Cats Mimic Their Owners

Type in the phrase “do cats (or pets) reflect their owners’ personalities” and you’ll get a number of articles that discuss that yes, they do.  I think about this every now and then when I catch my cats doing something that reminds me of myself.  For example, I like music and particularly rhythm.  One day I tuned in to Toby’s water drinking rhythm and found that it wasn’t the typical metronome of a lap. Nope. Toby was licking the water in triplets, which if you aren’t familiar, are in a rhythmic timing that sounds just like the word.  Tap your leg steadily, and for each tap say the word “trip-l-et”.  That’s the rhythm Toby always drinks to, humorously more pronounced on the pulse, or beat 1.

Crazy!

Another quirky similarity I see is in Timba, who is younger than Toby by a year and a half. I got Timba as a kitten and he was all piss and vinegar, truly a feisty Flame Point who prowled the apartment like a lion searching out who or what he could ‘burn’ with his flaming personality. In essence, he was, and still is an instigator.  Sibling rivalry exists because of Timba.  That is strikingly resemblant to my own childhood. I used to instigate my older brother and then run to my mother when he retaliated, thereby getting him in trouble. I was a little snot in that regard, just as I’m sure that this is the way Toby heavily regarded Timba, and may sometimes still do.

Another odd thing I notice with Toby is that he has strict preference on his snuggling posture.  When he climbs up me to rest in my arms, he always does so facing the left. He never sits in my arms facing to the right.  If I put him that way he squirms and protests until I switch him around facing the left, eliciting his cute little sigh that say “yes, all is right with the world now.”  In a similar fashion, I only lay on my right side when I rest.  I can hardly be on my left side for more than a few minutes until all is not right with my world, so I flip to the right and do my own little sigh.

While all cats seem to have an appreciation for subtlety, Timba has a much more pronounced interest in it.  I also appreciate subtlety and notice minute details and changes in the people or environment around me.  Timba is highly attuned to the slightest of changes.  One of my favorite things to do with him is to take his fishing pole rod toy and move it painstakingly slowly across the bed.  I watch him stare at it, eyes dilated and ears back, ready to pounce. If I scoot it across the bed quickly he hardly gives it a second glance. But throw subtle movement in and he’s intrigued to the nth degree, just like me.

So what habits or personality traits of yours do you see your cats or dogs reflecting? Please feel free to comment and share! Research shows there is a correlation, and personal experience for me does as well.  I’d love to hear your own humorous stories of how your fur-babies “take after you”!

 

 

The Difference Between Cats and Humans is … Sleep

It’s 4:00 a.m. and I am awake, and after various attempts to cope with insomnia and tire myself (internet browsing, Facebook, etc) I have come to the conclusion that I envy my cats.  Toby and Timba are the only things still and asleep on my bed.  Meanwhile my eyes have tiny invisible toothpicks propping them open and I can’t decide whether my mind is racing faster or my restless legs.  I am out of my medication and dealing with all the fickle roadblocks of Obama(doesn’t)care in addition to the side effects of missing even one night’s dose.  Now I have to find a new doctor, but I’m taking that relatively in stride.  Such are the things we humans must deal with.

But not cats.  What blissful lives they live, that is, if they are in a loving home.  Free from worry and stress, regular meals, toys and perches and permanent retirement looking out sunny windows all day, plus love and affection.  And sleep.  Oh the sleep! They typically sleep 15 hours a day and some can sleep up to 20 hours in a 24 hour period.  Therefore, the fact that my cats will be waking up at kitty peak time around dawn bears no significance for them in terms of insomnia.  Whereas I will be dreadfully miserable when dawn hits in a few hours, knowing that the alarm is set for 8:00 a.m.

Perhaps around 7:00 a.m., when my body succumbs to a mere hour of teasing rest, I will wake suddenly to a game of chase, or Toby launching from my body, or Toby nudging my hands for a petting, or Timba walking on my body with the weight of three Tobys, his paws drilling into my pliable “I’m not fat, I’m fluffy” flesh.  Timba is my drill sergeant who faithfully yet indiscriminately employs his duties on a daily basis.  In the daytime, if I am lying on my bed, I can anticipate and thwart a painful crossing over my body (because of course cats are geometrically in tune – “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line”).

But when I am asleep, when I am asleep, I usually do not know I’m being abused.  Instead I wake up the next day wondering why I’m sore in certain places, or where those small circular bruises came from.  And when I fail to clip their claws in a timely fashion, I have the added bonus of prick wounds here and there and in the oddest of places.  Unfortunately my new bed has somehow caused me to start lying on my back some nights, and these are the worst for kitty paw injuries.  My sides could handle it, from head to toe.  Tougher skin there?

At any rate, there’s nothing like an abdominal thrust in the morning to jump-start my day.  Maybe Toby’s launch or both of them walking on me is really an attempt to ensure proper diaphragm functioning.  Honestly though, the “oomph” of a whoosh of air that comes out of me as I wake to unmindful kitties isn’t what I’d call a befitting breathing boost. (Sigh) But I love them.  Despite my jealous streak regarding their luxurious lives and in spite of their interference with my beauty sleep, I pardon them and cuddle them and continue to write affectionately about them.  Dream on little kitties, the sweetest of sleeps I bid you.  But do you mind, maybe just once, to not flaunt your well-rested, energetic, rearing-to-go bodies and forego the pouncing on the padding of mommy’s tummy? Thanks 🙂

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/daily-prompt-green-eyed-lady/

 

Your Cat Can Do What You Can’t

So I’m laying on my bed, hand to mouth in contemplative mode.  Toby and Timba alternate laying on a blanket a few feet from me, on my hip, or curling in my arm.  In the process of turning around to find the proper “curl” position, I am met with what I call the “heinous catanus” (pronounced kuh-TAY-nus).  Yes, the heinous cat butt pose, which is never found in any other place than in a human face.  I’ve seen so much cat rear in my 3 years of having them that I care not to count.  I’d be interested in the stats though.  I’ve heard it said that God knows the number of hairs on our heads.  I’d like to ask him someday just how many times I’ve been exposed to a furry behind.  Hmm …

So in the midst of moving Timba’s rump out of the way, I began thinking on less philosophical and weighty issues and began to wonder about all the things that cats do to us but we can’t do to them.  I daresay putting our butt in their faces would have any effect.  I’ve actually done this when trying to sit down where a cat has taken my spot.  Toby has the good sense to move, but with Timba I have to half sit on him, wiggle my rear a bit and tell him to move.  It’s mostly a failed attempt and I have to pick his cozy large body up and laugh at his pip squeak of a meow.  He’s kind of like Mike Tyson – a big brutish body with a tiny high-pitched voice.  And sometimes he bites, though I haven’t lost an ear.  Whew!

So here are a few things I notice that your cat can do to you but you can’t do to them:

1) Your cat can inspect your food and sneak a bite or two.  It can sniff your drinks, paw them, topple them, and get hair in them.  You can’t do this because it would mean bending down, getting on your knees, and stooping your head towards the cat bowls, which a) is uncomfortable, b) would make you look nuts, and if caught, go to the “special” hospital, c) there’s already hair in the water, along with pieces of litter from tiny dipping paws, and d) it would in no way have the same effect as your cat’s inspection of your food – in other words, it wouldn’t bother your cat in the least, whereas it ticks you off to no end when dear kitty head bumps your bowl of chips and spills them all over the floor (personal experience, grrr!)

2) Your cat can dig its nails into you and flex its toes for pleasure while kneading and drooling, but you can’t dig your nails into it or flex your fingers into its fur because a) it’s pointless, b) it doesn’t feel good or make you zone out and drool (ice cream, music, or a back massage will suffice thank you), and c) your hand would become the target of a brutal attack resulting in severe infection whereby you would die and God forbid become cat food if no one were to visit you for a few days.  Whew! And eww

3) Your cat can make all manner of noises day or night.  It can play chase, bang into things, roll toy balls across a wooden or tiled floor, scratch a variety of surfaces, or paw the chirpy toys right as you’re drifting to sleep.  You can’t do this because a) who plays chase in the house when you can just watch the cats do it, b) it hurts to bang into things, c) making noises have no effect upon your cat except to pique its interest so it comes snooping to see what that delicious, new curious totally not annoying sound is and whether or not it can be pawed or mauled, and d) it doesn’t matter if you make chirpy noises to wake your cat, the little bugger sleeps 18 hours a day!

4) Your cat can sit on you, lay on you, walk on you, and spring from you.  You can’t do this to it because a) you’d squish your cat, b) he’d be severely injured or die, and c) that would so not be cool because it would be traumatically sad and cost you fines or imprisonment for animal cruelty.  No one would understand that you merely wanted to reciprocate your feline’s affections in a way that it would understand.  Stick to the “I love you” wink, which seems to be the only way to communicate on their level so far as I know. (Thanks for the tip, Jackson Galaxy!)

5)  And finally, your cat can lick the Netherlands and sniff his pal’s rear (and I mean a good, hearty, up close inhalation) and still receive facial kisses from you at some point during the day.  You can’t do this to your cat because a) it doesn’t care where you lick or who you sniff, and b) it’s not going to kiss you at any point during the day.  You might get a lick just to see if there’s any residual flavor of food, but the only puckered flesh aimed at your face you’re ever going to get from your cat is that “heinous catanus” mentioned above.

So pucker up folks, and accept that there are some things in this life that your cat can do to you but you can’t and probably don’t want to do to them!

Cat Proofing Your Home

I’ve not owned cats long enough to know all the cat proofing tips out there, so I’m going to include a link to an article that provides tips on keeping your cats safe within your home.  All the obvious ones seem to be included, safeguarding your kitties from being poisoned, injured, electrocuted, and taking a spin in the family dryer.  I’d hate to see the end results of that oops … that would be one nauseated kitty!  I’m sure the clunking and yowling from dear kitty would cause a person to get the cat out of the dryer before any real damage.  However, as a cat lover and cat mom, I am unwilling to check the internet on those statistics.  I am very visual after all, and Stephen King novels provide me enough horror and gruesome details such that I need not more, especially those involving animals.  Suffice it to say that Cujo will not be on my reading list.  The movie was a source of childhood traumatic fear of an aunt and uncle’s Rottweiler.  I can hang with Rots these days.  But Dobermans and Pitbulls remain threats in my psyche even if they aren’t frothing at the mouth like lunatics.

Alas, thank God for cats …

While I borrow tips from the article referenced above and provided at the end of this post, I would like to add a couple of tips based upon personal experience with Timba.  As a Flamepoint Siamese, he is fearless, adventurous and appears to have a healthier than normal amount of kitty curiosity.  This has gotten him into a bind with regards to spaces between objects and walls or windows.  At my former apartment I had a short four-shelf high bookcase pushed against the window to minimize destruction of the blinds.  It was a window that went from the floor nearly to the ceiling, and access to the bottom would’ve been the blind’s demise.  Oh, and the book shelf served another purpose – to prevent my other cat Toby from possibly being seen by the management.  I was among the ranks of those who could only afford one cat deposit and monthly pet rent, plus Toby is persistent with blinds.  In fact it was he who ruined that set by jumping on the book shelf to poke his curious head through for a view of the trees and birds.

At any rate, this particular window faced the outside beside my first floor patio, and one day I went outside on the patio to sit.  I heard some noise against the window, and got up to discover an upside down Timba wedged between the bookcase and window.  I couldn’t help but laugh at his baffled expression, and went inside to rescue him.  Only later did it dawn on me the terrible danger of this Timba-sized crevice if the same thing were to happen while I was away from home.  I shudder to think of it.

I shuddered even more two days ago here at my new home, where Timba once again found himself upside down in the space between my bed and the wall.  I happened to be in the room laying on the bed and typically found myself laughing at his rigid legs and spread toes sticking up from the crack like twigs.  He tried to upright himself as I reached for my phone to take a picture of his latest misadventure.  But he fell in a little further and become still and silent.  A trace of alarm sparked dimly in the back of my mind and I leaned forward to help him as I called his name.  Before I could get to him, he’d struggled his way up.  Once on the bed he began gasping, coughing, and wheezing, whereby that dim alarm became a flashing brightness.  I pulled him near and pet him, talking soothingly to help him get calm.  After perhaps a minute his breathing was fine and I just pressed my face into his fur and prayed over him.

Afterwards Timba returned to normal, getting a bite to eat, drink, and walk around the room.  Yet as time proved the normalization of his state of being, mine began to deteriorate with the growing realization that my cat’s airflow had obviously been cut off while wedged upside down in a position he may not have been able to overcome.  Again, what if this had happened while I wasn’t in the bedroom? I am nearly nauseous as I sit here writing this.  You can bet your sweet tuna that the bed was immediately moved further from the wall with lesson learned.

Here is where I share those additional tips.  I’d definitely advise you cat moms and dads to be mindful of the spaces between objects and walls – beds, dressers, shelving, even stacks of boxes where they can climb to the top and fall in between.  Most of the time cats don’t venture to these places in our homes, but Timba is proof that slips can happen.  I’d also like to add to the article’s section on poisonous plants and medicines to beware of foods that can harm cats.  Onions and garlic are things I like to cook with frequently and are major “no’s” for cats.  They harmful in any form: raw, powdered, or cooked.  So be careful when chopping them that your cat doesn’t nab them from the counter.  Pick up any pieces from the floor or lingering in the sink.

Other things dangerous to cats are chocolate, bread dough, and alcohol.  I read on one website that cream based alcoholic beverages are particularly dangerous because cats are drawn to milk and cream and therefore attracted to these kinds of mixed drinks.  Also beware of moldy foods.  If I’m really sick my dishes tend to stack up on the counter or in the sink and I have at times discovered mold in containers when I finally felt better to tend to them.

While all these things, and more I’m sure, are helpful in keeping cats safe, I do believe the biggest prevention of all is knowing your cat.  Pay enough attention to them so that you are familiar with their habits, quirks, behaviors, and interests.  Some cats are drawn to things that other cats could care less about.  For example, I know that Timba is a notorious chewer and consumer of all things non-edible:  pens, pencils, yarn, rubber bands, paper clips, twist ties, cellophane or regular wrappers, styrofoam pieces in packaging, etc.  I even found a chewed off toy mouse tail in his stool once.  Who would’ve thought?!

I hope this equips you as readers and cat owners and gets you thinking offensively about the possible dangers hidden in the simplest of human things.  Pass the advice along to friends with cats if you don’t own any, and feel free to share your own tips and experiences in the comments section.  I love to hear from you!

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/cat_proofing_your_house.html

My Top Ten Favorite Cat Photos

While I haven’t been blogging regularly due to unemployment and sparse access to a computer, I did get an IPhone and downloaded some photo editing apps.  It kept me laughing and sane to tweak photos of Toby and Timba, so I thought I’d share with you the fun I’ve had over the past few months.  I hope these bring a smile to your day!

1.  Timba didn’t appreciate me dolling him up for this photo.  Oh well! You got a cat mom, not a cat dad!

1467287_10202589545845158_2005430385_n

2.  Timba looking much more masculine and appreciative of my sense of fashion.

3.  Toby looking handsome – pretty fly for a grey guy!

4. The mother ship has landed and this is what they brought us.

1499456_10202807986906048_1788748769_n

5. Toby loves to go to the Tub for a drink every chance he gets.

1425699_10202828986591027_1258643755_n

6. Dragnet Kitties!

1450903_10202599814661872_483652904_n (1)

7. My little stud muffin Timba.

599617_10202631725259617_1314283596_n

8. My little stud muffin Toby.

1472766_10202589597926460_1079738258_n

9. My coffee thief Timba. He actually just loves to smell it.

1460024_10202814388066073_457325761_n

10. Timba vowing revenge on me!

1391425_10202808087748569_219863636_n

5 Things I Didn’t Know About Cats While Growing Up

A Cat’s Whiskers Are Amazing!

I’d always been told that whiskers help a cat to know whether or not it can navigate through tight spots.  They are like feelers gauging the parameters of a space so that dear little kitty won’t get stuck trying to go through something that would accommodate his body half way through – to his utter humiliation.  It turns out that whiskers are feelers in more than just the physical sense.  They are emotional indicators as well, tell tale signs of a cat’s mood or emotional state regarding something.  Whiskers back can mean a cat is in a state of relaxation and is comfortable in his or her environment.  Whiskers back can also reflect fear, in which case other things like wide eyes and flattened ears help to discern.  Whiskers forward (my favorite) show that a cat is alert and highly interested in something.  I never paid attention to the movement of whiskers as a child, but now one of my favorite things to do to Timba, since his whiskers are so long and prominent and expressive, is to take a toy in my hand and move it back and forth towards him to watch his whiskers jut out with piqued interest and then relax.

Cats Play Fetch Too!

Timba was the first cat I ever had or saw that would fetch items when thrown.  I have since learned that this is a typical trait of Siamese cats, so being half Flame Point Siamese, it’s in his genes.  However, after throwing enough paper wads, mice and toy balls, my other cat Toby eventually caught on to the game.  He is half Russian Blue, and they are typically shy and reserved cats.  But a little nurture to conquer the nature, and voila! Toby is now chasing and retrieving just as much as Timba.  In fact, Toby once fetched a toy mouse and brought it back to me a record number of 8 times, no feat that my A.D.D. Timba has yet to perform!  Nothing is so endearing as to feel a little tap at my back by a paw or a dropped toy mouse or paper wad.  When I roll over and see the expectant look on one of my cats’ faces, I melt.  Then I pick it up and throw it and marvel at the oddity that they actually bring it back for more throws!

You Don’t Have To Declaw Cats To Deter Damage!

Many people don’t have cats or get rid of them because of the damage cats do to furniture and fabrics with their nails.  If they can afford to declaw their cat, they will, and contrary to human assumption, declawing is painful and can hinder a cat and even alter its behavior.  No need to get into it, but here is one of many quick articles you can google:

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/declawing.html.

The best alternative to damage is to train your cat, preferably from a young age, to use appropriate scratch boards and posts.  Refresh them with catnip from time to time to re-interest them in using these things.  Growing up, I learned that you can clip a dog’s nails, but I’d never heard of clipping a cat’s nails.  Lo and behold, this is another thing which is best done since a young age.  However, as with anything, a cat can learn to adjust to it.  I had a friend who taught me how to clip my cats’ nails, and now that I can do it on my own I absolutely love it. My cats are so good, minus an occasionally growl from Mr. Sensitive Back Feet, aka Timba.  It really helps lessen unintentional scratches to me and any that may occur when they play with each other.

Cats Are Better In Numbers!

One cat can be plenty for a person or a family.  They can be just as lovable as they would be if you had more than one cat.  However, the fun factor gets a serious boost when you have more than one cat.  At one point, I lived with 8 cats between my roommate and myself.  That was a period of a lot of laughter and a lot of learning about cat nature.  Since then, I now live by myself with my two cats, who provide just as much fun and learning as did 8.  When cats interact with each other we get to observe more of their antics that may not play out in a single cat.  Another benefit of more than one cat is the emotional and physical health of your cats. Having a playmate and companion seems to make for a happier cat.  Not that solitude is bad, but just like us, they are social creatures.  They also exercise more, and while it may mean more trouble (toppled items from romping kitties) it is totally worth it to have happy healthy cats whose frolicking often evokes laughter.

Cats Are Not Disposable!

Growing up I had numerous cats, but very few until a ripe old age.  We moved somewhat frequently, and we didn’t have a lot of money.  Mostly the moving factor was what decided a cat’s next living arrangement.  To a kid, it’s sad, but once it happens often enough it just seems the status quo: animals aren’t humans and sometimes you have to get rid of them.

Not a lesson I adhere to anymore.  Yes, with 8 cats a few years ago, some of them were mine and I found them new homes.  While a season of irresponsibility by taking on too many cats was not good, it did teach me about love, commitment, stewardship, and the priceless, invaluable lives wrapped up in whiskers, fur, and paws.  They aren’t just animals or pets.  They aren’t for our purposes.  They are created by God for his delight, and we get the gift of being their stewards.  I love how the pet-mom and pet-dad concept is growing in America and other countries.  More and more people are calling animals their family or their fur babies.  The bond is irreplaceable, as are the creatures with whom we bond.  Having learned about them through life, growing in understanding and appreciation, I can now say there is nothing on earth that would ever cause me to dispose of my cats.  No new homes ever.  I am their forever home, their mom, their caretaker, their furless companion.  Nothing makes my heart happier than to see other people loving their cats (and dogs) in such a way.  I interact with various Facebook groups of Russian Blue and Flame Point owners, and people literally all over the world are loving their felines in ways that I can honestly say surely honors and reflects a loving Creator.

The World’s Top 10 Best Images of Cats Getting Married

Hey ya’ll, this is a great blog and one of my favorites in my WordPress Reader … encourage you to follow The World’s Top 10 of Anything.  Here’s one of my favorite posts from it:

The World’s Top 10 Best Images of Cats Getting Married.

via The World’s Top 10 Best Images of Cats Getting Married.