Googly Cat Remembered

I shared this little anecdote on Facebook one year ago, a few months before I started Purry Home Companion. It’s been three weeks since I said goodbye to Boudicca but she will always be my beloved Queen B in my heart.

This exchange happens nearly every time I open the sliding laundry doors…

Boudicca: Mama, whatcha doing? Can I help? I must be involved in every activity you do!

Me: Moving laundry.

Boudicca: I must explore this place for the 4,638th time! *sneaks in as I close the doors*…Um, Mama? Why is it dark in here? Mama? OMG I’ve been abandoned and imprisoned forever! I am now INCREDIBLY CONCERNED. Meow. Meow. Mreow. MROW.

Me: Boudicca, you’ve been in there for 2.3 seconds. Calm down. *I open the doors*

Boudicca: I must make epic prison break! I am FREE AT LAST! *darts out of laundry closet and proceeds with highly googly zoomies around the house*

In seventeen years, Boudicca hasn’t learned much and it’s still hilarious.

Love Me, Pet Me, Feed Me!

I am pleased to report that Queen B is doing very well! She responded swimmingly to her vitamin B-12 injections (not that she particularly enjoyed getting the shots). Afterward, she’d be perky, her appetite would go up, and she would digest her food better. Since she would swing between constipation and diarrhea (never pleasant) due to her small bowel disease, it took us some time to strike a perfect balance in terms of the right Miralax dosage. She started grooming herself more, hanging out in my office with me (I’ve enjoyed having my office supurrviser “helping” me work), seeking us out for attention, greeting me at the door, and being very assertive (read: meower mouth and underfoot) about regularly scheduled feeding time. She is decidedly not a fan of Daylight Savings Time. When she says it’s food o’clock, there’s no dissuading her!

This is how my office supurrviser takes a well-deserved break. Her schedule is packed: begging for food, getting fed, napping, being ridiculously cute, birdwatching, sprawling, being brushed, purring, being underfoot, talking to her humans, giving tail hugs, being a reading buddy, and snuggling.

Because she’s been rather hungry and we want her to gain some weight, we’ve been adding feedings. Twice a day she gets medication mixed into her food (breakfast and dinner) and just simple wet food at lunchtime and late afternoon. Sometimes if she did not eat all the food from an earlier meal, we will offer her a small portion before bedtime. Of course, this means that Boudicca now thinks that she will get food when either of us is in the kitchen. (Cue begging.) At present she only likes Friskies© Paté (any of the seafood varieties) and Blue Buffalo kitten kibble (ahem, Queen B is most persnickety). Essentially Boudicca is eating like a feline Hobbit!

Of course, Garrus and Charlie are intensely interested in the food that materializes around Boudicca at regular intervals. Charlie’s motive isn’t solely about food; since he’s a busybody, he just wants to be involved with whatever is going on. Garrus, on the other hand, alternates between pleading and determinedly attempting to sneak past me and, in the most genteel way possible, pilfer Boudicca’s leftovers. (I’m serious. He slinks on his belly and acts like he’s invisible. He thinks he’s such a smooth criminal, even when I catch him mid-pussyfoot.) I’ve even caught the boys loitering around my office, apparently guarding Boudicca and waiting for their human (me) to bring forth sustenance.

“You do not have food for me? How…disappointing.”

I gave Dr. R an update on Boudicca’s progress, to which she was quite pleased. She encouraged me to feed her what she wants as much as she wants, with the hopes she will put on some weight and be a happy old kitty. Dr. R explained that this guarding behavior I noted with the boys is somewhat normal in cats. Since Garrus and Charlie have not been aggressive toward Queen B (every day Charlie tries to make friends with and/or play with her), Dr. R told me that this healthy cats do this around a sick or injured cat. Hooray for a peaceful multi-cat household! She approved the idea of giving the boys a tablespoon or so of wet food, especially if it helped distract the boys and made them happy while Boudicca ate her meals. Garrus could use the extra calories while Charlie does not (he’s at a healthy weight), so I could give him half a tablespoon. I’m also happy that all three cats like their new dental treats (also vet approved, yay!).

“Hi Mom! You found me in my new spot!”

All in all it’s a pretty nice day when I get sequential visits and affection from each of the cats. I have ensured that each has been properly smooched. Don’t worry. They are only slightly over-loved in this house.

Cute Alert

Lately all three cats have been doing little things that are just inordinately adorable. This is one of the many things that I appreciate about my pets: daily doses of cute! Here is a collection of some of the endearing things they’ve been doing…

Recently Charlie has been hanging out on the couch more whenever Boudicca hangs out in my office. Apparently he realized that the couch is indeed comfortable. Earlier this week I caught him in the act: chilling out and flaunting all of his belly spots.

“What? I found a new spot, Mom…By the way, this tummy won’t rub itself!”

This week Garrus has been more adventurous by lounging on the back of the couch while we sit. I was able to read with Garrus hanging out with me. He even came onto the bed twice this week for a half-snuggle! While he is often inscrutable, he does seem more relaxed and is becoming more assertive in asking for visits. (Because, unlike Charlie and Boudicca, he is not a chatty cat, he expresses himself entirely through body language. He also bunts and tail hugs to get attention. I know he wants to visit if he trots over to the bed in a particularly jaunty way.) Of course, he decides to ask for visits on his schedule. He is a cat, after all!

Egads! Boudicca deigned to share the couch with Charlie without a kerfuffle! Of course, Charlie seemed most pleased with himself, as if it was all his doing…

Occasionally Charlie makes overtures of friendship to Boudicca by bringing her toys on the couch. (Maybe he thinks that bringing a toy is the equivalent of a toll to get on the couch?) While his enthusiasm and persistence is admirable, he is nevertheless perplexed by Boudicca won’t play with him. He also leaves toys next to Garrus wherever he is sleeping and brings me toys on the bed. I think in the latter case he likes to show off his latest prize!

“Joy! Dad found all the springs I had knocked under the oven! Now I can lose them in hard to reach places again!”

Not pictured: Garrus plays with surprising zeal with the springs and, to my delight, carried one of them in his mouth earlier this week! It’s been gratifying to see that some of Charlie’s childlike playfulness has seemingly rubbed off on Garrus and encouraged him to branch out and play with all the toys with gusto.

The boys’ newest hobby is bug-hunting through the window. Sometimes Charlie chatters at the bugs (to what end, I don’t know). Much tail-twitching follows. Other times their reflections catch the light oddly so they look like creatures from a Stephen King novel.

Behold, Queen Boudicca in repose! I have always been quite partial to her ski slope nose. This week she has been very vocal about getting lots of pets, kisses between the ears, brushings, cuddles (including lying on my chest while I sleep and being picked up), and, of course, food. When I come home, I nearly trip over her because she plants herself on the inside of the door, meowing all the while in effusive greeting (complete with tail hugs). She still has not yet figured out that she is in fact not a dog.

Silly Cat and Dog Poses

Happy World Sleep Day! Cats and dogs, just like children, sleep in the weirdest positions. I often ask myself, “How on earth can they find that position comfortable?” Evidently they can…Hence the running theory that cats, at least, are part liquid…

Here Boudicca demonstrates the classic pinwheel sleep position with the half chin twist and her hind paws perfectly posed together. She may have started to purr in her sleep while I took this photo. Adorability Score: High

Charlie flaunts his spotted tummy while he sunbathes and flirts for attention. He also demonstrates marvelous neck and core strength by not sliding off the edge despite repeatedly wiggling and shimmying all over the platform. Great demonstration of multitasking: high level of cuteness, very loud purring and squeaking, successful eliciting of belly rubs, and prompting human caretaker to squee. Adorability Score: Very high

Here Sir Garrus demonstrates a variant pinwheel with the semi-held curled tail and paws hiding the face. Normally I can see his fang peeking out. Adorability Score: High

Here is Chiquita executing a classic “I’m a good, pretty girl. Please give me a belly rub” roll. Of course she gets them in spades because she is indeed a good girl and she is SO SOFT with highly pettable ears. Look at that face! Adorability score: TKO

Garrus appropriated the topmost cat tower platform and snuggled inside. It looks a bit cramped to me but I thought he looked cute hiding his face and holding his tail like this. Adorability Score: High

“Look, Mom! I found a hammock!” “Charlie, that is not a hammock!” “But…it’s made of warm…” Adorability Score: Moderate. It’s cute yes but I don’t want him to get in the habit of lounging in the freshly sanitized Cat Genie.

I have no idea how Charlie doesn’t get a crick in his neck when he sleeps in the cubby like this. But he likes it anyway. Adorability Score: Pretty Cute

Here is Nala, may she rest in peace. She LOVED boxes, and did not care if they were far too small for her. She crammed herself into small boxes, especially those with crinkly paper inside, and snoozed very happily inside! Her happiness level went up if said box was in Aaron’s office. This photo was taken in May 2015 when Nala was 14 years old. Adorability Score: Nostalgic High

A very rare Yin-Yang display (shown with Boudicca and Nala) in 2015! They very rarely slept so close together. Clearly they were in between napping and belly rub appointments. Adorability Score: Squee!

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Chiquita asks, very subtly, for a belly rub. Isn’t she adorable?

 

Do you find your cats or dogs in cute poses, especially in sleep? Do they sleep in uncomfortable-looking positions? Feel free to share in the comments!

Human, Your Attention Please

Today is National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day! Do you have inquisitive cats? Are your purry companions talkative and have lots of things to say? At times does your cat seem puzzled by something you are doing and ask a question about it? Today’s your opportunity to answer the questions burning in your cat’s mind.

  1. Be consciously aware of your cat. Notice when your fur person is attempting to ask you something.
  2. Try to figure out what your cat is asking. Then try to answer that question.
  3. It may sound silly but doing this helps foster positive interactions between cat and owner. It might behoove you to learn something about cat behavior, such as body language. Pay attention to your cat’s personality too. Your cat may surprise you.

Here are some of the questions I think my cats ask me on a regular basis:

Boudicca: “Mama, I’m hungry. Why aren’t you giving me some of your ice cream?
Me: “You have food in your bowl, Queen B. Ice cream isn’t for kitties.”

Boudicca: “But what you have is mine, right?AND I WANT SOME.”

Me: Sigh.

Garrus: “Pardon me, madam, but why are you smooching my head?”

Me: “It’s one of the ways I show that I love you.”

Garrus: “I see. I assume this is some human ritual but it does not appear to hurt me. Carry on.” [He continues to give me side-eye as I pet him but he starts purring too.]

Note that Garrus sometimes has the snootiest expressions in photos. I think they’re hilarious.

Charlie: “Mama! Mama! Help! Where have all my toys gone?”

Me: “I’m sure they’re in the house somewhere…”

Charlie: “I haven’t seen them since this morning…I was batting them all over the living room. But the furniture kept eating them. Can you help me get them back?”

Me: “Sure. Let me get the broom so I can dig them out.”

Charlie: “Aaah! Not the broom!” [runs away]

Garrus: “I say, dear boy, do chill out. A broom is not a valid reason to lose one’s fur.”

Charlie: “Squeak! Squeak! Cheep! Chirp!” [Translation:” Where is everyone? Hello?”]

Me: “We’re in the living room, Charlie. You should come out here if you want any rubs.”

Boudicca: “Why do you encourage him? He’ll ruin a perfectly good snuggle session if he comes out here.”

Charlie: “Squeak! Chirp! Trill! Squeak, squeak, cheep!” [Translation: “Salutations! The Spotted One has arrived! Look how adorable I am!”]

Garrus: “You sir, may indeed be cute, but some would consider it rude to interrupt everyone’s quiet evening by squeaking up such a storm.”

Charlie: “Play?”

Garrus and Charlie: “What’s this? A new toy? We must explore!”

What questions does your cat ask you?

Cat Lessons: Sunbathing

In my time as a cat owner, my fur people have taught me a number of things. I’d like to share some of them with you. Here is one of them: get a little sun.

Many cats enjoy sunbathing and my cats are no exception. They enjoy the warmth, they get to sprawl and relax, they might doze off, and if they are near a window, they have an opportunity watch the interesting goings-on outside. Garrus, especially, is apparently solar-charged. He seems to wilt rather like WALL-E when his batteries are low.

The boys’ favorite sunning spot is the master bathroom, especially this winter. We have a unique set up in there. As we don’t use the garden tub, Aaron fitted boards on top of the tub and created a platform. On top of this platform he placed the two Cat Genies, which need water hookups and a fair amount of space. (If we had more room in the house we would have put one Cat Genie somewhere else but we have made do with this arrangement.)

The cats have found that there is sufficient room for them to loll around the Cat Genies, and that sunlight streams through the window in the afternoon. This makes Garrus in particular a most happy cat.

This picture was taken with the same setup we use now but before we transitioned to Cat Genies. (It is clear in the photo that there was more room on the platform and the boys took full advantage of this.) This was also one of the first times I had seen Garrus flop on his side like this. It was delightful to see him look so utterly relaxed.

[Read in Sir David Attenborough’s voice] “Now here we see the meditating cat in its traditional pose, accompanied by its spotted companion. Transcendental vegetation is very important to these creatures and can best be accomplished after basking in sunlight for a period of time and not being disturbed, even though it is most tempting to do so. We must remain absolutely quiet in order to hear them begin to purr. This is a sign of great contentment and relaxation and that the meditating cats are reaching the zenith of transcendental vegetation.”

Yesterday afternoon, I found Charlie lounging inside one of the Cat Genies as if it was a lounge chair or hammock. (Don’t worry, it had just finished its cleaning cycle and was therefore clean and sanitized. I think he liked it because it was also warm from said cleaning cycle as well as the sun.) He was very talky about how happy he was about finding a new spot.

Charlie felt it was necessary to (1) warm his belly, (2) flaunt said belly, (3) be ridiculously cute and flirtatious at the same time. He squeaked all the while I took a number of photos.

Later Garrus came over to investigate what all the squeaking was about and found a spot for himself. I managed to snap a photo of him mid-slow blink.

Boudicca sunbathes too! She does, however, restrict her basking to a shorter period so I am not always able to snap a photo of it. When she sunbathes in front of the back door, she normally looks outside the window and watches birds. I am unsure why she turned around and looked mildly miffed.

I believe this was Garrus’ first sunbath in our house and one of the alternate sunbathing spots. This was also one of the first times I saw him start to relax.

Here is Boudicca catching a late afternoon sunbath. In this photo, her lowered and extra green eyes make me think of Maleficent.

Do your cats like to sunbathe? Do they have favorite spots? Do these spots change from season to season or according to their moods?

National Clean Off Your Desk Day

The second Monday in January is National Clean Off Your Desk Day. You may be asking yourself, “What on earth does that have to do with cats?”

It depends. The task of cleaning of your desk can be accomplished fairly quickly if you have a determined cat located in close proximity with said desk.

This is one of the photos I managed to snap when Garrus first discovered my desk. Because he is a true Gentleman Cat, he asked permission first before jumping from the window seat onto my desk and exploring. He also did not knock anything over. He received scritches as a reward for being so polite.