After breakfast and a shower, I had some time so I sat on the deck with all of the furry family. The swing on our deck is shaded from the morning sun by a very big something tree. The breeze was just light enough to prevent the summer morning from being stuffy and kept the deck at the perfect relaxation for me and the furries.
Ace was lounging on a hand-me-down table surveying his lands. Two chairs from the hand-me-down set protected him from Elsie’s curious muzzle. Maggie laid next to me in the swing and pondered at the leaves lazily dancing in the light breeze. Elsie was filled with too much energy to sit still for a second. She watched the cats with the determined eye of a scientist hungry for knowledge and understanding. Otto climbed the something tree. As he climbed higher, he would test each branch tentatively to ensure his footing.
As I ruminated on the peace of the morning and the pointlessness of leaving for work, a humming sounded from the tree. Four set of furry ears perked up. Ace landed on the deck with a heavy THUD! He slinked off the deck. A horsefly could be seen for a moment between these two small panthers. The tree erupted into chaos as the early morning hunt and murder took place.
Simultaneously, the peace on the deck was shattered by the stomping of a fifty-pound observer wished to become part of the action. My seat on the swing is set into motion when Maggie pushed off it to join the drama as well.
I found that I couldn’t stop smiling. The peace of the morning was cut off suddenly and very completely in one moment by the dark humour of nature. Yet, I wanted more moments like this to fill my life. I looked at my phone and realised I was running late.
It was worth it.
From the Desk of King Otto:
I spend my days outside. Not only is it an easy way to stay in shape, but I am able to explore my kingdom, protect it from other felines, and grab nice lunch of skink and insects. There is so much more to be gained from being outside than these tasks, something fundamental and essential to life in the communing with nature.
As a house kitty, I am cuddly and loving. I even find that sometimes I reduce myself to responding to human commands when cheese is present. After a couple days inside, I am likely to loose my identity as a cat. I am a hunter, a predator, a KING after all. Not some simpleton begger, reliant on tricks to impress the human into feeding me. When I am outisde, I find the hunter within me and let him free to prowl, capture, and sometimes play with the creatures that trespass into my kingdom.
Staying fit is all good, but strength requires flexibility. I have tried to find a way to stretch and limber up inside to no avail. In the garden, there are trees to climb. After every climb, I feel more flexible and lithe. Being light on my feet is the only to creep around the big bears when they nap in the house to steal their water and their treats. Remember: A tree a day keeps the stiffness away.
A day outside revives the spirit and reminds you of who you truly are, this cannot be reiterated enough. If you are unable to spend a day outside, perhaps you can talk your humans on letting you go for a walk. I do appreciate a trip to the mountain, even if it requires a harness.
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM is nap time for the furries in our house.
I captured some photos from yesterday’s nap time. Enjoy!
Maggie pretending she is asleep.
Elsie awoke by Mum trying to snap a picture.
Otto stretching during nap time.
Ace sound asleep on the preferred cat chair.
Rest well, my friends!
Otto spends his days outside. He typically can be spotted climbing trees, chasing Broadhead Skinks (shown below), or lounging on the deck.
Lately, he has been glued to the birdhouse in the side of our garden. The below photographs were taken over an hour and a half. (I was reading during this time. My animals are amusing and sometimes mesmerising, but I do not just watch them for hours on end. I am not that desperate for entertainment – most days.)
The previous owners said they found a Puff Adder (Eastern Hognose Snake) in the house last year. This story has been enough to stave off my curiosity. I keep away from the birdhouse as if it were dripping in poison that will kill you painfully, after one touch in moments. (If you know anything about snakes, you know how absurd my reaction to the story is. If not, here is why I am over-reacting. The hognose snake is not venomous to humans and has a very mild temper. Apparently, they are more likely to puff up and roll up as if dead when disturbed than attack.)
Donatello, the fearless ninja that he is, decided to show Otto there was nothing in the birdhouse in hopes that it would satiate his curiosity. He gathered Otto in his arms, went to the birdhouse (of satan, filled with snakes and poison – if you were to ask me), and hears movement.
Upon hearing movement, he puts Otto inside. The curiosity of the cat having been light aflame – the last thing his obsession needed was to be closer to the house. He opened the house and found a very happy family has moved into our garden.
And now, Otto will not leave the house alone. And, I am torn between being the parent of a serial killer or the champion of the bird family. After a lot of consideration, I believe I will let nature control the outcome of this particular affair. After all, the birdhouse was once home to the most terrifying of creatures. So, it is probably best I stay away. It could come back.
Elsie is our clown. This is why so many stories are Elsie-centric. Today’s Elsie tell is one of her difficulties with the kitties. Elsie wants, quite badly, to be friends with the cats. She has had little progress in the area, but that does not stop her trying. Here are her antics:
- The sneak up next to one and lay down while it is sleeping.
If you follow the leash trail to behind the basket, you may see a dark shadow with a flipped right ear. You have spotted an Elsie! If you take in Acer’s face, you can tell he is less than pleased with this situation. But Elsie just wants a bit of love!!
Clearly, Otto handles the cuddle better.
- The intense watching of the kitties.
Like a kid watching her favourite cartoon, Elsie likes to sit close and observe her cat companions intently. (It may look as though Maggie is doing the same with Ace in the background, but let me assure you that she is actually looking outside at some neighbourhood kids stomping on our back garden.)
She has difficulty not pursuing the cats, but she is learning and our cats are really, really patient with her. Ace, who is more vocal in his discomfort with her, is still extremely patient with her as she learns boundaries.
- Kisses.Much to the dismay of the cats, sometimes she bonds by kissing. It is sweet, but it also leaves their entire side damp and smelling like dog. With OCD Otto, it leads to hours of grooming. For Ace, well, she only landed a kiss on Ace once and he was asleep. I have not seen her try it again.
Here is to peace and Elsie finding her happy place among the cat creatures in her home. After all, she just wants to love them.
As with children, everyone you meet has advice for you when you have a puppy. As with the advice given to parents of children, the advice that is given to parents of furries is often well-meaning and useless.
At the end of the day, no one knows your puppy, kitty, cat, dog, son, daughter, lizard, bird, and household as you do. You deal with it every single day. You witness the ups and downs every single day. You get the feel of when to correct and when to be patient. You should follow the advice of professionals (as you should with children), but ultimately you are the leader of the pack and will make changes that your puppy requires.
Keep in mind advice is given for the average. Extremes are needed to make averages. It is also very possible your puppy, child, cat, etc. will conform to the standards in the books and it is equally possible she will buck the system and require all your creativity.
So… keep on, keeping on. You are the best mum or dad for your critter no matter what they say.
Our big ole boy, Acer. Despite reducing his food intake, Ace has gotten bigger and bigger. Yesterday, I found out why. I like to think the below picture is Ace’s shame of being seen at his rock bottom. Ace has eaten breakfast but it is too early for dinner when I discover what has caused this seemingly impossible phenomenon.
Yesterday, an unscheduled thunderstorm rocked our neighbourhood. I rushed home from work to let the cats inside. Once inside, Ace was convinced it was dinner time rather than three hours prior to dinner time. He yelled at me for a while before giving up on me serving food on his schedule. He sat in the office that doubles as the cat dining area and he pouted.
I turned my attention to my work. A clicking sound stirs my attention from the computer screen to the fifteen-pound cat trying to sneak from the office across the kitchen. There are few sounds that give away a cat as well as their nails clicking on the tile. Even the dogs have been awoken by the “tick, click, tick” of his steps. He gives the puppy (Elsie) wide berth and steps quietly and quickly, assuming we do not see him. Silently, we all watch him.
He hops by Elsie’s face and next to where I am seated at the writing desk and lands on the dog food table. (A low table long enough to hold two dog food bowls and one gigantic water bowl and, apparently, a determined fat cat.) He begins to eat and eat.
I call him away. Spray him with water as punishment for such awful behaviour. He sulks off. He returns and is scolded three more times.
Finally, he is found ashamed of his behaviour this morning.
Anyone know of an Eater Anonymous for cats?
Note: Given cat food has much more protein and fewer vegetables than dog food, we believe he is gaining weight because he isn’t supposed to process all the extra veggies and such.