Stupid Cats

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Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I am an animal lover, and have been practically since birth. My mother can tell you stories about the various animals she found sharing my room when I was a kid; a snake, a turtle, numerous toads, a praying mantis, fuzzy caterpillars, and of course the menagerie of dogs, cats and rodents that were permitted!

HOWEVER…

I’m sure you also remember the blog post about the three orange cats we adopted through someone on our local Freecycle. These little 9 month old sweeties would just be ideal for someone looking for some housecats.

Right.

We’ve had them real close to six months. Well, two of them. One of them, Boo, did not last long at all after being put outside. He decided to dig his way back in by pulling an entire window screen off the house and then dragging sealed people food off the kitchen counter and strewing it throughout the house and up the stairs into the attic. He was promptly “re-homed.” The other tom, Milo, went to live with my cousin for all of 3 days, I think it was. Might have been slightly longer. After spending the entire time hiding, and then getting stuck behind their refrigerator, he came back to us like a bad yo-yo. Tizzy lived indoors for awhile, and was pretty good. But I needed these cats to be outdoor mousers, so one day, I simply opened the living room door to the outside world. She sat inside it looking out for a day, then the next day she went out; I was never able to catch her to bring her back in. These cats are so insanely skittish and people shy it’s not even funny. And, we’ve been feeding them, and feeding them well this whole time.

Well, I’ve had enough. I don’t mind feeding my pets, but I don’t feed the neighborhood strays. :P So they’ve been cut off. They now only get food if they’ll come to me and allow me to pet and handle them. We’ve had one “session” so far, and Milo was very friendly; Tizzy wouldn’t let her guard down to eat more than a kibble or two. But I think we’ll get there. I’ll try several times a day, until they realize that the food is coming from the people, and they don’t get it without the people!

If they don’t catch on, let the re-homing begin! :)

 

Horses and Cats and Tranqs, Oh My!

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I took Sully out for a good long ride this morning, albeit slow. He’s lame as a post on the hardpack, but was fine as long as we kept to the shoulders and hay fields. It was the first chance I’ve had to work him since Friday, and I did put him over the poles first. He did exceptionally well at that. Once he got over the disappointment of his breakfast being post-poned, he threw his back into the work and trucked it.

The new cats, Boo and Tizzy, are sort of settling in. I actually put Boo out for the first time this morning. Now he won’t let me near him, and won’t come back in when I invite him to do so. Just stands at a distance and hollers like a banshee. Maybe we should have called him Banshee. Except I think they’re usually female. But I digress. Back to Boo. He’s a neurotic wall-climber. You know those little Super Balls that you bounce against one surface and they ricochet forever? That’s Boo. He heads for the highest point in a room, be it a desk, a lamp or a mantle, then he flies off that and heads for the next one. It’s insane. He needs a couple of valium at least, and possibly a horse tranq. Good grief.

Tizzy, on the other hand, is quiet as a mouse. She comes downstairs at night now and sits in an empty chair while we watch TV. I may just make her a house cat exclusively. I’m wondering if she’ll settle even more with Boo outside.

KatiePuss is incredibly put out by the new additions, although she has not taken it out on us. She’s still very sweet for the 10 seconds at a time that she’s willing to be inside with “Them.”

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

In other news, Mom came over on Monday and helped me get my spare room and my pantry cleaned out and reorganized. It feels so nice to not have all that clutter and chaos hanging over my head. We worked at it for three hours to get done. Ok, three hours did include a coffee break. That lasted an hour. :)

On Tuesday (also known as yesterday) I had a cleaning job that went very well. It was almost four hours long, but it was fairly easy work, and the woman is very nice. As a bonus (and the only reason I agreed to take the job) she lives about three miles from us, so travel is minimal. If she has me back it will be on either a weekly or bi-monthly basis. We shall see.

This afternoon I am baking brownies for Steve to take to work tomorrow.  And when I’m done with brownies, I might just throw together a lemon meringue pie. Steve would like that.

Dogs

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I’ve never called myself a dog person, as in cat vs. dog. Both have their strong and weak points, and as with everything else, I tend to go on an individual basis. I’ve known nasty dogs and cats, and sweet dogs and cats. Growing up, we had a couple of dogs. One very vivid memory I have is when Dad brought home a little 3 month old Golden Retriever pup. She was the family dog, but my responsibility, which was so cool to an animal-loving eleven-year-old. I remember the day we took her in for her first vet visit to get her shots, and sitting in Dad’s old green Dodge truck beside him while he filled out her registration paper. He asked what we should name her. Princess Sandy of Patrick, I said, and he laughed and wrote it down on the paper, and Sandy it was. I remember the vet prescribed heart worm pills, and Dad showed me how to put them way back on her tongue and rub her throat to get her to swallow them. That was my job, too.

Other than Sandy, who we had for several years, we had mostly cats and the occasional hamster. Maybe I’m a hamster person? I do like hamsters. They’re cute and soft and don’t smell or chew up your shoes or furniture or pee on your house and make it stink.

I did have a point, here. I rode my new bike over to feed this morning, and one of our neighbors has this huge, ill-tempered Golden Retriever who jumps out and snarls at you when you go by. In addition to this untrained menace, they have recently acquired two additional puppies who are learning adeptly from Lucky (the retriever) how to also be societal menaces. The little black one ran out at me and followed me up the road, snapping his teeth at me every time I looked at him. I snapped back. And I said loud enough for the neighbors to hear, “You threaten me, dog, and I will eat you alive.” People should control their pets. If you can’t keep them from threatening people off their own property, you don’t deserve to have a pet. I will be getting some pepper spray.

Blue, on the other hand, may be my favorite pet ever… well, perhaps second to Sully. It depends on the day you ask me. Blue is smart and obedient. He’s loyal. He’s quiet. Sometimes I wonder if he’d have been the same dog with the same traits had he grown up with someone else. I am very firm with him. When it comes to pets, whether it’s a horse or a dog, the fun goes out of the animal when they don’t listen and become more work than enjoyment. I keep him tied in my yard because the one thing I don’t know how to teach him is to stay at home, and I don’t want him pooping in other people’s yards or being hit by a car. He’s my responsibility, and if I can’t control him, I don’t deserve to have him.

I realize I’m unique in these views, because we live in a world where animals are better treated than people. That’s a whole ‘nother post, for a whole ‘nother day, though. I will say this, I get more compliments on my animals when I’m out with them, both Sully and Blue, because they do what I tell them and they are, largely, a joy to be around.

Cats… well… my cat is pretty well-trained, too, but we’re not often seen together. She spends her days as a house cat, but I’ve taught her the bathroom is outside. She also knows that if I catch her on a counter or table top, she gets smacked. But she’s a cat. She sleeps to the beat of her own drummer, and I’m okay with that. Most of the time.

The Mandatory New Year Post

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I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m kind of on the fence when it comes to resolutions. In a way, I feel like they are lies I tell myself in a half-hearted attempt to motivate myself into a course of action that, deep down, I don’t really care about. They of course involve the mainstays:  eat better and exercise. Those live full and happy lives until you get a( Hungry; b( Tired; or c( See a commercial for Sonic or Hersheys. Then there are the I-will-try-to-be-a-better-person ones that usually die as soon as someone cuts you off in traffic or the grocery check out line. (I do well with those, as long as I stay home.) There are also goal-oriented ones, like, I’ll-participate-in-a-5-k or I’ll-sew-a-quilt or I’ll-learn-how-to-make-baklava. Then it rains. You can’t train for a 5 k if it’s anything less than 68 degrees and sunny. Oddly enough, a change in the calendar year fails to change your feelings about sewing/crafts.  And the baklava turns out really well, shooting number one in the foot.

I may be unique in my failed resolutions attempts. Perhaps I just don’t try hard enough. In spite of my reluctance to look back and evaluate, I do have about 5 minutes of retrospection on December 31 each year. Today I can look back and say, well, I’ve lost some weight. I’m still in my same jeans, which is an accomplishment for me. I did ride a lot more this year. I taught Blue a couple of tricks. I’m still with my husband. We paid down some debt. I am still close with the same people. I feel like I’ve learned more about God, and myself as his child. I can actually end with that one right there. It trumps all the others.

So, I have one resolution this year. Or prayer. I’m not sure there’s a difference, except perhaps in presentation. This year, I would like to see myself fully as the spirit I am. I think that’s the answer to all these little ‘self-betterments’ we heap on at the start of every year. If we each saw ourselves for what we are, and as God created us, if we listened with our ears instead of our eyes, I have my suspicions that the whole New Year’s resolution issue would fall moot.

I do wish each of you a happy New Year, and I hope all your resolutions come true.

I only hope you didn’t party as hard as these guys.