My Cat Is Famous!

Queen Autumn cat famous

Well, a little.  Allow me to explain.  So you’ve heard of Grumpy Cat, right?  Grumpy Cat was a huge cat celebrity, and many other cats have followed in her paw-steps.  If you spend time on social media, then you probably know about Cole and Marmalade, Street Cat Bob, and Venus the 2-faced cat.  You may also have heard of Curious Zelda. 

If not, here’s a brief explanation: Curious Zelda is a famous tuxedo cat with big eyes and a permanently shocked expression.  Curious Zelda often posts funny, cat-themed poems on her page, and people love them.  (On a side note, Curious Zelda is not only funny, but also adorable and very nice to the fans, so you should go follow her.)  

Now back to the story.  I’ve been a fan of Curious Zelda for quite some time.  I love her poems, and recently I wanted to try my hand at writing my own.  

When I was a kid, I used to write poems all the time.  But that was a long time ago, so I wasn’t sure how this would go.  Would I be able to come up with anything good?  I wasn’t totally confident, but I decided to give it a try anyway.  

The idea was to write a “love poem” like a guy might write to his girlfriend or his wife, but with a twist: it’s actually about my lovely kitty, Queen Autumn the 1st.  

cat love

So here’s the poem I came up with: 

“She is cute

She is smart

She eats bugs

She has my heart.”  

With the line ‘she eats bugs’, I was trying to add a little humor to the post.  But I’m not naturally funny, so I don’t think the joke landed.  Because of that, I decided to refine the poem a bit before I published it on Facebook.  I wrote:  

“She is cute

She is smart

She is funny

She has my heart.”  

This way I kept up the serious-yet-sweet tone of the poem the whole time.  Since this version doesn’t contain any awkward attempts at being funny, I like it better.  

But the Internet disagrees with me.  While my Facebook post only got 1 like from a friend, the tweet did much better.  It was retweeted by Curious Zelda herself, and thanks to that, my humble little poem ended up in front of thousands.  

It exploded.  

Cat lovers everywhere were liking, retweeting, and commenting on my post.  They loved it!  I was sleeping while all of this was happening, but when I woke up, I was shocked by what I saw.  

famous tweet dark

9 comments, 91 retweets, and 1,600 likes!  Even better, analytics told me that people had interacted with my post 5,716 times.  But the best was yet to come.  People saw this tweet a stunning 94, 905 times!  I was thrilled.  

Suddenly, I had to set aside a slab of time to reply to comments, reply to the replies, follow new people, and so on.  It took me a few hours, but I eventually got back to almost everyone.  And by the end of it, 8 new people decided to follow me!  What an honor.  

Now, to some people, 1.6K likes may not seem like that much.  Perhaps you get that many for everything you post.  In that case: congratulations!  You are obviously doing something right; keep up the good work!  But to put things in perspective, my average tweet gets between 0 and 1 likes, which makes this a big deal for me.  

There we have it — my brush with fame.  And yes, I know fame doesn’t last, especially the “fame” of 1 tweet.  It might last for a week, at max.  But for now, I’m just having fun and basking in the sun.  

So what do you think of all this, dear reader?  Which poem do you like better: the Twitter one or the Facebook one?  Would it be a good idea for me to write an occasional poem for this blog?  Let me know in the comments below!  

And until next time: stay fuzzy, my friends!  

 

 

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https://fuzzyfanaticblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/funny-curious-zelda-tweets/

Rushing My Cat to the Vet

autumn-was-sick.png

My cat has never had an emergency before.  Yes, she’s had medical problems in the past, but none of them were emergencies.  All of that changed last Wednesday.  

The trouble started at 5:30 AM.  My cat Autumn entered my bedroom, meowing at the top of her lungs, barely pausing for breath.  She only does that when she really needs something.  So like a good cat slave, I dragged myself out of bed and followed her downstairs.  

But wait — something was seriously wrong.  Her meows sounded like desperate cries.  Her litter box was knocked over; that had never happened before.  As I watched in shock, she peed outside of the litter box, something she hasn’t done since she was fixed.  She was pacing, only pausing to lick her privates or to use the litter box.  But not much was coming out.  

My heart beat faster.  What’s wrong with my baby?!  

As someone who has studied cats for years, I had a vague idea of what might be wrong.  It had been a while since I studied cat medical problems, but the first thing that came to mind was constipation.  If she had that, then it might just pass in time.  So I waited a couple of hours.  

During that time, I was not idle.  I concentrated my energy into 4 tasks.  First, I spent a lot of time trying to comfort Autumn.  The second task was watching her and memorizing her symptoms.  Next, I cleaned up the mess she had made.  Last but not least, I spent quite a bit of time researching.  I dusted off my cat books and plunged into the internet.  I had to know what was wrong with her!  

Finally, Autumn lay down and relaxed — she even went to sleep!  I breathed a sigh of relief.  She must have had a bowel movement, and that meant the worst was over!  

I left her alone and headed to the kitchen for breakfast.  I was starving.  

But the worst was far from over. 

In the middle of my meal, Autumn started crying out again.  I darted downstairs to see how she was doing, and was dismayed to find that she was as distressed as ever.  I realized: “This isn’t going away on its own.”  

I plunged into my research again with renewed vigor.  Gradually, I figured out what was wrong.  It wasn’t a single light bulb moment; it was more like the truth slowly dawned upon me.  And the truth was this: she had all the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. 

Cold fear gripped me.  UTIs are serious.  They can even be fatal.  

I called my mom over to help, and when she arrived, I explained the situation.  I finished by saying: “I think we need to take her to the vet.”  

She agreed, so the next thing to do was look up the hours of our local vet.  

AAAHHH!  The vet’s walk-in hours closed in 30 minutes, and his clinic is 15 to 20 minutes away!  My panic kicked into high gear.  Would we make it in time?!  

The next few minutes were a blur of stuffing Autumn into the cat carrier, rushing out the door, and zooming to the vet.  

As soon as we parked, my mom jumped out and tried to vet’s door.  Yes!  It wasn’t locked, we could still get in!  

While my mom talked to the receptionist, I cradled Autumn on my lap.  “Everything’s going to be okay.”  I kept telling Autumn — and myself.  

After a short wait, we got in to see the vet.  As he examined Autumn, I described her symptoms.  He said: “Oh yeah, that’s definitely a bladder infection.”  The assistant held Autumn still while the vet gave her a shot.  When they were finished, my poor cat scurried back into her carrier, eager to escape this horrible place.  The vet handed us a little bottle of antibiotics to give Autumn twice a day, and we left.  

I was finally able to relax during the car ride home.  The worst was over.  For real this time.  

However, animals don’t know what’s best for them, so getting Autumn to take her medicine was a daily “adventure”.  Now, my cat does not bite, thankfully.  But when you try to do something that she considers bad, she will fight!  She put up such a struggle that it took 3 people to force the antibiotics down her throat.  Here was our procedure: my sister held Autumn’s body; my mom gently but firmly held Autumn’s head; and finally, me.  I forced open her mouth, inserted the syringe, and squirted the medicine in.  

Autumn is a vocal cat.  So when we first started doing this procedure, Autumn would meow in protest.  This made getting the medicine down easy.  But then, she wised up and locked her jaw shut.  I was stumped at first, but then I discovered a natural gap in her teeth, and squirted the antibiotics in through there.  So Autumn had to innovate; she learned how to raise her lower lip and block the spot.  Later, she even used her tongue to block me.  My cat is too smart for her own good!  But with helpers and opposable thumbs, I had the edge.  Like it or not, she ended up taking all of her medicine.  

When the procedure was over, I always gave Autumn treats, to get ride of the medicine’s bad taste.   We rinsed and repeated this for 5 days, until all the antibiotics were gone.  

And it worked!  Autumn is completely healthy again! 

Looking back, I see I have much to be thankful for.  We caught the problem early; we got in to see the vet right away.  Plus, I have a sweet cat who would never bite me, and I have a loving family who helped me every step of the way.  All I can say is…  Praise the Lord!  

 

And so, they lived happily ever after. 

The End.  

~*~

piano autumn

Highway Rescue

Big Sky Buckeye

pexels-photo-2633046-e1572960586596.jpegPhoto by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

Blanche drives home after work one late afternoon.  The freeway is slow with traffic due to a heavy rainstorm.

As she approaches her exit, traffic has spread out a bit.  However, the rain has picked up in intensity.  The car’s wipers are working overtime now so she can see the highway a bit more clearly.

As she glances across the median, she notices a man pulled off on to the right shoulder.  He deposits a small kitten along the road and quickly drives away.

Blanche can’t believe it.  She pulls over to the right shoulder on her side of the freeway, and turns on the car’s emergency flashers.

Upon leaving her car, she pulls her large purse up over her head, checks for traffic, and hurries across the median to the marooned kitten.  The rain is drenching her clothing, and she can barely see…

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7 Things You THINK Your Cat Needs that She Really Does NOT

cat bed ban

If you read my post last week, “15 Tips to Make Your Home Cat-Friendly”, then you know that cats are a lot of work!  They have strong likes and dislikes, and won’t accept any substitutes.  But this week I wanted to show the opposite side of the coin.  Some things that we think cats need they really do not.  I don’t know how these misconceptions were started, but today we’re going to set them straight.  

Let’s begin, shall we?  

1. Cat Bed

Most cats don’t want a cat bed.  Instead, they prefer to share the bed or the sofa with you.  Sometimes Fluffy will sleep on the carpet.  Incredibly, you might even find her snoozing on a wood table.  This makes no sense to us humans — tables are hard!  Then again, such is the enigma of the cat.  

Now, I’m not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t buy a bed; it just might be a waste of money to do so.  

2. Catnip

Everyone knows cats love catnip, but no one knows why.  (Believe me, I’ve researched it).  We have a vague idea that it has something to do with pheromones, but that’s all we know.  And until we know more about this substance we are giving our cats, I would urge restraint.  I don’t have any studies to back this up, but common sense says that you don’t need to soak every toy in catnip, don’t need to pass out catnip to Fluffy every day, etc.  All I’m saying is this: let catnip be an occasional treat, not a daily staple.  

3. Hiding places 

For the post I wrote last week, I did some research, and in my reading, I discovered a disturbing trend.  Many sites recommend that you give your cat a hiding place.  Why would you want your cat to hide?  I thought.  Cats only hide when they are scared. 

Indeed, if your cat spends most of her time under the bed or hidden in the closet, then you have a problem on your hands.  This type of cat certainly doesn’t need more hiding places!  You must challenge this type of cat, or else she will never improve.  Gradually block off her hiding spots.  Next you can build up her confidence by supplying high perches and a vigorous playtime.  Finally, give her a few new places to hide in the form of cat cubes or cat tents; place them in busy rooms, such as the kitchen or the living room. 

The goal is this: your cat will feel the need to hide less.  And when she does hide, it will only be for a short time while she builds up her confidence.  Then, she re-emerges, ready to engage the world once more!  

4. A Friend  

Does Fluffy need a companion?  Another cat to keep her from getting lonely while the humans are off at work or school?  The answer might surprise you: she probably does not.  Although some cats suffer from separation anxiety, most do not, and certainly not to the extent that dogs do.  Granted, some cats are more social than others; but in general, cats are independent creatures.  They don’t mind being alone from 9 to 5.  That’s when they sleep anyway.  If you give Fluffy attention in the morning before you leave for work, and if you provide her with some more attention in the evening before you go to sleep, then she will probably be content.  Working long hours or having to travel often are exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking, cats don’t need a friend.  

In fact, bringing another cat home frequently leads to fights and increased stress for Fluffy.  Yes, 2 cats can learn to get along, but it will take extra work on your part.  Cats are territorial by nature, so sharing isn’t easy for them.  It must be taught.  

Basically, if you want to get another cat, that’s fine.  But be honest with yourself; you probably want another cat more than Fluffy does.  

5. Milk

Most adult cats do like milk, but it doesn’t like them.   The majority of felines lose the ability to digest the sugars in milk as they grow up.  Once kittens are weaned off their mother’s milk, their bodies stop producing the enzyme needed to digest milk.  So milk can actually give cats stomach aches, bloating and diarrhea.  

6. Cat Door

If your kitty is an indoor-outdoor cat, then a cat door is the perfect solution!  Right?  Well, not quite.  Cat doors cause felines a lot of anxiety.  As previously mentioned, cats are territorial creatures.  Furthermore, anything can come through a cat door — another cat could slip inside, as could a possum or a little dog, and a big dog could jam his head through.  In short, cats hate cat doors because any invader could come barging in at any time.  And I’m sure humans aren’t excited by the idea of entering the kitchen for a midnight snack… and spotting a possum on the linoleum!  

Perhaps a cat door is a necessary evil for households with indoor-outdoor cats.  Or perhaps not.  If a member of your family is home often, then consider having him (or her) just open the door for the cat.  In an ideal world, that’s exactly what you would do.  

7. Outdoor Access  

Now, this is a controversial topic among cat lovers, so I’ll try to handle this delicately.  Many people believe that cats need to be allowed outside.  Allowing them the freedom to explore makes cats happy, they say.  Respectfully, I disagree.  The outdoors is fraught with dangers — cars, dogs, coyotes, other cats, diseases, parasites, and more.  I prefer to keep my cat indoors, where she won’t get hurt.  

This is almost like the classic ‘freedom vs safety’ debate that many adult children must hash out with their aging parents.  

“Dad, I don’t think you should drive anymore.  It’s not safe.”  

“How dare you!  I’m not giving up my freedom!”  

Fortunately, with cats, there is a way to satisfy both requirements.  You can keep Fluffy both happy and safe.  Not letting her roam free will keep her safe.  As for keeping her happy, you can do 1 of 3 things (or all 3, if possible):

1. You can take your cat on walks.  Yes, this is actually possible.  No, it’s not easy to leash train your cat, but the results will be incredibly rewarding for the both of you. 

2. You can build a cat-safe enclosure in your backyard. 

3. You can enrich her indoor environment.  For example, you could build her a cat super highway.  You could play with her every day, or let her try out new toys and food.  Try rearranging the furniture and letting her explore her “new” environment.  

So why not give it a try?  My indoor-only cat, Queen Autumn the 1st, couldn’t be happier.  

That said, I have many friends and relatives who let their cats outside.  And while I don’t agree with their decision, I respect it.  After all, in the end, every one of us is doing the exact same thing: trying our best to make our cats happy.  

So until next time: stay fuzzy, my friends! 

~*~

You might also like to read the twin sister to this post — “15 Tips to Make Your Home Cat-Friendly”.  Enjoy!  

https://fuzzyfanaticblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/24/make-home-cat-friendly/

15 Tips to Make Your Home Cat-Friendly

cat sleeping

You already know that cats need a scratching post, a litter box, plus food and water.  But these other 15 things might surprise you.  Personally, I had never heard of them before I brought home my cat, Queen Autumn the 1st.  Between owning a cat and researching cats, I’ve learned quite a bit, and I’d like to share some of it with you.  

Now, you may be wondering if these are really necessary.  After all, 15 things is a lot, and Fluffy already has the aforementioned scratching post, litter box, etc…  Isn’t that enough?  

Well, yes and no.  Those things are enough to live on, certainly.  But your cat won’t be happy with just those bare essentials.  Let’s put this in human terms.  You could just live in a cabin in the woods, eating wild game and drinking from a brook; but hardly anyone wants to live that way, and cats are the same.  In addition, if you provide these extra things, you’ll be stopping many feline behavior problems before they even start.  

So, without further ado: here are 15 steps you can take to turn your house into Cat Heaven!  

1. A Panther in the Trees

Do you know why cats climb trees?  It’s because felines love to get up into high places.  From their high perch, they can survey their domain.  Inside the house, there obviously aren’t any trees, but your cat will still feel the urge to get up high.  The more you can cater to this instinct, the happier Fluffy will be.  So here’s the practical application: try to string together as many high places as you can; cat expert Jackson Galaxy calls this the “cat super highway”.  Maybe you can create a “staircase” up to the top of your kitchen cabinets using shelves.  Maybe you can form a walkway by stringing together the cat tree, the mantle, the back of the couch, and the window sill.  Try to get creative.  Your cat will thank you.  

2. Lock Up the Monster.

Cats hate vacuum cleaners.  Cats think of them as some sort of roaring monster, into whose jaws things disappear, never to be seen again.  Of course, vacuuming is unavoidable, but do Fluffy a favor: when you’re done vacuuming, put the monster in a closet and shut the door.

3. Open the Gates!

With the single exception of the vacuum cleaner’s closet, try to leave doors open as much as possible.  Cats are curious creatures, so they don’t like closed doors.  That’s why many insist on coming into the bathroom with you.  (Fortunately, my Autumn doesn’t.)  It’s up to you whether or not you let your kitty into the john, but you really should let her explore every room in the house.  If you don’t let her into a certain room, chances are that Fluffy will meow outside the door for hours.  So why not leave it open?  Remember, it’s not just your home anymore; now it’s her home too.  

4. What’s that Stench?  

Ideally, you would avoid using scented candles, perfumes, or chemicals with a powerful smell.  Cats dislike strong smells (unless, of course, it’s tuna), and often won’t enter a room that stinks.  After all, their nose is 14 times stronger than ours.  So what might seem like a pleasant aroma to you is probably an overwhelming odor to Fluffy.  If the idea of avoiding perfumes is appalling to you, then at least avoid citrus smells.  Cats hate those most of all!  

cats and fan

5. “Sun is Out, Wind in My Face…  Absolutely Awful.”  

– Grumpy Cat Meme

Speaking of things cats hate, felines dislike wind.  It’s true.  If I turn on the fan, Autumn will get up and leave the room.  While I don’t have any studies to back up this claim, the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming.  

6. Paper or Plastic?  Both, Actually.  

For some unknown reason, cats love things that crinkle.  Felines delight in sitting on objects like paper or plastic that make a crinkling, crunching sound.  The upshot is this: making your cat’s day is easy.  Just drop a grocery bag or a piece of paper on the floor.

7. “Snakes.  Why Does It Always Have to Be Snakes?”

Remove anything that resembles a snake from the floor.  This includes string, yarn, rubber bands, and sometimes electric cords.  If you don’t pick it up, Fluffy will probably try to play with and then eat the “snake”, sending both of you racing to the vet.  And no one wants that.  

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8. Don’t Put that in Your Mouth!  

It is vital that you know which houseplants are toxic to cats.  Here is a complete list of plants that are poisonous to cats, via the ASPCA.  

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

Now suppose you find that you already own a plant that is dangerous for cats.  As a  plant lover myself, I’m not going to say ‘throw it out’.  Just remove it to a very high self where your cat cannot access it (keep in mind that cats in their prime can jump 6 to 8 feet).  At the same time, you can satisfy Fluffy’s need for greens by growing her some cat grass.  

9. Strength in Numbers

Do you have multiple cats?  Then multiple litter boxes is a must; 2 cats need 3 boxes.  Even if you only have 1 cat, then you still need 2 boxes.  My kitty, Queen Autumn the 1st, insists on having 2 boxes.  If you only provide 1 box, then there is a good chance that Fluffy will be using the floor or the tub at some point.  

10. “Don’t Cross the Streams!”  

Since we are on the topic of litter boxes, here’s another tip: don’t put the litter box and the food bowl anywhere near each other.  In the wild, a cat would never eat and dump in the same place.  Cats are tidy creatures, and would never even think of such abominations!  For that matter, don’t put the food bowl and the water dish in the same room.  The wild cat would eat its prey, then walk some distance to the nearest body of water for a drink.  ‘Nuff said.  

11. A Feast for the Beast

For food and water bowls, it would be best if you used wide, flat dishes.  Cat whiskers are highly sensitive, so most cats don’t enjoy when a deep bowl pushes against their whiskers.  It’s uncomfortable for them.  Also, the bowls should be made of a heavy material (like ceramic) that won’t slide around.  Seeing your cat chasing her bowl around the kitchen may seem funny or cute to you, but your cat will hate it.  

cat-colors-daylight-674580

12. “Let There Be Light.”  

If you’re anything like me, sometimes I’m home on a nice, lazy weekend, and I don’t feel like doing much of anything, not even opening the curtains.  But that would be a mistake.  When they aren’t sleeping, cats spend most of their time staring out the window.  Felines are a curious species, remember?  Thus, Fluffy delights in watching all of the activity outdoors — passing cars, people, animals, etc…  Furthermore, cats enjoy basking in sunbeams for hours.  So let there be light!  

13. “Set Phasers to Stun!”  

I said that cats enjoy seeing other animals outside their window.  And they do like watching birds, squirrels, and other animals such as that; but if Fluffy spots a dog, or a raccoon, she will hate it!  Cats are territorial, so another animal trespassing in her backyard is traumatizing.  And the worst-case scenario is coming nose to nose with another cat on the other side of the glass!  Territorial fears like this lead to all kinds of bad behavior, such as aggression and peeing outside the litter box.  Fortunately, the solution is simple: place air blasters around the outside of your home.  You can buy these motion-activated defenses from all kinds of places, including Amazon, Chewy.com, and Jacksongalaxy.com.  (#NotSponsored But Would Totally Like to Be!)

14. Cheese Shredder 

Because cats are such territorial creatures, they like to mark their ownership by clawing things.  Therefore, even with only 1 cat, you will still need multiple scratching posts.  If you want to save your couch from looking like it was attacked by a cheese shredder, then place the scratching posts where Fluffy wants them, not where you want them.  Sorry, interior decorators, but you’ll thank me later!  

And now, here’s the final tip…

15. Put on your Lab Coat, We’re Going Out

Perhaps the most critical thing you can do for your cat is experiment.  Present her with different foods and see what she likes; buy various toys and play with her in different ways; that sort of thing.  Eventually you will discover what Fluffy likes.  And if you keep experimenting, that will make her life much more fascinating.  For the indoor-only cat, this is essential.  

~*~

As you can see, cats are a lot of work! 

That said, in some ways, cats need less than you might imagine.  This will be the topic of next week’s post — things you think your cat needs that she really doesn’t.  For instance, did you know that most cats don’t need cat beds?  

Anyway, that’s all for this week.  I hope to see you back here again next time, but until then: stay fuzzy, my friends!  

From Rags to Riches: How My Cat Went from a Beggar to a Benevolent Dictator

Queen Autumn I

All hail the queen!  If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, then you know that I am owned by a cat, named Queen Autumn the First.  Today, I thought I would share her story.  

The first time we met was years ago on my Grandma’s farm.  It was love at first sight.  I was outside feeding Grandma’s cats, when a cat I’d never seen before walked out of the woods, meowing.  I told my sister to stay back, because I didn’t want her scaring the kitty away.  Shuffling forward, I murmured reassuring words to the newcomer.  But it turns out I didn’t need to. 

The cat marched right up to me, not scared at all, meowing the whole time.  Abruptly, she reached up and scratched my leg like a scratching post.  I was surprised, but since I was wearing thick jeans, I let her.  (Later I learned that cats scratch to mark their territory.  So from our first meeting, she had already claimed me as her own.  Adorable!)  Anyway, I petted her for a while, then I placed some dry cat kibble on the ground for her to eat.  After she finished, I hurried inside to tell the rest of the family all about it.  

Over the coming days, I looked out for her.  The other cats disliked this newcomer.  Since the other cats didn’t want to share their food bowls, I always carried kibble over to where Autumn sat, apart from the group.  I always took time to pet her.  One time I even had to break up a fight!  

My sister also loved the new cat, and she was the one who picked out the name Autumn, dubbing the kitty after the season in which we met her.  It was perfect.  

Later, with my parent’s permission, I took Autumn home.  I set the cat carrier in front of her, and she just walked right in!  (Although that was the last time she ever did so…)  

On the car ride home, Autumn meowed desperately for hours.  Nothing we said or did comforted her.  Near the end of our trip, we let her out of the carrier.  Weakened by exhaustion and fear, she curled up in my sister’s lap and slept.  I was kinda jealous, but mainly I was relieved to see her finally relax.  

Shortly after we got Autumn home, we drove her to the vet.  She was ill with an ear infection, and she carried a respiratory infection.  Poor kitty!  It turns out that she was also FIV positive.  Feline Immunodeficiency Virus actually isn’t as scary as it sounds.  It just means that her immune system is weak, so she needs us to slip some medicine into her food every night.  

We fed her the medicine religiously, but we made a lot of mistakes in other areas.  We had only ever owned canines before, so we treated Autumn like a small dog.  We expected her to walk on a leash — nope.  We expected her to sleep at night — nope.  It was a rough start, but we eventually figured out what she needed.  

Speaking of dogs, my beloved dog Dyna was reaching the end of her life about the time we brought Autumn home.  So even though it had been love at first sight with Autumn, we drifted apart.  There were 2 reasons for this.  First, I had to spend most of my free time caring for my dear Dyna as her health failed.  And secondly, my sister sorta hogged Autumn, because she was so smitten by the fluffy feline.  They were together every day.  

However, over time, I started to like Autumn again.  In response to this, my sister and I developed a fake jealousy game.  We would pretend to turn green with envy whenever Autumn would favor the other with her presence.  “Why is she on YOUR bed?!”  It was great fun. 

But nothing lasts forever.  As my sister grew older, her love of cats faded.  Ironically, as their relationship grew colder, I was falling more and more in love with Autumn.  She was such a sweet, fuzzy kitty!  Gradually, I took over Autumn’s care; I started to spend long periods of time with her.  Then one day I realized: “Autumn is my cat now.”  What a happy day!  

cat love

In addition, I started researching cats for a book I was writing, and my research helped me understand Autumn better.  For example, when I tried to pet her and she walked away, that wasn’t her being cold.  She just wasn’t in the mood right then.  Autumn has never been a lap cat, but she is very affectionate in the mornings and evenings.  If I pet her during those times, she will purr like an outboard motor.  But if I try to pet her during the afternoon or night, she won’t like it; afternoons are for sleeping, and nights are for playing and prowling.  Once I understood this and respected her routines, we got along perfectly.  

Autumn’s quirks used to bother me.  Like how she would love a certain toy one day and utterly shun it the next; or how in her mind turkey, chicken, and beef are all manna from Heaven, but salmon is the poison that killed Socrates.  These things used to annoy me, but now I just look at them as part of her charm.  She certainly keeps things interesting!  

These days, I am quite the crazy cat lady.  My life has been adjusted to fit Autumn’s.  This might sound weird to some, but Autumn has made my life so much better in so many ways.  She inspires me with ideas for this blog; her purring relaxes me; she makes me laugh with her playful antics.  If all she asks in return is a stable routine, I’ll gladly do it!  

And there you have it: how Autumn went from a beggar to a benevolent dictator.  

Thanks for reading this long post, dear reader, and I hope to see you here again next week.  So until then, stay fuzzy, my friends.  And ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!  

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Precious Pets.

HorseAddict

This week the Lens-artists challenge is from Tina at Travels and Trifles. The challenge: Precious Pets.

CATS

We do not have a cat but we have had our daughter’s cat as a guest. Here is a photo of our daughter and her cat Sir Winston. dressed for a special occasion. He was a rescue who started life abandoned in a warehouse. But he would not hesitate to tell you he is descended from the regal cats of Ancient Egypt. Cats were worshipped as Gods then. Sir Winston thinks they still should be.

Sir Winston and his human .

DOGS

We do not have a dog at the moment but on September 14 we will be welcoming a new puppy into our home. She will be our fourth mini-Schnauzer. We had to say goodbye to our much loved Tia last spring when she became ill and surgery was difficult and…

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10 Memes Only Cat Lovers Will Understand

These truths we hold to be self-evident: 1. the Internet is full of cat memes.  2. Cat memes are funny.  3. Almost everyone loves cat memes.  But there are some kitty memes which only true cat people will understand.  Are you one of the privileged few?  Let’s find out!  

1. 

cat-box-meme-1.jpg

For those of you who don’t know, cats are obsessed with boxes.  It doesn’t matter what size — contact lens box, shoe box, or 6-foot moving box — if it’s a box, cats will sit in it.  You can look up images of “if I fits, I sits” to see what I mean.  

2. 

cat sitting on laptop meme

You probably know already that cats enjoy lying in sunbeams, but did you know that cats love laptops as well?  It’s true.  My cat, Queen Autumn the 1st, used to sleep on my laptop all the time.  But after I bought a sloped cooling pad, she finally stopped, because it’s too steep to lie on anymore.  Fellow cat lovers, rejoice!  There is actually a cure to this ancient enigma!  

3. 

01_FUNNY-CAT-MEME

This is called “the zoomies”, and it happens if your cat doesn’t get enough playtime.  Your little Fluffy is actually a hunter at heart, and her predatory instincts will spike at various times of the day.  If no one is available to play with, she will dash madly from room to room.  It’s pretty hilarious, if you ask me.  

4. 

cat in tree

Queen Autumn the 1st used to scale the Christmas tree every year.  She seemed to have only one goal in mind: hunt down and murder all the bird ornaments.  And unfortunately for me, she succeeded.  She chipped one and ripped the feathers off another!  
I eventually wised up and removed them, but that still wasn’t enough.  So I ran a model train around the base of the tree to scare her away.  That’s worked — so far, at least…

5. 

cat killed plant

No explanation is needed here. 

But perhaps you might like to know where I found this?  I discovered this photo in a hilarious post by Andrew Ziegler of Buzzfeed.  It’s a bit like this article; both of us are laughing at the weird, funny little habits cats have.  Here’s the link if you want to check it out:  

https://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewziegler/things-nobody-tells-you-about-owning-a-cat

6. 

cat hair meme

Why are cats attracted to fresh laundry?  Well, remember how cats love sunbeams and laptops?  In truth, they like almost anything that is warm.  And whereas humans enjoy the smell of fresh laundry, cats prefer everything to smell like them.  Smell is how Fluffy marks her territory, and it’s a comforting scent to her.  So here’s the practical application of all this: keep laundry off the bed!  

7. 

business cat

Again, cats are hunters at heart.  

But can you imagine what it would be like if cats were businessmen?  They would constantly be sleeping on the job, sitting on report papers, and chasing laser pointers.  It would be mayhem!  Our economy would collapse!  It would be hilarious!  

8. 

I don't always cat meme

What does it mean when your cat brings you dead prey?  This is a debate in the cat-loving community.  Some believe it is an insult, and that the cat is essentially thinking: “Since you’re so helpless, I guess I’ll have to feed you.”  

But there’s another theory.  It could be that Fluffy is giving you her prey as a gift, out of her love for you.  Personally, I think this theory holds a lot of weight because cats love food.  Giving it up is a big sacrifice for them.  So bon appetit!  

9. 

cat lick meme

Cats will spend hours licking themselves clean.  That means they lick everything, and I mean everything.  I always feel so embarrassed when Autumn decides to stick up her leg and clean that spot in front of guests…

10. 

cat knocking things over funny

And there we have it: 10 memes that only true cat people will get.  How many of these did you understand?  Have you seen any of these behaviors in your own cat?  Which one was the funniest?  Leave a comment and let me know!  

Hopefully this post made you laugh, because I sure laughed while writing it!  

Next week’s post will be less funny and more enriching.  It will be a guest post by writer and horse expert Katherine Blocksdorf.  Katherine has kindly agreed to share with us some of her expertise on equine dietary issues.  If you have horses in your life (or if you know someone who does), then you won’t want to miss this!  

Stay fuzzy, my friends!  

Cutest Animal Odd Couples from the Dodo

Friendship can come in all shapes and sizes.  Your best friend might just be someone who is your polar opposite (I know mine is).  These animals prove that anyone can be a good friend, even someone you would never expect.  For example… 

A Dog and a Cat. 

tuco and figgy

Dogs and cats hate each other, right?  Well, not these 2!  Tuco is the dog, and Figgy is the cat.  A human found Figgy on the streets when she was only 5 weeks old.  The human brought Figgy home and cared for her. 

But there was just one problem: the human already had a dog!  So the owner took steps to carefully introduced them to each other.  She put them both in crates and made them stare at each other for a long time.  Then over the course of 2 weeks, the owner moved the carriers gradually closer and closer; until finally they started to like each other.  It was the start of a solid friendship. 

Yes, these animals are good friends, despite being nothing alike!  As a typical dog, Tuco is a big softie, needy yet loving.  Figgy is more of a gangster-type; after all, he did come from the streets!  

A Dog and a Raccoon.

june raccoon and waffles dog
https://www.instagram.com/juneandwaffles/

The raccoon in the photo is named June, and the dog is Waffles.  Their story begins in a backyard in Arkansas.  A mother raccoon chose an oak tree in that backyard as the perfect spot for a maternal nest.  Then somehow, one of the babies (June) ended up on the ground.  

The humans who owned the backyard left her alone at first, hoping that June’s mother would come to save her.  But for some reason, she didn’t.  A cold night was coming on, so at 2 days old, June was adopted and raised by humans. 

Later on, once June was grown up, the humans figured that she needed a friend.  They adopted Waffles.  The 2 animals met in the backyard; they sniffed each other, and it was love at first sight.  Ever since, Waffles has acted as June’s bodyguard.  Waffles follows June wherever she goes.  Naturally, June the raccoon gets into all sorts of trouble.  But when she does decide to finally settle down, responsible Waffles is right there to snuggle up with her.  But you already know this.  One look at that photo and it’s obvious they are quite the cute odd couple.  

A Cat and a Horse.  

champy and morris
https://www.instagram.com/champy_and_morris/

Say hello to Champy the horse and Morris the cat!  Morris was born in a shelter.  The poor thing had to live in a cage for months. 

Fortunately, a human adopted Morris.  She brought him home and let him outside for the first time.  As Morris explored the porch, Champy kept on hanging around; he insisted on befriending the prickly cat.  Then, a few days later, Morris leapt up and landed on Champy’s back!  This gets more incredible when another factor is added: Morris was the first to ever ride Champy. 

From there on out, a beautiful friendship bloomed.  The 2 groom each other, and Champy is very gentle with Morris.  Champy is very smitten with Morris.  In fact, Champy will often forgo the company of other horses just to be with Morris.  

A Human and a Chipmunk.  

van gogh the chipmunk

The chipmunk’s name is Van Gogh, or VG, for short.  Ally named him that because of the chunk missing from his ear.  Ally Calmusky is the human in this picture.  Ally’s mom owned a backyard that acts sort of like a wildlife refuge.  Ally often went there to feed lots of different animals, but VG stood out because of how friendly he was.  He would come up close to Ally to eat the peanuts she provided.  Eventually, he started climbing up onto her hand. 

Although technically still a wild chipmunk, VG was very tame.  When Ally called his name, he always ran over.  He was completely comfortable climbing up her, or letting her pet him.  VG was even jealous of his precious human.  If other chipmunks dared to approach Ally, VG chased them off!  

But one day, tragedy struck.  VG went missing!  No matter how many times Ally called him, he never appeared.  A month passed, and still no sign of him. 

Then he came back!  Ally says that it was one of the happiest days of her life.  Ally may never know why VG left, but now he’s back to stay.  If you want to see more of this adorable duo, check out their Instagram.  

https://www.instagram.com/vangoghthechippy/

So which odd couple is your favorite?  Which one is the cutest?  Leave a comment and let me know!  My personal favorite is Ally and VG.  Chipmunks are one of my favorite animals, but unlike cats and dogs, they are very skittish and almost impossible to tame.  

Anyway, this post took me a long time to write, so I hope you enjoyed it!  And as always: stay fuzzy, my friends!  

 

Sources

How to Stop Your Cat from Waking You Up

cat-2560168_1920

Cats sleep more than sloths.  So why do they tear around the house at 3 A.M. meowing their heads off?!  First you hear the thumps of running paws, then the bangs as your chubby kitty jumps off of every available horizontal surface, accompanied by ear-piercing meows, and finally (horror of horrors) the crash of something valuable hitting the floor.

Cats seem like such sleepy animals, so why do they act this way?  And is there anything you, as their harried owner, can do to get a good night’s sleep?  

Yes, there is.  But first, the answer as to why cats behave like this.  

No matter how cute and sleepy Fluffy may appear in the daytime, at night she will turn into a speed demon!  That is to say, even the most calm, domesticated cat still has the instincts of her wild ancestors coursing through her veins.  Cats were made to be nocturnal hunters.  As cat expert Jackson Galaxy explains, every day they have to “hunt, catch, and kill” prey.  

However, indoor cats have no prey to hunt, so their predatory instincts may appear in other, unpleasant behaviors, such as attacking other cats or even humans.  In reality, meowing, running, and waking you up is the most benign way Fluffy can react to her instincts.  

But don’t worry, you do not have to live with this.  When you come home from work or school, here’s what you should do: 

1. Start with Stroking.  When you get home, give Fluffy attention by petting and talking to her.  Chances are, she’s been left home alone all day, and she’s feeling a little lonely.  So give her some love.  This is necessary because one of the reasons that cats wake their owners up at night is to get attention.  Naturally, attention during the daytime lessens that need.  

2. Next, Exercising.  This second step is critical.  If you complete all of the other steps but ignore this one, it won’t work.  Playing with your kitty is the perfect way to soothe her hunting instincts.  Furthermore, it’s a great way to bond with your cat, and (quite frankly) it’s fun.  For me, it’s hilarious to see my dignified, queen-like kitty just go crazy over a piece of string.  

Now, there are dozens of ways you can play with your cat, and I’ve written a 3 part series thoroughly covering them all.  If you are interested in reading it, just search “cat playtime” on my site.  But here’s the basic idea: playtime should happen every day for 20 minutes. 

“But what if Fluffy doesn’t want to play?” you might ask.  Well, I’ll let you in on a secret: the key to getting Fluffy engaged is to be engaged yourself.  Fluffy won’t care if you don’t.  So get up off of that couch and run around a little.  Try various toys, and make each one dart across the floor like a scared prey animal.  Fluffy will love this!  

(And of course, if you’re exhausted and don’t feel like playing much, feel free to use some catnip.)  

3. Feeding Time Follow-Up.  After playtime, you should feed your cat immediately.  It doesn’t really matter if you use canned meat or fresh, just so long as it is food meant for feline consumption.  The point of this is to mimic how cats behave in the wild.  Remember our mantra: “hunt, catch, kill”?  Well, we should add another word to it — eat; because, of course, after a cat kills its dinner it’s time to feast!  

4. In Bed, Ignore the Interruptions.  So you’ve given your cat attention, exercise, and a meal — now it’s time to go to bed.  Once you are in bed, the hardest step of all begins.  You must ignore everything your cat does.  Jumping up on your stomach?  Ignore it.  Meowing in your face for 30 minutes?  Ignore it.  If you give up and get up to pet Fluffy, or feed her, or even yell at her, you’re giving Fluffy exactly what she wants: attention.  Doing so will only encourage her to repeat her behavior in the future.  So stay strong and stay in bed.  It may take a week or two, but eventually Fluffy will give up; she will stop annoying you at night.  

You have broken the cycle.  The years of peaceful sleep are spreading out in front of you.  Congratulations! 

And now for the question of the week: have you ever owned a pet who had an annoying habit?  What did you do to stop it?  (Or was it as unavoidable as the Ice Age?  Did it cause you to live a life of quiet, yet palpable, despair?!)  But joking aside, I would love to hear from you.  Let’s chat in the comments!  

So until next time: stay fuzzy, my friends!  

 

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“20 Cat Memes to Make You Laugh”

https://fuzzyfanaticblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/20-cat-memes-to-make-you-laugh/