Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category
Four months old and Gracie’s coat is coming in. She’s beginning to shed and she’s begun the feline bathing routine. Lick lick lick.
Here is Grace at about 10 weeks and at then at 16 weeks. Growing fast!
The rubber is meeting the road for me. I’m going to learn if I’ll be spending the next 15-20 years sneezing and sniffling.
Years ago, I endured allergy tests at the insistence of my then-husband. There was just too much sneezing and mucous for him. I don’t blame him: I thank him. My allergies were certainly bad enough to warrant a visit to the allergist.
CATS. TREES. MOLD. DUST! – pronounced the allergist.
(Finger-wagging) “You have to get rid of your cat”. Period. No question.
NOOOOOO! (Tears.) Sammy-cat is a member of my family! This was answered with a head-shaking, stony silence.
I kept the cat. I endured the weekly shots. (Guess I showed them.)
After Sammy-cat died I “kept” another cat. (Whoops!) Once again I wanted a furry friend to be my buddy, part of my home, part of my heart. So I went to the shelter and he chose me. He touched me on the shoulder and he looked at me with those bright, sunny eyes. Done.
My allergy held steady.
Murphy (a most intelligent, gregarious cat) was with me until 2004 when he left. I don’t know what happened to him. He was a wanderer and a fighter (even though neutered). I’d brought those (absurd to him) dogs into the home and he didn’t like it. He put up with them for 3 years.
Murphy may have chosen a new home. There were plenty for the asking. I’d received calls from lady admirers with homes he regularly visited. He charmed them. Maybe one of them took him in. I just don’t know. I searched and never found him. I hope his fate was a gentle one.
There have been no cats since Murphy. It’s been all dogs. I’m assuming I’m still allergic to cats. Not “asthma attack allergic”: more “perennial rhinitis allergic” and “sinus headache allergic”.
Fast forward: It’s 2011
I had an assignment to write a story about the numerous kittens fostered by the wonderful (government) employees at our local “pound”. My heart was deeply touched. I fostered a litter of four four-week-old kittens. Lo and behold: I adopted one. Shocking! I’m a foster failure. (Hey, at least I didn’t keep all of them!)
Now that I am owned by a cat, I’m hoping the years of self-restraint have reduced my allergy. I’m optimistic … or deluded. I have committed to this little wonder. I will endure her purring and playfulness and litter box odors and scratching. I will go for allergy shots if I have to. I will invest in Kleenex stock if I have the spare income. I will vacuum often. Um. Well. We’ll see on that one.
One thing is for sure — my feline will teach me to accept my irrelevance. (We are only good for opening cans.)
(Achoo! God bless you.)
Now at 4½ months, Gracie Lou is discovering (or revealing) her many talents, abilities and, yes, jobs. She’s practicing for a career in something. I’m not sure what. Some possibilities:
A career in home décor – She appears very motivated. I’m not sure she’ll go very far with this since she seems to like most things on the floor. For example, kitteh décor dictates that towels do not belong on towel racks: they belong on the floor. Other “floor should be’s”: pillows, eyeglasses, phones, magazines and hairbrushes. Also, contrary to what I thought I knew, window blind slats do not need to align and pet toys SHOULD litter the floor, the location changed often and without warning. As she matures a better career move for Gracie might be to move toward window treatments and, hopefully, away from this “floor thing”.
Massage therapist – I believe the instructions to other kittehs would read “While the subject lies facedown, walk up the subject – from foot to neck and head – gently extending the claws so as not to injure but certainly to hurt a bit and annoy. The subject comes awake very quickly after this procedure.”
House cleaner – I only mention this potential career because kitteh is adept at finding dust bunnies. Her follow through is poor. She does not throw them away. Perhaps she needs a small dustpan with a tiny wastebasket.
Dog herder – This requires the saintly cooperation of Chloe, the perfect dog. Gracie accomplishes dog herding by utilizing her kitteh claws and teeth, wrapping her kitteh “arms” around Chloe’s leg and gnawing on it. Chloe moves the leg. Kitteh persists. And so on. Kitteh becomes very enthusiastic about this at times which requires my intervention because Chloe gives me the “Make! It! Stop!” look.
Athlete / Gymnast – This is hardly unusual for a kitteh but I must mention it. Among her best feats: climbing a bare wall.
Magician – Kitteh is especially good at the disappearing and reappearing act where you are looking for her frantically because you are afraid she somehow escaped the house. She must be in “thin air” because I can’t find where she hides.
These aren’t her only career choices but they certainly are “the big six”. Stay tuned.
First – the cutest thing: I woke up one morning with my 9 week old kitteh sleeping on the back of my neck, IN my hair, and happily. She may have been purring. It was altogether a lovely experience.
And now, other things kitteh loves to play with:
- rubber bands (broken)
- hair bands/ties
- tin foil balls
- pipe cleaners (lots of fun to watch, too)
- little bows
- dust bunnies (not that they are plentiful in my house)
- anyone’s fingers
- my toes (biting, ouch)
- towels on racks that apparently should be on the floor
- bags – any variety
- the air – a pretend friend (i. e. nothing visible – cute!)
- her tail and back paws
- hand bags and contents
- sunglass earpieces (tasty!)
- Chloe, the perfect dog
- just about anything else she encounters.
No cost/low cost entertainment for kitty. Yay!
So. You’ve figured out I’ve adopted one of the four kittens that I had fostered.
Well what was I to do? She GAZED at me! She followed me around. She seemed to think I was a goddess.
I have given her many names – the root name is Grace. That is because, a) a friend suggested “Gracie Lou Freebush” from that movie and, b) … she, the kitten, reminds me very VERY much of Grace … Grace from God. She’s such a gift. Lovely.
Gracie Lou. Gracie Love. Gracie Belly (for her round kitten belly) …
Last but not least, she and Chloe get along wonderfully.
Many pictures to follow!
So the kittehs are not all bad, you know. A friend today remarked at how I had been referring to “the kittens” as pests, homewreckers, a nuisance … He kindly didn’t use those words yet it is true. He was not mistaken. So let me set the record straight.
It’s my humor which misleads. It is my way of blogging – usually. My thoughts are also true. But this is not all.
The kittehs are precious and sweet and they make me joyful MUCH more than they make me anything else. The are a privilege to care for.
(They are also going to be gone by this weekend if I’m to host the houseguests I intend to host next weekend. No kitten wants to be squashed underfoot and no human wants to smell litterbox.)
So here, therefore, are some phrases and vignettes:
- The other evening as I left them for the bedroom, each one in turn came to me for a scratch and a smooch.
- Pepe has sat on my shoulder and purred into my ear. (DARling.)
- Spot follows me around the house.
- One of them reaches for me under the door in the morning.
- They all trust and seek out Chloe.
And so here, therefore, are some photos of the little ankle biters in their most angelic aspects.
… Elves, Gremlins and Scamps
When I first brought home this box o’ kitties, I referred to them in a high pitched voice as little darlings, “so cute!”, and “so little!”. Chloe was clearly delighted to have these small bundles of entertainment in the house.
However, once they breached the X-pen “wall” into my living room I began to realize just how mistaken my characterizations might be. I learned over the next few hours that the only thing which can stop an inquisitive and determined kitten is a bonafide door and one that latches tight.
They may be little but size does not matter. Nothing is sacred to these little dickens. One has gotten itself tangled in my hair. Another squirt has dangled from a window drape. *grrrr*
The scamps have chewed (unsuccessfully, whew) wires in my office. I put up a baby gate and looked at them saying “I know this is a mere suggestion to you …” At least I hear when they climb it and can intervene.
One of them, Ginny, is a holy terror who attacks her litter mates and bites and chews them! If I hear squealing it’s probably Ginny gnawing on Spot or TOGO.
Then there are the little claws …
Many lovely moments remain though:
They love to nestle with Chloe or let her maul them with her snout.
All four of the little waifs were waiting for me outside my bedroom door this morning.
The floor show is always a hoot.
Chloe, the Standard Poodle and perfect dog, has a burgeoning career in her future- that of Professional Obstacle. She is terribly good at being in the way. It seems to be an innate talent and one she practices on a daily basis. Therefore I think she could make a lot of money, if we can just tap the right market.
First, a “guest post” from Chloe, as follows:
How I do it
By Chloe Louise Sault
First, let’s understand the assumption. Tripping a human is a good thing. It establishes our “dogness” and it is amusing.
Lying in the middle of the floor of any room is a sure thing. Spreading out – legs, head, tail, and if I am feeling particularly sarcastic, tongue – assures high potential for tripping a human. If a human does not notice me lying there – as my grandmother did not notice a few months back – they will trip and fall. Goal! I mitigate any negative reaction towards me by not moving and looking innocent and cute.
Lying in a doorway is best used when the humans are moving about from room to room and generally being unpredictable. Stationing myself in a doorway has an added benefit as it enables my ability to monitor the human’s activities.
An important caveat for the novice – when the human is attempting to step over you, don’t move. Doing so could risk damage to the face and head when the human’s foot rapidly connects with said body parts. However DO take the risk if you really want the human to fall. You see, as they try to correct their trajectory they lose balance rather easily resulting in “the fall”. Any damage they do to you they will take care of medically and financially. Guilt is usually an outcome as well. Treats often follow guilt.
Preceding the human through the house or yard or sidewalk is good for frustrating the human and CAN result in a fall, but not usually. Mostly it results in the human yelling and cussing and the poodle being pushed, shoved or otherwise rudely moved by the human. It is not necessarily recommended. However it can be satisfying in a rather evil way.
While the human is exercising, place your soggy chin and wet, slimy and cold nose in their hand when they least expect it. It usually results in a chin rub, which is very nice. It may also result in surprising the human who then pulls a muscle, usually in the back, causing temporary pain and yelling and cussing. It is fun to watch and harmless for you.
To sum up: Us dogs can have great fun tormenting and torturing our humans while appearing to be affectionate and innocent. Take advantage. We have so little recompense for our affable selves (no pockets, no thumbs, no cars … need I say more).
Signed: Chloe Louise Sault, P.O.
Back to Mama
My Chloe lacks imagination. The “hit man” market craves such genius. I think the Cosa Nostra should take notice. Our prices are fair. Please be discreet in your inquiries. We need cash money. Pony up, people.