Sunday, January 15, 2012

It's a Cat's Life

With the passing of Lady, our three cats have done their best to ease the pain with humor!

The first picture is Kitty Kitty who I rescued when we lived in Kalkaska. This is the look she gave me when I asked how she like her new companions. The second photo is Slick, a male who was here when we bought this place but originally lived across the road. The third photo is Milo. She was originally the previous owner's cat.

Many years ago Milo and Slick switched homes. Milo moved to a barn where other cats lived & four of them were fed at the owner's back door. The remaining cats were ferel & most lived short lives.

Slick came here and ran off any competition, He earned his name for his ability to get out of tight spots while constantly teasing three dogs.

A few months ago Milo began visiting every day & eventually decided to stay. I estimate she's about 8-10 years old and I suspect she'd had her fill of the competition, cold weather and antics of younger cats.

When she first spotted Lady, she ran for cover & wouldn't come inside because she knew Lady was laid just inside the door. Eventually she realized Lady could no longer walk and even curled up next to Lady during the last month of her life.

I was determined to bring Milo & Slick inside and domesticate them. The onset of winter and their advancing years has convinced them it's a great idea. Yesterday, both cats refused to go outside. Each has claimed their favorite resting place, depending on the time of day.

Meanwhile, Kitty Kitty is waging war. Vicious at first, subtle now. When one cat moves, the others follow. It's like musical chairs with the litter box, food dishes, sleeping spots and cuddle time with me and Sweetie.

About 6 a.m. I woke up to loud meowing. It was Milo pacing the kitchen floor. I thought she wanted to go outside & promptly opened the door. She practically cemented herself the the floor and stared in fright at the prospect of stepping on snow & being cold. Of course, I shut the door & told her to make up her mind. She began the same loud meow; I opened the door again, picked her up & placed her on the deck. Looking through the door window I saw her stand motionless for about a minute, then do a 180 degree jumping turn and beat the heck out of the door with her front paws. Nasty me opened the door and she skidded across the kitchen floor, landing beneath the Hoosier cabinet.

I got back in bed & she began meowing again.

Up I get again, cursing beneath my breath. I know cats understand English because I asked very directly, "What in God's name do you want?"

She glared at me, turned around and walked to her litter box. I followed like the obedient owner I am & found her kicking it with her right front paw.

I bought a huge, deep litter box that holds one 40# bag of litter and all the cats use it while ignoring the old, smaller box. Her message was: Clean the box!!!

I sift the litter 2-3 times a day but apparently need to do it just before bedtime. After doing her business, Milo jumped on the bed, crawled along my side and licked my face!

Three hours later, I woke up and found Kitty Kitty laying across the entry to our bedroom. Milo was curled up across the entry to our bathroom at the opposite side of the room. Slick was stretched out at the foot of our bed.

Soon, all three cats sprung from their spots and tumbled through the air with fur flying. A chorus of meowing and screeching joined Sweetie's snoring as he slept through it all.

When the fur settled each cat had moved counter clockwise to the same locations and peace reigned for another hour. Once Sweetie woke up, they dash ahead of him to the bathroom where he asked them to move so he could enter. They parked themselves almost single file outside the bathroom then sprang for the living room when he stepped from the bathroom. I got his coffee while he sat in his recliner. Each cat picked a seat, one on the other recliner, another on the sofa & one in my wing chair.

We'll have entertainment all winter as three adult cats share our 900 square feet.

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