Sassy cats — Pets are family

Mollie pretty much sums up our feelings here about a most bizarre summer. Night time temperatures are in the 50s. There is a crispness that makes you crave apples and tuna. Ok, the cats always crave tuna although in real life there is just no way they would ever catch one.

Events this week made me reflective about my cats. I have two older ones 12 and 13 and two young ones, Morgan around 4 and no one knows how old Gracie is. Her teeth say one thing and her actions say another. Except for Gracie they have been in my life so long, I would be lost without them.

Sometimes it’s exasperating. Especially when Mollie has a case of the barfs or Hazel has an attack of IBS (yes, cats get that). They only get sick at holidays when the local vet is closed. One is a picky eater and one will eat anything that isn’t nailed down. (Wearing leather shoes is taking a chance here especially with tasty shoelaces.) 

There are the litter boxes to clean every day. Most days twice. It’s all balanced with the joy they bring. If I take a mid-day nap, I’ll wake up to at least three cats on the bed and one hovering nearby.

Perhaps their concern is that I would sleep through dinnertime (they would never let me do that, soft paws to the face are as effective as an alarm clock). I can almost hear the conversation.

“Is she ok?”

“Will she forget to feed us?”

“Is she still breathing?”

“Will she forget to feed us?”

“Do we need to call 9-1-1?”

“Will she forget to feed us?”

This week I renewed my vow to them that they will always have a home here. No matter how old or how sick. They will never be abandoned nor will they ever go hungry. (Hazel cheered when I said that.)

Pets are special. They are family.

My heart goes out to anyone separated from their animal friends this past week. If you can find it in your heart or your pocketbook, please donate to the animal rescue efforts. Make sure the charity is valid as there are many scammers out there with cute pictures to suck you in. Peace to them all.

79 thoughts on “Sassy cats — Pets are family

  1. Beautifully written, pets are family, so many of our daily routines revolve around our animal companions yet we get so much back from them too. All my cats have been rescues and I’ve never regretted it, it’s been so rewarding to give them a loving, safe home and gain their trust.

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  2. Oh I love this! I can’t absolutely relate, I have three of my own, the oldest is 15, my husband and I fantasize about the years in the future when we will only have one, but always wind up admitting how much we love our little trouble makers and one is never enough!

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  3. We had tons of cats growing up. TONS. I think the highest count was twenty-two.

    We had cats until last December. My wife made me choose between them and her.

    Now she’s divorcing me.

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  4. We had tons of cats growing up. TONS. I think the highest count was twenty-two.

    We had cats until last December. My wife made me choose between them and her.

    Now she’s divorcing me.

    Like

  5. I can completely relate to you! I am an animal lover but more of a cat lover😊
    I have a cat at my place. She’s stray but we have adopted her.
    Since childhood I’ve been very fond of cats and since then petting them. Cats rather all pets have a huge role played in my life. They are like EVERYTHING to me😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Whenever my husband and I travel together, I’m on pins and needles about our three cats. We’re fortunate to have a pet-sitter who has been working with us for decades. She has seen us through several cats and, without her, we couldn’t enjoy our time away. Plus we have a nanny cam so that helps too 🙂 Still, it’s always such a relief to come home to Maxine (tuxedo) who greets us with chatter (“Where the hell have you been? Lynne only comes twice a day! Are you trying to starve me?), Junior (gray DSH) who becomes suddenly shy and hides in the closet, and Wendy (Tortie) who acts coy and feigns disinterest. Ah, home sweet home! We’ve been caring for cats since we moved here in 1990. We’re not getting any younger and our cats are living to be older and older so these three may well be our last three. Unless (as Maxine did) someone just turns up and insists on moving in 😉
    One of our cats, Mikey (RIP) had IBS the last year or so of his life. He was pretty old by then, probably very late teens, and mostly blind. The last months of his life, we had to keep him secluded in the guest room, the floor covered with training pads because he was too blind to find the litter box … even if it was right in front of him. I moved in there so he could sleep with me and so I could get up at 2 or 3 or 4 am and clean up his messes. He was so frail he would stumble and fall into his own poop so I often had to give him a shower too. Broke my heart many times over. He was my “snugglebunny” and both of us were happiest when he was nestled along the inside of my left arm (never my right arm, always my left). I miss that boy, but each of our cats always brings something special into our lives.
    Thanks for your post. Pets are indeed not pets, but family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your Mikey story warms my heart. Jake was a lot of work during his last year. He needed 2 injections a day (diabetic). I had special pee towels and doggie piddle pads. It wasn’t that he wouldn’t use the box. He didn’t like to use a dirty box (that’s defined as having more than one pee ball already in it, especially if it wasn’t his). I learned workarounds. Sometimes he had a bladder infection. That would do it too. I have a fabulous sitter. Still, they are on my mind. I don’t like long vacations (defined as more than 5 days) because I miss them so much. It’s ok though. I’m not much of a traveler these days.

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      • They are worth every second of work, aren’t they? No one would do less for their children. The problem with cats is that so many of them are stoic and you don’t realize the pain they are in for a long time. Mikey had severe peritonitis and it wasn’t until we changed vets that we learned we could just have all his teeth removed. Of course it was expensive but, boy, was he one happy kitty once the pain was gone. And wet food for every meal, too 🙂

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        • When we adopted Gracie at the beginning of the year, she wouldn’t eat. She wouldn’t let us touch her mouth to give her meds. The vet put her under and found that her teeth were very bad. She had to have several extractions. After that she was a changed cat. She gave us a few scares at the beginning. Now she’s a demanding cat. She wants what she wants when she wants it. 🙂

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  7. I heard a report today about the new rescue policies during natural disasters. Pets are now a part of the mission. No questions asked. Apparently, in the past, rescue efforts were too hampered by people refusing to go without Dog or Cat ( which I totally understand!) I like the fact that policies have changed to accommodate animal people.

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    • That happened after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. There was quite a ta-do because the shelters wouldn’t allow pets. There was no place to take them. If they surrendered them, they’d never see them again. What a freaking mess. This time around many of the rescue groups are taking the shelter animals so there is space to house the locals and shelters allow cats in carriers and dogs with leashes. There’s a lot of poop to clean up!

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  8. I am so “with you” on this, Kate. I have watched footage of people being reunited with their pets and felt their joy and cried tears of relief with them. I know there are many more stories of people who have been permanently separated, and that can only compound their heartache. I heard a reporter mentioning that someone or a rescue group, it wasn’t clear, was tasked with rescuing squirrels! I can’t quite wrap my brain around all the animals, pets and wildlife, that have been lost or displaced. There are some really good people out there and they do indeed need our help!

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  9. I have lived almost my entire adult life without an animal, but since Theo entered my world 6 years ago, I have turned into a wimpy mess when it comes to animal stories of neglect, abandonment, or worse.
    Since Harvey struck, I have given way too much thought to ‘what would I do?’. The truth is, I still don’t know. The thought of leaving Theo behind – even to go on vacation and he’s in the hands of good caretakers – fills me with dread. I hope I’m never faced with that challenge.

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    • I share that (and I’ve had cats my entire life). First I have four so it’s a BIG deal. They are not always cooperative. I have a fear of them hiding under a bed during a fire and I can’t get them out. It’s physically impossible to handle 4 carriers or even 3 if we squash the two smaller ones together. I am neurotic when I leave them and require a text from the care taker to be sure everything is ok. It was worse when Jake was alive because he needed injections and often didn’t eat when out of his environment. Even with all that, I wouldn’t give them up for anything.

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  10. This post resonated with me in so many ways, Kate. Richard and I had dogs for the last eighteen years, and always said that they each gave so much more than they ever took (yes, including some very finicky palates, regular vet bills, and some home and personal belonging ‘renovations’ that each dog added.i loved your renewed vows!

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  11. Although currently pet-less, I too have been especially moved by the stories of rescues and special care. I’ve already given money to a general (legit) Harvey-related relief fund, but your post has prompted me to also give specifically to an animal relief fund.

    By the way, have you remembered to feed your poor, starving cats?

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    • Like I could forget! Four pair of staring, unblinking eyes would remind me fast! They, well Hazel, gets nervous if I “over-nap.” They get fed between 5:30 and 6 and they start congregating when it’s time. If I have to feed them early because we are going out, as soon as I get out the dishes there is a stampede. Gotta love them.

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  12. So much to love here, thanks Kate. I think taking and renewing vows that articulate a person’s commitment to a pet is long overdue. What the heck, get it sanctioned by Hallmark and an entire new industry is born, right? But seriously, a very, very good idea.

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  13. Oh, man, I cried over the boat of dogs. I cried over the dog chained to the lamppost in rising water.

    I cried over the cats rescued, too. Then I felt bad, because I cried a lot less over the humans.

    Then I saw the picture of the stupid white boys who came late to Houston with guns to prevent “looting” and rescued no one and I remember why I cry a lot less over humans sometimes.

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  14. My local Humane Society (from where we adopted our beloved Frankie) posted a photo of a 14 year old blind dog needing a gentle/quiet home. Hopefully she wasn’t abandoned but rather her owner fell ill or passed on … still it broke my heart. Watching the Hurricane footage I have to admit I cheered seeing dogs and cats in boats along with the elderly & infirm — God bless them all … Oh – and there’s a stray cat that hunts in our backyard, I have gained her trust enough to be able to pet her now — I haven’t fed her b/c then I’d own her and Hubbs is deadly allergic. But I want to … MJ

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  15. You can always put me down for cat foster staff – RC says were fairly well trained…which is probably high praise from her…RC is getting up there in years too.
    Thanks for mentioning the pets of the flood. People don’t realize how fast the water came up – some people new to the area or haven’t gone through a storm like this weren’t prepared at all and suddenly the water went from just over the corn then it was waist, then shoulder deep. It just didn’t stop or lessen in intensity. Every kept thinking, oh, it’ll be over soon and it went on for days. Houston’s general population is one of the youngest in the nation. When they realized it was serious and they had mandatory evacuations, many grabbed kids and one bag and that’s all they could carry as they tried to swim out. Boats and authorities told everyone to bring the pets, but people panic and just have so many hands to cary stuff. A lot of people kindly put their cats (usually), bunnies, and dogs upstairs in a bathroom with food and water – expecting to go back to normal shortly…but these flood waters will last for weeks in some areas. So yesterday again was “go in and rescue the pets day” for Ft Bend sheriffs dept. and others kind souls with boats.
    They need pet food. Logistically shipping is backed up in Ft Worth waiting. I just saw a FedEx truck for the first time in over a week. If anyone wants to donate, please specify it is for Hurricane Harvey flood animals – or the money can and will get spent on other things elsewhere. We found that out in hurricanes Ike and Katrina. Consider the local Houston SPCA, or Ft Bend County Animal Shelter (Both are good organizations and doing a huge job and big effort for flood animals – Yes the Houston SPCA will not take pit bulls – long story but it is mandated by their liability insurance/Houston regulations years ago, so stop. They can just do so much. Houston SPCA also operated the Wild Life Rescue Center which is also very crowded. Pit Bull Rescue here is best one for that breed.) Second Chance Pets is the organization we adopted Molly from and they are also out there working. No matter who you choose to donate with, please check to see they are established with positive rescue history and specify Hurricane Harvey animal rescue. I think Amazon has wish lists for these rescue groups. They are transferring some animals in Houston area shelters to other cities like Atlanta and Denver. If you can foster an animal in your town, it may open a spot up for a flood pet that needs shelter.
    https://www.facebook.com/PetsAtFtBendAnimalControl/
    https://www.facebook.com/houstonspca/
    Favorite story of late yesterday was young determined career age girl determinedly kayaking into Cinco ranch in very high flood water who was intercepted by men in a large boat. She was after her cat in her 2nd floor apt – she escaped on foot in shoulder high water and though it would be over soon. They all headed to her apt – lucky they were along – I don’t think she could have made it up to her balcony without them hoisting her up – much less get the annoyed cat safely lowered to a dry boat. It was an old cat and been with her forever – she was going back no matter what anyone said.. That’s happening a lot. They all happy motored off to waiting cars as darkness fell on a very good ending.
    (sorry for such along comment.)

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  16. For the first time in my life I don’t have a cat. Lily died two weeks ago. The emptiness that exists when there is no cat in the house is palpable. They are family. They are love. They are companions.

    I’ve always had what my mother called the back up cat because whatever one cat was doing the other was usually hovering nearby “in case needed”. When Lily passed away that joke took on a new meaning. I hadn’t ever realized that when every previous cat passed away, I had another cat in the house to console me. To help me grieve and not feel the utter emptiness of the fills a home when there is no cat.

    Keep the back ups. 🙂

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    • Some cats are bigger than life. For me that was Jake and Magic. When they died I had other cats which helped a lot but I still grieved deeply. When I lost Jake, Morgan was still relatively new and very young and active. I don’t know what I would have done without her.

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  17. Pets are definitely family. Whenever I interviewed a potential employee I always asked if they had a pet. It is amazing how much you can tell about someone through that question. Needless to say, those without a pet had very little chance to be hired!

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    • Some people don’t have pets because they can’t. It may be allergies or a demanding job. Even in my relationships, not wanting pets was a deal breaker. Most pet owners have a patience you don’t always see. Then again there are some lousy pet owners.

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    • I don’t know why people abandon pets but then again, I’m not in that kind of situation so I don’t want to second guess. Sometimes people just abandon pets for no reason except they are old. There are many rescues going on. Both the Humane Society of US and Best Friends were there Friday. I know there are others working equally hard to help out the local shelters.

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  18. well said… I think Phenny has a secret Pact with Millie and Hazel… he prefers the weekend or holidays too to get sick… and because he is special subtle he even waits on workdays till it is after 6pm so we have to pay the eggs-tra fees, but nevertheless he is our wild child and we do all we can…

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