Tag: cats

My Kitty’s Ordeal… by JoAnn

For months I knew that I would be leaving my apartment for an extended stay at my youngest daughter’s house. I would be house/dog sitting for Chelsea and her husband Jake as they took a long road trip from Tennessee to Virginia. At the same time, my apartment would receive some much-needed repairs to my living room floor. It seems like perfect timing for both, doesn’t it? But for months, I had been worrying about one little thing, my cat Paisley.

I adopted Paisley when she was five weeks old as a birthday gift to myself. She is now four years old. She has never known anyone but me, has never been outdoors, and has only ever lived in our apartment. I live alone, and when someone does come to visit, off to hide under my bed, she goes until she is sure they are gone!

In 2020 when everyone was indoors because of the pandemic, Paisley and I became very attached. She is my best little buddy. I talk to her as though she is human. She gives me great company. I never feel lonely because she is here in my home with me every moment. Not to mention she can be pretty entertaining as well. She has a wonderful personality. Unfortunately, she has chosen only to share it with me. She acts almost as bad as a feral cat might to everyone else.

I have had cats as pets my entire life. Because of this, I have much more patience with Paisley than the average person might. I wonder if she adopted me because of this. They say you don’t find a cat for a pet, they find you. I believe this to be 100% correct. Maybe Paisley was born with the personality that she would not be a lover of people but would prefer just one human. So, as a result, she picked me.

All of this is just fine with me until there is a reason that Paisley needs to leave the apartment. When she was a kitten, it was pretty easy to take her to the vet for her medical needs. But around age one, things changed. Paisley has been an extremely healthy cat. She put up quite the fight when I needed to take her to the vet to be spayed. When putting her into the pet carrier, I referred to her attitude as the Tasmanian Devil. I knew we would not be making trips anywhere unless it was an emergency. Lucky for us both, there never was one.

So the morning finally comes that Paisley must be taken to the vet to update her vaccines and boarded for ten days. To say I prayed over our situation, I mean I prayed over our situation! I was most nervous about getting her into the car than any other problem. I had been dreading it immensely for weeks! Knowing how much she hated the pet carrier, I could not let her catch a glimpse of me near it, or she would think something was up and hide somewhere that I couldn’t get to her. This cat is smart, and I give her all the props. But I have learned to be a pretty good actor around an animal if need be. Paisley was not the first cat I needed to trick, and she probably won’t be the last.

So I took advantage of Paisley eating her breakfast, a can of Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers (her favorite!) and very quietly positioned the carrier so I could put her into it as fast as possible. When I was done, there she was, looking around the corner at what I was doing. My heart sank. I went on about my business like I do every morning, acting as though nothing was out of the ordinary. She went into the other room and saw the carrier. She sniffed, walked around it slowly, and sniffed some more. All the time, I acted as though I was doing something else.

Next, I picked up a clean bath towel and waited for her to return to the kitchen to finish her breakfast. When she did, I opened the towel, scooped her up tight, and rushed to the pet carrier fast as I could! I dumped her in head first, towel still wrapped around her so she couldn’t claw me, and inside she went. It was a real struggle to get the gate latched because she was doing her Tasmanian Devil imitation as soon as my grasp loosened.

I pick up the carrier by the handle, with Paisley thrashing about and meowing a loud hideous sound, and off pops a bolt. Oh no, I thought, she’s going to break it open. I sat it down and quickly got the bolt tightened back in place. With her still thrashing about and sounding like I was trying to skin her alive, I managed to get her into the backseat of my car.

A feeling of elation came over me. What I had worried about and dreaded for weeks was done! I thanked my heavenly father for answering even the smallest of prayers and was on my way to the vet. Once there, Paisley quickly received her yearly shot and was off to the kennel. I knew she would be well cared for, for the next ten days. She wouldn’t be happy at all, but she would be safe and fed.

This morning I picked her up. I was eager to find out how she had responded to living the last ten days in an environment with strange humans and many strange animals. I prayed that this experience would help her become more social and open her world up to more than just our apartment.

As I waited anxiously in the waiting room, the vet assistant came out without a pet carrier. She told me that Paisley was being extremely aggressive and if it would be alright for me to come back and see if I could get her out of the kennel. Of course, this is how Paisley would end her lengthy visit. I laughed inside. This is so her, I thought.

When I got to the kennel, Paisley was in a hunched position against the back of the kennel, her eyes were thin slits, giving her an angry-looking face, and she was growling. I said, “Paisley, it’s Mommy. It’s okay. I’m here.” I said this four times, and on that last time, her face softened, and her eyes opened wide, she stopped growling, and I reached in and took her. That time, she was glad to be in the pet carrier because she knew she was going home.

We left the vet’s parking lot at 8:30 a.m. Paisley meowed from the moment I put her into the car until she finally laid down to rest at Noon! It was as if she were talking to me the only way she knew how and was filling me in on all of her experiences and complaints for those ten days. It is now 2 p.m., and she is still sharing her opinions with me. My guess is she will continue to “talk” until she decides she’s ready to stop. No telling how long that will be, and I’m prepared. That’s just how she is, and I couldn’t love her more!

Lets Play Fetch?

 My pet Paisley loves to play fetch with me. What makes that so unique, you say? Well, maybe it’s because Paisley is my cat.  

I have owned cats my entire life. Had them as far back as my 58 years of memory can go. Not once, in all the cats loved, has one ever played fetch with me. 

Paisley has never been interested in actual toys. I guess you could say she prefers homemade ones over store bought. Like pieces of plastic peeled from a package, a cotton swab, button, or the plastic ring that is stripped from a milk jug. Unfortunately, she also loves rubber bands and thread. But I have prohibited those from her possession as she tried to ingest them.  

Paisley can play for 30 minutes or more with whatever tickles her fancy. All I have to say is, “Bring it to Mommy”, and the game of fetch is on. I will take the object of her affection, flick it with my finger to make it fly across the room, and she’s off, stalking and then catching it like her prey, only to return it to my lap for the fun to be repeated. I have been jolted awake many times in the middle of the night with Paisley pawing at me because she has brought me a “toy” and wanted me to play fetch with her. Yes, it’s adorable she does that, but not before dawn! Sometimes, I can kindly tell her mommy is sleeping and she’ll leave me alone. Sometimes I sleep too soundly, and I awake to find several of her toys beside my pillow. Poor baby tried more than once and couldn’t get me to play. 

I’ve heard many times from non-cat enthusiasts that the reason they don’t like cats is that they are boring or stupid. They aren’t like dogs; they say. Well, I believe people make such comments because they have never had a proper relationship with a cat. They have never taken a kitten, cared for it, watched it grow, learned its personality, interacted with it, or loved it. They really don’t know about cats. Very sad.

I am a HUGE cat fan, as you can tell. It would be wonderful if more people, who think they dislike cats, would educate themselves and give a cat a real try. I believe many would fall in love with them, just as I have. There is such an enormous need for adoptive parents for thousands of homeless cats all over the United States. It’s devastating!  

It is really quite easy to own a cat. They enjoy their alone time. Thus, they do not need the constant attention that a dog requires and most do not suffer from any form of separation anxiety like a dog. They do not need to be walked or go potty outside. In fact, they can live their entire lives only indoors, healthy both physically and mentally. This lowers their need for vet visits. My Paisley has been spayed and vaccinated. Other than that, she has never needed a vet’s care. She is the picture of a healthy kitty.  

The only downside to having a cat is the litter box. They must go to the bathroom somewhere, right? I used to hate the litter box. Keeping it clean was a chore. That is no longer the case. The type of litter boxes available, and the technology with the actual litter, has made the job not only very simple, but completely odorless. I use a litter that has no smell or dust yet absorbs all odors. It’s amazing compared to the kitty litter I used for my cats 20 years ago.  

So there really is no excuse anymore not to give a kitty in need a home. Try it. You may just fall in love and end up with a beautiful, unique cat like I did. My Paisley is my little fetching buddy, and I can’t imagine my home without her!         

Psycho Cat!

Psycho Cat

May 19th of this year, I adopted a 6-week-old female kitten as a birthday gift to myself.  Anyone who really knows me, knows that I am a cat lover.  I have often told people that my destination in life is to someday be the neighborhood “Cat Lady”.  Seriously, I really do see this in my future.  It had been 5 years since I had a pet of my own.  The longest amount of time ever for me!  My mother had also been a cat lover and from my earliest memories, cats were a part of my life.  Needless to say, I was over the moon to adopt my new little girl.  It was love at first sight.  I named her Paisley.  This name suited her because of the pattern of her coat.  She is what cat fanciers refer to as a Dilute Tortoiseshell, or Dilute Tortie for short.

A Tortoiseshell cat has a dark mixed coat of black, orange, and sometimes brown.  They appear to be cousins of the Calico.    A Dilute Tortie is just what it implies.  The colors are muted to soft grey, yellows, creams & sometimes white.  I have never owned a Tortie of any kind in my entire 56 years of being a cat enthusiast.  But my sister Jeanie did.  My memories of that cat, named Cookie, are anything but sweet!  Cookie was attached to my sister and only my sister.  No one, and I mean no one, could touch Cookie except my sister.  If you tried, you were guaranteed to have blood drawn so quickly it would leave you wondering what in the heck just happened.  We were teenagers at the time and had to share a full-size bed.  Cookie wanted Jeanie and the bed all to herself.

One night after being attacked for the umpteenth time just trying to get into bed, Cookie and her razor-sharp claws were the last straw for this camel!  In my anger and frustration, I grabbed my mama’s scissors.  I looked my sister dead in the eye, scissors in hand, and told her, “If that psycho cat so much as looks at me again, I will stab her!”.  Jeanie made sure to keep Cookie away from me every night from then on.

When I picked out little Paisley for my very own, that Cookie cat did indeed come to mind.  Surely this angelic, soft colored, light as a feather, tiny little kitten, couldn’t possibly have a personality anywhere remotely close to that dark, demonic Tortie I had once known!  I think you know where this is headed.  After some research, I have learned that cat fanciers regard the Tortie (of any color) as very unique.  Not just in looks and rarity (it’s very rare to find a male Tortie), they do indeed share a very similar set of personality traits, lovingly referred to by enthusiasts as “Tortitude” (sounds cute doesn’t it?).

If by chance you are wondering, yes, my Paisley fits neatly into all the above-mentioned categories.  She can be the sweetest, most lovable little angel one minute, and in a split second be drawing your blood.  Much blood.  Being that I got Paisley in May, I have only worn shorts.  You know where this is going again right? My story at present is, “I have been picking blackberries”.  Since I live in a very rural area in Tennessee, this is quite believable.  I figure that will work until it’s time to prune the rose bushes.  Hopefully by then, she will have outgrown some of her aggressiveness.  If she doesn’t, I can assure you that it will not be from a lack of love.





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