Sunday, September 18, 2011

In or out

There are people who have difficulties making up their minds.  Animals are no different, some also have a little trouble deciding what they want.  Mickey is a fine example of this. 

Before his adoption, Mickey’s previous owner (Mom’s father), had stated that Mick was a cat who needed a doorman.  Yeah, no kidding, I’ve seen Mickey at work and he is indeed a handful. 

For starters, he cannot stand closed doors.  If Mom or Dieter go into a room and close the door, he will position himself in front of it and start complaining.  The result of his whining is usually that the door is opened. 
It doesn’t take long though before he whines again.  Now that he’s been let in, he wants to go out.  After he’s been let out, he sits by the door and cries again for entrance or scratched the door.  Again it opens, Mickey slips in and a short while later it opens again and Mickey slips out.

The same applies for when Mickey wants to go on the balcony.  When he’s inside, he wants to go outside; when he’s outside he wants to come inside.  In, out, in, out ... can’t he make up his mind?

Don’t be alarmed when I say that Mickey goes out on the balcony.  There is no danger, as we cats have a kitty run on the balcony.  See picture above.

This talk about going inside and outside actually reminds me of someone ... Debbie.  She didn’t have a problem as such as to whether she wanted to be inside or out, as she had a problem with a door itself.

Debbie was a weasel and tiny as she was, she had a bit of an attitude.  I mean, if someone opened a door for her so she could slip through, she remained in place.  The door would be opened wider, but still Debbie didn’t move.  She would merely look up and wait.  Only after the door was opened wider still, enough to give access for a fully grown German Sheppard, would madam make her entrance.  Didn’t I say she had an attitude?

Debbie passed away a number of years ago, but we remember her very fondly.  She was good fun to play with.  Whenever she was awake, which wasn’t often as weasels sleep on average 18 hours a day, we would chase her around.  Don’t feel sorry for her.  Most of the time she would turn the table on us and we would have to run not to have our tails nipped by her sharp teeth.

I remember one time when Charlotte was running after Debbie, chasing her into one of the bedrooms.  Moments later Charlotte came sprinting back, with Debbie in hot pursuit.  In one fluid motion Charlotte jumped onto the sofa and from there onto the dining room table.  Debbie thought she could do the same.  She launched herself onto the sofa and took a leap of faith to the dining room table.  Unfortunately, Debbie’s ambition was writing checks her little legs couldn’t cash and she plummeted to the floor.
She was okay.  She gave herself a little shake and walked away, but she never attempted such a jump again.

Such a character she was.  Those who knew her, still miss her.

For those interested in the kitty run, please visit

Friday, September 16, 2011

Can cats tell time?

The other day I saw a sticker that said, “Dogs come when called, cats take a message”.  
Yes, cats are smart, but just exactly how smart are they?  Very smart, let me assure you.

Mom and Dieter set an alarm clock every night, to wake them up in the morning, but this is completely unnecessary.  After years of watching the comings and goings in this house, I know that Dieter has to get up at 6:00 a.m. and he really doesn’t need an alarm to wake him.  He’s got me.

Every morning, around the time that he has to start his day, I start singing to him.  Sometimes that's enough to wake him, sometimes my voice brings little or no reaction.  He grunts, but he doesn’t move and keeps his eyes tight shut.  Of course, I don’t give up.

If singing to him doesn’t help, I switch to plan B ... trampling all over him.  I walk up his legs, across his back, even over his head.  The result ... more grunting and on occasion irritated “Cha-nel!”  No movement though, so now it time for the heavy artillery.

I position myself next to his head, stick me cold wet nose in his ear and go “Krrr, krrr, krrr.”  That does it.  He rises and mumbling makes his way to the bathroom.  Mission accomplished.

Speaking of which, years ago I had a brother called Floppy who had a wake-up call technique of his own.  He would position himself on top of mom and start with “Krrr, krrr, krrr”.  If she ignored him he would ever so softly touch her nose with one of his front paws.  If that didn’t work he would lick her nose.  If that still didn’t have the required result he would, as a last resort, lean over and bite her nose.  That would bring on an irritated “Aaaauw!”.  The bad news ... her nose would be sore; the good news ... she would be awake.

Floppy performed this ritual every day, but on the sixth day the result was quite different.  Mom would get upset and tell Floppy to leave her alone, that it was weekend and that she wanted to sleep in.  Well, all she had to do was say so.

From then on, every Friday night, mom would say to Floppy “Flop, don’t wake me tomorrow hu.  Tomorrow is Saturday and the day after it’s Sunday and I don’t have to get up.”  Floppy understood and slept in too.

So if you’re ever wondering if we cats can tell time or understand you ... you bet we can, we’re smarter than you think.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another one bites the dust

One of cats just broke a lamp.  I can’t say for sure who it was, but I have the strongest suspicious that it was Gabriel.  Don’t they say that criminals return to the scene of the crime?

Fortunately, neither mom nor Dieter were upset about the damage.  They even thought they had to take a picture of the culprit and moments later they were laughing.  If I could I would have laughed too.  I mean, look at Gabriel and Mickey’s eyes ... are they cats or light beacons?

How many things have been broken here I can’t even recall.  Lamps, vases, bowls, ornaments ... sooner or later they all bite the dust.

Then again, maybe this is a good thing.  Don’t they say that shards bring luck?  Mom, be sure to play the Lotto tomorrow.

Seriously though, mom had two identical lampshades on that cabinet and now there’s only one.  How much longer will that one live?  Your guess is as good as mine.
One thing is for sure, now Gabriel can stretch out to his heart's content.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Getting groomed

While Gabriel relaxes from his little adventure, let me give you a little update.

In my previous post I mentioned that Gabriel had matted hair on his chest and that he was going to the vet.  Well, not really the vet, the groomer, but he is located in the vet's office.

That visit happened this morning.  First order of business was getting Gabriel in a cat carrier.  It’s a good thing mom has two carriers, because the first one was too small (or Gabriel too big).

Off they went in a cab and some 45 minutes later they were back.  They following is what I overheard mom telling Dieter.

Gabriel complained about this kind of treatment all the way to the vet’s office.  He made himself heard on the way to the elevators; he babbled non-stop in the car; and he continued his protest in the vet’s office.  There were a few dogs in the vet's office and they instantly stopped barking when they heard Gabriel's litany.

Since he had an appointment he didn’t have to wait.  Mom explained what needed to be done and one of the technicians whisked him away.

Ten minutes later the technician was back, informing mom that Gabriel’s nails were very long and if she could trim them.  The okay was given.  As long as he was there, might as well make the most of it.

When Gabriel was delivered back to the reception area, the technician informed mom that Gabriel had been as good as gold.  Apparently the technician’s helper had scooped him up in her arms and from there on Gabriel didn’t care what happened to him.  He didn’t bit or scratch, he didn’t even complain, he just lay back and let the knots be shaved from his fur.

When Gabe was home again, he got some treats.  Well, we all got some, but I think he got a few extra.

The cost of this little adventure ... $16,61.