Musings, reflections, wisecracks from a somewhat creative mind

Posts tagged ‘Animals’

Growing Grace

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!

Gracie, October 5, 2011

Gracie, 11-30-11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Background

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.

Meanwhile

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.)

The Many Hats of Kitteh

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.”

This won't hurt a bit ...

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.

 

Just a cute shot.

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.

Things Kittehs Play With

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.

Things kittehs play with

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.

Aw shucks.

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!

Gracie X versus the Red Rubbery Lawbsta

Stalking the beast…

Stalking the beastie

Getting closer!

Closer still!

Ha cha cha chaaaa!!

I can take it!!

VICTORY is near!!

Baby has seafood!!

Schweet kittehs

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.

Kitten Urchins …

… 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.

They've breached the wall!!!

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*

 

 

 

Evil kitteh TOGO

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ginny, Hell on Wheels

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Jackanapes

 

Then there are the little claws …

Pepe le Pew

Ankle biter Spot and Chloe the Giantess

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.

You should be dancin' - YEAH!!

8 ounces

WELL!

If you don’t know me, you don’t know about my newest enterprise – kitten sitting!

Not really.

I had an assignment to write a story about our local county animal shelter and fostering very young kittens. They are surrendered by residents who can not care for them.

Back story: It’s a government shelter. They can’t say “no” when people surrender the pets – feline, canine, and others. The government workers who are employed there feel so much empathy for these little ones.

Specifically: Some of the kittens that are brought in are too young to fend off disease and too young for sterilization (that is, spaying or neutering and then ready for adoption) and they need to be fostered in an environment that is healthier – like, of all things, MY house.

So I went and did the interview (with a wonderful, caring, knowledgeable woman named Mary – go figure) and ended up offering to foster some little kitties. I wrote the story. It is a real human interest story and shows how some government employees are real angels to their charges.

And I took a box o’ kitties home.

Sleepy time

 

Four 8-ounce kitties.

 

They have changed my life in their little way.

 

They are innocent and fearless.

 

They are energetic in a way I can’t understand – but maybe could’ve when I was much and WAY younger.

They play play play playplayplayplayplay … ad infinitum. And. Then. They. Sleep.

Play play play!

 

Thank the good Lord for sleep. He invented it. He should know. It’s a beautiful thing, sleep. *sigh*

 

More to come. This is just the first installment. I’ll tell you AAALLLLL about the “kittehs”. They are pure, loving, clawFUL, innocent, sweet with sharp and tiny dagger claws that have already speared my drapes. *more sighes*

What have I gotten my self into this time?