Connecting cats and their people

We are ten chirpy felines sharing our space with two humans who adore us. We share tips on connecting cats and their people, as well as ideas on cat environment enrichment and other fun stuff. We have lots to talk about as our name suggests and we love sharing our feline stories to all who care to hear. We offer advice to newbie cat lovers as well as seasoned ailurophiles and show you how to listen to your cat's chirp!

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1
The Cats and the Squirrel and the Chirpy Toons
2
Preparing your Kitty Salad Bar
3
Marvellous Monday Haiku: Fall Interrupted
4
Caturday Art: It’s time to play
5
Marvellous Monday Haiku: Last Days of Summer
6
Caturday Art: Let’s sing Acatpella!
7
The Catio Super Highway: Let’s go up!
8
Marvellous Monday Haiku: Summer Highlights
9
Along came a spider
10
Caturday Art: The Cat and Printer
11
The scent of harmony: the grooming cat
12
Marvellous Monday Haiku with Mr Jack
13
Caturday Art: Why cats love your laptop
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Marvellous Monday Haiku with Jimmy
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How to make an outdoor bed in three easy steps.

The Cats and the Squirrel and the Chirpy Toons

Squirrel after sunflowers

There’s nothing wrong with wanting it all.

We had a visitor today as usual, coming to gather his daily booty of sunflower heads. Yes, you guessed it, Mr Squirrel has arrived. He and his bandit friends are welcome to take whatever they want, if they can get to it. You see, the biggest and best sunflower seeds are the ones bordering the catio. He was one determined little fellow and was not going to let silly cat threats get in the way of the bigger booty that so rightfully belonged to him and his ilk. No, he had his eye on the prize so in one fell swoop he jumped from the balcony onto the roof of the catio, and then bounced onto the main catio beams, trying to dodge Ollie’s paws that were trying to reach out and grab him. At this moment, he had gained an unwavering audience of about five pairs of cat eyes fixated on his next move.

Squirrel eats sunflower

I will just sit here motionless and pretend I’m a flower pot

Then in true Looney Toons style, Mr Squirrel flew off the main catio roof and darted into the nearby tree. All the cats made a crazy dash through the tunnels from all sides to get a closer look, ignoring little tweety bird dancing on the grass close by. All this took place in less than ten seconds. I captured the moments before and the aftermath of this short comedy scene and this is what I got….

George was bewildered….

Cat looks up from the catio

Was that just a flying squirrel or are my eyes deceiving me?

Mr Jack and Ollie were flustered….

Cats looking for squirrel

Ma, where did he go?

And Baggy was contemplative…..

Cat sitting at the vines

I don’t know where you are, but I will look for you, I will find you and I will eat you.

In the meantime, Mr Squirrel decided that perhaps he acted a little too impulsively and waited patiently for his second chance to strike gold.

Squirrel waits in tree

I’ll wait it out here until those losers go back inside.

We’re participating in The Cat on my Head’s awesome Sunday Selfie blog hop. We hope you hop over to some of the other blogs to follow their shenanigans and we thank Janet  and The Kitties Blue for hosting this blog hop.

What have your kitties been up to this weekend? Were they as good as gold or were they plotting to eat squirrels?

Preparing your Kitty Salad Bar

cat grass and fountain

Kitty Salad bar and watering hole. Executive cat lounge for exclusive members only

We’re in week three of Happy Cat Month, created by the Catalyst Council to promote cats wellbeing and this week we focus on the Happy Safe Cat. There are many ways in which you can keep us kitties safe but we would like to talk about cat safe plants. Yes, we’re obligate carnivores but there’s not a cat in town that doesn’t like to graze on greens. It’s also officially the start of Autumn and we’re excited because the humans have begun setting up our watering hole/salad bar for winter. Essentially, this is when they bring the outdoors, indoors for the duration of the winter, during which time our catio is a blanket of white. The kitty salad bar is an area in the house where we like to lounge, groom, drink, share sun puddles and snack on our greens. There are many plants that appear on the toxic list and it seems that there are no safe alternatives for us cats. Cat grass and catnip are the most popular snacks on the menu, but I’m here to tell you that you can broaden your tastes, and that there are indeed many other safe varieties of plants that us Chirpy Cats have tried and tested. Of course, our plant-eating habit comes with leaving a few recycled remnants of regurgitation on the carpet, but fret not humans. Cleaning it all up is a very small price to pay for the precious purr therapy we provide to soothe your stressful living. By creating these little kitty garden watering holes around the house, you’re stepping up your cat environment enrichment game. Below, our big lady cat explains further on greening up our living spaces and tips on keeping us out of your plants. (as if!)

Love
Sarabi, the old lady Bengal cat
sarabi's signature
The kitty Salad bar and Watering hole

Providing cats with their very own lounging area with a variety of cat safe plants to chew on, is a great way to mimic the natural setting of what cats would normally encounter in an outdoor garden. A little nibble here, a sip there, perhaps a catnap for the afternoon? Your indoor cat will welcome it.

Where to set up the kitty salad bar

The ideal spot for the cats’ salad bar is somewhere near a South-facing window that gets a good sprinkling of sun puddles throughout the day. This is ideal in a multi-cat household where different cats will be time-sharing the same spot throughout the day. Even if your cat is not a lap cap, they still like to be in close proximity to their humans. So make sure the location is not hidden in some secluded spot where there is no human activity. The Chirpy Cats’ watering hole consists of a two tiered kitty bar stool with cat safe plants on either end. It is situated in the kitchen, next to a sunny south-east facing window in a high traffic area. It’s also the male human’s office during the day, so he’s in good company.

cat salad bar

Things to consider when setting up the kitty salad bar:
  1. Arrange your plants on sturdy platforms so that there is little risk of being knocked over by over-zealous zoomies sessions. Multi-tiered plant stands are ideal, but ensure that they are secure and do not tip over easily.
  2. A pet water fountain in between the plants is a great feature to add to your kitty’s watering hole and also encourages drinking. I always notice my cats immediately heading towards the water after a catnap or grazing session. During winter most heated indoor environments are dry in winter and the fountain also acts as a mild humidifier for the plants around it. Ensure that the water is always fresh and change filters regularly.
  3. If you have space for more plants, double up on a kitty favourite. I know that our cats go for the Carex grasses and spider plants, so I have these in abundance which I bring inside for the winter. I place them at various levels so that it’s easily accessible to multiple cats.
  4. Spider plants can be placed directly overhead the watering hole in hanging baskets as well as on lower levels in pots. This plant has a two-fold function. With its attractive variegated foliage, the spider plant is known for its air purifying qualities, a fantastic choice for the indoor environment (see NASA’s study on plants for indoor air pollution). The cats like the taste of the spider plant and the long dangling spiderettes (spider plant babies) which grow outwards, provide a little amusement for kitties. Spider plants are said to have a subtle hallucinogenic effect on cats, similar to catnip, but this effect is completely harmless.
  5. Very important: Even though a plant may be listed as non-toxic, always watch for over-indulgence. Any plant eaten in excess may cause upset stomach and diarrhea, and if your cat seems to gravitate towards one particular plant a little too often, perhaps it’s best to elevate the offending plant or remove it from the snack menu altogether.
cat and spider plant

Spider plant crunchies taste the best

Cats lounging on their cat seat

Hey there, this is where we hang out

Cat lounging on cat seat

Cats only, do you have a valid pass?

 Plants Toxic to cats
I know quite a few people who have said that they cannot keep plants in the house due to concerns about plant toxicity. The ASPCA has an exhaustive list of plants that are toxic to both cats and dogs, with varying degrees of toxicity from mild stomach upset to death. Many of the listed toxic plants have not all caused illness, but are listed anyway, if it happens to be in the same family or genus of a known offender. There are many plants that sometimes share the same name with a toxic plant but is not toxic itself. All very confusing! First in Flowers has an easy to read breakdown of plants that vary in their toxicity to cats and should be avoided.
Plants and herbs that are safe include:
I love this list of safe plants for cats, dogs and your two-legged kids from the Laid back gardener, many of which I have in my home. A word of caution: It’s always a sensible thing to observe your cat if you are introducing a new plant, even if it’s on the safe list. Cats or any animal cat choke on leaves. I have had no incidences other than the lovely regurgitated present left on the kitchen floor. (Thanks Sarabi!) My cats generally go for plants with grass-like leaves and leave the succulents alone.
Plants for the Kitty Salad Bar:
  • Spider Plant
  • Polka Dot Plant (does not mind shade but keep away from heat)
  • Catnip (best grown outdoors in full sun, but still worth a try indoors)
  • Oat Grass
  • Wheat Grass
  • Carex 
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Celery
  • Parsley
  • Coriander
  • Watercress
  • German Chamomile ((Matricaria chamomilla) NOTE: English Chamomile is toxic to cats
Other household plants safe for cats (present in our home):
  • Boston Ferns
  • Money Tree
  • Lemon grass
  • Iresine Purple Lady
  • Orchids
  • Swedish Ivy
  • Ming Aralia
 How to keep your cats from eating your house plants

We have a money tree and a Cordyline plant next to their watering hole and Jimmy likes to test the waters and tries his luck at chewing the leaves. The kitty salad bar should keep your cat from munching on your other household plants, but if you have a persistent little grazer on your hands, like our Jimmy, here’s what you can do:

  1. Spray some bitter apple on the foliage of your plant where little paws can reach. Test on a small piece first, especially for sensitive plants.
  2. Mix water and lemon juice in a spray bottle and spray the foliage. You can also try a few drops of citronella oil mixed in water and use this to spray the plant – cats don’t like citrus and will literally turn up their noses if you flash a lemon under their noses – a good deterrent. Sometimes I leave a few pieces of sliced lemon in the pot plant and this has worked wonders.
  3. If all else fails, simply elevate your plants on higher plant stands or put them in hanging baskets. I have a mother-in-law’s tongue, also know as the Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) and this plant could cause upset stomach and diarrhea in cats and dogs, so it’s completely off-limits to our cats. I keep this plant in our bedroom as it is one of the top air purifying plants which give off oxygen at night and aids a good night’s sleep.
  4. Lastly, let’s not forget that we can always rely on our trusted cat herb, the good ‘ol nip. Sprinkle catnip on the plants at their watering hole and this is sure to make them keep coming back for more.
  5. Keep a can of coins handy and shake it whenever you see a grazer at your plants. What was that noise, let’s keep away!

Have you set up your indoor kitty watering hole for winter? If you know of any other plants or herbs that can be included on the safe list please let us know in the comments below.

I leave you with a video of one of our first kitty salad bars, I hope you enjoy it!

 

Marvellous Monday Haiku: Fall Interrupted

Hello, it’s Ollie here and I’d like to kick off another edition of Marvellous Monday Haiku to shake off that Monday blues. We spent all weekend trying our best to stay cool. It seems the heat and humidity is back for a brief period just to remind us that we’re still very much in a transitional phase when temperatures are all over the place. Some of us spent time inside, lying on our backs, belly up under the fans, and some of us who like the heat just chilled in our catio as usual. The African Daisies are still in bloom and the bees are hard at work. We like this slow transition, we’re not is a hurry for anything to change. Let nature take its course and we will follow along. In today’s gallery I invite you into our world and hope this week’s haiku picks will inspire you to stop and savour the moment. Do not let that mountain of work overwhelm you, just sort through it one by one and reach out for help when you need it. My paws have the healing magic touch, just so you know.

  • Cat stretches out his pawHello there human
    My paw has the magic touch
    To ease your troubles
  • Bee on a sunflowerBusy Busy bee
    Make honey while the sun shines
    You still have some time
  • Tortoiseshell cat walks though the tunnel gardenI walk in beauty
    Like an Autumn breeze swaying leaves
    Not yet upon us
  • Yawning sleeping catsIt's time for snoozies
    Inertia is my best friend
    Wake me up in Fall
  • African Daisy in full bloomFresh petals pose bright
    Berry centre bleeds anew
    There's no end in sight
  • Old cat walks through cat gardenSlow down Mr. Grey
    You walk with purpose knowing
    The coming of Fall
  • Ollie the cat relaxes in the shaded condoDid you say the sun
    Will hide its rays in Autumn
    I will be waiting
  • Senior cat in tunnelClouds of fur all bright
    Your silver lining soothes me
    Will it rain tonight?
  • Cat chewing grassI will chew on grass
    Recycled for you later
    On your kitchen floor
  • Cat watching water fountainTrickling of water
    I see the fleeting Summer
    In my fickle thoughts

 

Love
Ollie signature

How do you deal with your Monday workload? Do the shorter days affect your mood? Grab your first morning coffee and tell us in the comments below.

 

Caturday Art: It’s time to play

cat wants to play

Sly wants to play, but what does Ollie have up his furry paws?

Hello furriends, I’m Sly Pie and I heard via the cat vine that September is Happy Cat Month. I would not have deemed it necessary to have a month dedicated to our happiness, because every month should be Happy Cat Month. But when I reflect back on my life before I joined the Chirpy Cats crew, I understand why there is a need to highlight a month for us cats. You see, I was not always pampered and fussed over, I was living the thug life, free to roam but always wondering where my next meal is coming from.

Happy Cat Month is an awesome event created by the CATalyst Council to highlight cat wellness, by “focusing on cat happiness”. Chirpy Cats is celebrating Happy Cat Month because we’re all about “connecting cats and their people” and we want to see more happy cats in forever homes and less cats in shelters. We would also like to squash the tired old stereotype that cats are aloof, and too independent to care. We don’t like being left alone for long periods and we do like human company, even if we don’t always want to sit in your lap.

Week two focuses on the Happy Enriched Cat and this is where I show you that us cats have different play preferences. Some of us are high flyers, like the two ‘brofurs’ Ollie and Baggy, who enjoy surveying their lair from high places in the catio. But I am more of a ground dweller, and I love to scratch, play and hunt things on the ground and in enclosed spaces. It’s no surprise I was a very good mouser out on the streets. My favourite toy is a cat lounger where I like to tease Ollie and challenge him to a game of patty cake. See my video below and be sure to turn up the volume to hear my conversation with him.

love
Sly signature

Quicktip from the big Lady Cat:

As Sly Pie has mentioned above, it is important to observe your cat for types of scratching surfaces they prefer. I have heard many times from some cat owners that their cat just refuses to use the new scratching post and still prefers the couch. Well, most people rush out to buy the vertical sisal rope pole scratch posts. These are wonderful for cats that scratch vertically but there are those cats like Sly Pie that love the horizontal scratch pads and loungers, either made out of cardboard like the one in the video, or made out of carpet. Overall, it’s good to have variety especially in a multi-cat household. And remember, to keep boredom at bay, get that fishing rod toy out from under the couch and give it a good swing around the house to give your little hunters something to jump about!

How are you celebrating Happy Cat Month? We’d love to hear from all the happy kitties and their humans.

We are participating in Athena’s Caturday art blog hop. Go and check out some arty kitties by clicking on the badge below.

Caturday Art blog hop with Athena Cat Goddess

Marvellous Monday Haiku: Last Days of Summer

Hello there! It’s Scout again and I confess, I am saying goodbye to Summer with a bit of ambivalence. Yes, I said I am the Autumn girl, but I also enjoy staring at and posing next to pretty flowers. Last week in our Summer Highlights haiku, I invited you into a few of our favourite spots where we spent the lazy long days in the summer shade. In the gallery below, some of our plants look withered and forlorn. But not to worry, that’s a good sign that soon, the big Lady Cat is going to be preparing the harvest of our favourite herb – catnip. We can’t wait for that! But in the meantime, let’s just focus on the here and the now shall we?

  • tortie cat sits amongst the impatiens flowersFall whispers to me
    It's song clear but the flowers
    Tell me otherwise
  • Agile paws landingIs Summer gone already?Spring into AutumnAgile paws landing
    Is Summer gone already?
    Spring into Autumn
  • George the cat sits in the tunnelThe Summer halo
    Glowing shaded canopy
    It's my sunset crown
  • cat sits near sunflowers in catioSummer high in bloom
    Fiery faces waving proud
    Little bandits feast
  • pensive tortie cat sits next to statuesThis is my curtain
    Watch it turn from green to red
    That is my calling
  • ginger cat jumps downThere he goes rushing
    It's Summer still don't worry
    Sunset comes too soon

Are you enjoying the cooler air? We’d like to hear from our furry friends and their humans.

love
Scout signature

Caturday Art: Let’s sing Acatpella!

Cats sing Acatpella for morning breakfast

Our most riveting ‘Acatpella’ performance at breakfast time!

There are not many things us cats do together as a team. Of course, there’s synchronized sleeping and grooming, but those things are largely accidental and form part of the random hum drum existence of cat life. But there is an activity that unites us all towards a common goal, and that is performing our morning song to be fed our breakfast on time. If you have never heard of ‘A-cat-pella’ before, you have never lived in a multi-cat household. This is the moment when we set aside our differences with the dawning of each new day and unite as “team cat”, performing our morning song with unrivalled purpose and vigour. Our harmonies are sweet, yet tinged with an urgency that screams “hear the cry of our starving clan”.

There is nothing random about our harmony. Every single note contributes to the end result and this team performance yields great results each morning. Our humans scurry around in the kitchen preparing us breakfast in record time. It is vitally important that we continue this morning ‘Acatpella’ tradition because it is the only way we can communicate the crying growling hunger pangs in our bellies to the humans. They are largely vocal in their communication to each other so we figured that this is a great way for our voices to be heard, literally.

Us cats have a myriad of varied vocalizations, which mean different things and you can read more about this at Catster. We can yowl, chirp, chatter, chirrup, coo, burble and croak, to name but a few. But all our morning Acatpella is made up of a series of complex meowing sounds that we have composed for the utmost impact.

Do you like singing Acatpella for your humans? We know you do! Please tell us in the comments below.
We share one of our performances below. I hope you enjoy it!

Love,
Mr Jack signature

We are joining Athena Cat Goddess Caturday art blog hop. Join in the fun and check out some other spaced out artwork!
Caturday Art blog hop with Athena Cat Goddess

 

 

The Catio Super Highway: Let’s go up!

In recent posts I have featured many photos of the various cat safe plants and flowers that are perfect to adorn your catio. But today’s focus is the catio highway, or better known as the “super highway” if you’re a Jackson Galaxy fan of ‘catification.’ Here, best friends George and Mr Jack are enjoying the peace and tranquility of their super highway in the catio at sunset after dinner.

Cat scratching on post on the catio

I would like to say “George the cat was here”

 

Cat snoozing on catio highway

After dinner sunset snooze. This is the cat life.

Cat looks out from his highway

The world is so much more interesting from up here.

 

Cat on the catio highway

What’s this thing dangling, oh just some leaves.

 

We had built our catio in three stages and made many modifications along the way, with recommendations from our feline crew. In fact, it was the cats who shaped it and made it what it is today.

Quick tip about building your first catio:
When starting out building your catio, do not become too overwhelmed by getting it right the first time. You will learn along the way by trial and error and your cats will surely be providing some input by letting you know if there is a design flaw. It has to be easily accessible to reach the top from the ground yet still provide a challenge for their wild instincts. The platforms or ramps have to feel sturdy and solid, otherwise your cat will avoid it. If it’s too steep or leads to nowhere without any escape routes, kitty would be showing you his ground-dwelling skills, sitting next to the flower pots. Sometimes you have a design in mind, but your cats know better!

Click here for my in depth post on how to build your cats’ dream catio.

You can also read my guest post about catios at Cat Lady Confidential. 

Have you built your kitties a playhouse? How have they inspired your designs? We would love to hear from the kitties and their humans.

We are joining the Blogpaws Wordless Wednesday blog hop. Join the hop for some hump day fun below!

Marvellous Monday Haiku: Summer Highlights

Hello, my name is Scout, the Tortie and I present this week’s Marvellous Monday Haiku. Summer is the season favoured by most of my pals and until we see the first hint of yellow or red leaves in our catio, in the coming weeks we will be highlighting some of the best times we had this summer. The humans had extended our catio with some extra tunnels this year and we had plenty of zoomie sessions chasing each other in there. My favourite season is Fall because I am known to ‘decorate’ the house with all sorts of pretty leaves and I collect the best ones for the Big Man Cat which he loves, I think.

The start of Labour Day weekend means summer is almost over and in a few months our green catio will turn to white. While some of my house mates lament Autumn looming ahead, with its shorter days and crisp air, I welcome the new chapter and the colours it brings. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, we still have the last days of summer to enjoy! In the gallery below we show you a few of our favourite hang outs.

  • Tortoiseshell cat in tunnelIn all her glory
    Stealthy paw, she lies in wait
    Tortie in the wild
  • Bengal cat walks in catioTreading lithe and sleek
    Sprightly paws fall on all fours
    Unseen and unheard
  • Cat with aeroplane earsWhere does it come from?
    The sound so eerie
    Behold my aeroplane ears
  • Cat munches on catnipMinty innocence
    Catnip waves a dangling stem
    ready to plunder
  • Bumble bee on sunflowerHard at work she toils
    The fruits of her labour brings
    Us humans the spoils
  • Cat chewing lemongrassLemongrass splays fresh
    Crunchy blades my canines crush
    Ripe for the harvest
  • Cats in catio tunnelA four cat pile up
    Summer catwalk brings our friends
    Closer together
  • Night time cat hunt in tunnelThe scent of dusk dims
    The light sleeps until morning
    My cat awakens

How have you been spending your summer and do you look forward to “Leaf Fall”? We’d love to hear from the humans and their kitties.

Love
Scout signature

 

Along came a spider

It’s Sunday Selfie time and it’s Mr Jack here, also know as Jackaboo to my people when I’m being cute, like today. You see, we are not the only ones who love our catio. We have plenty of other company ranging from yummy earthworms on the grass patch which surface after our thunderstorms, to hairy worms (yuck) and then the most invasive and audacious of all, the spider! These eight-legged little beasties weave their webs all over our plants and we mostly just admire them from a distance. The Big Lady Cat used to fear spiders but has learned to live with them as they are a part of the hot humid Quebec summers and they help to keep many other undesirable pests away. Besides, trying to exterminate them will cause us and our ecosystem much harm too, so us cats don’t mind them either. When she comes into the catio with her morning coffee she has to ‘release’ some of these ‘itsy bitsies’ from their webs with a wave of a stick in order to get through, and they go scurrying to the corners. This is my chance to introduce myself. But as you can see below, Mr Spider is not willing to play with me. He is known as the Cross Orbweaver

 

Cat looking for spider

Itsy bitsy spider, where are you?

 

Cat looking for spider

“Catch me if you can, you big lump of fur!”

 

Thinking cat with aeroplane ears

Oh well, what else to play with?

 

Cute cat in catio

Oh, what’s that? I bet that can’t run away!

 

Cat plays with camera string

Gotcha!

Sunday selfies blog hop

We’re happy to be joining The Cat on my Head for some Sunday Selfie Fun. Click here to join in the fun and enter your link.

 

 

 

Caturday Art: The Cat and Printer

Cat and the printer

George tries his calming reiki skills on the ‘beast’.

Hello my furriends! I’m George and I’m super stoked to be featuring in this week’s Caturday Doodle. Like all cats, I am very attuned and connected to my environment and everything around me should have their place. But I’m also one of those cats that gets easily over-stimulated by enthusiastic human cuddles when the energy transferred is just too much to bear. Luckily my humans know this and everything is good in the cuddles department.

But there is one other thing in my cat environment that I don’t quite think belongs there and it needs to go. I’ve told my humans on numerous occasions through my diverse eloquent vocalizations that “the beast must go” but it falls on deaf ears. This ‘thing’, this ‘beast’ is what they call the “purrinter” and what a misnomer, it does anything but purr! It utters the most incomprehensible gobbledygook I’ve ever heard and makes Lewis Carroll’s The Jabberwocky, make sense. Now, why would the humans keep something as obsolete and dumb as that around, when it doesn’t even make any sense at all? Well, I question why they still keep Charlie around, which doesn’t make sense to me either, but that’s another story for another day.

My tech savvy friend Mr Jack “the hack” can get into anything online so we don’t need this purrinter contraption. I was told via the cat vine, that humans are killings more trees when they use this monster. We cannot have that happening since I am the tree hugger. (Well, I hug my cat tree but let’s not get pedantic, a tree is a tree!)

So when this ‘beast’ starts uttering it’s maddening soliloquy of sad ‘bunkum balderdash’, I leap over and try to tame it with my calming reiki-like energy. But alas, this beast cannot be tamed and I look forward to the day when he breathes his last goodbye and gets relegated to the recycle heap.

So friends, I ask with perked up curious whiskers, what is your take on this “purrinter” beast and how do you deal with his teasing nonsensical retorts? Please let me know, I’d like to hear from fellow beast slayer kitties and their humans.

George signature

 

 

 

 

We are joining the blog hop with Athena Cat Goddess and friends. Please hop over to see all the other artsy kitties below.

Athena's blog hop

 

 

The scent of harmony: the grooming cat

Cats grooming each other

Let me groom you, my friend.

In every multi-cat household there is that one cat that unwittingly performs a very important task – sharing and maintaining the communal scent of the whole group through grooming. In our household of ten cats, this cat is none other than Mr Jack, the groomer of all cats. Cat behaviorists call this the ‘social facilitator’ cat. One could compare this cat to that nice kid in high school who reaches out to the less popular kid and befriends him. He’s confident enough not to care about reputation but believes that everyone counts. For Mr Jack, it doesn’t matter if you’re not in his circle, he doesn’t discriminate and will happily go around grooming the others, mixing all the scents so that everyone smells the same. This is a vital ingredient in the success of maintaining harmony in a multi-cat household. Scent is everything for a cat. Whether Mr Jack knows this or not, when there is a grooming session in motion, tension between the cats automatically decreases.

Quick tip: what you can do to facilitate harmony between cats

When two cats do not get along and hissing is the only thing in their vocabulary to each other, try grooming them yourself to pass on the scent to each other. No, not with your tongue! Use a soft brush and groom each cat around the cheek and chin area where the friendly pheromones reside. With time these cats will learn to get along. They might not become fast friends, but it’s also a good way to ‘remind’ each cat of the other’s scent and that they belong to the same group.

Watch below as Mr Jack grooms George outside in the catio tunnel.

Join the Blogpaws Wordless Wednesday blog hop for some hump day fun and spread the love! Who is your social facilitator cat? We’d like to hear from the humans and the kitties.

Marvellous Monday Haiku with Mr Jack

Happy Monday and welcome to our second edition of Marvellous Monday Haiku with me, Mr Jack. Let’s face it, Mondays are a little ‘meh’ and doesn’t score very well in the inspirational department but I have something up my fur sleeves for you. Now, I’m no Einstein (and my humans can attest to that, in fact, I’m the class clown) but I invite you to stoically follow your path, even if it seems a little daunting at first. Abandon those cobwebs of procrastination and reap the rewards of determination. Yes, you read that right, us cats have a lot on our minds. Contrary to exaggerated urban legend and tired old cat stereotypes, we are constantly having to make calculated decisions and challenging our game, like “Do I give chase now or three milliseconds later?” or “How high do I have to jump to get into the food cupboard?” Our brains are constantly on the alert for potential threats and our reflexes are designed to react in a heartbeat, even in our sleep. So as you browse through my gallery of haiku I hope that the parallels you see between our universe and your’s will take the ‘meh’ out of your Monday.

  • Mr Jack the cat is hesitantThere's something ahead
    Coaxing me to carry on
    What is that, a bee?
  • Determined catSo many things ring
    Loudly in my head up close
    Thoughts of giving up.
  • grey tabby back turns backI will go back now
    Reality is a blur
    I'll never get far.
  • Mr Jack the cat has reached his destinationEvil thoughts be gone!
    Calling through the maze I reach
    My true destiny.
  • Cats sleeping in catioMy journey is done
    Peaceful tranquil slumber land
    Sun puddling with friends.
  • Cute grey tabby catLook me in the eye
    Go on and work your magic
    Your week has begun.

How about you? Are you a procrastinator or do you take the mouse by the whiskers? We’d love to hear from the humans and their kitties below.

Caturday Art: Why cats love your laptop

Cats at computer

She’s changed the darn password again!

Cat-cess Denied

Hello everyone and Happy Caturday. It’s Mr Jack here and today I’d like to talk about an obsession of ours that has probably perplexed humans since its invention. No, it’s not tuna. It’s not even catnip. I have bigger fish to fry and I have my paws firmly gripped onto its keys everyday day. Yes it’s your computer, your laptop, your precious iPad, or whatever name it goes by. But for us cats, it doesn’t matter what you call it, a computer by any other name is just as awesome! I know I’m in good company because all you cats out there can relate to this cat obsession with keyboards and technology. Cat savvy humans have tapped into this trend of ours and have even built us some amazing apps for cats. A high paw to that I say!

There are many reasons why we love your computer and why it’s a good thing for you too. I highlight just a few below:

  1. Your laptop is warm, we love warm places to sleep. No need for expensive cat beds.
  2. We love it even more while you’re using it. We actually do like the company. We’re a team after all right?
  3. We like all the strange things that pop up on the screen and all the sounds they make. That’s cat environment enrichment with no extra effort on your part.
  4. We provide much-needed stress relief during your work day which helps lower your blood pressure.
  5. We like overseeing your tasks and you can brag to your friends that your supervisor is a cat.
  6. We help you discover new keyboard shortcuts that you never knew existed before, increasing your productivity. Therefore, resist the urge to curse the casual paw stroll across your keyboard.

And finally don’t believe everything the big Lady Cat is posting about us, we really cannot login to your accounts as we lack the opposable thumbs unfortunately. Although my friend Jimmy, the polydactyl, has been twiddling his furry thumbs about that idea for a while so keep an eye on Tom thumb. On that note, just a friendly reminder to keep your passwords safe, don’t use the same password for multiple accounts and never ever use your cat’s name for a password!

Below is a typical work day as we supervise the big Man Cat in his daily tasks. We think he appreciates his little helpers.

Cats on laptop

Human, I spot an error in your report.

Cat sleeps next to laptop

Taking a snooze break from long hours reviewing reports with the Man Cat.

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Marvellous Monday Haiku with Jimmy

Happy Monday all! I’m Jimmy the polydactyl cat and I’d like to introduce you to our new Weekly Chirp called Marvellous Monday Haiku. Why Monday? Well, Monday is the day the big lady cat finds incredibly hard to ease into, especially after spending the weekend with us Chirpy Cats. So a bunch of us have decided that we will be writing some inspiring and uplifting haiku to help her get going and uplift her spirits, in addition to her morning coffee. And what’s so ‘marvellous’ about Monday? Well, nothing really, after all, she has to go back to work and leave us. See, we could have named it Melancholic Monday or Mediocre Monday, and while it might be true, that would be defeating the whole purpose. Besides, that’s just plain depressing. So, why haiku? Well, if cats could speak, we would pretty much communicate in haiku, no beating about the bush: “My bowl is empty, Feed me now my human slave, Next time be quicker” you get my drift. Haiku is a very short form of Japanese poetry which follows the pattern 5-7-5, meaning the first line contains five syllables, second line, 7 and the last line has five.

I’m kicking off with just a gallery of three photos for my haiku debut. See below and let’s hope that this little corner will start her day on the right footing and hopefully, brighten yours too.

  • Cat in the tunnelMorning seeks the sun
    Follow me my whiskers kiss
    All your woes goodbye.
  • Cat lies on his backBelly up for you
    I promise it's not a trap
    I want to hug you.
  • Jimmy the cat near plantsThreadbare swaying in winds
    The lush green songs of summer
    Fading into Fall?
  • Cat lying in grass.A jewel for you
    Monday morning eye goobers
    Bath time is later

Do you like Mondays? What do you do to get going in the mornings? Let’s hear it from the kitties and their humans in the comments below.

How to make an outdoor bed in three easy steps.

Hello furriends! I’m Sly Pie (nickname: Bobotie) and I would like to show you a bed that I have made for myself out in the catio. Well, I didn’t exactly make it myself, the big lady cat put it in there and I have modified it to suit my needs. It’s very different from my inside beds because it has these soft juicy chewy leaves that I can munch on before I go for a morning nap.

To make my bed:

  1. Climb into pot, balancing on the edge. Make sure all obstacles such as spikes or silly ornaments are pushed aside.
  2. Move to the centre of pot, lay down and flatten foliage by wriggling on your back.
  3. Leave outside perimeter of chewy leaves to hide behind or to nibble on if you so wish. Voilà! Your bed is made!

I’m not sure if the big lady cat wanted to keep this bed looking all pretty because she’s added all sorts of deterrents like wooden spikes and even this silly bird thing. But I managed to get that out of the way. I think she doesn’t seem to mind my little modification to her plant. What does she use it for anyway? See, she even takes pictures of me in it.

Cat sleeps in pot plant

All comfy now, ready for my afternoon nap.

What is Japanese Forest grass?

Forest grass (Hakonechloa Macra) is a great addition to your cat’s salad bar. It’s a slow-growing perennial (I plant it as an annual) which normally grows in a large clump but as you can see, Sly Pie stopped it in its tracks. It is often used for ground cover in shady areas and they come in a lovely chartreuse colour, but this year I could only find the variegated green. Of course, Sly is right, I don’t mind him making his bed with it. That is the idea after all, a bed of grass for kitties to lie in. Well, Sly happened to be the lucky cat who claimed it. Because it is slow-growing, I wait a month for the foliage to flourish before offering it as a snacking bed for the kitties. It looks a bit ratty in the end but that’s okay, I have other smaller pots that I plan to bring inside for their salad bar in the Autumn. For more on cat safe plants visit The Cat Garden

We have joined the Sunday Selfie Blog Hop hosted by The Cat on My Head where you can ready about Swizzle, the beautiful senior kitty looking for her forever home and other stories.