Why I am late to work today.

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.

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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.

 

Otto and the Importance of going Outside

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.

Otto

Nap Time

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.20160711_173510

Elsie awoke by Mum trying to snap a picture.20160711_173409

Otto stretching during nap time.20160711_173027

Ace sound asleep on the preferred cat chair.20160711_172955

Rest well, my friends!

Other People and Advice

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.

Ace, the food addict

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?

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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. 

Good morning!

The house is cool, the sun has hardly crept over the mountain, the comforter has never been so comfortable, and you hear the stomping of a seven-month Bouvier puppy playing. Oh, please, let me sleep until the alarm clock sounds, you beg silently. You freeze and act asleep as if somehow she will sense you are awake and that will interrupt her silent playtime. Just as you drift back off to sleep, 55 pounds of dog jumps on your bed. (If you are lucky, it will be the other side of the bed, empty of a husband, headed to work already. Often, it will be directly on top of you that the puppy lands.) She licks your face, once and jumps off. Then, she begins to jump onto and off the bed.

What is this cruel morning ritual?

It is how Elsie indicates the need to go outside. It will stop only when she is convinced you are out of bed and headed outside or when she can no longer hold it. It is a chance you do not want to take, so you get up and take her out. Maggie follows, still in a stupor and not quite ready to take on the day. You nod at Maggie, she is your lifeline in this moment of insanity.

You make it down the stairs, bleary-eyed, tired, and with a puppy bouncing around. Suddenly, a black blur runs to the couch. You squint. Otto is prepped and ready to take off outside. You now have to block the cat, get the dogs out, and wake up.

Somehow you manage. Elsie even potties outside.  You’re an awesome adult, rocking this puppy parenting thing.

Your alarm hasn’t even gone off.