“Lost our old black cat since Tuesday. Last seen on our front porch.”
Whenever I see these lost cat posters stuck on our mail box I feel sad for the owners and their cats. But this one stopped me in my tracks. I knew the cat in this poster. Cachou is a regular visitor to our backyard, but strange, I had not seen him in weeks.
Summer is not over until the lady with the golden crown has sung her sweet cheery song of delight and optimism. Yes, the sunflowers have finally shown their bright vibrant faces and we are loving it! Sarabi and Mr. Jack make the most of a sunny Sunday in the tunnel while the sunflowers belt out their dramatic arias with “Hello, we’re here!”
Water is the essence of life on earth. 71 Percent of the earth’s surface is water, 50-65% of the average human body is made up of water. But did you know that the body water content of your cat is as high as 70-80%? Our pets need 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight for optimal health, cell and organ function, but most domestics cats are nowhere near that quota. Why is this the case?
Our four-pawed fluffy house hunters are descended from the African wild cat (Felis Sylvestris Lybica) living in and around the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East. They have evolved to derive most of their water requirements from the prey they consume and have adapted to conserve water efficiently; resting in shaded bushes during the heat of the day, hunting in the early evening or morning and drinking water when available. Our domestic cats have kept many of these traits despite living in an environment far removed from the wild. For this reason, we have to offer up some inviting hydration “watering hole” solutions to prevent dehydration, which can lead to many serious complications and illnesses.
Mr. Jack presents today’s Marvelous Monday Haiku and he hopes you find your moment of truth, your hidden gem, your ray of hope tucked away somewhere in your bleak and busy Monday. He has, and he’s delighted to show you how.
When your cat goes around giving everyone in his path a powder puff for no reason, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s aggressive. There’s one in every multicat household and through no fault of his own, he’s labeled the “bully cat.” When we add more cats to an already established group, it causes a shift in the cat hierarchy. The shift may be as obvious as a stare down and a brawl with fur flying or it may be very subtle, such as blocking the pathway to a litter box. The resident high ranking cat may or may not relinquish his title as top cat … at first, or maybe never.
Mr. Jack, watch your back!
But that doesn’t stop the cat with ambitions to keep trying by asserting his dominance to the rest of the clan through undesirable behaviors. This could include anything from relentlessly ambushing and chasing a timid, docile cat, guarding litter boxes, taking ownership of toys, games, sun puddles and refusing to time share.
Have you ever been asked, “Have you been drinking from the fountain of youth? You look so young!” Age in human years is such a taboo topic, we don’t like displaying it proudly as a badge of honor. Don’t ask a lady her age, it’s bad social etiquette. But there’s one lady in the Chirpy Cat’s house who carries her age well and doesn’t mind being asked her age. This is one gal who does not look a day older than “kitten” and has the confidence and poise of a leopard in the wild. She is none other than Sarabi, our brown spotted Bengal cat who today celebrates her 15th birthday. Sarabi is the same weight today that she was when she was younger. She’s lithe and sleek, a great jumper, agile and light-footed. Her vocals, once activated through conversation, will always want the last say.
Wake up bright and early, come on, off to work you go! I will leave you with just one little gem for my Marvelous Monday Haiku. I hope you feel inspired, ready to embrace new challenges today and for the rest of the week. Read More
Hi there I’m Mr. Jack “Jackaboo” and Sundays is one of my best days because I get to have human company with me in my catio. I feel at peace knowing that everything has its place; I can guard my tunnel entrance, Scout has her place in the middle, Charlie and Sly Pie can nap together in the vine corner and George gets the top highway condo. But best of all is the Lady Cat can join us because she doesn’t have to go to work. That’s a word that’s exclusive to humans because That is what they do; they spend up to eight hours or more at this place called “work”. I won’t berate it though because I keep hearing her say that is what “brings food in our bowls”, so I guess it’s important.
But aren’t I glad I don’t have to do “work”.
Have you ever felt like you needed to break free from your comfort zone and push yourself to the next level? Do you remember how accomplished you felt when you finally achieved that goal? Comfort zones are hard to break through; after all, that is why they’re called comfort zones. Why explore or push the boundaries when everything around you is ‘just so’?
But today I think Sly Pie had an epiphany which prompted him to break out of his comfort zone. It’s well documented in other posts that he is a bona fide ground or bush dweller. Everything about him says,
“I like to be grounded, I feel safe in my small horizontal world. I don’t need to survey my territory and display my dominance. There’s a myriad of wonderful and exciting creepy crawlies that emerge from the earth’s belly, such as earthworms after a thunderstorm. There is no better place to be than way down here.”
His build is stocky with a short tail, not built for jumping and climbing. He is nimble and quick with his paws and will display his efficient mousing skills by only engaging in ground games with a mouse toy. Forget about the Da Bird. He never explores the bridge, or the high ramps indoors or in the catio. One could say that Sly Pie has his paws firmly on the ground. He was the only cat who knew what to do with a real live mouse when the other cats were flabbergasted in uncertainty.
The aftermath of Canada day, July 1st brings with it, a different reality for cats and dogs. No, it’s not the fireworks, or revelry of celebrations. It’s the sad situation of cats and dogs being left behind when their owners move house.
In the province of Quebec, where housing leases expire on the same day every year, this just means a mass exodus of people moving on the same day. Consequently, there is a larger number of abandoned pets due to new rental leases not allowing pets. A few of the Chirpies are “July 1 cats” as I call them and last year we shared brofurs Ollie and Baggy’s story about being abandoned in an apartment. Our local veterinary hospital is overrun every year with mostly cats that were left behind like unwanted goods, either found in an apartment or let out to roam the streets. But after July 1 there is a significant spike in the number of cats and dogs who are abandoned in Quebec. Speaking to my vet recently, there might be a flicker of hope. Generally, there is a greater awareness of the problem and more responsible owners. They are seeing a reduction in abandoned cats over the years but still, a lot has to be done in terms of educating prospective pet owners about responsible pet ownership and promoting the idea that your cat is not just an “until cat” but a “forever part of the family cat.”
Providing the right number of litter boxes per cat is one of the key factors in preventing inappropriate elimination or spraying behaviors before they start. Litter box aversion is one of the top reasons cats are surrendered to shelters.
There’s a long line for every situation in life; the line at the grocery check-out, the line at the boarding gate and that inevitably long line in the women’s restroom when intermission is about to end. Don’t you hate that? But there’s a restroom of a different kind in your multi-cat household, the litter box, where waiting in line should never be the norm. It’s a well-known fact that the key to a happy and confident cat is providing ample space for each cat to own, more so when they’re co-existing with fellow feline housemates. And even more so when it comes to their toileting habits. When one of your cats start spraying ‘cat-fiti’ on your walls or doors or gifting you with puddles on your hardwood floor, take that as more than a hint that you need to make some litter box adjustments. Having too few litter boxes for multiple cats is like playing musical chairs; except in this instance, the eliminated cat becomes the eliminator, or rather, the inappropriate eliminator! Yes, that viscous yellow liquid under the chair in the kitchen is not your toddler’s spilled orange juice! (horror of horrors)
There are various factors that may cause a cat to avoid the litter box such as location, size, type (covered vs. uncovered), type of litter substrate, how often it gets scooped and cleaned, stress and the number of boxes. Read More
Earl Grey was out and about by himself this weekend and really showed us what tenacity he has. I felt compelled to follow along and capture his catio walk, just in case he needed that extra nudge in the right direction. He is thinner than before but still seems to have strength in his legs, determined to make that jump, despite his blindness.
Just minutes before in the kitchen, he was reclining on his cardboard scratcher and I thought, “he’ll probably be there all day and won’t move.” I proceeded to play the album Music for Cats, which I used to play all Summer last year for kitties’ pleasure. All of a sudden he was alert and climbed down from the scratcher and slowly edged his way down the stairs toward the laundry room, which is the gateway to the catio. Read More
My name is Scout and I normally don’t have much to say but today is rather special. It’s Father’s Day and I wanted to let you know why I think the Big Man Cat, my special Cat Daddy, deserves my cuddles and purr therapy. There are many things he does for
us me especially and I list a few below.
As I lay my head to rest
in this cozy condo Chirpy Nest
I hope to dream of kitty things bright where we play, we jump, we roll and fight
and wake with gentle head-bonk requests
for a bite to eat and some cuddleness.
A sweet peck on the cheeks, a nose to nose greeting, perhaps a game of chase a bit later. One of them is twice the size of the other but in recent months, Charlie and Sarabi have formed a friendship that is quite odd, yet endearing to watch.
At 20 pounds, with a large set head, cheeks and jaw line that resembles an unneutered Tom’s, this large lad could easily rule the Chirpy roost. Instead, Charlie is a huge cuddle bug and chief biscuit maker, always bowing his head in submission to the Chief Social Facilitator, Mr. Jack, asking for head boops and grooms. His physique bears testimony to the much-touted phrase “he’s not fat, he’s just big-boned, because, well, he truly is big boned!
The cats are sleeping, the house is quiet. Oh, I forgot, it’s noon and it’s sleepy kitty time, that explains the absence of paws over my keyboard. Either that or perhaps the Chirpies are sleeping off the effects of the impromptu catnip pawty that happened upon my return from the BlogPaws conference in Myrtle Beach yesterday. As soon as I unzipped my suitcase, cats came rushing from all corners to investigate.
Mr. Jack, (CCSF) Chief Chirpy Social Facilitator, was the first to grab hold of the catnip banana and catnip ball still in the packaging. This catnip candy was the bee’s knees and all the cats got into something or other, seemingly forgiving me for leaving them for a few days.
“If this is what you bring home Lady Cat, then you have our approval to attend in the future!”
The Lady Cat is off to the BlogPaws Conference and we had fun while she was scurrying around like a mad hatter; sorting, packing, rearranging, re-sorting and repacking her suitcase. Through it all, we had lots of places to hide, sniff, gallop and stare in amusement. There was nothing odd about this situation, except that she kept shooshing us out of the suitcase, muttering words like “no cat hair please!” and “not on these clothes!”
“Hello girlfriend, you’re the queen of cat hair, so what’s up?”
There is nothing like reading a good bit of nonsense verse to take you away from the swirling vortex of insanity in which our busy lives have us entrapped! Just like watching a YouTube cat video or a funny cat meme gives you the chuckles, a funny limerick always lightens the mood. Today is National Limerick Day which honors the birthday of English artist, author, poet and illustrator, Edward Lear, born in 1812. Limericks were popularized in his “Book of Nonsense” in 1846 and in it, “The Owl and the Pussy Cat” stands out as one of the more memorable verses from my childhood. Why would a carnivore and a bird want to marry and sail away in a pea green boat? Were they eloping? Were they just free-spirited bohemians who defied society’s conventions? The ambiguity and quirkiness of these poems make it all the more silly and has prompted me to write a few of my own. The protagonist for my limericks is none other than our resident class clown, Mr. Jack. Why him? Because if he were sitting in that pea green boat, they would never have “sailed away for a year and a day”. No, he would have blown the five-pound note on catnip and partied all night long with his friends.
“What did those last grains of rice do to you?”
To this day I hear my mother’s voice in my head, chastising us for leaving the last few morsels of food on our plates. She used to make frozen food parcels for the homeless from good leftovers. The parcels were even personalized for those whom she knew had dogs and would be labeled, “for Terrance and McGuyver (his dog)”. This duo was one of our regulars and they used to sit on the curb enjoying whatever it was, that was once a family meal. In our home, food and water wastage were a big no-no.
As a teenager, I used to roll my eyes and think what a nuisance they are, these vagabonds, who kept coming back like a colony of stray cats. Grumbling under my breath, I would be ordered to make them peanut butter sandwiches when there were no leftovers to give. How selfish was I, who thought that only my little bubble was all that mattered?