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Posts Tagged ‘cats’

Dog or Cat Person??

A couple of you have commented on how adorable-looking Murphy is and my friend teri asked “what makes a person a dog or cat person?”

I like dogs. I love cats. I love horses even more, but I can’t have one in the house.

I saw one in a house, once. I was somewhere between 10 and 12 and it was Girls Day With Dad, meaning my dad, the Forest Ranger, took my sister and I along with him on patrol. We stopped at some ranch in Paradise Valley to visit. The ranch wife invited us in and poured us cool drinks while she and my dad visited about whatever they were visiting about. And this orphan colt walked into the house. Right through the kitchen and into the living room. The ranch wife didn’t blink an eye, just explained that his mama rejected him, so she was bottle-feeding him. In the house.

I always thought one of the reasons my dad wouldn’t get me a horse when I was a kid was because he was afraid I’d want to bring it into the house.

He didn’t have to worry: even when I had a horse, I didn’t bring her into the house. She was claustrophobic.

I really like dogs. I even like Murphy – sometimes. But I do not like 85# of pure muscle bounding into me when I am in my dress clothes (or any time, for that matter). I do not like dogs who take it upon themselves to rearrange my garden. I do not like dogs on furniture. I do not like dogs that nibble. Murphy and I have had a bit of a power struggle: he’s an Alpha dog and you have to be on top of his behaviour all the time. I don’t trust Murphy around babies and cats.

I’d take a dog, but I think one dog running around the house playing “don’t touch the floor but stay on all the furniture” is more than enough. Especially when said dog weighs 85#. Cats play that game, too, and occasionally they break things. There are plenty of reasons to not like cats, all of which endear them to me (except litter boxes and hairballs – which is why a horse is superior to a cat: no hairballs to hack up).

I have a parakeet, but he isn’t cuddly. He is hand trained, but he just isn’t something you can curl up with at night when your husband is spending his night up in the woods somewhere, sleeping with his 85# dog. I don’t half-way mind sleeping with Marmaduke on the bed, but a cat doesn’t take up that much room and you can still roll over with a cat in the bed. And cats purr. And cats lower your blood pressure.

Except for when they use your shoes for a litter box. then the blood pressure rises.

So there you have it: I’m no more a cat person than a dog person; I’m a horse person. And the real problem with Mr. Cute and Adorable Murphy is that he weighs 85# and has the brain of a toddler.

But rest assured: when I get home after work, Murphy meets me at the door, tail wagging and ready to jump up on me. He’s just so excited to see me that I have to like him.

Imagine THAT coming at you when you’re still in your dress clothes…

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I come home from work with all these grand ideas about what I am going to accomplish in the evening – and it never, ever happens. I’m always tired. Tonight, I was achey on top of being tired (I don’t mean physically tired: emotionally and psychologically tired) (I was physically achey). So nothing got done, not even the laundry. Well, I did mop up the bathroom floor, after the teenager mopped it.

No, this is not a criticism on her cleaning: she did a good job. It’s just that the cat really let loose a foul-smelling stream of urine and it permeates the bathroom. To the cat’s credit, he was pretty doped up and traumatized. If I back up a little, I can explain (please do): this morning I took Nimrod to the vet to have his little balls snipped off. (I can say that, right? snip, snip…) He went along very willingly, even took a nap in the truck as I drove the half mile to the vet’s. He’s traveled before in Chrystal’s company, no big deal. What he has never experienced before is being left in the hands of sadists and anesthesiologists. He fought anesthesia desperately and when he came to, he was desperately upset that he didn’t know where he was or where Chrystal was. He was still quite groggy when my husband picked him up, and he peed all over the cat carrier, himself, and the towels in his carrier.

Chrystal tried to clean him up in the bathroom (confining the mess to one room). She got him somewhat rinsed off, washed the rags, and deposited the cat carrier in the garage. Then she tried to mop the bathroom to get rid of the smell.

Poor Nim. He really had a bad day and my bathroom reflects that. But he will be so much happier when he awakens fully, finds himself in familiar surroundings, and can indulge in real food. Food solves everything.

I rinsed the bathroom after the mopping in hopes of clearing the air.

And that was all I accomplished tonight. The weather has turned cold and wet and typical: no gardening for me. Chrystal has been holed up in her bedroom reading Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear series (Language Arts, for homeschoolers, plus history albeit fictionalized). I’m impressed with the questions Chrys had been asking about the series. “How is it that Ayla is so superior?” “Why is she an Aryan princess?” “Who said Cro-magnon man was blond haired/blue eyed?” “Isn’t it irritating that she invents everything?” (Answer: I only read the first two books in the series. I got so tired of Ayla’s superiority that I couldn’t force myself to open the next book in the series. I’m ready now, but only because I finally forgave Jean Auel for using one character to span the length of time and invention.)

While she’s reading Jean Auel, I am reading Brian Jacques. I just finished “Rakkety Tam.” It’s another mousie adventure, this time pitting a lowland Scots squirrel against a wolverine (gulo gulo) named … Gulo. I read the Redwall books just to polish up on my molespeech. Burr hurr aye. Chrystal is the only one of my kids who will read Brian Jacques and share in the adventure with me. She refuses to speak molespeak, however. Oi’m gurtly afeared oi takes offense at that. Oi thinks they thinks oi’m not in moi roight ‘ead.

This post has no point. 🙂

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dreams

I have been dreaming about cats. If you look up dream symbolism, cats are a bad thing – unless you are dreaming about pet cats. That’s the problem with blanket interpretations: they assume everyone views the world through the same eyes. I have never viewed cats as something evil or twisted: they are cat, my second favorite animal in the whole wide world.

My favorite is the horse (of course) and when I dream about horses, it is not a sexual dream, but it is simply about horses. Big, powerful, independent, contrary: horses.

So when I dream about cats, it is about cats. Right now, I am cat-less and I long for a cat. My youngest has a cat, but it is confined to the square footage of her bedroom, living out its life in exile because 1) my kid is afraid the dog will kill the cat and 2) the cat is not terribly bright and rolls over for the dog, baring its throat.  If it was a normal cat, it would use its handy-dandy claws to rake the dog’s nose and possibly endanger the dog’s eyes, but noooooo. Not this cat. I do not consider this cat as anything more than a visitor the I occasionally see. It is not MY cat and it is not a pet that climbs in bed with me to purr, knead, and sleep on my chest.

I miss having a cat that curls up on my chest or my head and purrs, loudly. I miss that feeling of weight between my feet in the night: a fat cat body, unwilling to move when I try to change position. I miss purring. I miss kitty kisses on the chin and nose. I miss playing “tag” with a cat whose claws are at the ready.

I miss having a cat.

I miss having a horse, too, but a horse I can live without. I love them but I cannot afford them and I honestly do not have the time for one. You do not have to have a lot of time or money for a cat.

The first cat I ever knew was my sister’s cat: a black and white tom cat we dubbed Jacob that followed her home from school. My dad didn’t believe that line, but after sending us back to the school, with the cat, four times in a row – and watching as the cat raced behind our speeding bicycles and crossed a busy main road just to keep up with us – he acquiesced. Jacob was home to stay.

After Jake came my first cat: Jasper. Jasper was followed by my brother’s cat, Speck-os. Speck-os was joined by my second cat, Buddy Jacopo. BJ was followed by “Cat”, who lived 18 years and died on my 36th birthday: half my life. “Cat” lived through other cats: Moses and Maynard. She survived dogs and husband and kids. “Cat” about killed me when I lost her to old age.

Two years later,. i opened myself up to cats again when Smokey walked into my life. Smokey walked out, again, just as mysteriously, on a hot summer’s night. But we had Ziggy by then. And Ziggy stayed. We lost him last spring when he was 13 and poisoned cat food was making the rounds. A week after he died, we learned about cat food poisoning: too late for Zig.

It’s been a year. I hoped I could bond with Chrystal’s cat, but she keeps him sequestered. I have no cat of my own, no cat to torment and no cat to torment me. I need – I desire – I dream of: cats.

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