Tag Archives: Catification

A Hole in the Door

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Between the place where there is the food dish, and the place of the litter box, exists a miraculous openness, The Magic Portal. It doesn’t require any thumbs to operate, and it allows free passing to those in need. In the best of a times, a cat may travel unhindered up and down the stairs. At it’s worst, it is used as a political tool in the power struggle for territory and domination.

Ginger cat sitting in a kitty doorway.

The view from the other side.

The humans like it because they don’t have to continually open and close the door for a cat, or leave the door ajar. In addition, The Magic Portal is a great source of entertainment for the humans, as the cat politics do not go unnoticed.

Cat Shack Fever

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Cat by a snowy window

Maybe I’ll go out.

A cats sits at the window by the cat shack ramp, contemplating the blowing snow. I was certain that if the pathway was clear, she might venture into the shelter to explore the wintry scene. I shoveled.

Person shoveling a short deck.

Fluffy snow and 17° F. Still, I hoped my efforts would free the cats from the house.

Back inside, I open the window, and a rush of cold whooshes in. I steel myself for the chilly air entering my kitchen. A cat sits and thinks, declines the offer, and waits for spring.

Gray tabby kitty on a sofa

Full of ennui from lack of daylight and little exercise.

Connoisseurs of Comfort

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Creative, inquisitive, and masters of the spaces they inhabit, cats have no qualms about making themselves comfortable. By way of example, I illustrate the particular behaviors my cats exhibited this week.

SUNDAY
We had a few friends over for Halloween. It was late, so I thought I would wait until the morning to complete the clean up. This is what Lucy thought about my leaving the drink station up overnight.

Cat on drink cart.

Awesome spot. I can see the whole room from here.

THURSDAY 
Bean has a penchant for imposing horizontal-ness as a way to say, “I will control you.” Here, she flops at the foot of the stair (a trick she learned from Lucy,) in an attempt to get someone to play with her. And, more adorably, Miss Bean takes a break to lay atop Neil who was just trying to do some sit-ups.

Cat laying on things

Left: Cat bed with instant heater
Right: None shall pass!!

FRIDAY
I’ve been working feverishly in my studio to make books for an upcoming art show. Interested in my activity, Lucy surveys the situation, then attacks my scissors, knocking the offending implement to the floor.

Cat with art supplies

This is a mess. I’m sure I can help.

Ginger cat with scissors

These things are useless when you have claws.

MIDWEEK
Tuesday, I was looking around the house for Vera, only to find her rolling in the laundry with a stinky dish rag. She has returned to the stinky dish rag for a couple of days, each time scruffing on and attacking her prey. I think it’s a sure sign that I need to do some laundry. On Wednesday, she exhibits complete disinterest in anything going with her humans.

Cat in laundry

I adore my stinky dish rag.

Yawning Cat

Yawn….or…. Rrrraaawwwrr!?

5 Things I Love About Cats

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5 Things I Love About Cats

Why DO people like cats soooo much? Cats claw your stuff, vomit on the rug, and track litter all over the house. They wake you up at four in the morning by walking on your face. They deposit cat hair everywhere, and never like riding in the car. And, yet, they are adored. My cats are so revered that I will pay to put my cat-allergic guests up in a hotel when they come to visit than oust my felines.

Cat in a box. Cats playing with toys.

Predictable, curious cats make playtime fun.

Here are a few things I love about cats:

  1. They’re entertaining. From excited reactions to catnip and laser pointers, to the predictable occupation of a cardboard box, cats provide hours of distracting fun.
  2. They’re aesthetically pleasing. Graceful, always thoughtful about the placement of their paws, there’s something about the presence of a cat that makes a space more habitable, more beautiful.

    Cat asleep in the sun.

    So beautiful! There’s something peaceful about a kitty in a sun puddle.

  3. Cats are snuggly. In varying degrees, my cats like to get pets and scruffs from the humans. Vera is the flopper who waits until I am perfectly settled before plopping over on me. Lucy just likes to be in my vicinity. Bean wants the full on lap experience. As in, “Please do not move. Ever. Or I will bite you.”

    Cats with their people.

    My cats love to be with the humans.

  4. Cat politics. Who gets to perch on the highest part of the cat tree? Who comes and goes through the window to the catio first? There are places in the house that clearly belong to one cat and other places that are comfortable, communal property.

    Cats in cat tree. Cat in a pod.

    From cat tree hierarchy, to pod sleepers, cats work out their own territory.

  5. Cats are a good reason to come home. Seriously. I love my home and life, but the thing that convinces me to return from any vacation that my cats are waiting for me. I say this with all sincerity, yet remain dubious regarding cats actually missing me.

Do you love cats? What is it that you find so appealing about cats? Why do you put up with all of the cattiness and furballs? Share your story!

Soft, Yet Sometimes Evil

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Soft, Yet Sometimes Evil

Intelligent, impertinent, and sometimes snuggly, Miss Bean exudes personality. At nine years, she is the old lady of our cats.

Kitten and Cat

On the left is little Miss Bean just a few days after I rescued her. On the right is Miss Bean now. She still likes to look out the window.

A stray on the campus of the private school where I taught in San Antonio, she was pulled from the rosemary bushes by the maintenance staff in 2006. The school policy on cats was to call animal control, so I asked the guys to hand over the kitten to me. She was so tiny that she needed to be bottle fed, so, for weeks, she came to school with me, at first just sleeping and eating in a crate in my office. As she became more mobile, she pounced around the art room, posed as a model for drawing, and sometimes, caused chaos.

Kitty on table

The wee Miss Bean was a daily fixture in the art room when she was a kitten.

At home, she never really socialized properly with the other cats. There was a time when she was being catified by Cleo, one of my older calicos, but Cleo became ill and passed away, leaving Bean without a mentor.

Cat laying on person

Miss Bean positions herself where she is the most comfortable.

Occasionally, Bean still has difficulties relating to the other beings. I understand that bottle fed kittens are notorious for bad behavior. Bean has her moments, but under patient direction, constant reassurance and training, she has become a wise, mellow, somewhat snuggly friend. Bean especially likes to spend her down time perched on my husband.

Cat in a catio.

On the shelf in the Tabby Shack surveying the neighbors.

I am really bonded with Bean, I guess because of bottle feeding, and the extra special care she’s always needed. She has exquisite, multi-colored fur, a white kisser, and black, black feet bottoms.  Bean can really be a sweet cat once you know to be gentle, and watch for her communication. I can’t believe I’ve lived with Miss Bean for nine years already! She’s definitely been worth the trouble.

The Middle Cat

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The Middle Cat

Vera is part cute, part playful, part scaredy cat, and part lap kitty. We found her in a bush outside of a hair salon parking lot one evening when we were out for a walk. We couldn’t see her, but we could hear an insistent, high-pitched, staccato mew…mew…mew. She was very skittish and skinny, hiding deep in the bushes. My husband ran home to get a carrier and a little cat food. We put the carrier down with the food in it near the bush, and waited…for about two seconds! She went running in to the carrier, we closed the door and took her home.

Kitten and cat

The top photo is Vera just a couple of weeks after we brought her home. The lower photo was taken this winter in my studio, eight years later.

She is now seven years old, and hasn’t changed much at all. She’s the cat that our guests almost never see because she hides until she deems you a safe friend. She loves to be up high.

Four pictures of a gray and white cat.

From lap kitty to garden explorer.

She’s often found on the fridge, hanging out on a shelf, or in the back of the studio closet. Vera is the most helpful when I’m working in my studio. She offers advice on (a.k.a. lays on top of) my projects. But mostly, she just wants to have lots of scruffs!

Cat on book and on fabric.

This is how she helps me when I’m working in my studio.

I Love Lucy

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I Love Lucy

I’m talking about my cat, Lucy, of course!

Ginger cat close up

Hello, I am Lucy. You will pet me now.

She spends her time surveying the neighborhood from the Tabby Shack, napping on the sofa, and blocking the stairs so that none shall pass.  Playful ginger cat

I’ve never met such a laid-back cat. She is all about comfort, friendliness, string chasing, belly rubs, and the food dish. Ginger cat. Cat belly.Lucy has been with us less than a year, and my life has been so enriched by her silly loveliness.

Mostly Lazy, Somewhat Curious, Always Adorable

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Cats in catio.

Sometimes, there’s a wait to get into the Tabby Shack.

Such is life in the Tabby Shack. Bean, Vera, and Lucy spend their days lounging about, spying on the neighbors, and enjoying the summer weather.

Cat with ears back.

I hear lawn equipment!

Cat on a shelf.

Vera in repose on the upper pedestal.

Cat rolling in dirt.

Bean likes a good roll in the dirt.

Cat on a shelf.

Vera watches the antics on the ground.

Caturday in the Tabby Shack

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It’s finally feline ready! The Tabby Shack! Our catio features a walk-out gangway from the dining room window, comfortable territory, and lots of shelves, platforms, and levels for jumping, traversing, and resting. So far, we are still getting used to the idea of coming and going through the window, and understanding that it’s safe in our Tabby Shack, but every time we go out, it gets more awesome! Here are some pictures of Lucy, Vera, and Bean, checking out the new digs. Don’t mind the dust, as we still have to plant the catnip and put in the corner sandbox. There’s even going to be some camouflage-type landscaping to help us feel even more safe, and to beautify our neighborhood just in time to enjoy the early spring weather. Viva la Tabby Shack!Tabby Shack.pages