Everyone knows that we cats love our routines. Ours wasn’t perfect, but we were content. Now Mom has ruined it. She’s having an attack of some kind of nerve condition that won’t let her eat or talk. If she can’t eat, she can’t work. (We know. Usually people say they have to work to eat. She’s weird.)
She works overnight, so she’d feed us when she got home. No worries, right? She’s home, so the feeding stays the same. Wrong, She sleeps different hours now because of the medicine she’s taking, so no one can keep track of breakfast time. We’re pretty sure she’s trying to skimp on us though.
After we ate, the three of us would hang out on the sofa for a couple of hours while she did computer stuff. Then we’d all go up to bed. Now she can’t lie flat, so she has to sleep on the sofa. She’s downstairs ALL THE TIME. We’ve lost all our bed-warmer time. And the three of us can’t sleep comfortably on the sofa.
Our human brother would make dinner. Mom says he’s a really good cook. We’re not sure what she’s using to measure that. When Mom cooked we got to share meat and fish. He cooks with something called lentils a lot. They are NOT meat or fish. He uses quite a bit of chicken. But he cooks it in weird stuff.
It’s gotten worse since Mom can’t eat. It’s all mushy, soupy stuff. And the chicken is too small to pick out. More proof we’re starving because she can’t eat.
After dinner, the three of us would take a nap before she went to work. Now she goes back to the sofa and plays on her computer.
Our lives are a mess!
Ed. Note: Cat’s having an attack of trigeminal neuritis.It’s nothing serious despite the cats’ feelings about their situation.
Greeting furry felines (and their non-furry companions). We have a special treat for you. We want to introduce you to two of our newest friends, Twilight and Sushi. They are the owners of the blog How to Train Your Humans. We’d like to nominate that for the best blog title ever! The blog is cat-tastic too, so head over to take a look.
The interview starts with an introduction, then moves on to questions.
Twilight: I’m Twilight, and I was born in the Can Opener’s back yard while Shrimp was still alive. For the first 6 months I was still feral- living in the back yard with the rest of the litter and my human was taking care of us. She looked after us and tried to keep us warm in the cold, wet, winters and cool and fed the rest of the time. When we were weaned from our Mother, she found homes for my 3 sisters – (one Siamese like me, but not as cute), and two solid black kitties)- but I had wandered off and couldn’t be found when the person came to take my sisters home. Shrimp had already been the established queen of the house, and she used to hiss at me when I came to the back door with my mom to eat. My human would gently tell her to leave us alone and she made sure Shrimp never got the pleasure of shredding me. My mom was still so feral, at that time, my human had to put food down and disappear before mom would go near the back door to eat- and if anyone was there she would watch warily from under a bush until the coast was clear. The human had called a TNR cat rescue place and they trapped Mom and got her checked out by the vet, spayed, and gave her shots- and they tried for a month to find her a home. But Mom wouldn’t have it. So they brought her back to our yard and my human still takes care of her. Now, she will sit on the back porch, and let my human put a dish down in front of her (within inches of her) and then she eats and no longer runs away. But she still won’t come inside- even though its always wet and cold out. But while we were still baby kittens nursing, when my mom would go hunting – the human used to pick me up and clean out my eyes because they were all icky- so I learned not to be afraid of her. So when my sisters were adopted and I was gone, I came back about a week later because there was a bad rainstorm and it was freezing outside and dark, and there had been inches of rain nonstop for those several days, I was so wet and cold and my fur was pink from the bloody flea bites. A neighbor saw me and brought me to the human, and she thanked him and brought me inside (Shrimp protesting constantly)- Shrimp was really mad at the human, but she told Shrimp she wasn’t going to put “this poor baby” back out in the rain and cold. Then she clipped my claws and bathed me in warm water with flea shampoo and rubbed me with coconut oil and declared me part of the family. I haven’t spent a night outside since. I instantly became spoiled and pampered even though Shrimp objected. Shrimp eventually got used to me (she was pampered too)- and we even got to be friends. But one morning Shrimp woke up and wouldn’t eat. And she wasn’t breathing right. We took her to the vet hospital, but there wasnt’ anything they could do to save her. Our human was heart broken- I’d never seen her cry before and I thought she’d never stop crying. I had to do something to help. So I put a call out on ‘Catbook’ to find another tortoiseshell kitty for my human. She had always said she loved Torties because of their cattitude and quirkiness, so I thought if I could find her another Tortie, it would be like giving her Shrimp back and then she’d stop crying. Then I heard about Sushi so I made sure the human’s grown critters found out about her because I knew I’d need their help to bring her here.
Sushi: Hi! I’m Sushi! I’m so happy! I was once very happy as a kitten, but when I got older, my previous human didn’t want me anymore. She wanted to travel to far away places and I was often left alone for a really, really long time- or, left with people who didn’t really want me there and didn’t talk to me or play with me or cuddle me. I was the only kitty, so I didn’t even have sisters or brothers, or furry friends to keep me company. And, you know, you can only get so much entertainment out of a stuffed mouse and empty toilet paper roll, and bored spiders. One day I heard my human talking with a family member and she was saying she didn’t want me anymore and was going to have me put down! I wanted to LIVE! I’m a good kitty, and I’m not sick or anything (but I am old)- I just wanted a place to feel loved and safe and wanted… And then the family member my previous owner had talked to decided she couldn’t just let me get put down. She took me to her house and tried her best for 8 months to find me a home. Nobody wanted to take me because I’m not a kitten- and I’m old. But right when I had lost all hope, the phone rang – and excitement rose in my cute little kitty heart as I heard the end of the conversation that said…”Oh! She WANTS HER? Great! I’ll get her and her things together and meet you after work!” The next thing I knew, I was being put in a carrier (which actually scared me a little)- and put in a car, and after a log trip, I heard a very friendly voice comforting me- it was the daughter of the woman who wanted to keep me! I only know her as “The Critters’ Mom” (that’s what Twilight calls her)- but Twilight had explained to me that she had heard about me and wanted me to meet her Can Opener so she set the whole thing up and then the Can Opener’s Grown Critter brought me to her house. Ever since I got here, I’ve been so happy and pampered! I’m not afraid and lonely any more!! And by the way, this November I turned 13 years old! Now I spend my nights cuddled up next to the Can Opener, all tucked in and warm instead of by myself. In the mornings, I’m the Can Opener’s lap kitty while she has her coffee and prays- then I play with Twilight and the little Critters until they go home and I’m brushed and pampered!
Is there an alpha cat or are you guys more “Live and let live”? Sushi: We both are typically very easy going cats. Twilight would rather play than fight, so she isn’t a challenger by any means. She just wants to get love and play. She’ll hide if she feels threatened. But since coming here, I’ve become an Alpha Cat! It has taken me 13 years to get this happy, and NOBODY is going to steal my human’s affection or take my place!
Sushi, does it bother you being named after a food?
Sushie No, it doesn’t make me nervous being named after food- I LOVE FOOD!!! (I’m 16.9 lbs of lovable cattitude).
Do you go outside or is it strictly Cat TV? Twilight: Oh, no cat tv for me! I’d much rather be out hunting mice, chasing ducks and squirrels and fishing in the stream behind my house! I also love gardening in the neighborhood flower beds, annoying birds, and harraasing the psycho kitty next door.
Sushi: CAT TV, BABY! By the time the grand-critters go home, I’m all played out! (popcorn, please).
Have your humans been driving you nuts since the lockdown?
Sushi: Are you kidding me? I’ve had so much cuddles and attention now, I’m going to hold them “Locked down” forever!
Twilight: Oh, my Can Opener’s cuddling gets a little annoying after 18 hours of following me around with a camera- but as long as she remembers how to open the cans and the back door, I’m good.
What is your favorite thing to do?
Twilight: Present the human with freshly caught mice. I just love her reaction- she loves it so much, she just can’t contain herself. Especially when I present them to her for breakfast in bed!
Sushi: My favorite thing to do is cuddle in the human’s lap in the mornings when she has coffee and prays. It’s a pawsome way to fall asleep (my next favorite thing to do)!
Do you have any favorite Human food?
Twilight: Yes! I love REDI WHIP and egg, and salmon!
Sushi: Tuna!! and Chicken- and CHEESE!!
How do you stay warm in the winter?
Twilight: Well, I got used to being cold when I was feral- I don’t like it, but I just go out and conquer the world anyway, then come inside and cuddle up on my bed (which is conveniently placed in a nook on the human’s desk right under the heater)!
Sushi: I go out and sit in the sunbeams until I use the neighbor’s fence post for a scratcher, then snack on a few bugs, then come in and snuggle up on the couch with the Can Opener. And if she tries to get up before I’m ready, I growl and hiss at her!
We heard you are related to Shrimp (of Hairball Express fame). Does it bug you that humans seem to find that important?
Twilight: Oh no- not at all- Shrimp wasn’t happy when I first came along, but we (secretly) became friends. And now, it’s all about cute little ME -(Okay, Sushi too).
Sushi: Oh no, it doesn’t bother me. It’s very flattering to know that Twilight and the humans sought me out because I would be another kitty like her! She was the model of the purrfect Tortie- in fact, The Can Opener says since I’ve come here, it’s like Shrimp came back from Heaven- only now (she’s a “JUMBO SHRIMP!’ Mol!
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Twilight: Yes,would you open the door?
Sushi: Yes, I’m hungry. It’s been a whole 15 MINUTES since I ate!
Hope you enjoyed it.
Editorial Note: Sincere apologies for being late. We had many technical difficulties with the several-month-old Chromebook. The last issue was with WordPress magically turning our classically edited post into a block edited post when we added the pictures. It looks OK at our end. Hopefully it gets to you in the same condition.
It’s that time of year again in Michigan. Snowy, cold, and generally unpleasant. We know some of you are in the same situation, so we decided to research the best ways to keep us safe and warm in the winter. Please share this with your human.
Yes, we get cold. Humans can get a little annoying about this point. Even with fur coats, most of us have a limit to how cold it can get before we feel it. If it feels cold to you, it probably feels cold to us too. And please don’t turn the heat down too far when you go to work.
Ways to keep us warm:
Cuddle with us.
Give us a blanket or cat bed in a warm place. Older cats may need a heated bed to deal with arthritis.
Feed us nutritious food to keep our fur thick and fluffy.
Keep the house warm.
Don’t let us get too close to the fireplace or space heater. We are creatures of comfort and love being warm in the winter. But singed fur doesn’t smell good. And we could knock over the heater. Some of us are not as careful as we could be. (We are NOT clumsy.)
We get dry skin in the winter, just like you. Check our skin once in a while, and make sure you brush us. If we are scratching or biting a lot, it probably means dry skin. If you’re concerned, call the vet.
We can get fleas in the winter. Don’t stop whatever precautions you are currently using.
It’s normal for cats to sleep more in the winter. Our internal clocks are guided by the sun, the same as yours. (We just admit that we want more sleep.)
Don’t forget us when you buy stuff in preparation for a storm. Make sure there’s enough food, treats, and litter. We get really cranky if we don’t eat.
We still get thirsty. The air is drier, and we like our water. We also get cranky if we don’t drink.
Don’t forget if you let kitty go outside. We can get frostbite on our noses, ears, and paws. And it hurts. And don’t let us out if it gets extremely cold or a storm is coming. Yes, we will complain.
Don’t forget the cats who live outside. If possible, set up a warm place for them to use. Provide food and water in somewhere sheltered; some place other critters can’t get at if possible. And check the water frequently to make sure it isn’t frozen.
Finally, don’t forget the extra cuddles! We can warm you up too.
Our good friend (and part owner of our human sister) Thunder enjoyed last week’s post. However, she feels that we neglected the role that food plays in human/cat etiquette. Therefore, she has written a follow-up post to rectify the situation.
Allow your cat to sniff everything. This ensures she gets to choose according to her wishes, not yours.
Just like humans request samples, kitties may also want to try a food before committing to it. I’ve learned that humans put tasty foods, like cheese, on yucky foods, like potatoes, and it can be deceptive. Therefore, samples are necessary.
If your cat is sharing with you, such as a bagel with cream cheese or a forkful of chicken, allow Kitty to finish licking or nibbling before removing the item and taking a giant human bite for yourself. My dad did this with a bagel and cream cheese once, and I was depressed for the rest of the day.
Do not mock us if wechoose to go for a veggie option (peas) or sweet (ice cream) option. First of all, cats are masters at knowing what’s best for their nutritional needs. (Scientific articles relating such information have been published – see the Catster website).
Second of all, if it’s good enough for humans, it must be good enough for kitties. After all, even our canned and dried foods are made with human-approved ingredients.
And if humans can be in the mood for these things, why can’t kitties?
Tear or cut up anything we decide to eat into appropriate-sized pieces. We have small teeth and mouths, and can’t stuff a whole turkey leg in the way humans can. It’s frustrating when we’re given a delicious treat, only to have to abandon it minutes later because we can’t properly eat it.
In the interest of food bank donations (which rise this time of year), I’ve decided to share this tip:
Donating to the less fortunate is wonderful thing to do, and cats across the world support this gesture wholeheartedly (assuming you don’t donate our treats.) However, when donating, leave the empty boxes around the house alone.
Nothing is more heartbreaking than a cat spotting an empty box, planning to use it as a cozy nap spot, and marking it with your furs only to have a human kick you out. Then they ruin the furs you’ve carefully shed in there and fill it with junk before removing said box from home. Remember, bags work just as well and typically aren’t as cat-friendly. So it’s a win-win.
We are using cute pictures to go along with this post because we like them, not because they have anything to do with the topic.
Greetings from Snoops and Kommando. This is a pretty strange topic for us to be commenting on. In fact, we try to ignore the human world as much as possible. However, our human has forced this topic upon us.
She has been sick for a couple of weeks. Finally she went and had one of those virus tests. The doctor thinks she has it. She might never know. It seems that where we live the results have to be sent to the State department of health who then calls. Only humans would come up with a silly process like that.
It was really nice having her home at first, but we are getting tired of it. She isn’t sick enough to be in bed all the time, but she’s really boring. She’s taking up space on our sofa. And we’re not sure about the kibble budget since she’s not working.
Why are we talking about her when we are usually the center of attention? We wanted to make sure she wasn’t going to make us sick. And the news is pretty comforting, although there are a few things we want to pass along.
Can Cats get COVID-19?
Apparently the virus really likes humans. They say that humans can pass this thing around easily. Luckily, we have superior immune systems. There have been a few cases in domestic cats, but we seem to be more or less safe from it.
Does it Make Cats Really Sick (like some of the humans)?
There have been very few cases to study, but it seems to be similar to a common cold. The virus stayed in the upper respiratory system and did not go into the lungs. The cats all made a full recovery in less than 2 weeks.
How do Cats get Sick?
So far, the cats have have caught the virus from their humans. However, the scientists think that cat-to-cat transmission is possible. So if you have a sick friend, be sure to wear a mask and keep your distance.
Do We Need to Avoid Our Human?
We don’t recommend you totally avoid your human if they are sick. However, someone else should feed you (and take care of you) as much as possible. If you only have one human, it shouldn’t be a problem. As we said, the virus is very rare in cats. And no human has gotten COVID (or many other viral diseases) from a cat.
Do We Need to be Tested?
There is a test for pets, but you really don’t need it unless you are sick with a respiratory problem and have been close to someone with COVID. If you don’t have symptoms, there is no reason to think your human gave it to you. There is no routine testing for pets, and your vet will have to check local regulations before testing.
Once again, cats have proven their superiority to humans. However, if your human is sick, remind them to wash their germy hands a lot.
You’ve all heard humans say that it’s so hard to find something that kitty likes to eat. Or that kitty used to eat (whatever) food all the time, but now she won’t touch it. Or kitty will only eat one variety of a certain brand.
We would like to suggest that maybe kitty isn’t the problem. Maybe it’s the food. Would most humans like to eat the same food every day.? Do most humans like diet food? Do most humans appreciate it when someone else changes their diet?
Most humans know that cats are obligate carnivores , and we have to get some essential nutrients from meat. Commercial cat food is prepared to be the most balanced diet available for cats. But that doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t enjoy a healthy treat once in a while.
A lot of kitties like the occasional veggie snack. Particularly popular are spinach, pumpkin, peas, and green beans. Cats can also have asparagus and broccoli, but it must be steamed before it is served. We don’t have any teeth to grind the fibers in them. They do make excellent toys.
Do you have a yen for something a little different? Fruit is an excellent choice for a treat. Fruit-loving cats usually like apples, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, and peaches. Just because we can’t taste sweet flavors doesn’t mean we won’t enjoy fruit. Maybe it’s the weird skin.
A few other foods that some of our furry relatives like are eggs, oatmeal, cheese, and bread. Remind Uncle Leo that his human should only serve him cooked eggs. Scrambled and hard-boiled are good options.
A lot of us are sensitive to dairy products, so cheese is not always recommended. However, for the rest of us it can be an extremely yummy treat.
If some of these snacks sound good, tell your human. Humans can be extremely difficult to communicate with sometimes. If they don’t get the message the first time, keep trying.
Snoops and Kommando here. Welcome to this month’s edition of Cat Forum. The topic was supposed to be “How to Correctly Treat a Cat,” with next month’s being “Living with a Baby” after our human sister had her baby. But she messed everything up by having her baby last Sunday. So we are turning the blog over to the baby’s feline siblings.
Hello. Thunder here. My siblings have chosen me to be spokescat. I’m the new kitten here. I am a little upset. I was the baby before the little human arrived. And now he’s the center of attention.
I’m not supposed to share his drinks or lay in his bed or jump on him. He is no fun whatsoever. I think they should take him back.
Onyx here. He’s not so bad. I mean he smells weird and is kind of funny-looking. He only has a little fur on his head.
He is pretty much out of my way most of the time. But I hope he moves into his own room soon. I really want my humans back to myself at night. Mom says they have to finish his room first.
It’s Angel. He’s gotten a lot of really cool stuff to sit on and in. Like this dresser. I just hope they don’t cover it with junk. The new kid seems to have a LOT of stuff.
They said he won’t bother my cat tree. So I just have to keep an eye on my pesky new sister cat.
I’m Gypsy. The only thing I’ve really noticed about him is that he really sounds like a cat sometimes. Maybe he wants to be a cat.
I wonder how long it’s going to be before I have to guard my food from him. Someone said that he’s going to want to put everything in his mouth pretty soon.
Thunder: We took a vote, and he can stay. But as soon as he pulls a tail, he’s outta here.
Topand bottom pictures courtesy of Google Images.
We apologize for the look of the post. WP forced into Block Editor and we don’t know how to use it.
Hello. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. Mom says she has something called a writer’s block. We really don’t know what she’s talking about since we haven’t seen any new blocks.
At any rate, we looked through our files and thought that maybe you would like to hear about some famous kitties. There were quite a few to choose from, but somehow this list ended up being all British. (Mainly because some of the other kitties came to a sad end or were actually TV or Internet stars.) Or maybe the Brits keep better records of their cats.)
Some of these kitties lived a long time ago. Since we couldn’t get pictures of everyone, we decided that it would only be fair to not show anyone. (Besides, some of the pictures are licensed and we found out we can’t pay with mice.)
Beerbohm – Beerbohm was the resident cat at the Globe Theatre in London (now the Gielgud Theatre). He loved to walk into dressing rooms and attack whatever props he could find. He also made himself at home on the stage, walking through many productions. As a sign of his popularity, he is the only cat to be given an obituary on the front page of the industry magazine The Stage.
Crimean Tom – During the Crimean War, Sevastopol was under siege for a year. When the British and French troops finally liberated the city, the residents were starving. Tom had survived the war, looking well-fed and healthy. The soldiers followed Tom one day to a store room full of food. Tom had saved the food by eating the mice and rats that tried to eat it. The store of food kept the soldiers from starving. Tom returned to Britain with one of the soldiers.
Faith – Faith had been adopted by the rector of St. Augustine church. During the London Blitz, she took her kitten, Panda, to the church basement. Every time Panda would go upstairs, Faith would bring him back to the basement. St. Augustine was near St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was destroyed (except the tower) by the Germans. The only creatures that survived the bombing were Faith and Panda. She was awarded a medal for courage by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Simon – Simon was a British kitty who lived on the HMs Amethyst during the Chinese Civil War. In 1949, the ship ran aground and was stuck for three months. Simon has been wounded by a shell blast, but continued to protect the human food by killing rats trying to eat it. He also kept morale up. He was awarded the PDSA Dickin medal for bravery. He is the only cat to have received this medal.
Unsinkable Sam – When the German Battleship, Bismarck, was sunk by the British Navy, only 100+ men and one cat survived. The British HMS Cossack rescued the cat and named him Oscar. Unfortunately, the Cossack was torpedoed near Gibraltar. Oscar survived again and was renamed Unsinkable Sam. He was rescued by the HMS Ark Royal, which was torpedoed near Malta. After surviving three shipwrecks in six months, he was taken to Britain to live out his life on dry land in a seaman’s home.
Wilberforce – Wilberforce was the Chief Mouser at No. 10 Downing St., the home of the British Prime Minister. No. 10 Downing St., is almost 300 years old, and has a number of resident rats and mice. The Chief Mouser is responsible for keeping the vermin under control. Wilberforce was considered to be a top-notch mouser. He has had the longest tenure to this point, serving every PM from Edward Heath to Margaret Thatcher.
Wyatt’s Caterer – Sir Henry Wyatt was imprisoned by King Richard III. He made friends with a cat who brought him food (mainly birds, not rodents). Eventually Sir Henry was released by King Henry VII (who defeated Richard III in battle and took the throne). A memorial to Sir Henry credits the Caterer with his survival during his imprisonment.
These cats are pretty impressive. There are many other cats who have saved humans from fires, medical emergencies, and gas leaks in their homes. Cat are also emotional and therapy support animals. Our purrs are therapeutic. You can see why cats rule. (And we’re beautiful too.)
Snoops and Kommando here. Thank you for joining us for another edition of Cat Forum. As you may know, Friday is Valentine’s Day. Yep. Another day for humans to give presents to each other. As cats, we welcome presents any time. This year we’re giving the humans some ideas about special ways they can spend time with us.
Kommando: I’m going to ask Mom to take us to a cat café.
Snoops: Why do you want that?
Kommando: I want to order a salmon steak.
Snoops: That’s not what a cat café is. They have people come in and look at cats, possibly to adopt them.
Kommando: That’s dumb. French cafes are for French people. Italian cafes are for Italian people. Why can’t cat cafes serve food to cats?
Snoops: I don’t know. People are strange.
Kommando: That’s for sure. How about if she rents that “Cats” movie? It’s full of cats, right?
Snoops: Sort of. It’s a bunch of people dressed up like cats. And they sing.
Kommando: Do they really look like cats?
Snoops: I don’t think so. They use human faces.
Kommando: That’s really creepy. What do you think we should do with Mom?
Snoops: I found this site called Elite Daily that has some ideas:
Game Night – The human is supposed to spend the whole night playing with us. She’s even supposed to buy each of us a new toy.
Watch TV – We’re supposed to cuddle up with Mom and watch that big black screen in the corner of the living room. The people at Daily Elite recommend something called Planet Earth on Netflix. It seems like any show with a lot of animals in it might work.
Cat Treat Baking Party – The human is supposed to make fancy treats for us and then feed them to us. They recommend the human find recipes on YouTube under “Cat Treat Recipes.
Build a Cat Fort – The human is supposed to get boxes from work or packages that come to the house. Then the night before Valentine’s Day, they secretly build a fort to surprise us with on Valentine’s Day.
Cook a Special Dinner for Two – The human makes a dinner that we like. Then we sit down at a special table and eat it.
Dance Around to Our Favorite Songs – She finds recordings of our favorite songs and then we dance together.
Kommando: I don’t know. A couple of them sound a little weird.
Snoops: You’re right. I’m not sure any of them would work for us. I can’t see game night really working out. You hog all the toys.
Kommando: I can’t help it if I’m better at it.
Snoops: Whatever. Mom never has the TV on. I’m not sure she knows how to use it.
Kommando: We could get our fur-less brother to set it up. Dad used to use it.
Snoops: If that’s what they want us to watch, forget it.
Kommando: I think our shows wouldn’t have so many people in them.
Snoops: I don’t see the point in the cat treat baking party or building a fort. They both sound pawsome, but I don’t see where we get to spend time with Mom.
Kommando: I agree. The dinner for two sounds good. But I want to be with Mom, not at a special dinner.
Snoops: I’m not sure how it’s different from when Mom shares her dinner with us.
Kommando: True. I hate the idea of a dance party. I don’t want Mom dancing around with me in her arms. And I don’t have favorite songs; I don’t like music.
Snoops: So what should we do with Mom on Valentine’s Day?
Kommando: I like the idea of an extra-long nap with her on the bed warmer.