July 12, 2013

A Day in the Life of the Modern House Cat

My daughter asked me a while back to write a blog about our cat Texi.  Kids being kids, I smiled and said, "Ok", logged it away in my phone and went on about my business.  My thoughts are a bit jumbled these days, I have a lot going on and it's not going to slow down for a bit, SO:  a cat blog it shall be.

Texi napping with the baby 

We have three in the house, Texi, our 9 year old male; Princess, our ~6 year old female; and the new addition T.C., our grey female baby cat.  As with all things they have unique personalities and they are part of us.  Growing up we always had cats outside, every once in a while mom would cave and we'd have a inside/outside one.  Texi was a great grandchild of one of my last mama cats, he is what I call a mock Siamese...he's white with dark accents, but as he got older his main colour darkened...he's gorgeous, de-clawed on the front and a total queen.  He used to steal my daughters barbie clothes and accessories and carry them around the house.  As a kitten he had separation anxiety something fierce.  We lived in an upstairs apartment, as soon as I'd leave in the morning he'd begin pushing random things off the counters and tables.  I shut him up in the bathroom a couple of times and he nicely shredded the toilet paper for me.  I guess he knew how much I liked confetti.  As soon as he heard my feet on the stairs in the evenings he was waiting in front of the door crying and talking to me.  He still comes to me every day to "chat" about my day and every morning there is some form of "good morning" from him.

We've discovered that he's grooming the youngster to take on his antics, he's properly trained her in the art of scaling the bowling bags and chairs to get on the kitchen island to drink the designer fish flavoured water we leave out for them.  It's a nice touch to have an actual fish in the bowl as well, aren't we wonderful masters?  She's quite adept at the pounce and run move that cats are so fond of, you know the one...they leap from out of nowhere and pounce you real quick then take off like a shot?  Yeah, that one.  And poor poor Princess...she's the sweetest, loviest thing...she likes to sit and groom and relax and eat.  That's it.  Texi was in the habit of making her play with him, he's since passed the antagonize flag to the baby.  Princess can't go from one end of the kitchen to the other without getting pounced by someone.  She gets very fed up with it all.

Beauty sleep

They say that owning a cat lowers stress, that their purr actually relaxes the human nervous system and slows down the heart rate.  I agree with that until it's 7 am, you're trying to sleep in and one is basically sitting on your head purring as loudly as it is capable in an effort to obtain food.  There's always that lingering question in a cat owners mind...who belongs to whom in this relationship?  We call ourselves their owners, masters, caretakers, etc...but in reality they are so independent one must really acknowledge that we are as much theirs as they are ours.  I enjoy my babies, Texi was often my alarm clock when he was small.  If I overslept, his yelling would wake me up and I'd make it to formation or work with plenty of time to spare.  Whether that was the cats intention or if he was simply hungry at 6 am I have no idea, but I'm grateful for it.

Squeak in her favourite spot 

The day we got his first buddy:  Squeak, I was terrified my ex would blow a gasket at me bringing home another cat.  He wasn't thrilled about getting Texi when my daughter was small.  She was the runt, a tiny little fuzzy tuxedo baby with a soft soft meow.  She was sweet but sort of a loner.  Texi took her on as a project, hating her at first and then moving on to grooming her at random and teaching her to play.  She was his buddy, they slept in kitty yin/yang, ate together and played together.  The day she died was a sad sad day indeed, she was only 2 years old and had had a terrible accident in the house while no one was home.  He called for her and looked for her for days.  Thankfully Princess found my mom and mom sent her to live with us.  It was a transition for all of us but she fit in like a glove.  Texi never warmed up to her in the same manner though, maybe because she was older and already had her own ideas of house life.



Then along came the baby, Ti Chat, or T.C. for short.  A tiny, fleazy, slightly damaged little stray that my best friend found.  She's terribly allergic and has two inside dogs so a little cat wasn't a good idea.  After several failed attempts at finding her a home she came to reside with us at our zoo.  After a flea bath or two, a litter box training session and some kitten food, she's just another kit in the kaboodle.  Spirited, sweet, rambunctious, and a little doll.  Dove grey with spots of yellow, big yellow green eyes and pointy ears.  She's Texis right hand gal and she loves every minute of it.  Once Princess figured out that the baby is just a baby, not a cuteness threat, things settled a little.  It's fine house for cats, there are toys everywhere, strings, paper balls, climbable things, and comfy places to nap.  Sometimes I think they live a little better than we...most certainly richer.  Not having been a fan of inside pets, it's been a learning experience for me.  It's not that hard to live with furbabies, I think I rather enjoy it. That being said I leave you with this video which had me all but on the floor laughing.  Whomever wrote the voice over needs an Oscar.






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