Friday, January 21, 2011

Sometimes, Even I'm a Scaredy Cat

Last night as I was brushing my teeth getting ready for bed, I heard banging on the outside bedroom door - it's mostly glass.  Even though I was scared, I ran into the bedroom and saw a very anxious and pissed off Sam at the window.  I thought it was a person on the outside and instead of finding a phone to call 911 first, I tried to grab Sam away so he wouldn't get hurt by breaking glass. Given that I saw someone in the yard earlier that afternoon, I really was scared and assumed it was a person.  As I reached down, I realized it was a cat on the outside hissing and trying to get to Sam - he was really banging the door.  And he didn't quit after I yelled either. 

Scared me silly. 

I pulled the shear to cover the door after yelling (at the cat outside not Sam) and put a laundry basket on the cat lookout shelf (it's at the bottom of the door).  It wasn't quite large enough so I put a cardboard lid over the rest.  I was hoping if the other cat couldn't see Sam, it would go away.  Millie was watching from the safety of the bed but she had her ears and tail going full speed too. 

I was really worried that the glass was cracked since it was below freezing last night. 

And then, I got mad.  Not at the cat that was outside, but it's owners.  It was supposed to get down in the low 20's and I know cats can be outside but it's cruel to let cats out at night when it is that cold.  In the past, I've put an old blanket in one of the chairs on the patio for stray cats but we haven't had a stray cat in a few years.  And I'm afraid this one is just going to keep annoying Sam (and me; and Millie) if I put something on the patio.  The stray is just going to have to be happy with the covered swing cushions - there's an extra pillow so there's room to stay snuggled up without being exposed. 

Later that night, that cat came and started banging on the window (my bedroom windows go almost to the ground.  The sheers were already down, a planter in the window and the quilt rack in front of the window.  So Sam didn't even notice - he was sound asleep and curled up so tight against me that I couldn't have move if I wanted!  Even Millie was down at the end of the bed watching the bedroom door.

So this afternoon, I check the door from the outside for cracked glass, and there isn't any.  But I did see where Sam moved the cardboard lid aside a little and there's a little peep hole for him.  Guess I'd better put something larger there tonight.   We didn't see the cat in the back yard today so I'm hoping he doesn't bother us tonight. 

Moral of the story:  CALL 911 FIRST as guns (yes I have one but I never even gave it a thought) are too dangerous in a scary situation.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Trips to the Vet Can Be Very Noisy

OH why do I always try to forget the yearly visit to the vet?  And why oh why am I doing this in January?  It's always cold cold cold and trying to carry 2 cats is very entertaining for the vet's office.  I just hope it's not entertaining for the people driving on Greenville Ave!  Some years, the cat's visits have been an hour apart so I only deal with one at a time, but I actually think that is more difficult for all 3 of us.

The night before the visit to the vet is when the cat cages come out of their hiding places and I put them up in the living room.  Sam likes to snoop around - Millie does but she's more clandistine about it.  So I wasn't surprised when I saw Sam in Millie's cage the morning of their dreaded visit to the vets.  But I was startled to see that he went to sleep in it.  So I made an executive decision to zip up the cage and let Millie use Sam's cage.  Millie was sleeping under the desk in the office so it was easier to get her in the cage.  I said easier not easy.  
Sam testing out Millie's cage

The vet was a different one this time; usually we see Diane and she talks to the cats.  This vet was very nice and pleasant,  and he even took time to show me Millie's bottom teeth (very very tiny and very very sharp) because I wasn't sure she had teeth between the fangs.  Believe me when I say I wasn't going to look by myself - I like all my fingers.

Sam, as usual, talked the whole way to the vet.  Millie, once she got settled in the car, was in her normal 'well, let's get this thing over with NOW' mood.  We didn't wait long in the reception area - that's a good thing because neither Millie nor Sam like Stumpy the office cat.  Stumpy likes to nap in one of the reception windows and his hair is longer but it looks like he put his paw in an electrical socket.  Usually, he greets all the pets but he was napping this morning.

Once in the exam room, Sam usually starts being loud.  A few years agao, he was so loud that he could be heard out in the reception area - and that time, he made the loudest noises while he was still in his cage.  It was funny to see him howl  because he actually lifted up his head like a coyote! 

But this time wasn't bad at all.  They were both quiet when we first put them on the exam table.  Millie was evening purring for a while.  She went first and even though she didn't want to get out of the cage, she purred until the vet used his stethoscope ( I guess vets don't warm them either) and then the howling began.  She set record speeds getting back into the cage - and I mean back into the back of the cage - and then she was quiet.  She gained a pound and a half. 

Millie & Sam behaving for a minute ....
Sam was much better this year.  He did growl and whine but not as loudly.  I wonder if the cage switch helped?  I'll have to try it again next year. 

Stumpy was still napping in the window while I checked out.  Good thing as Millie and Sam were both beginning to talk; but not loudly. 

Now back in the car and here goes Sam again.  I'd sure like to know what he is saying.  Millie gets a word in edgewise every now and again.  Once in the garage,  I rush to get them back in the house so they can escape their cages.  LOL  and boy do they take off to go hide for a while. 

I didn't see them for several hours so I left their treats in their favorite spots because I had to leave to take my dad to one of his doctors.  By the time I got home later in the afternoon, they weren't mad at me anymore.  Both climbed up on the couch to sit by me for a while. 

Moral of the Story:  Everyone needs to get their annual checkups - like it or not!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

YES, It Does Snow in Texas

Texas weather - how to describe it?  It's either hot or cold.  Texas spring and fall last about 5-6 days in a good year - in a bad year, those seasons will be lucky to last 2 days.

Thus, it's no surprise that the first time I saw fall leaves floating leisurely was in Connecticut.  I started out the meeting facing the windows but after being lulled into a stupor watching the leaves fall, I moved to the other side of the conference room.  After all, I was there for meetings!  That was an interesting building, I also saw a wild turkey and a deer - they claimed there were other critters that came out on occasion but quite frankly, I'm happy to see animals in a zoo setting instead of an office setting.

Of course, after years of listening to the staff in the East complain when we took a rare 'snow' day, it was amusing to see how quickly they dispersed when a heavy snow came down and closed the office (we discovered later that they took quite a few snow days but chose not to tell anyone in Texas).  We were about the last to leave the office and were quite frankly, more than a little nervous about driving back to the hotel.  LOL, once the driver realized there wasn't any ice under the snow, we sped up and drove without any problems.  And later, after some of the staff moved to Texas, we laughed again after they complained that we didn't know how to drive in snow then promptly went out and wrecked on the ice.  It's not the snow, it's the ice UNDER the snow that causes all the problems.

So you are wondering by now how the above pertains to my Texas cats?  It's just that I think of the funny weather stories when it snows here.  And it snowed all day on Sunday.  At first, it was melting quickly but eventually piled up.  The weather station says we got 4" but I guess the first two inches must have melted.  Sam watched the snow from his perch in the office.

I wanted to go out in the back to shake the snow off the oleander as it was completely leaning over.  It's such a pretty shrub all year long - even when it isn't flowering.

So the cats, who had pretty bad cases of cabin fever, dashed out the door.   Millie ran straight to the brick border before she even noticed the snow.  Then she promptly hopped right up on the border and began the longer than usual journey to the patio swing.  Millie had to step in the snow once or twice because of plants leaning over the border but she made it. 

Millie taking the driest route to the swing.

The swing was too exposed and cold so she went underneath the oleander and tried eating some snow and grass.  She always thinks she needs to graze on any grass that is higher than the rest. 

Sam eventually got on the border and started walking but at the first plant obstruction, he decided to turn around and just perform his monitoring duties.  He does that very well. 
Sam, the outdoor monitor

I forgot Millie's location when I started knocking off the snow from the oleander so she startled me when she went dashing through the snow to the patio and straight to the back door.  She was really leaping too - it was funny - ok, well I thought it was funny anyway.  Sam, who was monitoring the outdoor activities, decided Millie had the right idea and ran to the door too.  So I let them back in the warm and toasty and dry house.

Friday, January 7, 2011

What Happens When a Cat Ignores Warnings....

Now I must say, I warned Sam several times about his new cat bed and Millie.

It took a few tries and FINALLY Sam walked across his new bed once.  After that, this is as close as he would get to it.  And that took me about 20 minutes to get to this point (and only because he was getting tired).

Not only did Sam need to claim it as his, he needed to use his new bed.  And quickly.

But did he listen?  Nooooooo.  He did not.  And just look at what happened....

Moral of the story:  Learn to Listen  (oh gee, I'm addressing this to a male cat so why bother?)

UPDATE 1/18/2010,  Sam's new cat bed was moved to the master bathroom window ledge - this is where Millie and Sam guard over the yard.  Millie has now permanently claimed the bed as hers.  Napping in the sun is a favorite for her. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Just Try to Make US Make New Years Resolutions!!!!

Well, it is a new year and what a great new year this is going to be!

Now it is true that I don't make new years resolutions because you can set goals any time of the year.  But it is appropriate that the kitties should learn to follow tradition right?  Wrong.   They both have a short list of resolutions but IF they listened, I sure can't tell.

For example - Leaving our Wonderful Human more room in the bed.  Well that hasn't worked out for sure.  You have to be a contortionist to get out of bed without disturbing at least 1 cat.  And they sure don't want to move when they are sleeping - and I swear they get heavier when they are sleeping.  And they let you know it by yelling a lot.  Getting back in bed can be just as interesting.

Or how about - Stop Throwing Out Litter in the Pan.  Sam gets very energetic when he's covering up his stuff in the litter box.  Sometimes I wonder if he forgets he's just digging a small hole for poop and he doesn't have to dig all the way to China to do it!  He could, should he ever want, help me dig holes for plants in the back yard (and probably faster than me with a shovel)..... but I don't think I'll be holding my breath on that one.

I Won't Pester You for Dairy Goodies - Well, I'm not sure now why I even bother to put this on their list.  Millie loves yogurt, ice cream, milk and egg nog.  Sam loves milk, yogurt and ice cream.  I swear they hear me get the milk out of the fridge and magically appear in the kitchen.  Or like Millie, she just waits until I get sleepy and just sticks her head in the glass to get hers.  LOL,  It's really funny to watch but it's irritating that I have to plot to drink milk.  When ice cream or yogurt is involved, they sit in front of me and watch the spoon waiting for the moment at the end when it might appear in front of them for their dessert. 

Poor kitties... you might think they are spoiled but really..... they are not spoiled.

They wish you a Happy New Year.  Their real wishes for me?  Requests of love:  more food, litter, play time and undisturbed naps).