Thursday, August 21, 2008

Animal Rights Organizations

While growing up (in India) I was part of a family that included dogs. However, I have never had a pet here in the States till recently. I always wanted one but I also always had excuses for why I couldn't have one right then. At last, recently, we were selected by a little cat at the Humane Society Shelter and we brought home Neobe. It has been a revelation in many ways. Not least of which has been an introduction to the health care system and issues facing non-humans in the United States.

I have always believed in and supported organizations that fight for animal rights such as PETA, HSUS, ASPCA and WWF. I thought that by supporting organizations like these, I was helping to make the life of pets and other animals better. I just never realized how they worked. While most of these organizations lobby for and advocate better treatment of animals, this doesn't translate into better care for the household pet in most cases. A recent example is that of the HSUS rescuing many dogs from a puppy mill in Tennessee. The HSUS is doing its best to provide all the animals care and to try and place them in homes and it has shut down the puppy mill. However, if you walk into any HSUS shelter across the nation, you will realize that they are mostly "kill" shelters. This means that animals that don't get adopted are euthanized within a set period of time. Contrast this with many local no-kill shelters that don't receive the kind of money and support and even recognition that the HSUS might receive but that still manage to care for all animals received. Two of these in the Denver area are the MaxFund and the Animal Rescue and Adoption Society. Another wonderful example is D.E.L.T.A. run by Leo Grillo out in California.

Here's another strange fact. Despite the proliferation of all these wonderful high-profile, animal-rights organizations, the United States continues to suffer from overcrowded shelters. I did not see a problem on this scale in other developed nations. Despite all these years of advocacy for pet sterilization, shelters swim in puppies and kittens come a certain time of year. And it is very much a hidden problem unlike the developing world where strays end up on streets to live miserable and brutishly short lives. Here we like to keep them out of sight and mind- in shelters where they can live cramped, anxious and short lives generally.

Despite the presence of this many wonderful animal-rights organizations, the United States also suffers the ignominy of being perhaps the only developed nation where you can take your cat to your vet and have her/him declawed. This is a practice labeled unethical and inhumane in most developed nations. Why aren't we fighting harder to prevent something known to be cruel every where else? How did the other nations ensure that this doesn't happen to innocent cats?

Another revelation is that you cannot find charitable veterinary organizations in communities. Veterinary offices charge a lot of money every time you visit their offices. This ensures that the poor and those with financial challenges (such as students, the unemployed, the elderly) are unable to afford pets or if they are still determined to have pets, then they are generally unable to provide the pets with good health care from a veterinarian without digging themselves deeper into the hole. This also means that if you find an animal in distress, you may hesitate to pick it up and walk into a vet's clinic if you know that every visit will cost you about $50 not including the medications or any treatment.

The cost might also explain why many people won't get sick pets treated. What, you are surprised that there are sick and untreated pets in many households? You can read about sick and untreated pets in most animal care organization reports and veterinary reports (Case in point: It is recognized that owners will often ignore and not treat cat illnesses, and so research into cat illnesses and treatments for them lags behind that for dogs).

Normal household pets need advocates too. Just because a pet is adopted doesn't mean our societal responsibility to it is at an end. This is nowhere more obvious than in this time of foreclosures in the United States when so many former pets are now abandoned or surrendered to shelters with no guarantees to life.

I had thought that the animal care situation in this country would look rosier after so many years of active work by so many wonderfully committed organizations. Yes, let's fight against veal crating and battery farming and puppy mills and seal clubbing and KFC. But let's also educate and make shelters a place of warmth and life and change our philosophies towards pets and their care. Let's not make having pets a luxury only few can afford. I still support these organizations but now I am also finding myself appreciating local and no-kill shelters that try to better the quality of life of so many domesticated and feral animals.

Click on the photos of kittens and puppy to see where they were found. The cat sleeping is Neobe. :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Live Presents

I have been continuing my no-kill hunting expeditions- well, hmm, ok, to be honest, my actions did kill a young mouse but I only meant to play with it and when I was done it was still alive but it didn't know or couldn't make its way back home (still alive in the picture taken by my girl). Since then, I have been gentler with mice and another one has been able to scurry away once I was done stalking and catching it.

Ok, so where was I? Yea, my no-kill hunting expeditions which have spawned a healthy catch & release cottage-industry at my house. (Anything to keep my pudgy girl busy.) So I have hit upon another strategy. I like having bunnies for company and they are getting pretty scarce as most are growing up and some have been eaten up by that big coyote and its family.

We live just the three of us in the house and I know that my girl (I really need to name my female human) likes bunnies. My boy is not so crazy about them- he always shouts and runs around when we get bunnies at home. Sounds something like "Hunter-wire-us." Maybe he is worried I will "wire" him? Dunno. I just let him be. It can't be bad for him to get some exercise too even though I see no reason to be loud about it.

Anyway, so I have embarked on this plan last week. I bring home bunnies and release them at home. They are not smart like me (well, they are generally quite young) and they don't know the way out. They generally hide out under the furniture. Well, I released a couple at home without telling my humans. Later that afternoon, my girl was scurrying about all over the place because while she was talking on the phone upstairs (where I released a bunny, he he) a tiny bunny hopped out from under the dresser. It took her a good 30 minutes to catch it. She then came to me to show me what she was holding. So cute and cuddly! I had to rub against it. Then it was released out again. That evening the second bunny I had released downstairs chose to run around when both the humans were sitting and talking. It was funny. The boy just picked up his legs and shouted "hunter-wire-us" (it's getting old!) and the girl had to scamper around again trying to corner an agile bunny baby. She got it eventually and released it.

Bunnies can be just released outdoors and still survive. But many live presents are not so lucky. In fact, I have heard that a lot of people get kittens and puppies to give as presents to young kids and friends. That is not such a good idea. A lot of people may even appreciate the animal for a short time but not be able to take care of it (almost always the case with little human children). It is mostly cats and dogs that are given as presents and we need tender, loving care and attention.

The live presents trend is one essential source of income for the breeding mills which are inhumane. In addition, live presents often end up at animal shelters. Some of these animals will get re-adopted but a majority are just murdered because many shelters claim not to have the resources to care for so many animals (my girl will write on this on her blog). Dogs are more likely to be adopted from shelters than cats which are turned over to the shelters with such absurd excuses as "it doesn't match my carpet!!" Most cats at shelters are killed (unless you are a lucky cat that ended up at a no-kill shelter like the one in Denver. :(

No one has the right to give or receive a cat or dog or for that matter any other animal as an expendable "gift." While cats and dogs have been domesticated and in most cases, depend on humans for their survival, that doesn't make them less important or sentient or expendable at the convenience of the humans. Please, adopt pets responsibly. And there is no reason to buy pets if you wouldn't buy humans. We are not a commodity.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Living Dangerously

I tend to go out every evening and have my fun chasing little animals (and sometimes bringing them home as trophies- they are part of a catch and release program instituted by my female human) and generally patrolling the neighborhood. I come in plenty of times for refreshment and then continue my detail. By about 11 pm or 12 am I am usually done and like to call it a night and get into bed for lots of cuddles and nap. Sometimes I get woken up by a strange noise and I make sure to go check it out and if it is nothing interesting- like a fly beating against a window- then I go back to my cuddle and snooze.

This other night (now that I think of it, it was the 4th of July!) my humans came back home about 11 pm and I had been cooped up all evening. I didn't mind so much to begin with as it was a bit noisy but later after it got quiet I did feel like it was not fair that I was having to stay in for no good reason. So when they returned home, I went out. Now for the first time that I can think of, my female human went straight up to bed and my male human lounged on the couch watching TV. He was supposed to leave the door open so I could come back home when I was done but that guy has a brain like a sieve or wants to get rid of me or something. He closed the screen door so of course I couldn't get back in. Then he snoozed off in front of the TV. To hear him explain it later, he claims that he was listening for me and would have woken up if he but heard me. Well, let me tell you this dude does not sleep light despite his claims. In fact, he can sleep through anything except being thumped on at night. I know because he only wakes up to hiss at me if I jump on him. So I do that now and again in the hope that he will learn some good light-sleeping skills. Why do I bother?

The night in question, I got stranded out and let me tell you, it turned out to be quite an adventurous night. At first it was all quiet. The I saw a big coyote (that's like a big wild dog without owners) go sniffing for bunnies. I stayed on my stoop as quiet and still as possible. I think it saw me (my eyes are very reflective) and came a bit closer to sniff me but I snarled and raised myself big and he decided that I couldn't be too tasty anyway. I saw him make short work of one bunny soon after. I felt pretty good about taking care of myself so I decided to walk around a bit. As I was rounding a bend I got attacked out of nowhere. It was another cat! And it was certainly mad at me though I have no clue why. I defended as best as I could, but was feeling a sharp pain on my side already so I hit hard and then ran back to my stoop. It followed me to attack but I was now prepared and it was not going to take me by surprise. It tried again and this time I stood my ground- I hissed and snarled back and made a few swipes with my talons. Eventually, the other cat realized it was a stalemate and just went away. Of course, my ever vigilant male human was still snoozing a few feet away on the couch.

I had to retch and bring up the little food I had eaten before I had come out for the night. I meowed a few times to wake up someone who would open the door but no luck. I knew I had to hunker down safely for the night and not get taken by surprise. I stanched my wound and cleaned it up. I tell you that night passed slowly. In the morning, the door stood open so I ran up to drink my water. That got the attention of the humans who had been talking about me and were worried. The dude ran up and sat down to talk to me. I was tired and just wanted to sleep.

I am a little bit more cautious since then as my adventure gave me a new-found respect for the perils of the night. I try to make sure no one closes the door on me by mistake and I try to keep my humans vigilant by going up to them and checking if they are awake (if not, I wake them up as a public service). Those two have no clue how caring and considerate I am. Meantime, I am recovering from my wound but you won't hear me complain- no sir.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fireworks and Freedom

It's been a busy few weeks. I have managed to make my own blogger account so now I don't have to sneak into my human's. So the credits at the bottom should change starting now. And it's the 4th of July. Freedom from her. Yay! Ok, freedom to write under my own name. I have actually grown quite fond of her despite her eccentricities and weirdness.

The 4th of July doesn't mean much to me but coming up on today all kinds of firecrackers have been lighting up the evening sky. Now that don't bother me too much but the noise is annoying and can be a bit startling. Even uncomfortably so. What are these humans thinking being this noisy and disruptive? Aren't there noise ordnances that are being violated here? The worst of it is that some animals and birds have a hard time of it. I'm sure, birds and mammals in the sky (yes, I know about bats) get hurt as they fly by. Why would they fly after dark you ask. Well, fireworks usually start around twilight and so some birds might still be out and anyway, the noise keeps them from sleeping and may startle them into taking flight and then fly into a fire cracker or be hurt by ember showers. Even after dark, it could keep birds from settling down for sleep. And while I am not averse to hunting down a bird or two now and again, it is not the same thing to be so indiscriminately inconsiderate of other species. I have heard that many dogs and cats and outside animals get scared of loud booms following the strange lights in the sky. Haven't you seen pets who are scared of thunderstorms? What's more, fireworks contaminate groundwater and this affects the health of all water drinkers.

I hear from my human that in India it is even worse than here in Divali season when every household gets to light up their own firecrackers. It is a cacophony of noise and light. Every year even humans get hurt and burn. So, even though, I haven't heard about the figures for non-human damages, they have to be even higher than those for humans. Tsk tsk.

Humans cannot control thunderstorms though I hear they are trying. But they can control fireworks and I wish they would eliminate all sound and harm to animals if they would like to continue this tradition of celebrating a day with pretty lights. I don't know what all these people are celebrating with these fireworks anyway but I plan to stay in and try to snooze. If you plan to go out and watch the lights, give some thought- when you can- to how it affects other non-human residents of earth.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Defending Home and Hearth

Last night, after my usual forays in the garden, I came and lay down. My female human was snoozing in front of the TV. I decided to snooze as well. As I lay there, I had a dream where I was eating at my bowl. I could hear myself eat and then it dawned on me that someone was actually eating at my bowl. I leaped to check and there was another cat in the house!

I have seen this cat around the neighborhood. She is a big Bengal. She has come into my garden a few times. She is bigger than me. She doesn't seem aggressive or mean so we have passed each other by without incident. But now...Here she was! In my kitchen! At my bowl! Eating my nice food! I was mad!

My tail fluffed up and the hair stood up along my spine. I'm about half her size but do you think I'm gonna let that get in the way of defending my turf? My female human came up and started making cute sounds at the other cat. Then she tried to touch me but I was already keyed up for attack. It just felt like the other cat touched me so I tore into her. But when I realized it was my human, I was a bit contrite, but come on, who in their right mind would allow another cat to enter my kitchen and eat from my bowl and then cuddle me?

My male human also came down. He and I are totally in-sync in situations like this. I don't get my female human but I get this guy. He took one look at the situation and sized it up - just like me! Then he leaped with a loud hiss at the cat. Now had all avenues to exit been well labeled and open, the other cat might have left. But that audacious intruder took off in the wrong direction. She leaped to go upstairs in my house. I decided to pursue and deter. We screamed as I attacked her. Tufts of fur (exclusively hers) came off as she yeowled in anger and at least a little bit of pain, as far as I can tell. She hid under my human's bed which I consider to be part of my territory.

At this point my female human came up and dragged me away. I got tied up in a harness downstairs and the cat upstairs got both my humans giving her attention. I didn't like it one bit. They eventually got her to leave by the front door. You may well ask, how someone my size (beautiful and compact but about half the height of the Bengal) was able to completely and utterly rout a bigger cat? I want to take credit for my courage and fighting prowess but I can't lie. The Bengal was not able to be a worthy opponent. Not because it was a scaredy-cat. Far from it- it put up as much of a fight that a cat, which has been mutilated by its humans, could. Not once in our fight did I feel its claws. It was not able to defend as well as it could have against my nails. It was not able to make a mark on me. It was not able to hurt my humans even once. All it could do was hiss and bare its fangs.

Why would humans be so mean to cats? It is unethical and wrong! It is like extreme makeover surgery and all for what? Cats need their claws in order to be beautiful, to walk gracefully as if on clouds, to make beautiful acrobatic leaps, to chase flies, to groom... Who cares about silly couches and curtains which are easily replaced? Declawing should be punishable by law just as amputating a perfectly healthy human is. In fact, declawing is illegal in many nations. Declawing is an American phenomenon and one invented solely for the trivial convenience of one species at the painful expense of another. A lot of people seem to be walking around under the misapprehension that declawing is like nail trimming for us felines. Well, it isn't. It is more akin to cutting of your toes in order to prevent your nails from growing. Some cats have been known to develop behavioral problems after this surgery and no wonder. Would you not defecate and urinate on softer surfaces too if the nerves in your feet became too sensitive to walk on or scratch litter? Just because cats don't whine and emote as much as humans do, does not mean that they don't have pain. I am posting a link to declawing (in my links sections to the right) to inform all you other cats and cat-worshipers out there. Please, disseminate and stop this cruel and unusual punishment inflicted on felines.

[The picture shows a Bengal but not the Bengal which visited us last night. The picture is associated with the website of the Swedish Enhagens at Thanks, you cat-loving family.
The Declawing site was created by Dr. Christianne Schelling, a veterinarian. Thank you.]

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Where Littering is Welcome and Appreciated

My male human is picking up some bad habits from the female. Mostly we like to ignore each other or hiss at each other from time to time. I love this male bonding thing (I am not a male, but I'm not sexist either). But now sometimes, he puts out a finger and makes those sounds my female human makes when she cuddles me. Like "stinky poos" (its not me- its the litter dude!). Whatever. It's like he is growing down. And let me tell you, at his size, there is so much more of this growing down to look forward to. Not.

Anyways, the first day I got here from the shelter, I couldn't figure where my toilet was, so at night I discreetly went in a corner in the room downstairs which is only ever used for sitting and watching that TV in. After that, my female human showed me where the litter was by putting it near me and allowing me to get in and sniff around. I was fine with using it after that. When I was younger I thought litter in kitty toilets is the ultimate wonder. You can go poos in it and next time you come around, it is clean! Wow. But then I caught my human puttering around my box which kind of clued me into how the magic trick happens.

The first litter my human got me was made with recycled paper. It is good for the environment which us kitties like. The litter doesn't look anything like recycled paper. It is pellets made of paper and it is flushable (gross and scary but necessary). However it didn't clump and the moisture would kinda be soaked under and remain at the bottom of the box so it got stinky pretty fast.

Then my human went and bought litter made with wheat. Now this one while it seems eco-friendly and flushable, raises the question of whether this is not a bad use of food material. It seems that, from what my human has been told by someone else, this is "not-food-grade" wheat, so we are ok with this. Now you may well ask, what does "not-food-grade" wheat mean and where does it come from? Umm, hmmm...yea, makes no sense to me either. This warrants further research. Not that I am all PETA (though my human is) and care for all kinds of other species like little baby seals, but having baby seals and birds and bunnies and humans does make life so much more interesting, you know. So I wouldn't really wanna poo on what could be feed for someone else. Same goes for corn litter. Plus, the wheat litter is pretty expensive compared to other litters and it does get stinky even with regular cleaning.

Then my male human's friend who has cats told him that he uses clay litter. And when my male human found out that Arm & Hammer made one with baking soda and all that, he went and bought two boxes of that. It was cheap compared to the litters before. But every time my human poured the litter into my box, she would be snuffling and coughing from the dust that the litter sent up. It clumped pretty hard but couldn't be flushed. So you had to have bags of used clay to walk to the garbage everyday. If they didn't walk it right away, I played with it cos the bags make interesting crinkly sounds. Now, I thought the clay is not the best option. It is not environmentally friendly (the clay and all those bags) and it certainly did not perform that great. Also, my human came to know that it is not the safest litter, so my human had to go back and return the other box.

I have left a link to an article talking about the dangers of clay litters to the right in my links section- kitty beware!

I have heard that some kitties are very picky about the litter they use and won't switch easily or at all. Now me - well, let me put it this way - if I was a catholic the pope might be putting me up for sainthood, that's how long-suffering and miraculously easy I am. Anyways, while my humans continued their experiments with litter, I have just been carrying on my life outside and leaving them to worry about such vital things as litter and what it is good for.

All was well till they went and switched to pine on me! The female human thought that it was the best option overall and filled my toilet with it. I'll tell you my toilet smells closest to a new car. Yucky. I'm NOT getting into that! And the stuff didn't feel right under my toes. She left it there to play a game of chicken with me. I decided not to pee or poo. This wasn't too hard as long as I got to go out to chase bunnies because I could always find a better toilet. But things became harder around the time that I hurt that bunny and she decided not to let me out as much. So I had to switch tactics. So I devised a new toilet- and you should know cats are nothing if not adaptable. In the living room behind the pot, next to the blinds and the curtain could be scraped over to hide stuff (on the right side of the picture basically). When my human found it she was not happy from all the muttering I could hear as she cleaned up. She went and put some catnip in my toilet to get me to go in. Talk about strange. Like as if I care if you put catnip in my toilet on top of stinky pine which kills what little sense of smell I have left. No thanks! I went under the curtain again. And then again. Let me tell you- You never play chicken with a cat and win! You just don't.

I have my wheat litter back because paper is not as good and clay is bad. Now I hear sounds about litter made with corn cob. Not to mention under my wheat is pine. It is not too bad together and when you go on the pine, it crumbles. But I refuse to go on it by itself. Yes, I know I said I'm not so particular about litter but a cat gets to change her mind.

Friday, May 30, 2008


It has been an exciting week. I am now a seasoned hunter of bunnies. I prefer the little ones because I can carry them easily. The first time I caught one was exciting. I decided to take it inside so I could examine it and decide what to do with it. I picked it and trotted it inside. As I put it down right inside the door and proceeded to nudge it, all hell broke loose. I heard a loud scream from my female human like someone had stolen her food AND favorite toy. Then she pounced on my new toy and ran away with it. I mean, come on!! Why do you need to steal my toy? Anyway, second time same story. So I decided to play with them right outside the door next time.

As I was playing with the next bunny I got I realized it was fun! So I kept playing with it and soon it was not moving anymore. I thought I would taste it a bit. So I dragged it in and tried it out. But, I'll tell you I'm not much into these new-fangled raw diets. The play is more fun than the feeding for sure. So, I stepped out to get me another toy. This one was the tiniest I had seen and it wouldn't stay quiet and just let me play. It started screeching right outside the door and my human came running again shouting the whole place down. Lady, did somebody ever tell you about cats having sensitive hearing?!

Well, my toy got snatched away again and what's more, it got it's own box and lotsa leaves from the fridge. Sheesh, so she likes to steal my toys and play doll houses with them. And later she actually walked out and dropped the bunny off at a nest of bunnies. All my hard work came to nothing. Then my human got down and cleaned the carpet of the previous bunny I played with and left that unappetizing lump in my food bowl. She took out my nice natural cat food. And to top it all, my human started not talking to me and kinda giving me the cold shoulder. I LOVED IT. That woman has been getting on my case from day one with too much touchy-feelies.

But that got old pretty soon because I do like to snuggle up to her in bed and rub myself on her. And I actually missed those annoying kisses and cuddles. They were always there when you turned around. So annoying but habit-forming. And no nice food- just yucky cold rabbit. I think she doesn't like to see bunnies hurt because they are furry and cute like me. Or maybe it is the fact that I have not brought in any leaves for her recently? I think it is the former because she hasn't let me out much without supervision- but now that I have shown her that I enjoy stalking more and not the paws-on play, she has gone back to her old cuddly self. So much better for receiving treats and snuggling up when I 'm sleepy.

[One bunny was killed in the writing of this blog and another wounded a bit. The rest, of which there were 4 or more, were all released alive along with the wounded one, once it was nursed a bit. To read my human's adventure in releasing a bunny, you should go to her blog and read the report with the bunny picture above. By the way, the top picture shows the first bunny I captured in my human's hand and the second picture shows a young unweaned one . Though I captured both, neither had a single hair hurt on their bodies.]

Friday, May 23, 2008

Out & About

Good news! I am now free to come and go as I like without silly harnesses. So, I'm pretty much a blur nowadays. The first day (a few days ago now) was a bit anxiety-forming. Not for me- for my pet human, silly! She was trailing me everywhere and cramping my style. It was constant mao-ing and whining from her. I tried to say in her sight so she wouldn't have quite so much separation anxiety. She needs to become a little bit more independent. At some point, I had to grit my fangs and just let her cry for her own good. But boyoboy, she would run up and cuddle me every few minutes. Eventually she started to quieten down. She realized that I was not gone forever and that she would see me whenever I wanted to come home (which I do when it gets too hot or windy or I get hungry or need to go to use my toilet). The next day was much better and now I get to go out without a large tail.

There is so much to see and do out there! There is a nail salon tree right outside the house. Perfect! The grass is long enough for me to hide out in and stalk the bunnies. From far away, no one can tell whether its a bunny or me except for the shape of ears sticking out of the grass. I'm working on growing longer ears. And I've become good at camouflage. There are plenty of rocks and stuff I can blend into. But mostly, I don't have to. I'm pretty much the alpha predator in this savannah. The other day an overgrown dog (a bearded collie, I'm told) tried to come up to me. I stood up and made my hair all big and stiff. His owner dragged him away telling him I was not like the declawed kitty at home. Right on- you tell him lady!

(We need to talk about this extreme surgery at some point. But I'll save it for another day.)

I have also explored the neighbor's houses. One of them has started paying his respects by leaving me a bowl of milk outside. Yummerrrrr. The other had her door open so I decided to be neighborly and say hello and have a look-see. Was ok- too many cuddlers and nothing to eat. Another has a big black tarp covered contraption that smells like charred food. I'm going to have to go over when they are using it to see what's cooking. Another has a fence and I have seen a big dog there. Whatever.

I have decided to help my humans with the food situation at home. No one can accuse me of being a moocher. For the big dude, I brought back a well-seasoned bone I found on my forays. For the grass-eater, I brought back some leaves. Actually, I try to bring her back a leaf everyday cos I want her to have a good association with me being away on my own.

I had some midget humans trouble me the day before yesterday. Well, the littlest midget was ok, she didn't touch me and she just made funny sounds and I liked her. But the older one threw a rock and would shout at me. Think she got me confused with a dog or something. And talk about getting too familiar- trying to pick me up and all! After her fourth try, I got a bit upset and warned her with my claws. No luck! Had to run and hide eventually. Certainly didn't want to hurt the midget but it was like there was no escape unless I went and hid.

So hey, I wanted to pass on some information which Trini had been giving my human about kitten independence. As long as a cat gets used to her home (which I did when I stayed home the first month), they can slowly be let out. Most of us cats have a built-in GPS to the home base as we explore the outside and find our way home over and over. But I like being a real kitster now, as Dipi would say. If you can let your cat out safely, then do. Supervising her in the beginning may be safe for her and you but eventually, you will start to have confidence in her ability to explore and have fun out there. Of course, please don't let out a kitty that has not been spayed or neutered unless you are also willing to take care of the babies you will get. And let me be clear, "taking care" doesn't involve any scenario with a bucket of water.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pins and Needles

This has been a trying week. I have this nice velvety purple cave behind my favorite red sofa. I like to sometimes get in there for privacy. Or for catnip. Well, I got in for some catnip and zzzzip, I was locked in. And I was on the move. I was taken to the vet. Again! I hate this place. I hate going to the vet's. I have anxiety associated with these places. This place pretends to be nice but I don't like the people. To get there I am put in a car. If you want to know what I think of that contraption, read my earliest blog.

We get to the vets and my human lets me out of my little cave which, by now, I have realized is a cat trap/case. Sheesh, taken in for being trusting. I have a history with these places (I'll tell you about it sometime) and they make me nervous and anxious. I tried to crowd next to my human and I hissed at sounds outside the room to keep anything scary from coming in. You always wind up getting hurt in these places.

Then this other lady comes in and before I know it, inserts a probe in my bum! This is an indignity that I have to suffer on every trip to the vet. But it ain't the worst. I get taken to another room and got a whopping fat needle that inserted something in my shoulder. I am told it is a microchip. It seems my humans have grown quite attached to me and don't want to lose me. Well, let me tell you kiddos, giving me a pain in the neck ain't going to create a reciprocal sentiment in me for sure. If I had only known my last blog about the horrid harness would be taken this seriously, I might have let her know that I do take some dramatic license.

Then the vet comes in. The same lady who a minute ago put a huge piece of metal in me. She starts to touch me again so I let her have it. Drew blood from three spots. Meoowrrr. While my human tries to say to her that I am anxious and don't like to come here and am generally a sweety, the vet remarks that some cats have attitude issues!!!! Like hell!! Nuh-uh. I wanna see her attitude if I were to stick a fat needle in her with no "by-your-leaves." And then I got two more shots! It was like the worst kind of revenge. I decided to retire to the cat-cave. Even though, I knew what it was now. I just wanted my human to take me home.

My human has been concerned about this vaccination issue especially after her friends, Trini & Teresa- who are also owned by cats, have been communicating to her that it is not clear if kitties (or dogs for that matter as Teresa would point out) need all these constant injections. There are issues with benefits and costs of most of these vaccines being thrown at cats. Some are even known to create tumors at the site of the vaccination. Now I don't want to fall sick but I also don't want to be unnecessarily vaccinated. To the right you will find a link to an article published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) in 2006 laying out some guidelines for vaccinating us felines. Thanks to Trini for providing the article! Please disperse as widely as you can so us felines are not caused pain needlessly.

And thanks to Marian, another friend of my human, who when she heard about my vet experience, sympathized and recommended a new and nicer vet. She hopes that I am not turned off vets forever but I am.

The only not-bad news to come of the whole debacle is that my human knows I'm a big cat now (though I could have told you that without a trip to the vet). I used to be a 6 pounder when I was at the shelter. I am now sleek and long and 8 pounds heavy. I can rock my favorite couch if I hit it at a full run. My muscles are so compact and strong. I think my human is in awe of me. I get lots of kisses on what she calls nosies and pawsies (obviously, while I am fully grown, she still has a ways to go). Oh and she has taken to calling me stinky fish face. But I know envy when I hear it.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


In my list of things dairy that I adore, I forgot to add ice cream. How could I forget ice cream! I think I have been under a lot of stress lately. That could explain it. Every time I want to step out to catch the breeze, I am squeezed into this contraption called a harness. It is humiliating and very un-catly. The bunnies get to run past me. If only I didn't have this on, I would show em a thing or two. And the birds wheeze by making all happy sounds because they know they are safe even though a predator is around. That makes my teeth chatter.

Despite the shackles, I hunted and provided for myself. It was just my cat genes at work. Not like I ever hunted before or was shown how or was starving or anything. Like a natural. Just came to me. (Those of you who are owned by cats know what I mean.) There it was flying around, and I made short work of it. No point wasting it either- so I ate it.

What? Well, it wasn't exactly a bird. But it could have been. Well, if you must know, it was a fly. But it was almost as big as a small bird and quite fast. Anyway, flies are harder to catch cos they zig and zag and birds just fly straight. It probably takes less skill to catch a bird and if I didn't have this harness holding me back, who knows then. Anyway, even with the harness, I took the fly out.

How could she do this to a feline? As if I was a dog! When this hits the web there will be a scandal to equal some detention centers recently in the news (use picture on left to break the story on national sheets, please).

Speaking of dogs, I saw one walking along merrily on a harness the other day. (Watching it, I am even more convinced this harness thing must be illegal for felines. I am sure there is something in the Geneva Convention to that effect.) It wagged its tail and tried to be all friendly like so I decided to hunker down and launch an attack soon as it was within range. But my female pet called its owner to warn it about a lethal threat to that defenseless critter. Bummer!

I've been thinking and thinking about the payback for the humiliation of the harness. Well, something besides the physical pain I will inflict on her (yea, its always the round one that gets the horrid torture device on me). After much deliberation, I have put into action a new plan. I sit next to her when she starts to eat, I just stare up down at each morsel entering her maw. She has tried to offer me some to convince me it is nothing I would want. He he. As if. I sniffed at her paw and looked away from the stuff she was eating (who would eat lentils, rice and veggies without tuna? or cream?) to make the point that I certainly did not want to be putting that stuff into my body. Anyway, by the end of her meal she was muttering as I made her realize how much she was eating as I stared from plate to hand to mouth diligently. I even tried to take some food away with my paw to make the point. She squawked. He he. Gonna do it again tomorrow.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Dunderheads and Dairy

Let me tell you a little bit about my humans. One is paler and taller and the other is darker and shorter. You know what they say about darker haired pets triggering more allergic reactions. Not true. After I first got here, the lighter one would come near me and look at me as if he was going to sneeze. He always set me off sneezing with that silly anticipatory expression. And I think he may have ticks or something because I only had to look at him to get him whining and scratching. Most likely he was pretending because the other one went up and swat him a few times when he did that and he stopped. It must work because he doesn't scratch that often anymore. You should try that on your human if you have had similar scratchy issues. The darker one doesn't make me sneeze or anything but she has her own issues. She likes to sit around motionless mostly but then from time to time she goes berserk and starts chasing me around the place. I like to think she is getting some much-needed exercise so I skip along and stay a few paces ahead of her. I know if she gets too boisterous I have to give her a gentle but firm swat with my nails. That usually calms her down quick.

Don't get me wrong, I actually like my humans. They are so opposite and can be a handful sometimes but they are cute with their silly antics. Mostly they clown around and keep me entertained. They have their own bed in one place of the house. And they go sleep there when tired. It is good that they are house-broken about this issue because I wouldn't like them to sleep all over. I mean it is ok for us cats but humans really should be trained to sleep in their own beds. I do have free access to the bed - well, let me qualify that. The male human can be quite cantankerous once he gets into bed. Very possessive and all. He seems to think it is "his" bed. He shares it with the female but if I feel like jumping on the bed in the middle of the night I hear all kinds of protests and hissing from him. He thinks he has won if he pushes me off. I wait for him to put his head back on the pillow and jump on again. By the third time in one night, he usually quietens down and realizes who is in charge. Persistence is the key. (That is a picture of me on the bed that the humans sleep on. Plenty of room, say I.)

The taller one seems to be an outdoorsy type because he is gone for days on end. The other one is a home-body. So I try to keep her active (see above for one example) and make sure to monitor her food. She gets pretty finicky when I do that, but a cat's gotta do what a cat's gotta do. At least they have come to realize that I like to drink my water from cups and glasses just like them. They are now trained to leave a cup with water for me. But let me not make myself out to be more difficult than I am - I have no problems with sharing if they forget. And I loooove dairy. I have heard them say that dairy is not good for me but murrrrr, I looooove dairy. Sour cream, milk, cheese, dairy desserts, cream, and milky desserts. I loooooove dairy. Oh the weather is nice again. I think I shall go sit on the stoop and bask in the sun. Maybe I will even have some dairy dessert.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pleased to Meow You

March 17th was not very different from the days before it. I was still in a cage with some litter and stinky food and lots of other cats in cages around me. The time was getting on and soon there wouldn't be any more of these humans coming in to check on me anymore. I like having some privacy and sitting in a cage like this affords you little. One of the cats opposite and below me was quite noisy. She had been there when I got there. I think she wanted to be let out to play with some of these humans who come around or something.

Well, that day this tall dude and short gal came by around closing time. The furry black paw below me was busy playing her and I noticed that the guy just stood quietly. He seemed more my type. Quiet and kept to himself while the other cats and the gal were carrying on. From time to time she would turn to him and try to get him to join in. But he resisted and stayed as he was. He seemed kinda retiring, like me. We just looked at each other from time to time- not in sympathy or anything. Just kinda being.

She was trying to get him to join in the play again when he pointed to me. I came to the front of the cage to eat and she touched my fur. I had not been stroked in a while and it felt, hmm, not so bad. Anyway, I wasn't going to get all friendly-like just because I was stroked without invitation. Not that I was gonna protest either. They went away after a few minutes and I went back to dozing. There isn't much to do when you are in a 2x2 metal cage.

I was surprised when they returned after I had had a nap and the girl who gives me food pulled me out and put me in a littler cage. Then I was put in the back of the car. Now let me tell you, this is a weird contraption. It makes noises and is bumpy and when you are in a cage that is not a nice feeling to have for too long. The girl (not the one at my last place) started to put her fingers in so I would rub them. But when she turned away I didn't really like it. So I put my paw out and grabbed the shiny green jacket arm. She went "yeeeow!" Nice, she can talk a little bit accented cat. I tried to make her do that again but the jacketed arm would run away when it saw my paw.

We got to this place and surprise! I was let out of the little cage and I ran around exploring it. I feel a nap coming on. More later.