh (he was Oz when we got him, renamed him Porkchop and again renamed when it became apparent he was indeed a Moosh Moosh). Taco does it when he’s REALLY REALLY craving attention, not just his usual meowing and stepping over to get attention. The face isn’t so much his target, though. Any part will do.
Anyway, I bring this up because I have had a piece of cat hair stuck in my eye ALL DAY. I can feel it with and without my contact in. It’s not super painful, but it’s annoying. I only know it’s a cat hair because I saw it and tried to get it out and it disappeared to wreak havoc on my poor eyeball all freaking day long.
This is not the first time. I’m always pulling effing cat hairs out of my eyes. I’m lucky that most of my wardrobe is black or I’d be furry all day long, thanks to my laziness regarding lint brushes. If it’s not in my eyeball, it’s right after I’ve applied the stickiest lip gloss ever. Try fixing THAT without getting hairy, sticky lip gloss all over your face.
So can I shave them? I think i could handle the claws but they’re both so jittery (I don’t know why they like us and hate new people so much, WE’RE the ones that torture them) I think I would scar them horribly with a loud razor. At the very least, Taco’s stress levels are of utmost concern, as we currently (get this) have couches FREE OF PEE PADS! CRAY, as the kids say these days. Taco sleeps on the couches a lot lately, which the boyfriend sees as a concern but is exciting to me because the vet said they won’t piss where they rub their face. “Sleep on” is close enough to “rub face on” for me. So exciting.
This is what my life has been reduced to. Complaining about cat hair in my eye and being enthralled about cats not peeing on my couch. And writing a blog about it while my boyfriend watches Shahs of Sunset, which despite my love for horrorshow reality shows, does nothing for me. Oddly, I’m ok with all of this.
So I’m just posting more pictures of Moosh Moosh’s wacky hi-jinx.
I really wish Jackson Galaxy would come to Florida. I watched the first show of the new season of My Cat From Hell last night and while it’s great and all, I am NOT taking Taco for a walk around the block here, which was one of his suggestions for a Bengal on the show. Maybe that works in California and New York but I can just imagine the flea party that would ensue here. Plus, Taco absolutely hates fresh air. He freaks out. Which in turn, will stress him out, which will cause a flare-up of his Feline Idiopathic Cystitis and then he will pee in MORE inappropriate places. I still have a shower curtain and puppy pads on my couch. And a weekly spraying of cat stay-off spray, whatever that is.
My cats have some of the same issues these cats on the show have, but there’s always something just different enough that his solutions won’t work for me. Moosh bites randomly. Sometimes I can tell when he’s about to by a tail thump but sometimes it’s out of the blue. He’ll be purring, belly up getting pets when BAM! Bite. It’s not a certain spot that I touch…I’ve poked and prodded to check. I know what DOES provoke him, and according to last night’s episode, I am not supposed to be doing what I do, which is using my hand as a toy. I pet his head backwards and smush his face, and his eyes get big and black and he lunges as I move my hand away. Sometimes this ends badly for me. But I can immediately get him out of attack/play mode by putting my face in his face. It’s like his off switch. It’s like he knows face is a no scratch zone, and he nuzzles. Here’s the thing, though…Moosh is such a weird cat that he’s not really into toys. He has a passing interest in some occasionally and that’s about it. Taco, on the other hand, plays with anything and everything. He must know I’m writing about him because 5 minutes ago he was DEAD asleep on the bed and he’s just entered the room meowing at me. He is a SUPER attention hog.
Jackson also says that cats are either tree dwellers or bush dwellers. Moosh is definitely a tree dweller, he wants to be on top of everything. I found him in my cabinet once. Next to the clean glasses. Taco has no interest in jumping on much unless there’s something for him to mess with. He can, however, jump chest high. I wish I had a better camera that was capable of catching him in a leap, because it’s really a sight to see. I assume that’s the Bengal in him. I don’t know what any of this means in terms of making my cats behave better, though.
I was tempted to buy a cat wheel for Taco to get out his energy, as I saw on an older episode. I found out they are rather expensive. I decided running up and down the stairs is exercise enough.
In summary, PLEASE COME TO MY HOUSE, JACKSON GALAXY! I know that my cats are not threatening lives but I would like to use my couch again. And sleep in a little on weekends. And make Taco stop eating Moosh Moosh’s food. And find out why Moosh licks blinds, which isn’t harmful but really freakin’ weird.
I admit, sometimes I’m not the best kitty mommy. For example, I let the boys go without wet food for almost an entire week because I kept forgetting to go buy some (but then, I also forgot to take back my Redbox movies for a week too, I might as well just keep them at this point). In all fairness, there was a tropical storm going on earlier in the week that hindered errands a bit, and I do work two jobs. But I felt bad at my forgetfulness nevertheless.
Sometimes I forget to clean the litterbox. This is rather hard to do when there is a big stinko in there, but if there’s not or it’s covered well I’m prone to forget. Then I feel awful when I finally do and discover they’ve been slogging around in 10 pounds of waste.
I also don’t completely change out the litter every 2 weeks. I let it go sometimes. I’m pretty sure this is bad.
When it’s kitty dinnertime, if I am doing something more important, I make them wait. I also don’t completely clean their dishes all the time, or at least as well as I should. This is shameful.
On occasion, I torture them for my own amusement, like holding them on my lap and laughing at them as they struggle to get away. The horror!
Once, I left Taco in my car for 3 minutes while I went inside a store on the way home from the vet. It was a very nice and un-hot day, and I was parked in the shade, but I felt like I deadbeat mom as I waited in line and craned my neck to look out the window.
I’m not even remotely the best kitty mom in the world, but I justify it by telling myself that my love for them is so enormous that it eclipses my bad momminess. So far, that still assuages the guilt.
We aren’t TECHNICALLY getting hit with the tropical storm, although it wouldn’t be my first. As a girl born and raised in the SUNNY (hint, hint Mother Nature!) state of Florida, I’m used to it. In fact, where I live is actually a peninsula ON the peninsula of Florida, so I’m really effed if a hurricane comes a knockin’. But it hasn’t…yet. One of my first memories is Hurricane Elena, she came around when I was 3. The eye never really came on land here but most of it did, so we evacuated to what would later be my high school. Fun times.
Back to today. Tropical Storm Debby may be going to Texas, but she is dropping a lot of her back end over here. It hasn’t stopped raining all day. The kind of rain that isn’t even worth venturing to the grocery store in, even if you have really cute pink leopard print galoshes like me. It’s floody, windy, nasty rain. Every time I think it’s getting lighter, it starts deluging again.
So really, perfect weather for doing the work that I am supposed to do this weekend anyway. Oh, and laundry. Supposed to finish that too. But I haven’t started it yet, because Moosh decided he wanted to cuddle, and I can’t say no to a cuddle. I guess he doesn’t like rainy days either. He headbutted me so hard it hurt. Violent snuggler.
So I have wasted a large part of my day already in bed with a book and a cat. But really, is there any other way one SHOULD spend such a craptastic day?
A scientific mind overanalyzes everything. This is what I tell myself to make myself feel better, anyway.
Although I am a fan of all animals, I am most definitely a cat person. I won’t even kill insects unless they are stinging me or in my house, which I consider fair game.
After a lifetime of careful thought, this is my conclusion: I love things more when I have to fight for it. This is true of my love life as well.
The boyfriend and I will have been together for 9 years as of June 7th. We’ve definitely had our ups and downs but in the end, I love the hell out of him and I know he loves the hell out of me — I mean, how could he not? But we don’t always LIKE each other. I’m not saying that we ever hate each other…we’re just both independent people who are totally ok having alone time and we are both easily annoyed. There is a balance of power in a relationship that is always shifting. My theory is that this is what keeps things interesting. We always love each other, but the upper hand goes back and forth.
This, I think, is the basis of why I am a cat person. Hear me out.
The balance of power is always shifting in the kitty/kitty mommy relationship. They sit on your lap JUST as you’re about to get up, but refuse to sit there when you put them there yourself. They adore you when they’re ready to be fed, but might completely ignore you for an entire day in between feedings. Dogs love you ALL the time. Nothing against dogs, or people who love them. Personally, I just love a good fight. This is a genetic thing. I’m cocky, I can be arrogant, and every once in awhile I need a worthy opponent to take me down a peg or two.
So those times when I’m walking up to my house and see one of the babies jump in the window, looking happy to see me (when it’s NOT time for food), it brings me joy. They love me. I’ve won one round in the uphill lifetime battle. When I get an after-food snuggle, or a purr without being touched, I win. I will never continuously hold the upper hand. It just makes the victories that much sweeter.
And boyfriend (I know you tell me you read this but I don’t believe you), I love you. I know this is a RIDICULOUS anniversary message but after 9 years, I had to try something new. So here it is. Thank you for loving me and the kitties even though sometimes you pretend not to. And thank you for being my lifetime sparring partner. You keep me interested. Otherwise you’d be long gone =P
Can we get a kitten?
Not that I’m allowed to get another cat. The boyfriend has made it clear that if another cat moves in, he’s moving out. He does really useful things, like taking out the trash and using a toilet instead of a litter box. He’s also there for me to annoy incessantly when I’m bored with doing that to the cats. I guess there’s the whole “love” thing, too.
But every time I see adoptable cats, I want them. They are calling to me. I was at PetSmart today (I only shop there because I can get Taco’s prescription food there, which they SO INCONVENIENTLY put next to the adoptable cats) and these kitties were CALLING to me. One literally was, I told him I couldn’t have another mouth in the house. Taco is deafening enough. But there is always one that really really gets me. This time, it was a 10-month-old tabby/white mix. I generally don’t even like partly white cats (I like them all, I just usually don’t find them attractive). This big guy was so cute. I am a sucker for big paws, and he stretched those big mitts out at me, just BREAKING my heart.
This is where my moral dilemma comes in, even though it is a hypothetical one, since I can’t get another cat.
The kitties at this PetSmart were from the Pinellas County Animal Shelter. The animal shelter is NOT a no-kill facility, meaning if these guys don’t don’t find homes, they’re euthanized for space. I know it’s logistically not possible for a state-funded operation to avoid this, but I don’t particularly want to support it, either. So how can you choose between saving an animal that might otherwise be “put down” or supporting a facility (through your adoption fee) that makes every effort to not euthanize?
All of my cats are strays. Except Taco, his mom was rescued while preggers, so he’s never really known the streets. As much as I dream about having full-blood Bengal or a Cheetoh or a Toyger, there are so many stray, unwanted and unloved babies out there without it being necessary to breed more. Besides, Taco is part Bengal and if I pretend he’s bigger, Moosh is almost Panther-like.
I guess the end result is what really matters. You save an animal, no matter how you do it.
And when I can, I assuage my guilt by donating when I can, and taking my old clothes over to the Friends of Strays thrift store. I wish I could volunteer but two jobs take up most of my time and I doubt I’d be much help crying over wanting to take them all home. It would be like putting a drug addict in an evidence room.
Just in case anyone feels like donating…these are really good no- kill shelters that can always use the help:
So, Moosh. He’s a weirdo. After we initially fell in love with his face nuzzling, we got him home to learn his many quirks.
First, he was kinda cross-eyed when he was younger. We really didn’t think he could see up close at all. It seems to have straightened out a bit but sometimes I still don’t think he can see up close. He also needed to try everything once. I found him climbing a wall. He singed his whiskers sniffing a candle. He’s never done either of these things again.
We also learned that he was a biter. If you walked away from playing with him, he would lunge at your leg and bite your calf. Not hard, but weirdly…like he would just open his mouth and aim at your leg. No paws, just like a shark. He’s a little better now that he’s older but every once in awhile he gets a wild hair and nips.
Most random thing ever: he licks blinds. I don’t know WHY he licks blinds, but he tends to do it more in mornings than he does at other times of the day.
He has the pussiest of meows. I know from past experience that he is capable of a howl, but he chooses to squeak instead. He is the bigger of the two cats and it’s hilarious to hear them whine together…Taco’s big MRROOOOWW to Moosh’s “mreep”
He gets what we call the “skinny face” when he’s happy. It’s hard to explain, but his face looks skinnier when he’s in la-la-land purring. It might have something to do with his eyes getting super dilated to make his face extra black (because, as you know, black is slimming), but then, he does that when he’s ready to pounce too. Who knows.
He loves the vet. He hates getting there, but once he’s there he parades around the exam table like it’s his time to shine. He doesn’t even mind the rectal thermometer.
He perches. You can’t just hold him. He needs to be on your shoulders. He’s really pretty good there, although he claws the boyfriend a lot because he never listens to me. You have to adapt to his climb and put your arm up to help. Otherwise a back paw will gouge your chest…or push your shirt down, putting you at risk for flashing.
I like these perches most of the time (when I’ve been dutiful about clipping his claws), there is nothing quite like walking around with a cat as a parrot on your shoulder.