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.