Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Kitty Girl Fights

Lily and Sophie are not related except by association. We had already adopted (rescued) Sophie by the time we found Lily. So we consider Sophie the big sister. They don’t seem to love each other. They don’t snuggle together. They don’t even rub against one another affectionately. The closest they come to even acknowledging each other is an occasional butt-sniff. Eeeew! And they sleep next to each other in separate kitty beds near the heater this time of year and, on sunny days, they share a shard of sunlight coming through the window.

They sometimes play chase. It cracks us up as we watch them tear down the hallway with Sophie on Lily’s tail, then back again with Lily doing the chasing. They might run lickity split up and over furniture, through their kitty tunnel and then slide across the slick floor trying to get traction before screaming down the hallway again. It’s fun to watch. But most entertaining is when they square off for a kitty-girl fight.

This happens when they’re bored or waiting for mealtime. They’ll sit close together for a few minutes. Soon one of them lifts a paw toward the other. She just holds it menacingly in the air. Then the other one lifts her paw in a threatening manner. The ears go back, they squint their eyes and soon the fight it on. It might consist of a couple of swats or a full on wrestle-mania. But as ferocious as it looks sometimes, it must be in fun because no one seems to get hurt, just maybe bent a little out of shape.

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Newsday Tuesday – Does Your Cat Want to Join the Circus?

Lately, I’ve seen a couple of videos featuring trained cats—yes, cats actually doing some pretty amazing moves on cue. Here’s the one featuring the Savitsky cats who performed on Idol. (Spoiler Alert: Simon loved them). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e0z3-iZ_TY

A friend sent me this link to a video showing the Acro-Cats troupe of trained house cats. https://www.azfamily.com/news/pets/the-amazing-acro-cats-troupe-of-trained-house-cats-performs/article_0a0ace3c-2eef-11e9-9f82-afcb9db3b940.html

After living with cats for most of my life, I find these videos absolutely amazing—breath-taking and almost unbelievable. I’m especially intrigued to see that the cats seem to enjoy performing.

I remember reading an interview with someone who trains and performs with cats. He said that cats are trainable, but that you have to have a sense of humor when working with cats and, I would imagine, a great deal of patience. Sometimes a cat will get distracted and go off in an unplanned direction or take longer than usual to perform the activity.

Why train a cat? I suppose some do so in order to show the world what a cat can do—to give cats greater exposure. But someone adopting a cat based on one of these performances is going to be mighty disappointed when that cat doesn’t bring him a beer every night when he gets home from work. Here’s a link to a site that shows you how to teach your ordinary cat how to do five things—and we’re not talking about punishment for bad behavior here. No punishment. It’s called clicker and treat training—reinforcing good behavior. Check it out and let us know if it works for you. https://www.rd.com/advice/pets/how-to-train-a-cat/

Lily Actually does perform cutely–every morning she plucks a pair of my slipper socks from a large basket and drops them at my feet (or nearby). Sometimes she empties the basket at night. I reach in there for a pair of socks before stepping on the cool floor and it’s empty. I have to go all over the house in search of a pair. And this activity is not of my making. She began doing it all by herself. Did she see me wearing them on my feet and want to help?

One evening she surprised us when she dropped a pair of my pink slipper socks at Dennis’s feet, then sat next to them looking at him as if saying, “Well, put them on and get cozy!”

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Mindful Monday – Contest for Klepto Cat Fans

Name your favorite Klepto Cat Mystery and get a chance to win a FREE Klepto Cat Mystery of your choice. Lily will do the drawing on February 28!

Most fan don’t seem to be able to name a favorite. “I love them all,” they say. That’s cool! However a few picks so far are “A Picture Purrfect Christmas” (yes, one of my faves, too) and “Mansion of Meows” (remember that spooky, other-worldly story? Oooooh gives me the shivers just thinking about it). Oh yes, and one reader loved “Cattywampus Travels,” where the whole family went on vacation to the east.

If you think back on the Klept Cat stories you’ll remember something you especially enjoyed about each of them—a touching ending, a harrowing moment with a hugely surprising conclusion, a mystery that just kept you reading, a hilarious scene that makes you smile all day, a frightening scenario that kept you on the edge of your seat, an interesting circumstance that tickled your curiosity, a character you just love (or hate), an unusual situation that you didn’t expect, a topic that’s close to your heart (caring for feral cats, cat rescue, cats rescuing people, etc.). Yes, even I have trouble identifying my favorite book.

Okay, how about naming your top three faves! It’s allowed. Good luck. Leave your choice here as a comment or send it to me at PLFry620@yahoo.com

 

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Frivolous Friday — What Makes Your Cat Happy?

Do you know when your cat’s at her happiest? Does she ever display a sense of joy? A purring cat certainly appears content and joyful. Our cats act happy when they’re eating. Oh yes, and as I’m preparing their food—the two of them swarm around me, hugging my ankles gleefully in anticipation of their meal. They love, love, love it when I come in with a fresh container of grass for them to nibble. But nothing makes them more outwardly happy than when we sprinkle a little catnip around.

They roll in it, sniff it, eat it, and then Sophie walks away like nothing has happened, but Lily becomes happy-happy. She turns into a floppy ragdoll, lays on her back across the cat tree and looks at everything from upside down. She reminds me of images I’ve seen of the flower children back in the day when they were, supposedly, high on pot. Same thing. I guess I could be arrested for drugging our cats. But if you count human years, they are of age. In fact, I think they’re old enough to be grandmothers.

I think our cats are happy when they see us come home. I watch Sophie wait at the door each time Dennis goes outside for any reason. If he doesn’t come back soon enough, she cries for him. Not so much if he drives off in the car. But if she knows he’s out in the yard someplace, she watches and waits rather anxiously for him to return.

I often see Lily at the living room window when I come home from my walk. And she’s almost always on my desk looking out when I pull my car into the driveway after being gone for a while. Now it’s hard to tell whether she’s happy to see me or mad that I left. But I do believe she’s pleased to have me home.

What causes your cats to dance, frolic, or otherwise express what appears to be happiness?

 

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Thought for Thursday – A Day of Hearts, Flowers, Candy, and Cats

Here’s the first Amazon reader review for The Secret Claws. “Oh what Rags gets into I love this series by Patricia Fry and have from book one and can’t wait for the next one if you love a great cozy with characters you will love and a story that keeps you turning the page then this series is a must read”

NEW: Here’s the link to both the print and kindle version. Place your order today and make Valentine’s Day even sweeter (and more fun). https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Claws-Klepto-Mystery-Mysteries/dp/0998036722/ref=sr_1_37?crid=2PELOMML4SL9&keywords=klepto+cat+mysteries&qid=1550149448&s=books&sprefix=klepto+cat+mysteries%2Caps%2C196&sr=1-37

Additionally, I thought we’d have some kitty-cat love fun as well. I call it fluffy, furry, purry love.  Maybe this is a tad unorthodox, but that’s a cat’s right, right? The photo to the left is from Lily’s litter box. Yes, it’s a heart-shaped clump. It takes a cat-lover to appreciate something like this. The second photo (right)  is of my mother’s cat, Smokey—the model for Rags in my Klepto Cat Mystery series. Do you see the subtle heart shape?

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Wind (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Kittens and Bears

Who doesn’t love kittens? Those that pop up on facebook just melt my heart. I always pause to watch a video of kittens when I’m surfing the internet. Today, I thought you’d enjoy a few of my pictures of kittens I’ve known and their “support” bears.

Announcement

Also, for fans of Rags and his Klepto Cat Mystery series, you can go shopping today and order your very own Kindle version of the latest Klepto Cat Mystery–“The Secret Claws.” https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NPHVTZ3/ref=sr_1_38?crid=1D61B2E3IDQJ8&keywords=klepto+cat+mysteries&qid=1550062355&s=books&sprefix=klepto+cat+mysteries%2Cstripbooks%2C187&sr=1-38

Enjoy!!!

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Newsday Tuesday – Cats At Work Projects

We’ve touched on this before, but I think it’s a topic worth repeating. Many cities worldwide are involved in some version of a Cats At Work Project, where feral cats are put to work inside warehouses, factories, and other buildings to quell a serious or even a budding rodent problem. Some cats work mostly outside—on farms, ranches, in orchards and fields, and around buildings, parks, even amusements parks and ships for rodent control.

It’s a win-win situation. The cats have a place to live and are well fed. In turn they keep the rat and mouse population down, thus help maintain a healthier environment for everyone.

This isn’t a new concept, of course. Cats have been helping humanity in this way for thousands of years, first in ancient granaries and within the budding silk industry. Today, not only are cats being put to work in a variety of areas and situations, many of the cats (I wish it were all of them) are being rewarded with a safe and comfortable place to live. Here’s a story about Chicago’s rat patrol program involving cats.

https://www.cnn.com/2016/07/15/health/cats-chicago-rat-patrol/index.html

The American Humane Society has a Cats for Barns and Business program. Learn more about how to become involved here: https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/adoption/cats-barns-or-businesses There are many localized animal shelters who participate in similar programs. Google those in your area and find out how to adopt a working cat or to donate to the program

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Mindful Monday – When Cats Are Sassy

Does your cat have a mind of her own? Does he sometimes (or most of the time) break rules and even sass you back. Cantankerous, mischievous cats will defy you when you say “No,” to them clawing the sofa. They’ll bite that plant if they want to. I once had several cats and a lot of house plants. Mandy, a calico, loved to chew the leaves of the plants and dig dirt from the pots. So I used a fine spray of water to deter her. Didn’t work. If she wanted to defy me, she’d simply squint her eyes (knowing that a spray of water was coming) and take a quick bite before rushing out of the room.

Things are different now. I don’t keep many plants in the house, for one thing. But our current cats have taught me to bring in cat grass once in a while for them to enjoy.

Bed-making seems to be a thrilling activity for Lily. She especially gets excited when I change the bed. This week she took the task very seriously and insisted on staying on the blankets while I was trying to remove them. This is the look I got when I tried to pull the blankets out from under her.

Do you ever get into a battle of the minds with your cat? The same day we had the bed-making debacle, Lily decided she needed to do a shopping bag-check. She was probably thinking there may just be a sprinkle of catnip inside or something fun to play with. In our house, plastic bags are a no-no for nosy cats, and we had a bit of a tug-of-war on this one that morning.

Lily also likes the laundry basket—well, cats like boxes, tunnels and other things they can climb into. I have no problem with Lily playing inside the laundry basket, except for when it’s on the bed. I won’t leave the basket on the bed alone with Lily for fear she’ll tip if and have a bad fall. She, on the other hand, likes it best when it’s on the bed. Go figure.

Is she being obstinate or what? I don’t know—but I can tell you that these times of minor rumbles with Lily are some of my most enjoyable. Lily can cause me moments of distress—like when she grabs my favorite sweater with one swift paw swipe when I try to pick it up to put it on. Why does she do that? But overall, I love our interactions, even when she’s being what I would consider a little naughty. She makes me laugh. And in the end, I always get a little snuggle.

 

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Frivolous Friday – Your Cat’s Burning Desire

What do you think your cat dreams about? What would make her happy? Sure, she lives a charmed life. Without you she’d be on the streets, still at the shelter, with someone who wouldn’t appreciate her idiosyncrasies, in a dangerous household, or, heaven forbid, dead by now, right? I’ll bet you just had a choking-up moment thinking about that.

(This is a picture of my mother’s cat, Smokey, using a patch of alysum as a pillow while he dreams–probably of chasing lizards and mice.)

Lily, for example, may not have had the opportunity to be diagnosed with kidney disease at a young age. Who would expect that? And I’m pretty sure that if our team of veterinarians hadn’t caught the illness when they did, she would either be seriously ill by now or worse. As it is, she thrives and she’s adored and safe. (Choking up here.)

But what does Lily want that she doesn’t have—that is if cats had the capacity to dream or to wish on a falling star or to yearn? Knowing Lily as I do and if she had the capacity, she’d dream of more catnip, more food more often, and, bring on the water—maybe a water fountain in each room. She would also wish for me to always be in the home—never venturing out—just in case she wants something to eat or a lap to curl up in. She would also wish that there is no such thing as thunder. She’s okay with fireworks, but thunder puts her under—the covers that is.

Our tortie, Sophie, might dream of an hour or a week outside in a grassy field. She often begs for grass. We have trouble explaining to her that we no longer have a lawn—we’re in drought here. We will occasionally bring her a piece of devils grass (weed) that has popped up in the yard and we buy the cats grass in those little boxes sometimes.

She’d love it if I’d open a nursery in the living room—bring in all kinds of plants for her to chew on. As it is, I grow African violets in the garden window and she leaves those along—I guess she doesn’t like the fuzzy leaves. I have an indoor orchid and she avoids that (whew!), but the philodendron someone gave me as a gift—oh my, she’s constantly pruning that thing—but never when we’re around. Yeah, she knows the rules, so breaks them when we turn our back.

Some cats openly yearn to go outside, like Rags in my Klepto Cat Mysteries. Others might wish their humans would remove the furniture coverings so they can dig their claws into the delicious fabric—it feels oh, so good.

Okay your turn. Go ask your cat what he or she dreams of and let’s tell the world about it.

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Thoughts for Thursday – National Health Month

February has a lot going on as far as cats are concerned—it’s National Health Month, Responsible Pet Owners Month, National Prevent a Litter Month, and National Walk Your Pet Month.

So this would be a good month to put your cat in a harness and on a leash and walk her into your local veterinarian’s office for a health checkup. If she hasn’t been spayed—have it done now. If you’re aware of a stray in your neighborhood that isn’t being cared for, arrange to trap the cat yourself—you can get the use of traps and instructions from your local humane society. Or involve a cat rescue organization. They’re everywhere—in every county and many cities within those counties.

If you can’t physically help, donate—cash, unused cat beds and bowls, blankets and towels, etc. to local rescue groups or individuals who work with neighborhood cats. Pick up cat trees and other cat items at yard sales. Watch your local give-and-take facebook page for free or inexpensive cat supplies you can donate. A friend bought a HUGE cat tree from Craig’s List in great shape and had it delivered last week, all for $30. New it would have cost her at least twice that.

A friend recently celebrated her birthday on behalf of a local rescue organization. She asked that everyone who wanted to celebrate with her donate to the shelter. She collected $500 for the shelter.

These are some of my ideas and suggestions. I’ll bet you can add to this list.

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