an only child no more …

When I was four years old my mother had an ectopic pregnancy. Although it’s unusual she couldn’t conceive after that. It seems her remaining fallopian tube had been badly damaged in the process and was permanently blocked.

My parents had always wanted more children and, after giving it a lot of thought, considered adopting. They asked me if I’d like a brother or sister.

Instead, I asked for a dog.

Alas it took many years and a lot of emotional blackmail before my mother gave in to my request. If you must know I played the “poor-me-the-only-child” card. My father pled Continue reading

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How the 2016 feuding felines peace accord is coming along …

Well it’s been a week since I last checked in with you. At that time things were pretty dire between my two boys,white-flag Sundance and Bartlett. Okay, maybe “dire” is a tad over dramatic. How about “heated?” Or “tenuous?” Nope, that doesn’t really describe the situation.

I know. “Tense.” Yes, that’s it. Things were “tense.” Sundance was definitely “tense.” Bartlett, not so much. He actually seemed oblivious. Except he couldn’t have been, because Sundance was afraid of something, of someone; and it sure wasn’t me.

Once I realized an intervention was necessary I sat them both down. Told them that they didn’t have to fight over me — that I was theirs, and that there is plenty of me to go around. Then I set about making Sundance feel Continue reading

Trouble in paradise …

Yeah, I know, they look angelic, like butter would melt in their mouths. Much of the time that’s true, but not img_0492always. Not lately. It seems that Sundance (ginger tabby) and Bartlett (grey/white) are at war; and I’m pretty sure it’s over me.

Bear with me while I go back to the beginning.

I had Sundance first. Well, I had him before Bartlett joined our little family, but I adopted Zazu (who has since passed on) about three months before I got a call from a cat rescue to tell me about Sundance. Which makes Sundance the “middle child.”

My concerns about Zazu and Sundance taking to each other were unfounded. Within a few hours she was grooming him, showing him Continue reading

A word to the not-so-wise …

I’ve got two cats. Sundance, a ginger tabby, and Bartlett, pictured here on the right. They’re quiteIMG_0352 different.

Sundance is interested in food, me and getting into trouble. When I’m on my computer for too long he sits on the keyboard. When I’m trying to get dressed to go out he swats at me incessantly. If I ignore all his efforts to get my attention he misbehaves. Television bores him to tears and if I put it on, he either barrels out of the room or goes to sleep.

Bartlett can’t get enough of me either and loves cuddling more than Continue reading

On a very short leash …

If you’ve got any four-legged family members living at your house you know very well I’m not talking about me keeping my animals on a tight rein. Absolutely myboysnot. Au contraire. In fact it is my two furry little beasts who have me on the leash. And a short one at that. Over a barrel. At their mercy. At their beck and call.

Yes. These two. Bartlett, on the left. Dark grey with the interesting white markings. And Sundance. Ginger and the more svelte of the two. I’m being kind. Bartlett is the size of an adult racoon. He weighs in at more than thirty pounds. Probably much more, but I can’t pick him up to put him on the scale. He’s way too heavy. And much as he loves to cuddle, he does not — I repeat NOT — like being picked up. By anyone. Even me.

I know, they look like butter would melt in their mouths. In all fairness, sometimes it would. “Some” being

Continue reading

Day 246. Jealous Kitties

Well, not exactly jealous.  More like possessive.  Where I’m concerned.  They’ve always fought over me.  But lately it seems to have escalated somewhat.  They’ve got theboysme surrounded at all times.

My boys.  Bartlett and Sundance.  They’ve always sort of been rivals.  I guess you could say they’ve always had a love/hate relationship.  It was tough on Bartlett.  He was the third to join the family.

First was Zazu and she loved being the queen of the castle.  After a bit of a rough start she accepted Sundance and started mothering him.  He let her boss him around a good deal of the time, although he let her know pretty early on he was no wimp, so it didn’t take too long before they became pretty good friends.

She never let him forget how lucky he was, she took him in, though.  He usually let her think she was in charge.

Poor Bartlett, on the other hand, was an unwelcome intruder for a pretty long time.  He and Zazu never got along.  And, like I said, he and Sundance have been on again/off again.  There are days when they’re the best of Continue reading

Day 185. Cat Tales

How do you know when you’re delirious?  Are there tell-tale signs?  Because I think there’s some cause for alarm here.  I may finally have toppled over the edge.  Yup. talking cats One teeter too many.  And I tottered.  At least I think so.  You tell me.

I’ve got two cats.  Silly me.  You know that already.  From reading my blog.

Well, they’re both very different from each other.  Not surprising, really.  They didn’t even know each other before they came to live with me.  Why would they be alike?  That’s a misconception people have about cats, you know.  But it’s a topic for another day.

So.  One of my cats, Sundance, talks to himself all the time.  You know.  He mutters under his breath.  Except it’s quite loud.  And, depending on his mood or level of frustration it can get quite high-pitched.  The tone changes Continue reading

Day 120. I’m Afeared

Yup.  I’m afeared, all right.  And all you cat lovers out there will know exactly what I’m talking about.  We know that, of all the animals, cats are the most misunderstood creatures.  They do angrycatlike people.  And they are affectionate.  Just on their terms, is all.  But there is one thing you never do to a cat.  Never.  Ever.  Come on, I know you know what it is.  Work with me, here.

That is correct.

You do not, I repeat, you do not mess with their litter.  This is not negotiable.  You hear me?  You do not mess with their litter.  Or their litter boxes, by the way.  They take all matters concerning their ‘toilette’ very seriously.  As I found out the hard way, not all that long ago.

My intentions were honourable.  I was walking through a very upscale shopping mall near where I live.  Amidst all the designer boutiques, there is a pet store.  Yes, a designer pet store.  You would not believe the stuff they have in there.  As you can imagine, they cater mostly to dogs.  But over the years they have added some items, for those of us who fancy felines as companions.

In the window, next to a pet-sized, ruby-hued, tufted, velvet chaise, were the most fabulous litter boxes.  They were Continue reading

Day 90. Best Friends

I’ve written so many posts about cats, I’m wondering if, perhaps, you think that I don’t like dogs.  So I decided I’d set the record straight. Considering that today is “D”-day, this seems like the perfect time to tell you about my much-loved pooch, Tosca.

When I was four years old my mother had an ectopic pregnancy.  As a result of some damage to her remaining fallopian tube, she was unable to have more children.  My mom and dad, who were wonderful parents, had always wanted more than one child.  So thinking they might adopt, they asked me if I’d like a brother or a sister.  I told them I wanted a dog.

In the end, I remained an only child.  And it took three more years, until I was seven, to convince my mother to let me have a pet.  She knew, although both my dad and I both Continue reading

Day 16. Hiding Places

The last time I wrote about Bartlett, I briefly mentioned his fondness for box springs; and said I’d elaborate at another time.  Well, that time has come.

He was out of the guest room, roaming free in the house.  I honestly can’t remember how long I’d had him at this point — I’d say probably no less than six months and no more than a year.  I was going away on a business trip and had my suitcase on the bed, so I could pack.  I know cats don’t like it when we pack.  I have a friend in Montreal whose Persian would pee in her luggage each and every time she was taking a trip.

So I wasn’t in the least surprised when all three of my cats (Zazu, Sundance and Bartlett) were full of nervous energy — jumping on the bed, off the bed, up and down like bouncing balls.  Climbing into the suitcase and refusing to get out again.  Burrowing under whatever clothing I was putting in.  I’d get rid of one cat and the other would take over.  When I opened drawers to get stuff out, a cat would jump in, making a holy mess.  Frustrated, I decided to let them have their fun and get it out of their systems, while I had some dinner.

Only an idiot trys to outsmart a cat.  Remember this.

Dinner over, I went to put the garbage out — I’d forgotten the next day was pick-up.  Then I hauled my sorry ass back upstairs to my bedroom, to finish packing.  Zazu was fast asleep in my suitcase.  Sundance was curled up on a pile of clothes, that were laying on my bed, waiting to be packed.  Bartlett was nowhere to be found.  Thinking nothing of it at first, I got on with the task at hand.

By the time I got to my toiletries, he’d been MIA for a while.  Too quiet.  Too long.

I looked in every drawer in my bedroom.  I looked under the bed — not just looked, by the way.  I got down on the floor, on my stomach, and literally slid under the Continue reading