Until one has loved an animal, part of the soul remains unawakened

.
Until one has loved an animal, part of the soul remains unawakened

.

Saturday

Stoic Kitten

It is I, Bambi. How do you like my picture? Kind of sultry. Huh?

It's been pretty quiet today. There's no scent of Mr. Jeffery outside, nor inside. We haven't seen him since we all went in the car that day. We all had gone in the car, which made Ninja pretty nervous. It seems that Spyder doesn't mind the car at all. He was in his little cuddlesome soft side carrier, and fell asleep. I like riding in the car. I thought Jeffery did too. But, all of a sudden he was pretty upset. We all were worried about him because he was acting so strange, and then he got very quiet and Elizabeth gave out such stressed emanations. So she tooke to the vet and then we didn't see him anymore. Ninja and I have taken turns going to the screen doors and sniffing, but neither of us can get anything. He hasn't slept in any of his favorite spots. He's not under his tree.

We haven't heard him calling us either. Ninja usually goes to get Elizabeth to open the door for him. But, there has been no need, now. It is strange. This is the longest time he has been away from home. Perhaps he is still at the Vet? or maybe he has gone exploring. He has often told us of his old home where the forest animals and giant trees live. So, maybe he went there. I hope not, it sounds like a scary place to me. Mr. Jeffery said the last time he was there, a terrible fire ate all the trees, chased him and his forest friends away and scorched his fur.

Ninja has been coming into the room where we have our scratching house and sleeping with us instead of on top of the bookshelf above Elizabeth's bed. I guess he is a bit lonesome for Mr. Jeffery, and wants to be with us for company.

Little Spyder and I were playing today and he ran right over the bed leaping up the curtain. Then he walked across the top of it for a short bit. But, you know, he isn't very balanced and the next thing I knew, before I could give him a warning to get down, he fell right through the place where the curtains hook on to the rod. I was shocked. It happened very fast. I could do nothing but stare until Elizabeth ran and got him down.

It's odd that he didn't make so much as a peep, because later he told me that curtain hooks have claws and they clawed him all along one side. I was surprised to learn that. Lucky he has good fur. I have never climbed a curtain before, nor walked across a rod. But, I could tell that Spyder didn't make it up, by the look on his face when it happened. He's a stoic little guy.

Friday

Telling Her of His Death

Yesterday, when Esther came to help out, I just couldn't bear to tell her about Jeffery. He always greeted her when she arrived. I'm sure he had affection for her, though he had an ulterior motive, too. She always opened a fresh can of cat food for him. Because his tummy couldn't tolerate as much food as the other cats, she would give him a quarter of a can at a time, over a period of three or four hours. Because he would eat and then ask to go out, then a short time later ask to come in and eat again, he was very happy that she accommodated him.

I couldn't bear to tell Ester about Jeffery's not being with us anymore. I knew I would fall apart. I needed some time to just process the whole thing. So, I kept running out to do an errand or two and we didn't have much time to chat.

So, today when she arrived, I asked her to go out into the garden with me in front of Jeffery's pine tree. I showed her the little curved bridge I had created and the little pile of dirt beneath it, the catnip and flowers (now wilted) I had placed upon it. I explained that Jeffery was there, and the circumstances surrounding his death. She had a very astute observation that had not quite occurred to me.

I had presumed that Jeffery had freaked out because of memories of being caged regarding the fire. What Esther pointed out to me was that the area I was driving by when Jeffery started freaking out was the very area where the forest fire had occurred. Maybe he could smell the remnants of the scorched trees, where the trauma had occurred and that was what had triggered his freaking out.

Later, I was sorting through some papers and came across the veterinary records of last July when I first adopted Jeffery. I recall that when I adopted him from the shelter, where he was scheduled for euthansia I had to sign a waiver saying I knew he was very old and not in the best of health. I had not remembered what I now have read on his medical record from last year. He had a heart murmur and signs of renal disease.

It is all making better sense to me now. I am more grateful that he lasted as long as he did. I'm not feeling quite so guilty that I put him in the car inside the cage. I had been feeling it was my fault. If I hadn't done that, maybe he could have still been with us.

Firefighter Rescues Cat

Just a picture I found on the internet. Makes me think of Jeffery's rescue from fire.

Thursday

Jeffery's Farewell

I didn't want to leave without saying good bye.

So, granted my last wish, I am here to tell my story.

This morning, bright and early, the alarm went off. Usually I am the alarm, so I was a bit surprised. Is today to be moving day? I hope not. I have spent my life living in my wonderful forest, then the fire came along and my life as I knew it was gone.

Then, coming here to live with Keli and Elizabeth wasn't so bad. Though I missed my forest, at least there are those two pines out front I could lay beside and enjoy the fragrance of old times and dream old dreams.

I know I haven't been doing well lately. I forget things, A LOT! I come in and go out, and come in and go out, and I can't remember. Did I just come in? It seems like I haven't been out all day, so I ask to go out.

It's sort of the same with food. Though Elizabeth leaves a feeder out where any of us can have a meal to our heart's content, sometimes I forget where it is located, and it has been worse lately to the point of frustration. Elizabeth literally has had to pick me up from the door and remind me to eat. Or sometimes I have just eaten and I go back to eat. I forgot that I already ate. That really causes a problem because then I up-chuck on the furniture, the bed, the carpet, whereever I am located. I really feel confused when that happens.

The kids call me old man. I'm now 18. I've had a good life. Did I tell you before? I can't recall. Sometime I'll tell you about the good old days.

Well anyways, Elizabeth was gathering everyone up and placing them inside there travel cages. I was outside and she was looking for me. Those plumbers had arrived and were planning to start up the jackhammer. I've heard a lot of big noises before but I wasn't wanting to hear that. So, I quickly slipped to the back door, did a polite meow and waited. I could tell Elizabeth was relieved.

The kids were disgruntled with me for holding them up. I just did a hiss and that shut them up. I get tired of hearing them complain. If they would only calm down, they would be more relaxed, like me. They gotta take life in their stride. Take what comes and wait it out. Be with the moment, then see what the next moment brings, and so on. Sometimes one moment will be the same as the next. Sometimes there are subtle variations.

So, we all got settled into the car, our cages all lined up in a nice order. My cage is bigger than the rest, of course, because even though I am thin as Abe Lincoln, I am also very long as he. So, I need some stretching space. It's not that it wasn't big enough. I just started to crack around the edges. All these weeks, these months since Keli died, I have wanted to go, too. These young whipper snappers have their lives ahead of them. Mine is finished, and unlike Keli I have had some major medical issues for quite some time now. Maybe that is what set me on edge. Did my blood sugar go haywire? My thyroid give out?

All I know is that I began to feel intense anxiety. I couldn't bear to be in that cage for one more second. But we were already on our way to Santa Cruz. Elizabeth didn't have a chance to stop and kept talking to me soothingly. But, it did no good. I felt like every nerve was on end, every sound was like the jackhammers we had left behind. It all echoed and reverberated like a chinese gong right inside my head. My eyes burned like fire. Like the Trabing fire last June. The fire that destroyed my home and separated me from the family I had lived with so long, separated me from my trees and my forest friends. The fire that scorched my fur and filled my lungs with heat and smoke.

It all came back to me in that moment. I panicked, I couldn't breathe again, I felt the heat again, I felt the terror of my animal friends, the horses screaming, the dogs down in the next gully howling like banshees. And suddenly I was a banshee. It seemed. I couldn't stop screaming, howling and I just lost my cool completely. Everything was so intense. It was like I was living my whole life all over again in fast motion. All at once the good things and the bad, but mostly those last years of not being able to play anymore with my buddies, of not having my front fang to chew anymore, of having a body that has been failing me. It all was crushing down on me. I had to get out of that cage.

I didn't know where I might go, even if I did get out of the cage, but it didn't matter. I unsheathed my claws to the fullest extent and began furiously to rake them across the metal door of the cage. It hurt to pull on them like that. I know that I must have scared the kids, but I was beyond caring. I felt like I was going to explode, and that is just exactly what happened. Like fireworks inside my head, I exploded and like fireworks I fell down empty. I fell down and the light was expended. I hovered above my body and watched as Elizabeth had finally found a safe place to pull over. All her soothing words were not heard. They fell upon deaf ears. Her pets did not soothe. I had no sensations of feeling left. I was just a little tiny spark floating there.

At least the turmoil had stopped. I could just be there floating, I could see my breathing as I laid down beside myself and curled up. I vaguely heard Elizabeth calling the vet, arranging to go there to see what was wrong with me. I wish she wouldn't do that. I didn't want any last ditch efforts, made. I just wanted to remain in this peaceful state, maybe a little longer.

She turned the car around and before I knew it we had arrived at the vet's office. At least it was the one I like, Dr. Neow. I could tell that he knew I was unconscious. I could tell that he knew there was no number ten to come along. Nine was all I had and it was finished. I was terrifically grateful when he explained somewhere far off in the distance that it would be fruitless to prolong my agony. I know Elizabeth petted me over and over again. I know she whispered in my ear those loving things, our own special language, she speaks those words for only me. Like a lullaby, like a poem, like soft purrs from the depths of my momcat's chest. There she was waiting for me. Momcat. "Son, It's been a long time. I've been waiting for you. Please come home now. But, I clung on filled with angst and floating both at once. Then the vet explained the fees involved in putting me to sleep. "Taking him out of his misery", he said. How understated was that? Elizabeth then fell apart and cried. And the vet told her to take me to the shelter as they could charge considerably less.

By this time, I didn't care. No more anxiety, no more digging at the door of the cage, no more yowling. Just that sense of momcat and me nudging each other peacefully. Her asking, "Are you ready son?" I don't know that I wasn't ready. I don't know what I needed to do to be ready. I just laid their on the floor of the cage and wet my blanket. How embarrassing. I have been doing that a lot lately, forgetting to go to the door when the pressure builds up. Too many accidents. And the biting, yes, I'd been biting at all the well intentioned folks who cared about me, taking it out on them. I felt ashamed but at least I never drew blood, and was forgiven each time.

Bambi, Ninja, and Spyder were very quiet. Of course they knew something was wrong. They were nervous and uneasy, but did nothing to bother me. They couldn't have anyway. I was already too far away from them in spirit. I wished I could have given a little mew to Spyder to reassure him. A polite meow to Bambi to encourage her t go on without me, and continue doing the great job raising Spyder into a respectable adult kitty. I wish I could have told Ninja to keep his eye out, to be there for the other two, especially in hard times. Actually There was no need for me to say anything at all.

The vet at the shelter was very gentle and kind. Elizabeth didn't come in with me, which was a good idea. She had a horrible time getting Keli home after she was euthanized, I couldn't imagine how it might be for her to drive all three of them home, with me gone. My Momcat licked my forehead just like when I was little and I felt comforted, and this time more than ready to leave. The vet came to me with her injection. The last time I would smell something. The last time I would taste, or hear.

Suddenly I was free. I could raise up higher and left my body effortlessly.

All is beautiful.

Good bye everyone

Wednesday

We Worry About It

It is I, Bambi.

Since Jeffery has no interest in blogging this evening and the other two boys are distraught, I thought I might fill you in on what has been occurring.

It was a flurry of nervous tension as things were being pulled out of cupboards and packed in boxes. Ninja got very depressed. He said this is what happened before he ended up in the Pacific Grove Shelter when his people got divorced. He keeps thinking that Elizabeth is going to take him to the shelter again.

I tried to reassure him, but I am in some doubts myself. I have seen boxes packed over and over in my almost two years of life, but I didn't end up in the shelter. I was fostered that last time. Before that, I just got moved from house to house as my person couldn't stay very long. She was going to school and could only live in a room. That was a problem. I go quite grouchy and the others who lived there didn't like that.

Then one of the other relatives kept me for a while, and then the boxes got packed again. That was when my kittens disappeared, too. I don't have any kittens anymore. But, I do have little Spyder in my life and I would like him to stay with me. He is a rambunctious play partner. He takes my breath away, sometimes. But, I will teach him some manners, yet.

Spyder is taking all this in his stride. He doesn't have any bad associations with boxes, so he is having fun exploring them and poking around in the open cupboards.

It wasn't until Esther came over that we learned what all the fuss is about.

Someone is coming here tomorrow to tear a whole in the kitchen floor and make a big mess fixing water pipes. Apparently, this will be very noisy all day long because of machines. I hear the washing machine and I don't like it, but have gotten used to it. I don't think any of us would be able to tolerate louder noises. Well, I suppose we would if we had to. But, I hope we don't have to.

Elizabeth brought home a pretty pink travel crate for me. I really like it. She put a piece of my favorite sheepskin inside and I went in and checked it out. Very cozy. She did the same for Spyder. Though he hasn't got a nice crate. He has something that looks like small luggage and can be carried on the shoulder. I think he will be quite crowded. But he's a good kid and will at least like cuddling up in his sheepskin, too.

She also fixed up a crate for Ninja. He says it is the one he came home in from the shelter, when he was first adopted. It's really old and smells of the Keli Cat that is so revered around here. I can tell she was a grand old matriarch and worthy of respect. We feel her presence often when she comes to check in on Elizabeth. She sees how depressed Elizabeth gets because she is gone. Ninja got a message from her saying she was happy that we were here to help her. I wish she would give me messages, too. But Ninja says I'm too young yet, and besides I need to watch over Spyder. Well, that, I already know. But, I wonder how old I have to be in order to get messages.

There's a larger cage for Jeffery with his favorite blanket in it sitting in the living room by where he sleeps a lot.

Litter and spare box have been loaded in the trunk. I saw food being put into a carry bag, too. So I think she means business when she says she will have to take us all in the car with her and spend the day out of the house.

I hope it will not be as hot as expected as then she wont feel very good and that always makes Spyder sad because she wont play. If we are all going to be in our travel cages, I don't think we will be playing at all.

Maybe we can go to the pet store and hang around there.

Tuesday

Spyder Cat Monster Adventure.

It been turrible morning. Turrible I tells ya!

Oh yeh, dis is SPyder. We was all hangin' out in da spare room. Elixabet were on da comeputer.

Sudenly a big scary monster came to da bak door. It was open, but scrreen was closeded. Still it big n scarey. So Ninja give da signal. Grrrrrr! let's get outta here. I look at Bambi. SHe no movin' She starin' down dat monster.

I so scared. Ninja say agin, let's go! But, I stand dair waitin' fer Bambi to come away from dat screen door. I no wants her get hurt. She my bestest friend, and I no want sumpin happen to her. She not movin' She jus starin' real hard at monster.

Monster, he got big eyes. He look like very bad guy, Big fur all over. Big ringo tail. He stink so bad. But, he see me. He see Ninja. He see Elixabet an' he not look scared. We got 4. He got 1. He not scared?

Bambi, she very quiet, den she say at monster. "Now I gonna tell you once" she say. "and den you go way very fast. You hear me eow dirdy raccooonn?" she say.

He blink him eyes at her. He hardly don't believe this liddle white cat be so seryus to challenge him! I hardly don't believe it too. Where she get da courage? Don't she know she so small an he so big guy?

Ninja, he be so ready to run. I can tell. We is sticky hair up in airs. But we don't want leave her alone wit monster. Maybe he rip screen an take her away! Maybe he bite her, maybe rip off her pretty white fur. Maybe he tear her face. Oh! soooooo scarey!

We gots to stick together an help each other help out an show Mr Raccoon Monster we not scared! Even tho' we is.

Den, Elixabet, she notice sumpin' goin on. "It about time!" I say. "It about time!" She get up an look, an den I so scaared an Ninja so scared dat Elixabet do dat, we disappear in one second. Zip zip zoom! Whoosh! But, jus one thing. I disappear right into da wall. Well, not eggzackly. I run so hard. no look whair I goin' I smack my head on wall. Ow! Ow! Owie-Ow! I see stars everywhair. How dat happen? I feel weerd, but, I no stop, I keep on goin' zippety-zip.

Den, I forget a secon. I don't know what happen. I suddenly in udder room. Don't member how I gots there. Ninja he hear wit me. Ninja look at me wit big yellow eyes. Are 'eow okay? he say. I guess so, I say.

Den Ninja say, "In not scared. I jus runned away to do famous ninja trick. I sneak like silent Ninja, nobody know I see dem! Follow me. I show eow how" he say at me. So, we peeks aroun da corner an see what Bambi do now.

Bambi gots her pose a quiver pose, she gonna jump that raccoon guy, she gonna really let him have it real hard. She mean it wit all her heart. I think she gonna try and scare him forebber!

But, Elixabet she some rescue! She stand up fast, (never know how dose hoomans do dat wit only 2 legs. How dey keep balance so long?) She make big lion noise. Raccoon scared now and run away. Good thing too, cuz Bambi she pushed up against screen real tight now. I think she was gonna eat up da monster

Me, I a scaredy cat. Ninja he a woosy cat. Bambi. She my hero. She so brave. I got to learn how to do dat.

Monday

Heh! Heh! Heh! Those guys are sleeping again. Lazy Cats! So, I'm writing again today. It's me, Ninja, the Panther in Disguise!

Elizabeth went away for a while today. We were all very curious about her preparations before she left. She went out to the garage and brought back the picnic cooler, and set it down in front of the fish tank. Then, she took a jar and dipped it in, and dumped the fish water into the cooler. We saw her do that before when she took the out and drove it away last month. So, we were waiting for the exciting moment when she would grab the net and catch a fish. It would have been so cool to stand on the side of the picnic cooler and look down on the fishy, like Bambi and Spyder did that time with the Plecostmus. But, we were disappointed when she just closed up the cooler and left the house.

Several hours later, she came back. And, guess what? This time she had fishies in the cooler! LOTS of them!!! They are going to be fun to watch, I'm sure. They are a very deep orange, almost a red color. I know they say that kitties cannot see colors, because we have no rods in our eyes, but that is not true.

I was surprised that Bambi did not spend much time investigating the new fishies. She got bored fast and went to lie down. Spyder, on the other hand, jumped right up on top of the tank, instead of on the bench that sits there just for us to look inside. That little guy usually sits on the bench. When he got up on top, he was looking very hopefully through the cracks in the lid parts. He is very fortunate that he did not fall in, as the top to that tank really isn't very secure. Elizabeth needs to get something better. Especially if Spyder is going to do things like that!

I wouldn't dare jump up on top of the aquarium. I am strong and muscular and outweigh Bambi and Spyder, both. So, I would probably end up going swimming!

Sunday

Ninja Cat Imparts


The kids (Bambi and Spyder) and the old man, (Jeffery) are asleep and I've got the computer to myself. Let me introduce myself. I'm Ninja. Today was an unusual day. We had unexpected visitors.

Well, maybe Miss E knew they were coming, but she certainly didn't tell any of us. We only found out when she gathered us together and put us all in the spare room, except for Jeffery. He doesn't like to hang out with us. The few times she tried to put him together with us, he was so mean, and poor Bambi cried at the door until Elizabeth opened it. Jeffery ran out straight to the front door and begged to be let out. She always gives in to him! He is the only one allowed out. I guess cause he doesn't go very far. Bambi and I would choose to explore.

I know if I got out I would check out the whole neighborhood and not come back til I was done. I'm sure Miss E knows this quite well, cause she keeps an eye on me and I get a squirt from the Scat Spray Water bottle any time I get too close to the door. But, I just want to smell the world! Doesn't she understand that?

So, I have to use my ninja tricks to silently sneak past her so I can hang out by the door. A guy can just sniff the air can't he? I really must get out there sometime if I can just find a way! After I tore the holes in the screens those first two times I got out, they fixed it so I can't do that anymore. So, finding a way out is more challenging now. As a ninja master, I shall be patient. Everything will fall in place. I haven't learned to walk through walls yet. But with practice, we shall see.

Back to the visitors. Elizabeth's son came with a friend. So, we were introduced one at a time. I can tell her son really likes me, so I just sort of sleepily ignored him, while he stroked me. Ninjas must keep their emotions under control and not let others know what they are thinking! Since I was in the bedroom up on my special place of honor on the bookcase headboard, I didn't watch as the guests were led into the other room to meet Bambi.

Oh, she is such a hussy! Kissing up to them like that. Straining her neck to be rubbed and squirming to their sweet talk. I'm not jealous, I just think her immaturity gets in the way of her maintaining any sense of dignity.

I was surprised at Spyder's reaction. He is always so interested in everything, so curious about everything. Always checking things out, always strutting through the house as though it was his to conquer (well it is, actually), it never occurred to me that he might not be wanting to be associated with introductions to new humans.

Elizabeth had to go hunt him down. Once she finally found him she carried him out to the living room like she was about to show off a precious treasure. Well, I guess he is in a way. Though, I know this family would not be able to function without my guardianship of our treasures.

I learned how to be a guardian in my previous life. I mean the home I lived in before I came here. My Sensei's were two dogs. They weren't very good at teaching me how to meditate. They said I was better at focus and concentration than them. Guarding, on the other hand, was more difficult to learn. I can wag my tale well to welcome someone, but I just never got the barking down to a fine art. My Sensei's did tell me, though, that my deep throated warning meows are very effective. And I must agree. A good guarder doesn't need to come across as a wild cat, or a grumpy old man wild cat. One needs some finesse to carry off the job appearing threatening without appearing to be a danger. Appearing too dangerous can end up in very bad situations, about which I have only heard whispers.

Well, on with my story. Where was I? Oh, yeah. There was Spyder hiding out, trying to make himself invisible. That doesn't work very well if you are going to come running the second a feather toy is waved in front of you! So he was taken out to meet the guests. I could sense his distress. Even though they admired his oddly matched eyes and praised his pretty white hair and complimented him on his little black top hat, he was having none of it. Never relaxed, never warmed up and worst of all, never got the petting, cuddling and attention he deserved. I will have to take him under my wing and teach him how to greet guests more calmly. He has to learn first and foremost, Cats are in charge, not the other way around. If you are going to hide under the bed, then hide under the bed and stay there, while they go through all the wheedling motions to try to get you to come out. After they give up and go away, Then you can make your big entrance. They will be so much more impressed with you that way.

They all went away for a while so we listened to the stereo while they were gone. I love it when the traditional Japanese music is on. Bambi is into the sentimental music called "torch songs". I can see why. Those high female voices have great modulations. They actually can resonate quite well with our own tonal qualities. Spyder is totally clueless about music as of yet. Though, I notice he gets really calm when there is harp music playing.

When Elizabeth and her son returned, this time there were three other female humans with them. It was quite exciting, as they all smelled of fish. I could smell them when they first arrived. They were still outside and one of the girls offered sushi to Jeffery. He turned his nose up at it and walked away. Go figure!!! I guess he still prefers wild squirrel from his old forest home.

So when they all came inside, Bambi and Spyder were out there in the living room in a flash. They were right up their sniffing fingers and everything. Spyder had lost his shyness so easily, it was amazing.

So we were all given little morsels of sushi. It was really quite delicious. We were all sad when they went away.

Thursday

Name that Cat!

It took a long time for Spyder to get his name.

The shelter gives a name to each cat that arrives, if it was not surrendered with a name already given by it's family. Since Spyder and his siblings were found kitties "stray cats", they were given names that were related to the neighborhood in which they were found. Crespi was the name given. Ugh! I knew that wasn't the name he was meant to have.

Since Spyder has a unique appearance, Zenmonk and I tried out several names to fit his looks. Spyder has one blue eye and one gold eye. I know that David Bowie has different colored eyes and we tried on names related to him. David was out of the question as I have a brother by that name. We thought of names of his songs. Rebel was out of the question, too. I believe the name we carry applies to our personality and I didn't want a Rebel cat.

Since Spyder is all white with just a touch of black on his head, I thought perhaps he could be named after a childhood kitty who he resembles... Topper. But, no. that was not his name.

Zenmonk wanted to name him Mohawk or Geronimo. It was Geronimo for a while. But, Spyder certainly didn't respond to it. Zenmonk still calls him that, and that's okay. We will see if he will change over to Spyder.

One day, as I picked him up and held him like a little baby in my arms, I began singing to him. Do you know the song? "Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy?" So, I thought, Ah Ha! That should be his name. Billy Boy. But, no, as he grew up into an adult cat, he would have such a sissy name, so I thought, okay, Billy would be nickname for Bilbo Baggins. But, Bilbo, still was not what I thought to be a good name for an adult cat. Too stuffy. What a curmudgeon name, even for a traveler on an adventure.

So, Billy Baggins was next (and that's the name I told the vet when I took him in for his first check up).

But, you know, sometimes a kitty names himself. There I was one day when Bambi was playing with a mousie in the bathtub. Funny cat! And suddenly I saw a spider scurrying across the tub. Bambi got very excited and wanted to play with it. She was careful not to destroy it, she just wanted to harass it.

Spyder, came out of nowhere and jumped in the tub. He wasn't about to play. Before I could stop him, he ate that spider! I called the vet right away to see if I needed to bring him in. No, the spider was a harmless one, and the joke was that my kitty now had spider blood in his veins. And so, that is how Spyder got his name. Oh... and the spelling? Well, I think the little guy is somewhat of a spy, as it seems he knows what's going on even from another room. It seemed he was spying on Miss Bambi, while she was playing. Don't you think?

Chirping Cat

Bambi and Spyder have discovered a little moth flying around the hanging lamp in the bedroom.

Spyder has demonstrated his little chirping behavior to me before when I use the lazer light for him to chase. But, tonight (this morning, as it is after midnight) he was unable to stop as he was watching the moth. I was enjoying the show, when suddenly the moth disappeared. I had seen Spyder try to catch it in his mouth, so maybe... well, maybe... he had eaten it? (Shall I change his name to Mothra?)

But, he seemed quite confused as to what happened to the moth. Then, I noticed that the moth had landed directly on his nose, right between his eyes!!!

Wednesday

Adoption of New Kitten

This is the story of Spyder, who I adopted the end of July. I haven't been able to focus enough to tell his story until now. As you know, I was so filled with grief about the death of Keli, I just wasn't functioning well.

I was visiting the Watsonville animal shelter to show pictures of Bambi to the woman who had fostered her, (Tara) when I passed by the newly accepted kittens cage. I really didn't have in mind to adopt another cat. I already had three others. I just like to look at all the newbies whenever I visit.

There he was among his siblings. They all ignored me except little Spyder, who rolled over and looked at me eye to eye. Then, he blinked at me. So, I blinked at him, and he blinked back. This was a very alert and conscious kitten in my opinion. And, he was beautiful and entirely unique. It was love at first sight.

I asked about him, but since he had just arrived, he was not available yet. He had to be seen by a vet, given his shots, and neutered before he would be placed for adoption. It was not even determined yet, if he would be offered at my local shelter or the one further away in Santa Cruz. Whenever I dropped in after that, I asked about him.

The shelter did not have any way that I could request him ahead of time or put a hold on him. I just had to take my chances and trust that if it was meant to be, he would come to live with me.

A couple weeks later, I dropped in just before closing, and there he was. Unfortunately, I would have to adopt him immediately, as there was no guarantee he would be there the next day, and I had to drive to Stanford then, to see the doctor. I had to make my decision at that moment! Fortunately, I just happened to have a kitty crate in my car at the time. I stressed about taking this new baby home with me, then abandoning him locked in the bathroom by himself for many hours the very next day, but there were no other options. I had to take him right then and there. And I was lucky they knew me as normally they would have shooed me out the door. As I mentioned before... it was closing time. (Note: I took him with me the next day.)

The shelter didn't have any special way I could adopt him at a lower price which they often can do. I'm a senior, and low income. Sometimes they have reduced adoption fees on kitties for seniors. So, I took the leap of faith and put the charges on my credit card. It would be a tight squeeze on my budget, $120, but it was meant to be!

Alternate Reality

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

It's amazing to me that the picture above so closely resembles Spyder and Bambi, that it could convince me of a possible alternate reality. And it amazes me that someone else has those two cats that look like mine. Gee, I wonder if the cat's person looks like me, too. I hope not! Poor soul!

Last night I heard a terrible caterwauling outside the house. It was a serious cat fight. I looked about and realized Jeffery must be involved. Ninja, Bambi and Spyder were standing by the door with hackles raised. They knew it too. I couldn't get out the door fast enough, grabbing my spray bottle on the way. How many cats could I squirt at one time? As it turned out it was the neighbor's kitten, who is older than Spyder, but younger than Bambi.

Jeffery was hunkered down beside the water pipe that attaches to the hose. The neighbor cat had withdrawn when I came outside, but didn't go far. I had to encourage him to leave with the spray bottle. This was a surprise because Jeffery is usually threatening enough that any cat backs away. But, not this time. He had quite a bit of fur tufting out all over, plus a great deal on the ground. I felt so bad for him. I wish he wouldn't beg to go out so much or stay out so long. He doesn't go anywhere but right by the door or in the driveway. I can't imagine what started the rucus.

Today, the hierarchy continued to get changed. Perhaps it is because of what happened last night, or maybe it is just a coincidence but Bambi has taken over as queen of the house. Ninja, as I mentioned before has been her target, but today I saw Jeffery wanting to get past her and did everything he could to avoid her. But, she guarded the hallway and he had no choice. He slunk past her as quickly as possible. Both my older boys are now, (how shall I put it?) pussycat whipped. Now I understand where that phrase really originated!

Bambi better watch out, though. As much as she has been mothering and protecting Spyder, he is gaining on her in the rough play department. He is starting to win their little play sessions. So we shall see who will rule the roost tomorrow.

Addenda:
Just as I finished writing the above and posted, little mister Spyder ran up on the bed, aimed himself for the wall of the closet door and flew. I mean, he flew. And he was able to grab hold with his claws for a moment so that he hung about six feet from the ground on the edge of the wall by the closet, before he voluntarily leaped down.

Tuesday

Tired baby cat

Ever have one of those days, where you just can't keep your eyes open?

Friday

Head Bangers

This afternoon, I got home from the doctor before Esther got here, so I didn't have to lock the cats in the other room. It was nice to see them wandering around getting under her feet, following her, hiding from the vacuum, and playing under the sheets when she changed the bed.

Actually that was Spyder who liked the sheets. Keli used to love playing under the sheets. I could never change the bed or straighten it up without her getting involved. I miss her so much. But, it is fun to see Spyder doing the same thing. Brings me smiles.

Ninja wanted a lot of attention after she left, did a lot of nudging on me while I rearranged the book shelves and climbed up on my lap for pets a couple times. Then went over to the sofa to sit and watch me. How can a cat be fascinated with watching someone pull books off a shelf, and move them around?

This evening Bambi and Spyder were running around wildly chasing each other and at one point they both leaped up to the same spot on the dresser and banged their heads together! I have often seen them run into doors and chairs too. Last night I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Spyder fall off the bed from just turning over. Who ever said cats were graceful?

So, Spyder ended up on top of the armoir where the TV screen is located and I caught him chewing on my cell phone plug. I grabbed my handy dandy little red lazer light and he was on the floor in a flash! He and Bambi wore themselves out playing with the light. They try to climb the wall to get to it. I enjoy aiming at the ceiling and watching their reaction. Bambi, being almost two years old, just sits there with a look of disgust on her face, like she isn't even going to bother with that! But, Spyder just thinks that makes it all the more fascinating. Have you ever seen a cat at the windowsill watching the birds and doing that little excited chirping thing they do? Spyder keeps his eyes on the ceiling and will climb over anything just to keep his eye on the lazer light, all the while he is chirping his little heart out.

Ninja, on the other hand, at age seven, soon to be eight, can't be bothered with the lazer light. He's got it all figured out. He knows darn well I control that light and it is not magic at all. Though I have caught him quietly playing with mousies once in a while. And if the other cats are not around, I can get him to play with the string, or feather toy.

Jeffery... Well.... "Toys are for kids. Get that thing away from me!" Grrr. Hiss! Poor Jeffery. He's two years younger than Keli, but seems a decade older. She had arthritis those last few years, but he has ARTHRITIS! She had good appetite right up to the end, and kept her weight stabilized. He was skinny when I got him, and skinnier now, no matter how much I feed him. He seems so frail. I keep wondering if I am unfair to him. I wasn't able to judge how much Keli was suffering until that last day, so how am I going to be able to make a good judgment about Jeffery? Though he gets around, in and out all day long, comes and goes as he pleases, eats what he wants, tells the little ones to bug off, and has his own special sleeping spots that are entirely his, is this good enough? How does it compare to the Jeffery that lived his life before the forest fire? before he lost his people and home? before he went to the shelter? before I adopted him? I like to think that he was a sleek muscular cat who climbed trees, chased mice, drank from the creek and rolled in the dusty sunshine. And I think his people loved him a great deal. He is very demanding for his special kind of attention. Since he is so long he can stand on his hind legs and touch the kitchen counter with his front paws. So when a person is about it doesn't take much for him to let you know he wants something. And if you are sitting down, he doesn't just take up your lap, he stretches from knee to shoulder.

Bambi and Spyder have settled down and are laying at the foot of my bed, one on each side. Not sure where Ninja is, but Jeffery is meowing to be let in.

Thursday

Sweetness Exists

On FB, a friend had some kind of quiz. Name five movies you know by heart. I thought about it... and got a few. Then, one that has a song that popped into my mind, but couldn't recall the name of the movie. But, here we go... The Muppet Movie. and the song. The Rainbow connection. This one is not performed by Kermit, but by Sarah Mclachlan. The visuals in the vid are lovely. Take a moment and savor it.

I am sitting here watching it and Spyder is lying in my arms clearly more interested in the music than the visuals as he is purring away. If I could purr I would purr the moment of contentment this has brought me.

Wednesday

Ninja on Guard

I noticed this the other day, and saw it again tonight.

But first get the picture. Ninja has put on weight since he came to live here. He's getting a bit chunky and heavy and slow moving. He would like to play with the others' but makes half hearted attempts. They tear through the house like banshees while he has barely made one swipe towards a mouse that they have carried off with them batting it through the air like a room to room volleyball game.

Since Bambi and Spyder play so hard and so often they have bonded. Bambi is a small size girl. She will be two years old on the day before Christmas. But, she still looks like she might be about 9 months old. She has delicate short legs and tiny paws, a short tail and a sweet round face and head.

When I brought spyder home he was claimed to be 3 months old, but when I took him to the vet, Dr. Neow, can you believe his name? he said Spyder was probably only two months old based on his teeth. In this very short time he has been with us, he now is almost as tall as Bambi. He's slim, but has long legs and long tail. I have a feeling it will be a very short time and he will be bigger than them both, perhaps as large as Jeffrey, who measures 34 inches from nose to tail. I think that is close to one meter.

Due to the bonding between them, I notice that Bambi's mother instinct is active. When she was adopted, I was told she had had kittens at one point, so I think she's got some motherly behaviors developed. I played a youtube vid with live kittens mewing, and she was in her in a flash looking for them and calling them. She also calls Spyder when she can't find him. She will lay on her side sometimes as if welcoming kittens. Keli never did that unless it was hot weather. When she and Spyder play, even though they get rough, she is always the top cat in the end and determines when they will stop, and he respects that.

Ninja has been craving more attention from me, so when I come in from being out, he comes up to me for pets, along with Bambi who has always greeted first. Later this evening after the two angel babies were tired of playing and somewhere in the other room, Ninja came up on the bed nudging me for attention. I picked him up to move him into an easier position to pet him, but he made a complaining sound. In an instant I heard Bambi's collar jingling. Ninja roughly pulled out of my grasp and leaped to the headboard. By this time she was all over him. Amazing how scared he appears to be as he crouches down and growls half heartedly in defense. She realized he hadn't been anywhere near her Spyder, and looked at me, then laid down beside me and kept staring at him until he looked away.

Tuesday

Latent Insanity

The insanity has gone underground, or asleep, maybe. I have been able to enjoy a day or two now without feeling such angst. There are others who have died in my life recently and I had to get to the business of taking care of their memorial pages. Even though, it is still focused on a "morbid" subject, I feel I am accomplishing something for the benefit of others.

Last night Ninja kept bothering me. Pushing up against me, acting all nervous. I got up several times to see if there was something he needed. Food in the bowl. Jeffery in the house. All was okay. Finally, he settled down and slept. So did I. About 11 I got up, made my tea and toast and came back to bed to read. Lazy day. Well at least it wasn't crazy day. So, I give myself some slack. Just before noon... earthquake. This one was stronger than the one the day before. When I went to the USGS site and looked it up, I learned the epicenter was just seven miles from me. They say animals are sensitive about quakes. But, why was it only Ninja this time? Last time it was Jeffery.

The angel babies, Bambi and Spyder were asleep both times.

Bambi has a tendency to stay by herself unless Spyder comes along and nudges her to play. Sometimes they get a bit rough. It surprises me. I heard her teeth clunk against his skull tonight. No blood was drawn. Theys jus havin' fun.

Sunday

Insanity

I feel like I'm going insane with the pain of Keli's death.

Animals and Earthquakes

Honestly, all that stuff about animals knowing about a quake before it happens. I've not seen it. I've sat here with Keli on my bed, a 5 pointer, and she just looked at me all ho-hum.

I didn't know how the new crop of cats would do until tonight (early this morning, ten minutes ago to be exact). I was already up and awake. Jeffery kept meowing to go out. I hate to let him out at night, but he was insistent. I let him out, and settled back down in bed with Ninja cuddled at my side. The bed jiggled, the dresser mirror rattled against the wall. A minute or so later Ninja jumped down from bed.

It didn't last ...long, maybe 10 seconds. I went to the USGS site to check for the quake. It wasn't on there yet, so I waited, refreshed my browser and there it was, Hollister 4.0 Richter scale

So, I wonder. Was that sufficient evidence that my cats felt the earthquake coming, or needed to jump down from the bed because of it? I don't know. Jeffery asks to go out on other middle of the nights, too. Perhaps if I checked USGS each time he did that, then I could accept it if there were some kind of quake reported