Category Archives: Pets

What are the cutest cats in the world doing?

There are some women in the world who keep their homes immaculate.  I am not one of them.   I know women who say that they would be mortified if, after they died, people would come into their homes and find a mess.   I’ve never said that.  In the first place, I’d be dead and wouldn’t care.  In the second place, I would hope my friends wouldn’t either. 

But the cat tree was driving me crazy.  With two tuxedo cats–black and white–their fur shows up every place.  White on dark fabrics and dark on light fabrics.  The cat tree used to be light beige.  When I looked at it this morning, it was beige and black tweed.   I do have a limit with how much non-immaculateness I can put up with.   The cat tree hit it.

For that reason,  I pulled it from its corner, got a stiff brush out, and started de-furring–the cat tree not the cats.  That will come later.   Of course, as soon as the position of their favorite piece of furniture (after me) moved, both Maggie and Scooter had to come out and investigate.   They investigate by climbing up the cat tree and curling up on their levels.  As you may guess, this makes it much more difficult to clean.  I gave up. 

The picture at the top explains why. 

I never had a dog

I never had a dog growing up.  The family dog was given away when I was born–that’s in a much earlier blog.  I don’t know if my brother ever forgave me for that.  I wasn’t nearly as cute as the Scotties that were so popular back then.    My younger sister had a short-lived turtle named Tillie and a shorter-lived parakeet she named Budgie.  Miracle of miracles, I did get a cat when I was in    eighth grade but I never had a dog.

But George had grown up with dogs.  When he was in seminary, his sister gave him a puli, which is a Hungarian sheep dog.  She raised them.  Smart creatures, smarter than their owner plus prehensile paws.  She could wrap my arm in her paw and drag it to exactly where she wanted me to scratch.  She was grey and furry and just a darling.  (But she looked nothing like the gorgeous picture of a beautifully groomed  puli at the beginning of this blog.)  My first dog–and I had no idea what one did with a dog.  This is a picture of twenty-five year old George with his dog. 

Andy–her real name was something fancy like Andromeda of Sunny Brook Farm but she was just Andy, the runt of the litter.  Because I’d not had a dog before, I was amazed at her loyalty.  She wanted to go wherever I went.  She wanted to sleep with us.  She loved me unconditionally.

We had a double bed.  Andy took up a great deal of it.   One stormy night, Andy work me up.  I thought she needed to go out so I put on my rain coat, snapped the leash on her and took her outside.  She looked at me with confusion on her fuzzy face but did her business.    An hour later, she woke me up again.   The same thing happened: I got up, took her out, she looked confused but was a good dog.  I got little sleep that night because she woke me up every hour.  Remember, I had no experience with dogs.  I just knew I was worn out.  George explained the next morning that she was probably afraid of the storm.  She didn’t want to go outside.  She wanted to be loved and protected–inside but, nonetheless, she went out into the storm because I wanted her to.

Andy had one friend, a dachshund.  the two of them would run around the parsonage full steam.  However,   the dachshund had little short legs, so Andy would lap him.  I still remember Andy’s  romping,  happier than any creature who’s ever lived.

Being a lovely, sweet creature, she forgave me all my sins.  She adored me.  She followed me everywhere.  Since then, we’ve had Bridgette, Ginger, Pepper, Daffy, and Dream, but Andy was the first.  Now I live in a apartment and miss everyone of them.  I’ll be remembering them and sharing their stories every now and then. 

Do you have a story about a pet you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear it. 

What makes me laugh

I love to laugh. Imagine you do, too.   I’ve heard it’s good for one’s  health.  When I feel down, I watch one of the fifty-five episodes of the Big Bang Theory I have recorded.  What else makes me laugh?

On television, I love the  Headlines segment on the Tonight Show which shows funny headlines or newspaper stories.   My favorite was from many years ago.   Before he showed the newspaper clipping,  Jay Leno said, “I think the word they were looking for was Geritol.”   The newspaper story said that after the wedding reception for his daughter, the father of the bride reached for his genitals.  I always wonder what the reaction of the father of the bride was when he read that, poor man.  Hope it made him laugh after he got over the initial shock because I still enjoy it all these years later.   Also on the tonight show, I enjoy  most of the Photo Booth and Crime Blotter episodes.

Movies that make me laugh:  The original The In-Laws with Alan Arkin and Peter Falk.   I can recite the funny line like  “Serpentine” and “Mosquitoes the size of condors” and am hysterical when I remember  the flames on the side of the up-tight dentist’s car.   I love the movie American Dreamer about a romance writer with amnesia in Paris .  No one else has ever heard of it.   Almost anything John Cleese  makes me laugh.  John Oliver, too.

I’ve Got Friends in Low Places,   Itsy-bitsy, Teenie-weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,   Love Potion Number Nine and Surfin’ Bird always make me smile.

 What else?  Books by Kristen Higgins, Janet Evanovich, Jane Graves, and Candis Terry.  Friends who support and care–well, they don’t always make me laugh but they make me feel good,  My sister-in-law Diane who has the most wonderful and outlandish adventures.  The sounds of a small child’s or children’s laughing fills me with delight.  I can’t help but  join them.

And the pets, of course.  My cockatiel who sat on my shoulder and shared my scrambled eggs at breakfast;  Mr. Scooter, the tuxedo cat who just hid on the table where he know he’s NOT supposed to be but the rattling of the pile of papers he’s on gives him away;  Maggie when she looks around to make sure no one is watching before she plays with complete abandon with a catnip mouse;  Ginger, the sociopathic cocker,  who ate purses to get to the candy inside; Daffy, another cocker,  who pranced and smiled when George did the dishes because she knew he’d give her scraps.   What would we do without our pets who make us laugh?

What makes you laugh?  I’d love to know. 

What I did for love

You have probably guessed this is not going to be a confession about my secret life because you know I don’t have a secret life.  No, as usual, this is about our pets.

We had the carpet taken up and replaced by wood a few months ago.  I had no idea how dull and dark and bare  the room would look without the lighter carpet.   So I bought a rug.  Before I could unroll it and put it down,  Scooter–the fuzzy boy cat–walked to the middle of where I’d planned to put the rug, started hacking, and threw up.   I took the rug back because, obviously Mr. Scooter made it very clear he doesn’t want one.  The first thing I did for love.  Of course, I didn’t want to have to scrub it either.

When we got our first dog many, many years ago, George and I had a double bed.   The dog took up one third, George took up half which left 1/6 of the bed for me.   I demanded a queen-sized bed.    That lasted until we got three cocker spaniels.  Small dogs but even three small dogs take up a lot of room on the bed.   We bought a king.   The second thing I did for love:  give up half of my side to whatever dog we had.  Fortunately, the cats don’t demand that much.

My sister-in-law called a few minutes ago and asked why my Tuesday blog wasn’t up.  I explained I’d forgotten  today was Tuesday (please see earlier blog on this subject) because yesterday was a holiday.   To calm her, I told her I had a title and an idea and promised  it would be up soon.   She said that what she does for love is take her dog for a walk when it’s raining or snowing.  I’m impressed by that.

How do you spoil your pets?  Please share.  It always makes me feel so much better to know I’m not alone.

What makes you buy something. For me it’s simple: YELLOW!

If I see something yellow I buy it.   I’ve had several yellow cars, painted rooms yellow, have yellow shoes.  Sadly, as much as I love yellow, it isn’t the most flattering color on me–but, still, I buy yellow shirts.

The reasons?  I have none but I do have a guess.  Yellow is like sunshine.  I see it and it cheers me up, makes me smile.  Could be seasonal affective disorder and I treat it by surrounding myself with yellow.  Or, it could be simply because I like yellow.   One of the few things George and I disagreed vehemently on was color:  he was a fan of more neutral colors.  I ceded that point to him but  used bright color in my study and bath. 

I realized this, as if I didn’t kow, yesterday when I saw a yellow plate with white dots on it.  I had to buy it.  Fortunately–because I am really cheap–the plate didn’t cost much. 

Another weakness:  a calendar with either kittens or cocker spaniels on it.  I limit myself to one a year–not easy–or I’d have them covering every wall of the apartment.  However, I don’t buy clothing with kittens or puppies on it because, after all, one must act one’s age.    And Stacy and Clinto would make me throw them all away (a reference to What Not to Wear, if you don’t pick up on those names).

What is an automatic buy for you?

Why do people . . . ?

There are times I ponder the deepest, darkest problems of society, the questions that reverberate within the human soul.    But mostly I just wonder about the simple stuff.  Today  I’ll share two of my shallow musings with you.

1)   Why do people like garden tubs?   They take a lot more water and space than a regular tub AND they are hard to get into and out of.  Now, I have to admit, they may not be hard for someone young who possesses good muscles and flexible joints, but I fear I’ll end up on a padded part of my anatomy when I get out.  And, let’s face it, we’re all going to be old, weak, and clumsy if we live long enough.  I could understand have a Jacuzzi.  There’s a reason for the odd shape and placement of a tub that swirls warm water around the bather, but with a garden tub, the water just sits there.

2)   Why do women pull their hair back in those plastic hair clips?   My cat sometimes loves to lick and play with my hair–not that I encourage this–after which it looks better than hair in those clips.  Perhaps women choose to do this because they can’t see the final result?  They don’t realize it sticks out all over?  I could NOT find a picture of the back of a woman’s head with a clip on her hair and looking awful.  My guess is manufacturers don’t want women to know how bad they really  look.

Opinions, please?


Seeking your opinion

My friend Ellen assures me that pets feel the emotion of their owners and react.

Okay, I accept that about dogs.   Our Pepper would run whenever she thought George and I were about to argue because she could feel the tension between us.  Many a fight ended before it started because we laughed when she took off down the hall.    Our Dreamer would get on my lap and quiver when I cried.  She never did any other time.

But cats?  Ellen assures me they do and I might believe her now.  

We have two incredibly spoiled tuxedo cats (I may have mentioned them before).   Maggie hasn’t slept with us for years and Scooter only bothered George at night.   But during the last weeks of George’s latest and last illness,  both cats slept with me.  It wasn’t a matter of there being more space on the bed.  They cuddled with me.  Scooter used my legs as a pillow and Maggie slept against my side.   This lasted for two weeks after George died when they quit.  

So what do you think?   Did the cats pick up on my sadness and worry?  Were they comforting me?    I think so.  I believe they were using their warm little bodies to keep me warm, to keep me company.   It helped.

And here’s a picture of Kansas State’s Rodney McGrudder

Cat Grass: a love story

I’ve mentioned what wonderful presents George comes up with.  For Christmas, he gave  the cats a Chia cat grass planter.   Please note:  this was not catNIP.  Scooter has what we in the family tactfully call a “catnip problem.” 

Once the grass had grown to three inches, we put it on the end table and took pictures.   First Scooter, then Maggie–because she is never allowed to do anything before her brother has checked it out–investigated the grass and sampled it.  They truly love cat grass. 

However, Scooter is not a neat eater.  In the last picture, here’s what the end table looked like once he’d pulled his share of the cat grass out.

The cat who saved our lives!

Our gorgeous tuxedo cat Scooter –on the left in the photo–has asked us to call him, “Scooter, the Wonder Cat.”    Up until today, I have refused to.

As you enter our apartment, the kitchen and the laundry room are on the left.  Pass the dining room,  turn left at George’s study, go down the halls fifteen feet and enter my study.  That’s where I was sitting, writing a blog post, when  Scooter dashed in.   “There’s something wrong here,” he yowled.  Well, actually, he didn’t say a word, he just looked upset and worried.  One at a time, he lifted each  foot high and shook it.   Concerned, I got up and looked into the hall.  It was flooded.  Toilet, I thought, and dashed into the bathroom.  Flooded as well but the toilet was fine.  I ran on down the hall, turned, splashed  through the rising water, across the dining room, waded through the kitchen and opened the door into the laundry room.  The washing machine spouted water like a geyser.

I hit spin to empty the machine and took off to survey the damage.   Unimaginable!  I started tossing rugs and towels and blankets on the floor.  When the thick king-sized blanket hit the water, it landed with resounding splashes and sank below an inch of water.  Oh-oh.  I threw every blanket, every towel, and every bath mat into the pool, as well as the cat beds, a couple of pot holders and–I hate to admit–the other cat.  At that point, I realized I’d never be able to soak the flood up.    George called the apartment office and asked for a maintenance man to come by–right now!–with a wet-dry vac.  John arrived, looked at the pond, and left   He returned  minutes later with Jason the  carpet guy who’d been working in another apartment.  The carpet guy worked for two hours with all his equipment until the water was slurped up from the wood floors and the carpets were drying while three huge fans dried  on the carpets and terrified the cats.  

I hate to think what would have happened if Scooter hadn’t come in to tell me that there was something terribly wrong.  We might have all drowned.

Thank you, Scooter the wonder cat!

What would you take with you?

When Hurricane Hugo headed toward Savannah, GA, George and I packed up and evacuated.   When we left, a direct hit was forecast.  While we drove west on the packed interstate, Hugo took a right turn and hit Charleston hard.

What fascinated me was how easy it was to decide what we needed to take with us.  The two cocker spaniels, of course.  Computers, televisions, our photo albums, and a couple of suitcases.  That was it.  That was what was important.  Anything other than the dogs and the photos, we could replace.  

If you had to evacuate and could take only one or two irreplaceables, what would they be?  Or, if you have evacuated, what did you take?  I like to know.