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Posts Tagged ‘Blackie’

Dear Readers,

Like a lot of life, I meant to get this finished and posted over a month ago.  But I have been back East twice during that time, with the second visit a final goodbye to my father…

I thought that talking about everyday kitty undertakings would be too mundane, too ordinary—my mood being as somber as it has been of late.  But then I thought, well, what better way to acknowledge the gift of the everyday than with a post about the everyday.  So here is that post, kept mostly intact with its original title:

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It’s mid summer, and the kitties and their humans have gotten into a routine.  Life is “normal”; well, as normal as you can get when you have two humans living with five felines.  Vacuuming should be constant, but I’m not a fan of the chore…  (And for those of you who wonder why the husband does not pitch in:  Roger’s domain is primarily house repair and outside maintenance—both ongoing, year-round activities!)  And then there is the continual changing of cat alliances and the breaking up of kitty skirmishes.   And the constant cleaning of daily hair ball pukage (yuchhh, gross).

Then there are, of course, the sweet routines:

Ø  Puffy supervising the making of the bed in the mornings.  Well, mostly he waits in a corner of the bedroom—patiently I might add—until I am roused enough to realize his presence.  Then he plops in the middle of the bed-making action and raises his rump sufficiently high to ensure rigorous rubbing.

Ø  Cuddling with the Tiggster at night on my office floor before bedtime.

Ø  Head nuggying (is that a word?) with Junior, chirping his way of happiness.

Ø  Even Blackie ensuring—through plaintive mews—that I don’t forget him during mealtimes.

And then there is Chewie with his food fetishes.  Zucchinis have been handled and are no longer left unguarded on the kitchen counter.  And this summer I’ve discovered that he loves… salad!   No iceberg  lettuce for him. Green leaf lettuce is a favorite, although he also has a liking for arugula, red leaf lettuce and mesclun.  I may not have seen the goofy critter for hours, holed up in some closet somewhere… but as soon as I start preparations for the evening’s salad, invariably up on the counter he emerges from nonphysical to inspect the progress—and to steal a leaf for munching when I’m not looking.  What an odd appetite indeed…

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This time of year, with the summer waning and hints of fall in the cool night air, has always been a special time for me.  It is particularly poignant as it will be the first time without my father’s physical presence.  Being a product of his generation and a survivor of The Holocaust, my Dad never truly understood my choices of creative output.  Yet, he loved animals—especially cats.  And he always asked about my brood.

So these moments of mirth—when the unexpected collides with the everyday during a time when I feel very sad, indeed—have been a wonderful reminder and acknowledgement of the gift that is the present moment.  A gift that is  fleeting, momentary—and never guaranteed.

I’ll end with a video snippet of my father from 2009 (I was testing my former BlackBerry’s video capabilities) talking about my parents’ cat, Lilly.  He just loved and spoiled that cat!  She died two summers ago… I’d like to think that my father and Lilly have now reunited on the Rainbow Bridge to cross together into eternity…

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=706895239323913&set=vb.100000103308560&type=2&theater

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Now that we’ve allowed all five kitties full access through the house –except during the occasional cat skirmish—there always seems to be a cat (or three!) in bed during any one night.  On the surface, this is quite cute…it is a king sized bed.  But in reality this has impacted my ability to get a full night’s sleep….seven straight hours..oh, the hope and the glory.  Junior (the mostly grey short haired tabby), has a thing for my pillow.  Yep, my pillow—not Roger’s, mine.  Fine, he sleeps on it during the day.  But at night, it’s mine.  Well, maybe.  I gently toss the furbeast off my pillow, only for him to return stealthily during the night.  I awaken to a furried  paw on m’noggin. Junior’s quite persistent… And last night, he cuddled next to my head while I was half asleep and he began to lick Roger and his pillow.  Vigorously!  Odd and strange…

And Puffy and Chewie, the two half brother litter mates, have taken to sandwiching me in.  Chewie prefers my right side and Puffy, my left.  That’s fine until I need to move or stretch.  Then I’m the baddie for (again) gently repositioning the furried ones.

Junior & Chewie a'nappin

Junior & Chewie a’nappin

To balance all this whining  (yes, I’ll admit to it!), there have been some nice benefits to full house access. Blackie—  Roger’s partially feral project—is now exploring the nooks and crannies of the front sunroom.  And Tigger has expanded his in-home territory.  He spends time now in both the sunroom and the den.  In fact, Tigger has become quite the couch cuddler and futon napper— remnants of his kittenhood when he was the sole furbeast…

Balancing the good with the annoying…well, that’s life.  And perhaps I can look at the annoying as yet another opportunity for learning greater acceptance …

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To bid the year adieu, here are our cats past and present with which we shared this wondrous and sometimes vexing life experience.  These specific images I included in an annual personalized kitty calendar for Roger.

Enjoy!

Orange Kitty & Sylvester.

Orange Kitty & Sylvester

Chewbacca, aka Chewie

Chewbacca, aka Chewie

Tigger, Chewie, Puffy & Junior

Tigger, Chewie, Puffy & Junior

Puffy

Puffy

Junior

Junior

Sluggo, aka "Mama Girl"

Sluggo, aka “Mama Girl”

Blackie

Blackie

Junior and His Daddy

Junior and His Daddy

Chewie and his froggies

Chewie and his froggies

Puffy & Tigger

Puffy & Tigger

Chewie & Tiggy

Chewie & Tiggy

Junior & Chewie

Junior & Chewie

Tigger!

Tigger!

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He’s  a big boy weighing in at about 12 pounds at his last vet visit in March.  He’s a long haired blondie with hints of red.    He’s Puffy, aka The Puff, Big Puff Daddy, Puffenstein,  and sometimes even The Puffernator.

Puffy is the epitome of persistence and a lesson in the benefits of consistency.  He is a simple cat with a hint of the divine—the kitty reminder of stopping and smelling the roses…Puffy’s  needs are uncomplicated, and he revels in life’s sensual pleasures.  Nearly every morning, Puffy is waiting by the back gate, demanding to be let in for his morning dose of mother love.  With his rump raised high in anticipation, the scratching session begins!  Ooooo….ahhhhh….underneath the chin, now.  Oooooh, the belly.  Prrrr.  PRRRR.

In terms of habits, Puffy has his usual sleeping spots: atop of the closet in my office or in a “slot”-like area of Roger’s wardrobe.  Puffy must think of himself as a circus kitty, a feline contortionist when he wraps his big, bulky body around the pole of a kitty tree, hind legs and front paws akimbo. 

And he certainly enjoys just hanging loose.  With his  limbs a-danglin, you can find him precariously perched on all sorts of surfaces:  most currently, atop of the fish tank; and on various high ledges, carpeted cat stairs, or inside the bottom of one of my congas.  That’s right.  I have a set of congas on a stand, and The Puffernator likes to crawl up through the bottom of one of them and just hang, with a hint of his tail peaking through the bottom.  We believe he just exhales to expand and uses his girth to keep him in place.

He’s won a special place in my heart because he has put the prime bully, Blackie, in his place in the household kitty hierarchy.  The Puff is like a protection detail for Tigger.  Sometimes he overwhelms the woosy poosy with his enthusiasm, but Tigger has certainly expanded his in-home roaming range now that Puffy is on the prowl…

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I sat in it.  I did not check, and I sat—yet, again—on a urine-soaked rubberized sheet that now covers our urine stained couch.  And because of my bad attitude toward my now urine soaked pants, Roger and I got into a bit of a fight.  Yes, it was dumb of me; I should have known better—I am the being with the larger brain, yes?

Granted, it is an old ugly couch, but now it’s an ugly old couch that smells—even with the now daily cleaning of that rubberized sheet.  The two culprits who make these contributions are either Junior or Blackie, the two most recent additions to our household.  I personally think that Blackie is a poor influence on Junior. But maybe I’m biased because at least I can cuddle with Junior…

I fully believe that once you take in an animal to be a part of your household, you are making a lifelong commitment to that sentient, feeling being—even if you don’t really like the creature.  Ok, I admit it.  I don’t care all that much for Blackie, but I do feel for him. He was the last cat brought into our home—after the death of his sister, Minnie Me, and the disappearance of his brother, Tawny. Roger felt he had not done enough for this litter and made it his mission—in the spring of 2010—to entice this partially socialized creature into the house and make Blackie an indoor cat.

Well, Roger was successful in luring this big, bulky black cat into the house, and Blackie is now an indoor cat—who at times still yearns for the freedom of the great outdoors…of our back yard.  So I think he urinates outside the litter box and terrorizes my poor but not-so-little Tigger to show his displeasure. 

With five cats, I realize my home will never be truly clean and fresh smelling.  But this constant urination and cleaning really wears on me. Can’t I go one day without cleaning urine?!!  Is Blackie my personal test for equanimity and accepting the things I cannot change?  Will I just have to live with a cat who does not care for me except during meal times?  Roger insists I am not doing enough to make Blackie comfortable with me.  But except for rare occasions when Blackie allows me to play with him, he runs away.

I am even sometimes tempted to accidently leave the front door ajar… But Blackie is a prime example of kitty Stockholm syndrome: he has, indeed, escaped twice in the year in a half he’s been in the house (both times Roger’s fault!), and both times he’s returned after several hours.  During his last attempt, he spent the entire night getting his butt kicked (mostly howling and hissing) by Orange Kitty… The next morning, he was waiting by the door to be let in.

Blackie Peering Curiously

I’m just frustrated. 

At this moment, the big black oaf is relaxing comfortably, catching a few rays in the sunroom… Of course I will do all that I can to ensure Blackie is safely ensconced in the home.  And continue my quest for balance and equanimity…

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