Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Kittie Complaints

As my final post of 2013 I chose this subject. You tell me if I have chosen well.

I always thought that in comparison to dogs, cats were quiet creatures. None of the barking, whining, slobbering and sometimes complete and utter destruction dogs do.

Boy was I ever WRONG!

Both Shadow and Darwin are noisy! First Shadow has a loud mouthed meow which can't be mistaken for any other. When I first got Darwin all he knew how to do is trill. Taking an example from Shadows playbook he now knows how to trill and yowl like a pro.

These two are not even quiet when they sleep.  The BOTH sore! First Shadow lays down and groans like a 90 year old man. He does nothing all day but sleep, yet he groans like he has arthritis. Get over it bro....

I think Darwin has allergies because sometimes he whistles through his nose and grunts. 

And don't let them have to groom. You hear swish, swish, scrape, scrape.....  Now I'm not supposed to hear this because I have tinnitus. I wonder if they are doing this on purpose?

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Food Fight!

Seven months later feeding Shadow (left) and Darwin (right) is still trial and error.

I know for a fact that if I feed them dry food I can pretty much leave them alone. They will crunch up some and leave and return when they want to nosh.

However when I break out the canned food I have to stand right there and watch. Hence my faux, bright pink, Crock clad foot planted firmly between the two of them.

I've caught Shadow many a time using his front paws to scoop food out of Darwin's bowl, stuffing it into his mouth like a squirrel and dashing off.....

Who knew cats could be such characters?

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Hair Dryer Harassment

Yesterday I had to handle the monstrous task if washing and twisting my dreadlocks. I usually allow my hair to air dry. That's because I'm usually home and don't mind lounging around with drying hair inside.

However since I had to attend a class then straight from there go to work I had to change my game plan. Enter the portable blow dryer.

I had totally forgotten about my feline companions were lounging on my bed. I plugged it up, turned it on and watched  Darwin and Shadow litterally FLY out out of my bedroom! When I went to look for them both were huddled in a corner with bushed up tails.

Poor babies.........

Mind you I'm not used to this because my angel cats Biscuit and Spiral were not afraid of the blow dryer.

At least I know now how to get rid of them if need be....

=^^=
Dawn Skyy


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Who's Afraid of The Big Bad...... Combat Boots?

A few weeks ago I stopped at a shoe store and bought a pair of boots. I happen to be a fan of Doc Martens but can't afford a pair yet. So I bought the next best thing. Knock offs.

So I'm clomping around the house one day (by the way they are very comfy) and noticed that Shadow was fleeing from me. I didn't think anything of it until one day I went into the kitchen while both Shadow and Darwin were eating. Shadow took one look at me and scorched out of the kitchen like a bolt of lightning.

It was hilarious because as rolly polly as Shadow is he literally took off like Usaine Bolt at a Olympic track event!  This is also paradoxical because Shadow is supposedly the tuff guy of the two. He used to bully Darwin terribly at feeding times. Now he runs when he sees my boots........

One never knows with cats.......

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Friday, November 22, 2013

Who's The Nuttiest?

I've been trying to determine which of my cats have the nuttiest traits. Shadow gets cookified when comes to food. He sucks down all of his food in a minute then he goes after Darwin's. 

Poor Darwin used to run from Shadow because Shadow would growl and hiss like he's going to attack. Now I've noticed that Darwin has gained a some backbone. He no longer runs and he makes sure he eats everything before he leaves. Leaving not one crumb for Shadow to nosh on. 

However I noticed that Darwin likes to entertain himself. He loves to play with Shadow but he often plays too rough and Shadow winds up yowling and scurrying for cover. The big wuss.  So Darwin and I hang out.

Yesterday I noted that Darwin doesn't even need a toy to play with. Like a dog he was running round and round chasing his tail and lying on his back like an otter and playing patty cake with his hind and front paws.  I don't know about anyone else but I've never seen a cat behave like this. Perhaps its due to Darwin being a Chartreuse (which is a cat breed that has dog like traits).

What ever the reason he may looked nutty. But, Darwin was showing his human mommy that he could have fun all by himself.....

=^^=
Dawn Skyy


Thursday, November 14, 2013

A New Bed

I have a tendency to grab things ahead of time when I see them. I had bought two of these petbeds at a discount store months ago. However, I was reluctant to give them to my furfaces because Darwin had a "deposit" problem.

Yesterday I broke down and put one out to see who'd claim it first. The winner was Shadow.  But last night when I got home look who I found maxing and relaxing in it?

Cute eh?

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sir Pigeon Speaker

After feeding my cats yesterday morning I got to watch Darwin in action. I found out an additional fun fact about him. He is a "Pigeon Speaker".

What in the world is that? You ask.

Well here in New York City we have two very common species of birds. One is the sparrow, which are very cute by the way, and the Rock Dove. They are pigeons or better known by their New York City street name as "Flying Rats". Why?  Because they are filthy, carry diseases, their scat is like cement and can strip paint from a battle ship. They are also the scourge of my dear city because if you feed one pigeon one day, it will come back the next day with hundreds more of it's compadres the next.

There have been various unsuccessful champaigns to lessen the New York City pigeon population, including placing a hawk family on a high rise building on Central Park either East or West. They were hoping the hawks would keep down the flying pestilence...... but you'd need much more than just one family to do the job....

This brief history on native New York City fauna was brought to you by.....

Where was I? Oh yes, Darwin.

I've noticed after Darwin eats he gets frisky. He wants to play fetch, wants to wrestle with Shadow (which lasts all of two minutes because he whips Shadow's backside every single time), and most recently,  pigeon hunting.

Someone has been feeding the filty beasts from thier windowsill in my building (from one of the upper floors). As mentioned earlier when you do that, like clockwork the hoards will show up for thier free meal. One unfortunate participant was perched on my livingroom window. Darwin was sitting on my kitchen window sill looking at it (through the glass) and making loud chirpping noises.

It was as if he was calling the pigeon, "Here pigeon, pigeon, pigeon...."

Of course the pigeon was like "Heck no!" and flew away.

After all it was a New York City pigeon, and they like their four footed vermin cousins (the rats) are not stupid......

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

P.S.  Yes cats do chirp. I learned this from a movie named "Duma" about an orphaned cheetah cub raised by a South African family and released into the wild. Chirping is a major form of communication between cheetahs as lions are their motal enemy.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duma_(film)



Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Snack Attack

Apparently I can't even eat a snack in peace.  Especially if my snack just happens to be what Darwin and Shadow likes......  In this case it was diced, grilled chicken.

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sick As a Dog!

I'm currently sick as a dog with the flu or a close approximation.

I know that cats are highly susceptible to colds so I tossed them out of my bedroom. For their own health.

Well, they wasn't havin' it! They scratched at my bedroom door. When that didn't work they stuck their paws under the door and yeowled their heads off.

Oh my goodness gracious me what ever should I do?  I let them in. And if they catch my cold I have plenty of cod liver oil to go around....

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kitty Detante

Shadow and Darwin sleeping together. Sleep now for when naptime is over we fight.......

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

No Touch Kitty

I may have mentioned it before but please bear with me.

My cats Shadow and Darwin have lived with me for nearly five months now. Shadow is a total attention hog. He loved to be petted,  scratched, held and of course FED.

Darwin on the other hand HATES being touched. Unless he us sleepy or eatting, I dear not chance petting him without being scratched or bitten. I bear several minor scars as evidence.  Thank God for coco and shea butter.

Other wise Darwin is a sweet puss. I just wonder how long it will take for him to get used to my touch?  I also wonder what happened to the poor thing in the past that has him adverse to human touch.

Well, thoses days are over Darwin. You're safe, as the umpire would say....

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lumps of Coal

No, it's not Christmas and no I haven't been a bad lady. But Darwin has been leaving me lumps of coal. Actually its not coal it's turds.

Yep, he's back to that nasty habit again. The one where he leaves a surprise poop on my living room floor. Before I made the excuse that he didn't know how to use the litter box.... yada, yada, yada.

I've been watching him very carefully and I found out Darwin has been leaving me gifts on purpose.  Why? Because he is cheesed off.

Ya see, Darwin LOVES to hang out with me in my bedroom and on my bed. When I get home from work he jets down the hallway to my bedroom door and patiently waits till I open the door. When I do, he leaps up on my bed and curls up. As snug as a bug in a rug.

Most of the time I find this endearing,  however there are times where I need a little alone time. Sometimes after they eat both cats get rambunctious and want to play, wrestle,  or chase each other on my bed while I'm tryong to sleep.....

When that happens I toss them out (cuz, you know when Darwin gets in Shadow is soon to follow). When I do that Darwin will cry at my door or stick his paws under the door and pull on it. It sounds like someone's trying to batter the door down. Most times I ignore him.

And when I do return from my catless seclusion, lo and behold what do I find? A visual manifestation of Darwin's displeasure. Turds on the livingroom floor. 

This means war!!

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Don't Be Fooled!

Don't be fooled by this idealic scene. In no time at all Shadow will be on the outside looking in, courtesy of Darwin.


=^^=

Dawn Skyy


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hunger Strike

As I may have mentioned at nausium in the past, both Shadow and Darwin are greedy gut cats. Anything I put into their food bowls is fair game to be eaten untill both bowls are clean enough to put up without being washed!

However, yesterday I found out that there is something both won't eat. I was running low on dry food, so I stopped by the supermarket and grabbed two bags of "Cat Cafe" dry food. I usually serve both cats one handful of dry food every day. Though I knew both cats were starving, they did not touch one crumb of this stuff.  


Later, I thought nothing of it as I threw out the dry stuff and feed them canned food.  When fed their fave canned tuna, both Shadow and Darwin dived in so fast they nearly broke their necks!

I found that odd, so I tried an experiment this morning. Since I had bought two different flavors of "Cat Cafe", I opened another bag and fed them that.


Both Shadow and Darwin sat at their bowls and gazed up at me while refusing to touch a crumb. Reminiscent of law enforcement/military dogs, who are trained not to eat anything unless it's to them fed by their human partner.

Well, that was enough for me! I tossed the contents of both bowls into the trash, and added the bags of "Cat Cafe" right behind it!  I didnt even want to chance donating that stuff to anyone.

I just happened to have half a bag of another food they like and I gave them that.  Both dived in with all four paws!

I don't know what's in "Cat Cafe" but if both of my cats refuse to eat it, the product must contain something bad. I've always admonished people to listen to what you furbabies tell you. Today I took my own advise.

I could also speculate that both Shadow and Darwin are just being typical picky eaters. However, both cats were feral rescues from New York City streets. These cats tend not to be wary unless there is somthing wrong with the food.

I repeat, trust your cats instincts.


=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sentry Cat

Darwin on post on the foot of my bed looking down the hallway. He's watching and waiting  for Shadow to make a try for coming into my bedroom. Obviously with Darwin lying there like that Shadow will not be getting in no time soon......

Saturday, October 5, 2013

My, Have We Grown

I was looking at Shadow and Darwin yesterday and marveling at their growth.  I brought both home about four months ago and my have they changed.

Even though they were already adult cats both benefited from regular meals and loving care. Shadow benefited a wee too much and needs to go on a diet. .. I shall cross that desert at another time.

Darwin is no longer frightful and shy except when it comes to mealtimes. That I just don't understand yet.

Shadow has toned down his aggressive behavior somewhat. He knows there's a fly swatter with his name on it.

There's no progress during mealtimes though. I still have to be the lunchroom monitor because Shadow has picked up this new habit. Growling while he eats.

He literally sounds like an idling Harley Davidson hawg in my kitchen. I don't know if it's meant to intimidate Darwin ir not but when I hear it I yell at Shadow to stop.

The last few times I did that Shadow fled the kitchen leaving his half finished fiid behind. You'd never guess what happened next. Darwin calmly eased over and finished off the rest of Shadow's abandoned meal. A minute later Shadow comes flying back in to an empty bowl and looks at me pleadingly.

My answer? Bad behavior equals no food.

Hopefully Shadow has now learned what it's like to be on the receiving end of having all of his food eaten.  Knowing him it may take a few more of these incidents to get the message across....

My late Mom used to have a saying: Hard head equals soft behind. In Shadows case its: Hard head equals empty stomach.....

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hummus or Not to Hummus

I make it a personal practice to feed my furbabies first before I eat. Why? To avoid scenes like the one below. Apparently both Shadow and Darwin like Human vittles too. But Hummas and Falafel?

By the way Shadow loves the Jalapeno and Cilantro Hummus!  He licked about a half a teaspoon from my finger. Darwin backed off.

I guess it was too spicy for him.....

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Bad Ole Brush

That bad old brush has nothing on me. I've got teeth, fangs, and sharp claws. Says Darwin

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kitty WWF

I just don't know about my cats. I love them dearly but I think they are both nuts.

Case in point.

Darwin and Shadow were hanging out with me on my bed. They both took a snooze, woke up and started grooming each other. Next thing I know Darwin ponces upon Shadow's neck and grabs him with his teeth and starts biting. It must've hurt because Shadow starts yeowling, then hissing. Next thing i know, there was a knock down and dragout on my bed. I snapped a towel and yelled at them to "Get out!",  and they both fled to continue their scuffle elsewhere. I slammef my bedroom door closed in order to have a few minutes peace and quiet.....

Darwin usually comes back and meows (sqeaks) at my foor to be let in after they've finished fighting. Shadow skulks about and creeps back in if Darwin lets him....

Lately Darwin has taken to stationing himself at the foot of my bed like a sentry. While lying there Darwin can see and hear Shadow when he sneaks up the hallway to my bedroom. If Shadow sees him "on post" he won't come in. If Darwin choses to allow him access, or is not there he'll come in...

I feel like one of those National Geograohic narrators describing the lioness as she takes her cubs down to the local watering hole....

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

PS  WWF stands for Worldwide Wrestling Federation.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

No More Mat

Well, Darwin no longer has mattted fur on his back.

Yesterday while he was eatting I started scratching his back.  I noted that he was too busy chowing down to take a swipe at me with his claws or bite.

So, on a whim I grabbed a scissor and gently cut the mat off. Now Darwin has a bald sport on his back where the mat used to be. But it will grow back.

If Darwin had let me groom him, he wouldn't have the problem in the first place.

I might use feeding time to give him a couple of soft strokes with the brush so he'll get used to being touched and groomed. That's Darwin's real problem. He's been ferral so long he's not used to and doesn't like to be touched. That can be overcome....

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mister Matted Fur

I have a wee bit of a problem.  Like Spiral, Darwin tends to get matted fur on his back.

When Spiral had them I either brushed or combed them out, which he really enjoyed. If they were really bad I would take a scissor and cut the matted fur off.

However, Darwin due to his formerly ferral living conditions, doesn't allow me to touch him that much. Ever once in a while I'm able to sneak in a pat or a scratch. But any prolonged touching and Darwin will either respond with a bite or scratch.

So you can imagine what happened when I tried brushing the mat out. Yes, he bit and scratched at the brush and me multiple times. I did manage to use the scissor and cut a tiny portion off. But Darwin bit that too. I'm currently waiting for my chance to do another sneak attack on him to get the rest of it.

Which makes me wonder if Darwin will ever learn to trust me enough to touch him with out trying to bite or scratch me. I guess three months is not long enough to tell yet. Perhaps this time next year, eh?

Now, if he'd only bite and scratch Shadow like that when it comes to his food......

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Old Habits

It is said that old habits die a hard death. I'm beginning to believe this is true when it applies to Shadow and Darwin.

After three months of living with me Shadow still sucks his food up like a shop vac. I've never seen a cat eat so fast without choking. After he finishes Shadow immediately goes after Darwin's food. And it doesn't matter if I'm standing right there to deter him. Shadow will take a chance on getting a swat from a fly swatter in order to steal a mouthful of food and dash out of the kitchen. 

The strange thing is, Darwin would be in the middle of chowin down, but he'll step back and let Shadow raid his dish! Agggggghhh! It's so frustrating! If Darwin would rise up and give Shadow a coupla good whacks he would stop the nonsense.  But he won't.....

Sigh......

Darwin has his quirks too. He keeps missing the litter box. I think I've got it down to a science though. I believe if the litter boxes is too full he will use the floor. Which not an option for me cuz I get to clean it up. Which is not enjoyable.

When I bought the two litter boxes I originally intended Shadow to use one and Darwin to use the other.  But you know cats. Shadow immediately put his scat in both which I believe turned Darwin off. That's why he started using the floor because he didn't want to share. Cats are extremely territorial like that, you know.

Darwin's learning but slips up.  I have a third llitterbox and I'm considering setting it up to see what happens.

This is a definite change from the well behaved kitties I used to have.  Shadow and Darwin are rogues compared to Biscuit and Spiral.

I should buy them both pirate costumes .....

=▲▲=
Dawn Skyy

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bad Puddy Tats

Just like Tweety Bird says my cats have been bad pusses. I dont know who has misbehaved more. Darwin or Shadow, all I know that they both got swats on their kitty bums for being naughty.

Darwin, for deliberately taking a poo on the livingroom floor. He's been very good at using the litterbox, considering that he was once feral. However, every once in a while he likes to leave me an unpleasant surprise.....

He also pulled a fast one on me one afternoon. I was brushing my teeth and spied him coming into the bathroom to use the litterbox, but he didn't stay long. Next thing I knew he was behind me in a corner. I finished, turned around was greeted with a puddle of wee on the floor!  What, the litterbox was not good enough for you, Darwin?

Shadow? He's back to his old habit of hogging food. Up until this week he was good about eating his food and leaving the area. I still have to supervise mealtimes unless I give them dry kibble. This week even though I wad standing right over and watching them, Shadow  risked growling and dived for Darwin's bowl to steal a mouthful of food then dashed off with his fat self.

Needless to say, the fly swatter was busy this week.....

=^^=
Dawn Skyy 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Dreaded Black Hair in The Sink Mystery

So I've been wondering to myself, "Where is all of this black hair in the bathroom face basin coming from?"

Well, yesterday evening sfter I'd come home from my jog I found out. Apparently Shadow loves to curl his fat body up on it like it's a nest ... And of course he detested me taking his picture. He doesn't know it yet but one of the requirements for living with me is to be on 24/7/365 call to take plenty of photos.

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Gzuntheight!

With the passing of Labor Day (the first Monday in September) Summer is officially over and Fall has fallen.

For me the change of seasons means marathon sneezing sessions because I'm allegic to something or other.  I'm past fifty and my doctor has stopped short of telling me that I should live in a bubble....

Well yesterday I had one of my sneezing sessions and Sir Darwin happened to be hanging out with me. I noted that everytime I sneezed Darwin would meow.

With him he really doesn't know how to meow yet. He's been practicing with Shadow when its time to sing/yeowl for their supper. He's getting better but in the meantime he still squeaks instead of doing an official cat's meow.

So I noticed.....

Me:  Achoo!

Darwin:  Meow!

Me:  Achoo!

Darwin:  Meow!

This went on for a good ten times untill I finally figured out that Darwin was telling "gzuntheight".......

I guess next he'll hand me the tissue dispensor.......

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Yarn Buddies

Nothing catches a cat's attention faster than a ball of yarn. Well... let me rephrase that...  a skein of yarn.

I decided to embark upon a little crochet project. I bought a new cellphone (a Samsung 3) last Saturday and its way too big for a holster, so I decided to make a little pouch for it.

So I selected a skein of yarn from my stash and found my crochet needle box and settled in to start. I totally forgot about my felines until they tried to take over and abscond with my supplies!

Good grief! Is nothing safe in this house? I guess not....

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hug And Bite

I've oft spoken about this routine Darwin likes to engage in. He dashes ahead of me as I head towards my bedroom. In a very dog like fashion if my bedroom door is open he leaps up on my bed and makes himself comfy on the foot end. Most times he does it so quickly that I don't see him. I'll sit and there'll be this grey bump on the end of my bed.....

I should've named him Lighting.....

Anyhoo.....  If the door's closed, he sits at the door and meows at me, well sort of meows, he sort of squeaks for me to open it. Of course, there are times I don't want him jumping up on my bed so I'll use my right foot to hold him back. That's when Darwin loves to do his "Hug and Bite". Most of the time I have on my slippers, which are loud pink, imitation Crocs, but last week I had on my running shoes and he went to town!

Sorry for the blurry photo. He was moving fast and I grabbed the first thing ready that was capable of taking pictures. My trusty cellphone.......

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

No Boxes

Darwin and Shadow are strange. Last week I went to the Post Office and got two boxes (yes, they are free) and I set one up in the livingroom just to see who would take an interest in it. I was all prepared with my camera to take photos either Shadow or Darwin in the box. Fat chance that....

Neither of them showed any interest at all. Wouldn't you know it I have two "poo putt" cats! It's either that or they are hanging out in it when I'm not home or asleep. I might need to invest in a nannycam to see for myself?

Hey, if the NSA can spy on American citizens I can spy on my cats......

=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Darwin's Binky

Darwin's new toy (or "Binky") is actually a plush dog bone. No feathery thingys on a stick for him! He's just too rough and would rip the thing apart in seconds! Darwin needed somthing he can "Hug And Bite", and I got sick of being "it".

So I went to my local Rite Aid and saw these dog toys on sale for a buck each. I bought two, opened the seam on one, stuffed a bit of catnip into it, and stitched it back up. I gave it to Darwin and he did the typical things catnip addled cats do. He sniffed and licked and rolled, and most importantly, bit it and clawed it. 

Binky has been his official diversion from biting moi. So anytime he's in the mood to play and bite somthing or someone (not Shadow), I wave Binky at him and he grabs it and goes to town! 

I'm not saying he doesn't get me every once in a while. He also loves to grab and chomp on my bright pink imitation Croc clogs, while my feet are in them!  But, that's another story and another photo for another post. 
=^^=
Dawn Skyy

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Royal Beat Down!

Remember not two months ago I had complained that Shadow was intimidating Darwin?  Poor Darwin had come into my home and didn't know what to expect.  He certainly didn't expect to be bullied by Shadow who happened to have already lived at my apartment for just a one WEEK! 

In that week's time Shadow had decided that my pad was going to be HIS stomping ground and belong to no other but Him! So when Darwin showed up, he was treated like a serf! He had not right to anything!  No food, no litterbox, no hanging out with human mommy...... nothing! 

Well, the tables have officially turned! For the past few days I've watch Darwin literally beat Shadows butt down into the mat! Remember how I complained that Shadow used to constantly "mount" Darwin as a feline show of dominance?  Well Darwin has been doing that to Shadow! In the feline version of "whatsoever you do to others shall be done unto you". Shadow gloried in the fact that he was the top cat in the house. Now the tables have been turned!

Its even has gotten to the point where Shadow must seek Darwin's permission to sleep with me, if Darwin says no, by fighting and throwing him out, then the answer is "no".

Shadow has been forced to retreat to the FLOOR (gasp!) or finds another place to sleep, toilet lid, tub, kitchen floor....

If only Darwin will fight for his share of food during feeding time..........

I should wait for it, because I know it's eventually coming, right?

Okay, I wait.........

Dawn Skyy


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Personal Contact Cat

Darwin wouldn't have it any other way. He will not sleep next to me unless one of his pawsies is resting on my leg. I don't know if he does that to make sure I'm still there, or just likes personal contact while he sleeps.

I shouldn't find this strange, after having a cat who insisted upon stretching out on my chest and cuddling like a baby when we slept. That was my Spiral during his last 3 months of life.

So, I guess Darwin's no different.

Dawn Skyy

A New Trend

I've noticed a new trend with Darwin while he's hanging out with me on my bed.  Latelly he's been challenging Shadow, fighting him then either chasing him out, or tossing out, period.  Funny, I thought Shadow was the official Top Cat in this house.

I guess not, anymore.

Dawn Skyy

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Great Mystery Solved

When I got home from work yesterday morning I was met by a welcoming committee of one cat. Just Shadow. I was immediately on alert because Darwin always met me at the door like an enthusiastic dog. Yet he was nowhere to be found.

I put aside my groceries,  and went to my bedroom to put down my purse, knapsack and jacket. All the while I was calling him. It must have been the tenth time I called him when Darwin showed up. When I turned to the kitchen, both cats ran ahead of me, leaping over each other. I wasn't gonna feed them just yet, because I had groceries to put away. I just happened to look in the night snack bowl and noted it was almost empty. That was a good thing, right?

I put up the groceries and noted the litter needed to be changed. I like to do this before the cats eat so they have fresh litter to poo and pee in after eating. I changed the box in the bathroom and was on my way to change the one in the living room when I slipped in a pool of cat puke, and nearly broke my face.

"I wonder who did this? "  I thought, as I cleaned it up.

I went finally back to the kitchen to feed them both. I  divided a can of wet food between them. I put the food down and as usual Shadow went at his portion with his usual gusto (a feline version of a shop vac). Darwin, he just sat there and looked at me pitiful.

"Eat, Darwin." I told him.

Sometimes I have to encourage him to eat because he gets distracted. This time, instead of eatting, he strolled right out of the kitchen!  I caught him, brought him back and sat him before his bowl. He walked away again.

Aha! I had my culprit!  Obviously, Darwin was the pig who ate all of the dry kibble, then sicked it all up in the living room. Now he had no appetite. And that was also why Darwin had originally hidden from me, he knew what he had done (casting up accounts upon the parlor floor) was wrong. Poor baby!

Not to mention, Shadow was overjoyed because he got two portions that morning!

I hope Darwin learned his lesson. As for me, I'm gonna have to rethink the midnight munchie bowl idea.  I've never had this problem with my cats in the past.

Sad, both of my cats are greedy pigs..........

::Face palm::

Dawn Skyy

Undercover Feeding

How many times a day do you feed your cats, and how much?

I feed Shadow and Darwin twice a day. I divide one can of wet food between the two, twice a day. As usual Shadow sucks all of his food up like a Hoover vacume cleaner on less than a minute and tries to steal Darwin's food. Darwin on the other hand is very happy with his half and as long as he is allowed to eat his portion without being harassed by you know who, he's okay.

Last week I did an experiment. I gave both cats each one whole can of food each. As predicted Shadow Hoovered all of his down and went after Darwin's portion. Darwin was unable to finish his and walked away. I took the rest away before Shadow could eat it, because I felt that far too much for him to eat. At that point Shadow was just being greedy.

My new problem was I would leave what I call a night feeding for them before I leave for work, overmight. Instead of noshing on it during the night, Shadow would chomp it all down before I even left the house, leaving nothing at all to eat for poor Darwin. As a result both cats beseige me before I can even get in the door when I return from work in the mornings.

So, I tried a little experiment. I put the dry kibble in a bowl and left it on top of the washing machine. Why did I do that? Because I knew Darwin was smart enough to know it's there and would jump up there to get it. Where as lazybones Shadow would not. And Darwin did just that. I told you he was very smart....

As for Shadow, he needs to go a serious diet, becauae he's starting to look like Buddha.  That's if Buddha was a fat black cat........

Dawn Skyy 

Cat UnAttract

I don't mean to disparage the product, but Cat Attract Litter does NOT work for my cat Darwin. They say that there are some cats that catnip doesn't affect. Well Darwin is not impressed by this well known litter.

The story begins thus. I had over half of the bag left from my unfortunate purchase and use of the product. So I decided to mix half Cat Attract with the Feline Pine litter that I regularly use for Shadow and Darwin. Shadow had no problem with the mixture. However, Darwin started pooping and peeing on the floor again, much to my chagrin. After he'd been such a good boy and had been using the box.

Why was he doing this? He was clearly expressing his displeasure with the addition of Cat Attract to the litter mix. Perhaps he can't stand the smell of it or he can't stand the fact that it is a clump type litter. Whatever it is, he is officially boycotting the litter box untill I change it out.

Oh my, what a touchy fellow Darwin is .....

Dawn Skyy

Thursday, August 15, 2013

No Purrs?

Yep, you heard right, or read right. No purrs. Although my two fur babies are very vocal, they don't purr. I've had previous cats who purred loudly enough for me (who suffers from tinnitus - chronic ringing sound in the ears) to hear them. Isn't funny how cats know things like that?

But Shadow and Darwin don't purr.  If they do they don't purr very loudly. I'm guessing since Darwin was a stray and loner for so long he never learned typical cat ettiqute. How to properly use the litterbox, how to meow, how to use the scratch pole, etc. I guess purring is on his list to learn next. As for Shadow, the only way I know his is purring is when I stroke him and feel the vibrations.

Perhaps one day they will bless me with purrs. For now, they are my cuddle bunnies.....  =^^=

Dawn Skyy

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lick a Drip Cat

I was wondering why my cats haven't been drinking water from their water bowl. My previous cats, Biscuit and Spiral used to lick drips from the tub faucet. But those two used to like water also.

I had no clue my new cats were like this until I witnessed this a few minutes ago. Good thing I had my cellphone handy......

Dawn Skyy

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stopwatch Cats

I really find some way to resolve Shadow and Darwin's mealtime issues. It has gotten to the point that I know that when I put both bowls of food down, Shadow will finish his portion in less than a minute then immediately go after Darwin's. I don't even meed a stopwatch to time him.

If I'm not there to stop there to stop Shadow, he will either shoulder Darwin away from his food dish and take over, or stick one of his paws into the bowl and scoop a portion out, or he will snatch up a portion with his mouth and dash off to consume his ill-gotten booty.

Late at night before I go to sleep, or go to work, I fill a bowl with dry kibble to tide them over till I get back home the next day. Last week I put the bowl down and I had to look for something in the fridge. While there I kept hearing the bowl scrape back and forward across the kitchen floor.

I look up and Shadow is using one of his paws to pull the bowl away from Darwin. Not to be out done, Darwin used his paw to pull it back to himself. A food bowl tug of war!  When I shouted for them to stop, they both looked at me..... you know that look cats give you when you catch them in the act.....

The I'm not doin'nuthin' Mom, look.

What am I gonna do with these two furry miscreants?

Dawn Skyy

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Darwin

Darwinism Feline Style

According to Darwin's Animal Control Certificate his temperment is described as being withdrawn. That  meant he shied away from those taking care if him in the shelter. Reason, he was a stray cat and was unused to being around people. However, he hasn't been like that with me, however he is still very shy in certain areas.

Take mealtimes, he lets Shadow bully him and steal food out of his dish while he is eating. For once I wish he would give Shadow a couple of good, solid whacks on the nose. That  would certainlly teach Shadow to leave his food alone.

In the beginning, Darwin was so intimidated by Shadow that he was too distracted to eat. He would constantly glance over his shoulder after every bite. So much so that I had to admonish him to eat. It got so that he would leave a portion of his food for Shadow. It was almost as if poor Darwin was leaving a tribute for a tyrant.

But, lately Darwin has been leaving nothing but the empty bowl for Shadow to lick. That's a good sign. However, I still have to be the Lunchroom Monitor.

Another fact is Darwin diametrically opposed to Shadow when it comes to petting, cuddling, etc. Shadow loves to be petted, stroked, scratched and even brushed. In short, Shadow is a total attention whore. Darwin?  Hah! I have to test the water every single time I want to pet him.

I've found out through trial and error that the best times to pat or scratch him are when he is sleepy or while he is eating. Any other time he'll give me a lighting quick swipe with one of his paws with claws out. Yes, I've gotten a couple of good licks and scratches from him. Or he will do the hug and bite thingy. That's where he would grab my hand with his two front paws, pull it to his mouth and will bite the heck out of me. For that he gets a tap on the nose from me.

I'm not your enemy, Bro......

I have also noticed Darwin plays very rough with Shadow, and he winds up streaking away to hide. Funny, I thought Shadow was the leader of the pack in the house. I guess there's a new sheriff in town that I don't know about.....  Perhaps it's payback for stealing his food.....

And forget about trying to groom Darwin! On a whim I got out the grooming brush one day and tried to give him a few gentle strokes. What did I get for my efforts? He bit the brush multiple times! Thank heavens I didn't use the grooming glove! He would've bitten right through that puppy....

Last but not least, I was mopping the kitchen floor recently and here came both cats to watch what their human mommy was doing. Apparently Darwin didn't like the mop, so sprang at it, gave it a couple of Bruce Lee-like whacks, and strode away with his tail held high.

I guess he told that bad old mop!

Now, if only Darwin would do this to Shadow when he's trying to steal his food.....

I guess that will come in due time. 

Dawn Skyy

Monday, August 5, 2013

Fed up With Poop!

I had officially given up on Darwin. I spent six weeks trying to essentially litter train a cat that refused to be trained. I had come to the end of my wits and there were only two options left.

I paid a visit to Social Tees and had a talk with Robert. I'd consulted the Internet and found out that CAGING a litter reluctant cat would help. He suggested I could do that but I'd have to call him in advance and make prior arrangements for a cage. It was either that or returning Darwin in exchange for another cat.

I thought about it long and hard and decided to take Darwin back and get another cat. This decision did not come lightly, because I really loved the little boogger and Shadow liked him too. The two often slept curled together and had mutual grooming sessions. Shadow still swiped food from Darwin but that's another story......

So I called Robert back and told him I would be bringing Darwin back for an exchange. The day before I was supposed to do it I had back spasms and was rendered practically immobile from the pain. It was a tremendous effort for me to get out of bed let alone pack up and carry Darwin back to Social Tees.

Guess who kept me company while I lay upon my bed of affliction?  Yep, good old Darwin. He lay right next to me and kept a paw touching my one of my legs at all times.

Moving on.......

When I finally managed to get up and hobble around the house and go to the doctor (who prescribed muscle relaxers) I totally forgot about Darwin's poops. One morning I noted there wasn't a surprise left on the living room floor. I panicked and started checking all of the corners to make he didn't find a new toilet somewhere. To my surprise, there were none!  Could it be?

Darwin confirmed my suspicions one day when I was using the privy. He came right in and used the litter box to poo! Like a child proudly showing a parent they'd used the potty....

I've had no problems with Darwin since then.

God surely works in mysterious ways. Had I not been laid up with back issues, I would've taken my sweet kitty baby back.....

Darwin is definately here to stay!

Dawn Skyy

Some Facts About Darwin

Firstly, as I mentioned in a previous post Darwin trilled instead of meowing. So it sounded like he was always asking me a question. I found this to be very endearing.

Second, he is a very intelligent cat and almost dog like in the way he attached himself to me and followed me from room to room. Not to say that Shadow didn't love me or follow me, but Darwin was different. That's kind of why I named him that moniker.

Third, I found out quite by accident that Darwin is a fetch cat. Apparently the carrier I brought him home in had a small catnip toy in it. He found it and was having a ball playing with it. He brought it into my bedroom and onto my bed and left it for me while I was writing. I took one look at the ratty thing and tossed it out of the open door. To my surprise he flew off the bed, chased it down and brought it back for me to toss again. This continued for nearly 45 minutes untill he became bored. Meanwhile, Shadow just lay there and watched as if to say, "Don't expect ME to do that."

Again, I went to the Internet and found a page which told me that there are 10 breeds of cats who have dog like charactoristics. One of the ones mentioned is a Chartreux which is a breed of BLUE cats that happen to look like Darwin. So there was a distinct possibility I have a purebreed cat!

Check out the following link, and pay special attention to number 5.

http://www.marthastewart.com/356633/cat-breeds-dog-people/@center/852601/cat-breeds#351390

On the bad side. Darwin is a year younger than Shadow but was ferrel/wilder longer than him. So he does not have the social graces most hand raised cats have. Number one on the list, either he didn't know how to or just plain refused to use the litter box. This meant coming home from work and finding a poo pile in the middle of my living room.

This was dispite the fact I had a large communal litter box in the bathroom which Shadow was happily using.

This problem continued for weeks and I did a plethora of things to break him out that nasty habit. On the advise of a friend I put down contact paper sticky side up. Reportedly cats don't the sticky feel on their paws. So I covered the entire living room floor, to the extent that I couldn't use the roomfor weeks. The result was a giant fail. One day, I watched Darwin skip across the contact paper and poop on the very edge of the paper. Apparently the stickiness didn't bother him. I told you he was named appropriately ......

I ripped up all the contact paper and put down news paper. I figured if hes going to poop on the floor, at least wanted him to do it on paper that I could pick up easily and dispose of his waste. No dice, that didn't work either.

Next I went to K-Mart and bought those puppy wee-wee pads. I thought that perhaps this would work in conjunction with another litter box I'd set up in the living room. He didn't use any of them.

Desparate, I again consulted the Internet about the problem. One suggestion was to change the litter to sand or potting soil. Apparently ferral cats prefer to use either or both of those elements to relieve themselves. So I went to the local hardware store and bought a 50 pound bag of sand. Shadow hated it but used it. With Darwin it was a no go.

The next product recommended by the Internet was "Cat Attract Litter". So again I went off on a quest and hauled home a 30 pound bag of of what I consider the most expensive litter I've ever bought in my life. According to the Internet specs it was invented by  Doctor Elsey and was guaranteed to work. Supposedly special ingredients in it attracted your kitten or cat to the litter box........

What another big FAIL!  I still have three thirds of the bag sitting in my hallway! I'm not denigrating the product but, perhaps Cat Attract is only affective with only certain cats. It did not help attract Darwin.

I was seriously wondering if I should invest in a pooper scooper.  Do they still make those things?

TO BE CONTINUED

Dawn Skyy

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Feeding Time at The Zoo

Another aspect in cat dynamics I wasn't used to was the feeding time mayhem. All of my previous cats got along famously during meal times. I served them their meals out of two large dog bowls as a matter of fact. They either politely ate together or one ate while the other waited. But never this.....

The first time I fed Shadow and the new cat (who I temporally named Darwin) together was a failure with a capitol F. Shadow growled and hissed at Darwin, keeping him away while aforementioned tried to quickly snarf down every bite. Well, Shadow would have done so if I had not taken the bowl away.

I wound up dividing the food up into two bowls. I also had to stand watch with a fly swatter in hand. Why? Because Shadow would finish his food, growl and go after Darwin's food. Darwin being a timid cat would run away leaving everything for Shadow and go hungry.

So starting over, I divided the food into two separate dishes and watched as they ate. When Shadow finished his, he automatically went after Darwin's food,  but I was ready! I tapped him on the nose with the fly swatter and shouted "No!". It took several tries but Shadow backed off. However, I had to stay and watch Darwin eat his food, because if I didn't Shadow would pounce on him.

I went back to the cat expert site and found out that in cases where there is meal time aggression they suggest you separate and feed your cats in different rooms. I have no room to do that in my small domicile,  so I'm going to teach them meal time etiquette.

The very next day I went to K-Mart and bought two smaller bowls, and retired the dog dishes.

Wonderful, I'm now a Feline Lunch Room Monitor ........

Dawn Skyy

A Not so Welcome Home

Give them time to get used to each other." Robert advised as I left Social Tees with my newest acquisition. I hadn't a clue what he meant until I arrived home.

As soon as I put the carrier down my formerly sweet tempered and loving Shadow turned into a monster! Growling and hissing up a storm at the new Kitty before I even opened the carrier! It reminded me how Moses went after Biscuit back in the day. Like Robert said, they would have to get used to one another. In the meantime, I had a very frightened gray Kitty hiding out in my bedroom.

Shadow was not content in leaving the new Kitty alone. He hunted and hounded him and when he got him,  he would ( please excuse the term) hump him. I was both shocked and flabbergasted! I thought that both cats were male! Robert assured me so,  plus I looked. So why was Shadow.......

So I went to my favorite source when I have perplexing questions. I found a cat expert site which explained that Shadow was merely expressing his dominence over the new cat. Like the alpha wolf in the wolf pack, Shadow was showing who was boss. Once this issue was settled the two of them started being friends.

I was assured of this fact when they started having mutual grooming sessions. So, I kept hope alive........

Dawn Skyy

A Companion For Shadow

Percisely one week later,  I visited Social Tees to check out a possible companion for Shadow. Robert had just had an adotption event so there were not as many cats and kittens available as there were last week.

The one cat I was interested in was not ready to be adopted yet because he hadn't been spayed. I was about to leave when I noticed a grey (or BLUE as its known in proffessional feline breeding circles) roaming around freely and going about his business. What really got my attention was the fact that he was trilling to himself. I asked Robert about it and he confirmed what I heard. It a sort of whirring sound like he was both humming and purring at the same time. I've heard this is one of the sounds Mommy cats use to communicate with their kittens. Right there I decided that I wanted him.

Being that cats are very sensitive the grey cat chose that very minute to scat and hide. Robert had to tempt him out of said hiding place with a can of food. As soon as the cat popped out, Robert grabbed him and put him into one of those cardboard carriers. But he wasn't having none of that! He busted right out of that cheap box and ran for the hills!

Plan B immediately went into action. Robert had a standard carrier I could borrow. We waited the Kitty out, grabbed him and stuffed him into the more secure carrier. I was then sent home with Roberts blessings.

Dawn Skyy

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Shadow Settles In

Shadow and I got along famously and I discovered some interesting facts about him.

Number one, I didn't have to teach him to use the litter box. He tracked it down all by his lonesome and used it like a pro.

He also insisted on snuggling with me when I slept. There was no such thing as shutting him out of my bedroom while I cut my zzzzzzs. He would loudly protest and scratch at my bedroom door if I did.

He was a glutton for attention and loved to be scratched, rubbed and petted. He was docile enough to allow me to clip his claws with a human nail clipper (yes, I know how to do that).

He sucked up his food like a Dust Buster!  I attributed this to the fact that he'd been a stray and was forced to fend for himself. Not knowing when he would get his next meal, he developed the habit of eating quickly and dashing off. This was a habit I hoped Shadow would dispense with once he became more comfortable with the fact he was being fed regularly.

Last but not least, Shadow was another loud mouthed cat! I'd already had a taste of that when I brought him home on the bus. So, I should've know what I was in for, eh?

What I didn't expect was for him to cry at the door when I left for work. Oh no, a reincarnation of Biscuit! The last thing I needed was my neighbors complaining to my complex's mangement, that my cat was disturbing the peace at so-called ungodly hours.

This meant another trip to Social Tees, to get him a companion.... 

::faceplam::

Dawn Skyy

Cat Shopping

After a couple of weeks of dithering I finally was able to vist Social Tees. They had just moved to this new location (which formerly a vintage record shop - vinyl records) and I caught Robert (the owner) as he'd just opened for the afternoon.

There were many cats and kittens present. Some were in cages, others were in a play area in the window and yet others were roaming around free. When I explained what type of cat I was looking for, Robert had me sit down and fill out a Social Tees application. While I was filling out said application, several cats came to check me out. However one cat in particular jumped up on the table and laid himself down on the paper and gazed at me with knowing green eyes.

"Oh, that's Angel." Robert said.

I remember thinking "That's a strange name for a cat who's black as sin." 

He proceeded to tell me how Angel had taken care of and nursed a little kitten back to health like he (Angel) was the kittens mom.

Robert also told me that no one wanted Angel because he was black. Unfortunately, even in this day and age people are still superstitious about black cats. To me Angel was handsome, very friendly, and outgoing. I was sold.

We negotiated the price.  Robert packed Angel up and I took him home in a cardboard carrier. He wailed all the way home on the bus, so folks automatically knew what I had in the box even though the couldn't see him.

Once home, Angel immediately leaped out of the box settled in like he owned the place. I also changed his name. Angel was the temparary name the shelter had given him to identify him on his Animal Control Certificate. His name is now Shadow.

Dawn Skyy

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Lonely Home

My apartment didn't feel right. After 16 plus years of having cats running around me, sleeping with me, hamming it up, and causing general mayhem. It was weird living completely alone without furry companionship.

It was weird not having a cat loudly demanding breakfast at 4am. It was strange not having to change the litter box anymore. It was weird seeing unopened cans of cat food on the shelf and no one to feed them to. It was strange looking at the kitty kibble bags next the cans. The cat food dishes sat lonely and unused on the kitchen floor. I couldn't bring myself to wash them and put them away. It was like time stood still.

It also utterly freaked me out when I went to the supermarket and automatically went to the cat food aisle, to pick up food and litter for cats who were no longer alive. That's how deeply ingrained it has been for me to live with cats.

So, it was serendipitous that rescue shop named "Social Tees"  opened near my job a few weeks later. They specialize in rescuing both cats and dogs from New York City's high kill shelters, vacinating, spaying, and micro-chipping them, then offering them for sale for a moderate fee.

After a mental and emotional tug of war with myself, I made the decision to stop by and see if they had a cat or cats for me to adopt. It was just a matter of coordinating my crazy nocturnal schedual and my days off with the shop's hours.

Please check out Social Tees  page on Facebook

https://m.facebook.com/SocialTeesAnimalRescue

Dawn Skyy

Ode to Biscuit & Spiral

You can say "Aw, Dawn, they were just cats."  But Biscuit and Spiral, were family to me, even though they were just cats. Spiral and his brother Biscuit were my feline companions for the past sixteen or more years. Through thick and thin with my Mom as she suffered numerous nervous breakdowns and hospitalizations and finally when she was committed to a nursing home.

Biscuit and Spiral kept me company while I dealt with living alone. Truly on my own after living with and caring for my sick Mom for forty five years. I suffered post tramatic stress syndrome and had my own nervous breakdown. They were there to keep me company, provide laughs and memorable moments of joy. My shrink and therapists encourage people in my condition to have a pet. To have someone to care for so one doesn't wallow in self pity and deoression.They were overjoyed that I had two cats, and for so long. According to them, most cats were not that long lived.

Yes, Biscuit and Spiral were both blessed and blessed me with their presence until Mom passed away on August 4, 2010.  Biscuit was very close to Mom was tremendously affected by her death. Even though my Mom died miles away, Biscuit who was living with me in was traumatized by her death. They say cats are psychic. I say God blessed them with super sensitivity to their human companions.

From that day forward Biscuit gave up on life. He acted normally but he started refusing food. To me he looked like he was bring super picky. It seemed like he hated everything I bought for him to eat. I'd put the food into the dish, he would take a mouthful or two then dash off. Spiral would come in and clean up. I comforted myself that he was eating later when I was asleep or at work because the dish was empty later when I checked.

However that was not the case. Biscuit was clearly not eating and by October 2012 he had nearly become a bag of bones. Amazingly he was still a happy cat, running around, playing, butting me with his head, but I knew he was on his last paws. Had I the money to whisk him to the vet, they would've put him down.

The day before Hurricane Sandy rolled in (and I as a "Zone A" resident was forced to evacuate) Biscuit died from a stroke like attack. This left Spiral on his own for the first time in sixteen years. The result was he attached himself to me like a leech. He'd started jumping into bed and sleeping on me. Yes, he literally slept on me! He would stretch out on me like a babe and we would both visit the Land of Nod together. I honestly don't believe he slept a wink whike I was not home.

In comparison to Biscuit,  Spiral was a quiet cat. He prefered to let Biscuit do all of the talking or meowing. However, with he extroverted friend gone Spiral became much more vocal. Crying at the door while I waited at the elevator to go to work,  church, run,  etc.  While at home he would meow, grunt,  mutter, whir at me. The funny thing is,  I understood what he was saying. I had officially become a Cat Whisperer.

However,  I failed to notice the warning signs that Spiral like Biscuit was also refusing to eat. He was being ultra picky and not happy with anything I fed him.  He did however developed a habit of begging from me as I ate my food, and I found out his two favorites were yogart and spaghetti. Yes, Spiral ate spaghetti! And the yogart? He simply stuck his head into the yogart cup and lapped up the dregs.

Spirals last day came quite suddenly. He was hanging out with me on my bed and started gagging. I hurriedly put him on the floor and he coughed up a giant clot of blood. Both Spiral and I looked at each other and we automactically knew like Biscuit, he was a goner. I spent the next 48 hours close to Spiral making him as comfortable as possible. 

At 0430 am on 3/21/2013 I broke down and cried my eyes and heart out. Spirials voice rose as he howled along with me.  Who says cats are insensitive beasts? This was proof positive to me that they are not.

Approximately two hours later, four months after Biscuits death,  Spiral was gone. I will sorely miss both. Thank you Lord, for blessing me with their presence for all of those years.

As Ecclesiastes 3 says:  "To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under the sun. A time to be born and a time to die....."

Dawn Skyy

Fur Faced Lightheadedness

Have you ever had cats as co-authors? I know what you are thinking, and it's about collaboration or writing. Nope, it's nothing like that.  

I just want to honorably mention my two (one time) ever present writing companions who are my cats, Biscuit and Spiral.  If I sat at my computer (“Big Bertha” - which was  situated in my living room) for any amount of time, they will most certainly pay me a visit to provide either inspiration or torment. Mostly torment.

How can an innocent, fluffy, furry, beastie be a torment? When I  attempted to concentrate on a particular story, paragraph or phase, Spiral will do what I called the “runway walk”. This is where he would walk between my feet while rubbing his body along my legs. This ends with his tail wrapped around my left or right calf. Spiral would do this repeatedly until he got my attention.

If no attention was given, Spiral would resort to the next area of torment. He'd kiss my toes with that cold nose of his. If I happened to be sitting at Big Bertha barefooted, my first reaction was to nearly jettison off my chair! I loved him dearly, but I'd give him a scolding. "I need to have my upmost concentration whilest I write, don't you understand, Kitten?"   His reaction was to dash away.

Two minutes later, he was back only this time he'd rub his face on my feet and when I ddidn't pay attention, he'd lay his entire heavy body across my feet. That, I actually loved. I'd often play footsie with him until he started to bite my toes.  "Spiral, now you've got to go!" I'd yell and off he dashed again.

Finally I'd have a moment of peace to write, and you know how you feel someone staring at you? I'f look down to my right or left and there Spiral sat with the most pitiable expression on his little furry face! Awww! I can't help but give him a pat or two or scratch. Then its back to the writing.

This time he pulls out the heavy artillery! The next thing I know, I felt CLAWS on my leg! It's like: HELLO! I'M HERE! NOTICE ME! PET AND STROKE ME NOT TYPE ON THE COMPUTER! More yelling and he scurries off to disappear to take a nap. 

However, he would return with his comrade in arms, Biscuit as backup to “double team” me! One distracted me while the other moved in for the kill. Someone was gonna get attention today, and it was not my writing!

With all of this going on, it's a wonder I was able to get anything done. But, I wouldn't have had it any other way. Cuz I loved my kitties!

Dawn Skyy

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Even though I had two wonderful cats all was not sweetness and light in our household. I made mention of my Mom in a past post. She suffered from paranoid schizophrenia as diagnosed by her psychiatrist(s).

Unfortunately for people who suffer such devastating mental/psychological illnesses there is often a revolving door of repeated hospitalizations, especially if there is poor medication maintenance. With my Mom this was the case because she always either refused to take her meds, or hid and threw it away.

As I'd also previously mentioned before, cats are extremely sensitive creatures. Both Biscut and Spiral were well aware of her sickeness and kept her company. Mom loved both cats but doted on Biscuit because he was the quieter of the two.

However, Spiral managed to wiggle his way into my Mom's heart even though she thought he was too rambunctious. In her opinion, cats were supposed to be nice, quiet creatures. So Spiral was an anomaly.

Because both cats loved my Mom, they stuck by and watched her like a hawk. My mom went through phases where she didn't take her meds and decompensated (mental state deteriorated to the point where she had to be hospitalized). Both cats were excellent predictors of when she was about to "have a break" or "flip". I usually knew this when I noted Biscuit and Spiral constantly stayed in my company, or ran and hid from her.

There were also times when I would come home dead tired from work, and fall asleep. I'd be awakened a few hours later to Biscuit's yeowling. I'd investigate and find my mom had fallen either in the tub or in her bedroom floor. On several occasions (especially during her later years) I was left with no choice but to call an ambulance and have her hospitalized.

This cycle continued for approximately 10 years until I had to make the ultimate decision to place my Mom in a nursing home. Biscuit and Spiral remained faithful to the end.

I was relived that Mom was finally in a place where would she would be properly cared for, but I missed her too. But, I had no clue that Biscuit and Spiral would miss her so. Biscuit ran around for weeks looking for her and crying. Spiral was just content at giving me questioning looks. These actions lessened as the months and years passed.  I thought they had forgotten her. Little did I know....

On August 10, 2010, my Mom passed away. Though I live in Manhattan and she had been living in a nursing home in Brooklyn, Biscuit knew she had died and went into an immediate funk. Refusing to eat and moping about the house.  Spiral pulled him out of it, but my poor Biscuit-kit was never the same.

Dawn Skyy

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Cat Named Spiral

My newest addition to our family fit right in with the help of Biscuit. He officially took over the job of showing him the ropes. Biscuit showed him where to get food and water and where to do his poos and wees. Where to get the best scratches, the best cuddles and whose bed to sneak into at night. Since he was an official member of the family the kit needed a name.

So I looked at him to get some kind of clue and the name Spiral popped into my head. Why? Because the tabby like markings on his tail resembled rings.

Like Biscuit, Spiral had his own set of endearing qualities. First, he must have been around a dog because he would sit up on his hind legs and beg like one. Yep, with two front paws held up and pleading eyes to boot. I'm so sorry I don't have photos of that. Back then digital cameras were not on the scene yet, so my pictures were 35mm.

Spiral also wagged his tail when he was happy. Not like a dog, but his tail would stand straight up and quiver.  Also, instead of meowing like a normal cat, Spiral would squeak. One had to really pay attention to hear him, whereas Biscuit was the loudmouth of the family.

Biscuit took personal charge of raising Spiral. He tried to keep the little guy out of trouble but sometimes Spiral was too much for him to handle. Spiral loved to climb the curtains and perch himself on top of the curtain rod. Most times he couldn't get down, so Biscuit would run and get me and lead me back to where his charge was. I would take him down and scold him. That usually worked for about two hours and he was back on the same curtain rod again.

One of the most heart rending times was when I took Spiral to be spayed. He had to stay overnight and poor Biscuit was besides himself with worry. I'd made doubly sure when I packed Spiral in his carrier, that Biscuit was not around to see. But you know that cats are extremely sensitive to vibes, and Biscuit knew something was up when his new buddy suddenly disappeared.

Biscuit drove both Mom and I nuts plaintively crying all night and didn't let up until Spiral got back home the next day. Of course, Biscuit had to give Spiral a thorough inspection after I released him from the carrier. After the inspection Biscuit looked like he told Spiral "I see you got one of those operations too, eh? But, its all good because we have each other."

While Biscuit grew into a small fine boned cat,  Spiral grew into a monster twice his size and weight. Even though Spiral was larger he never bullied Biscuit. When he did try, Biscuit gave him a couple of well placed whacks and that ended that.

As they grew older together I noticed a pecking order had been established between them. I fed both cats from one bowl. Both would come to eat at the same time but Spiral would calmly curl up and wait until Biscuit ate his share, then eat after he was finished.

Somewhere along the way they both decided it was preferable to lick drips from the tub faucet than drink from a bowl. So, I used their second bowl which had been earmarked for water, for dry food and left the tub to drip for them.

So far it was a match made in heaven.

Dawn Skyy



Thursday, July 25, 2013

All Good Things Come to Those Who Don't Wanna be Bothered

It had to be about two weeks later when a little give or take, Cara called me all excited. Apparently one of the deacons had found another kitten at the church. Our church has a day school and he went in to open the building and while he was doing that, this little kitten comes running up to him. At a loss for what to do he gave the kit to Cara.

She kept talking the kit up. How cute he was, how sweet he was, how much fun he was. Yada, Yada, Yada.  I was tired and cross and privetely wondered why she didn't keep him. The answer was simple, Moses didn't like him. If I didn't come by to take the little guy Cara would be forced to take him to the pound. Sigh, I wasn't. Exactly feeling this.....

So I agreed to come by her house on Saturday morning after Bible class. After Bible class Cara litteraly dragged me home with her to meet the kitten.

He was cute as a button. A combination of white and tiger stripe. He couldn't be much older than three months old and he was leading Moses on a merry chase all over Cara's apartment
.
"Oh that's cute they're playing."  said I.

"No they're not. He's running for his life because Moses is trying to kill him." Cara replied. That sealed the deal for me!

Now the next problem was how was I going to get him home? Neither Cara or I had a carrier handy. All I had was a giant tote bag I schlepped my stuff around in. So Cara gave me a shopping bag, and I dumped all of my belongings into that and stuffed the little guy into my now empty tote bag. I hugged and kissed Cara and made my way home via bus and train.  All the while worrying about the kit, was be going to jump out of my bag? Will Biscuit do the same thing that Moses did?

On the train the kit pushed his way out but not to jump. He just wanted me to cuddle him. I distinctly recall passengers smiling at us because he was so well behaved on the subway. I was surprised too.

The real test was when I got home. Before I even got in the door Biscuit was there! It was as if he knew I'd brought home a friend for him. When I put the kit down they immediately started playing! I'd never seen the likes of this in my entire life!

Both my Mom and her home attendant were equally astonished. They probably spent the evening playing because they were both curled up together and sleeping when I left for work that night.

Biscuit stopped crying at the door from that day forth.....

Dawn Skyy.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Temporary Solution

Let me tell you about Moses. No, not Biblical Moses.  Moses the cat. How did he get such a name in the first place? 

Lets begin with my church. It is a large flatroofed building with a large air conditioning unit on the roof which has its own house. One day back in 1995 a mommy cat found her way up on the roof of our church and had kittens in there. When she was well enough to move, she moved all of her kittens except Moses. I believe he was too big to get out by mommy cat so since she couldn't get him out,  she abandoned him.

The poor little kit was probably scared, cold and hungry so he started crying. That constant crying coming from the church's roof prompted several of the deacons go up onthe roof to find out what all the ruckus was about. There they found Moses and brought him down. He was given to one of the female members of our church named Cara. Cara adored cats and took the tiny kitten home to mother. Since he had been "cast upon the waters", Cara named him Moses.

She took Moses home and fed him from a bottle until he was ready to eat solid food. Since Cara was really into healthy eating, she insisted Moses eat the same way. So, he only ate organic cat food or she bought organic beef and cooked her own brand of Kitty Stew for him. I should eat so good......

He thrived and grew into a handsome Tuxedo cat. Meaning his black and white markings made him look like he was always wearing a tux, like a liveried butler.

The first real encounter with Moses was when I had to pet sit for him. I did so two times. One time before I found Biscuit. That time Cara traveled to Ghana, Africa with a group of congregants and our pastor on a mission trip. Naturally she needed someone to take care of her baby and I was it.

It was a pure joy to take care of Moses those two weeks! He was wonderful company to both Mom and I. I also found out that Moses was a fetch cat! But that wonderful time came to an end and Moses went home to Mommy.

The next time I took care of Moses, Cara want to Guayaquil, South America on another mission trip. Only this time she would be away for six weeks. Also, this time I had Biscuit.  I thought this would be great because Biscuit was lonely so I gladly volunteered my home again.

I thought since Biscuit was even tempered and Moses was a fun cat that they would get along. Perish the thought......

As soon as I opened the travel crate, Biscuit rushed to see who it was. He was instantly rebuffed by hisses and swats. I was appalled! Moses couldn't stand Biscuit and even growled at him. I never know house cats could growl! Anyway, it was too late to make other arrangements. Cara had already left.

So it was up to them getting along or die trying. Actually Moses hid in my closet and only came out to eat, wee, poo. Eventually towards the end they came to an agreement to at least tolarate one another. But,  soon it was time for Moses to go home.

After Cara came to collect her Moses, my Biscuit baby was alone again naturally. He ran around the apartment looking for Moses, and no Moses. He'd then look at me with the upmost perplexed expression.....

All of a sudden that problem of Biscuit being lonely was back again. Yes, he was back to crying again when I left for work each night.

So, the search was on again.

Dawn Skyy

Reflections - BISCUIT

Before I made my latest feline acquisitions I formally had two fur babies who lived with me. Their names were Biscuit and Spiral.

Biscuit was named so because when he got really happy he'd "knead". Those of you are familiar with feline behavior know this as "milk treading", something kittens do to stimulate Mommy cat's belly to give more milk (like a farmer milking a cow).  My late Mom said it looked like he was kneading dough to make biscuits, so the name stuck.

Biscuit was a stray kitten that I met one evening on the way home from work. I had just gotten out of the subway and was crossing the street. As I crossed said street I noticed this black and white kitten crossing the street with me at my heels like a dog. When. I asked him where was he going (yes, I talk to cats and they talk back) he meowed at me as if to say "With you.". So I picked the little guy up and took him home with me.

Once I got settled I set him up with an old litter box I had from a previous cat, some food and water and went to sleep. Biscuit found his way into my bed and slept with me. Meanwhile my mom got up and saw him come out of my room and use the litter box. I thought she was going to be angry but she was delighted that we had another cat in the family.

You see my mom loved cats too. Plus, since she suffered from psychiatric issues, her doctor recommended that she have a pet to, keep her company, and keep her mind focussed on something other than her problems.
Soon after I noticed that Biscuit was always scratching his little ears, so I took him to the vet for a check up. I also wanted to see how old he was and if he was ready to be spayed.

The vet told me that he was too young (only 5 months) so I would have to bring him back in a months time. In the meantime she diagnosed Biscuits ear problem as ear mites, a common symtptom for stray kittens and cats who lived in the streets. She prescribed ear drops that I had to give him twice a day.

Up till now Biscuit was a very mild mannered and loving kitty. That swiftly changed when I had to give him his drops! Even though the vet showed me how to do it Biscuit wasn't having none of it. I fought with him for four days straight untill he realized the drops were actually helping him. Then he calmly let me put two drops in each ear twice a day until the bottle was finished.

After he was spayed, Biscuit settled in and was a wonderful feline companion to both my Mom and I.However, there was a small problem, well not so small to him. Biscuit was lonely. Whenever I left for work, my poor kitty would yeowl at the door while I waited in the hall for the elevator. Not only was his cries pitiable, but they were LOUD! I never knew such a small animal could produce such a ruckus! I often ran down the steps to avoid heari g his heart rending cries.
It was obvious Biscuit needed a companion kitty.

I will tackle that subject in my next post.

Dawn Skyy