Sassy cats — Stuff we do to make them happy

This is a recent picture of Mollie on the staircase. She isn’t as spry as she used to be. There is an occasional wobble to her stride. Navigating the stairs takes time now but she still does it. She’d like us to install a ‘niptini bar halfway down so she can get a drink on her journey.

Over the years we have made changes to our lifestyle to accommodate our “clowder” of cats.

When Jake developed diabetes he needed two shots a day, close to 12 hours apart. Someone needed to be home to do that. Sounds hard but it’s not. Sometimes it meant stopping at home before going somewhere else or adjusting the timing a little. For vacations he was boarded so there were no worries.

When Mollie joined us she was already an adult with some habits, like drinking from the toilet bowl. That is banned in my house so we put the lid down. We’ve been doing that for 14 years now. I doubt whether she would drink there anymore. She isn’t as flexible and we haven’t reverted back.

When Hazel needed to diet, we re-positioned the food stations so she couldn’t reach and eat the other cats’ food. We had to stay one step ahead of her because as she lost weight she could jump higher and higher. Finally the other cats said “enough already!”

Morgan is a tall cat so she occasionally peed over the back edge of the litter box. It took a couple of different box tries but we found something that works and we added insurance by placing a puppy piddle pad on the back side just in case. Problem solved.

Gracie dictates what food we buy. She simply will not eat just anything — only one flavor of Fancy Feast. For a time we were supposed to have her on a special diet for urinary crystals. Ha! She wasn’t having any of that. It resolved itself on her beloved FF. All the cats have to eat that brand and that flavor! Thank you Gracie!

Shasha dictates when they eat. The other three are forgiving about the time. There is always hard kibble available but Shasha wants her wet dinner on schedule or else.

The beloved husband and I make accommodations for each other too. It falls into our routine. We all make accommodations for people and critters we love. It’s a way of life here.

65 thoughts on “Sassy cats — Stuff we do to make them happy

  1. Teddy and Jack pretty much decide things around here. Teddy wakes me up because it is time for breakfast and Jack never lets me forget when it’s time for treats. I have a queen bed but it might as well be a twin because the boys get upset if I roll over onto their side. Then there is the issue of afghans and who gets to use them….I could go on but you get the idea.

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  2. Oh, yes. I accommodate my humans all the time. I let them sleep in my bed. I let them pet me if they give me treats afterward. I test out their food sometimes to make sure it’s good enough for them to eat. I also fluff up their clothes sometimes when it looks like it needs it. I’m very accommodating.

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  3. I understand those accommodations for pets. Since I don’t have those anymore, the last 9 days have been so empty not having to revolve my schedule around them. ๐Ÿ˜ข

    Have a nice weekend, Kate.

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  4. It is wonderful to love a pet so much to accommodate their needs, but you never bat an eyelash because of how they repay you in love and devotion, so it is so worth it. I’ve never had a cat (allergic to them) but have had dogs growing up, but my best pets were my beloved birds through the years – the companionship mostly and not having an empty house. My mom used to say “all that pleasure from a few ounces of bones and feathers.” ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • Yes, and my neighbor, after her husband died suddenly and then her elderly cat developed dementia and she had Missy euthanized, had a whole period of time where she could not be alone – she went from another cat (a wild thing named Sassy who tore the Christmas tree and her sheers behind the tree to sheds and was returned to the shelter the next day), a dog who was equally as untamable, a series of parakeets (the cage fell over on the deck and they flew away) and a canary which she gave to my mom and me … Marge said she could not come into an empty house at night after work or out on errands or with family and friends. After all her unsuccessful “new pets” she finally settled on fish and said “I know they come to the front of the glass to see me, not just for the shaker of food I have in my hand.” She still lamented that they were nice, but made no noise.

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  5. Our cats have always been adept at letting us know just what they need and require, and we’ve been happy to accommodate them when we can. In return they have made small adjustments for us, like adapting to our sleeping schedule . . . sometimes, lol.

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  6. Sounds like you are wonderful cat parents to make all of those accommodations to make them happy. Right now, we’re only doing short trips. Our senior dog is hard to care for and now Harley needs fluids twice a week. I can’t put that on a cat sitter!

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    • At the end of both Jake and Hazel’s lives, I didn’t want to leave them either boarded or with a sitter. Jake’s last boarding episode (only 2 days) did not go so well. He was pretty upset when he came home and it was a place he’s been going to for years. They fuss over him a lot. When Hazel was upset, she got the squirts and I didn’t want a sitter to have to take care of that. Those periods were short though in comparison to the many good years they gave us.

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  7. Hi, Kate – Accommodating those whom we care about is one of the key ingredients in ‘love’. Richard and I often chat about the ‘way out there’ things that we regularly did for our dogs. We would do them all over again, without complaint, to have them back!

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  8. Good point! When compared to most of my friends’ husbands, Andy actually gets multiple gold stars. Because he will–with some persuasion and the occasional threat–do the work.

    But compared to all you do for Ray? We’re both slackers. You’re a great Dog Dad and Ray’s a lucky doggie.

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  9. Of course we accommodate! I find that women are way better at accommodating than men, though. Andy’s like, “Do we REALLY have to buy the special expensive food because the dog has allergies?” “Do I really have to get up at 5 AM because the dog needs to go out?”

    And actually, he really doesn’t have to do that last one because I do it.

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      • Good point! When compared to most of my friendsโ€™ husbands, Andy actually gets multiple gold stars. Because he willโ€“with some persuasion and the occasional threatโ€“do the work.

        But compared to all you do for Ray? Weโ€™re both slackers. Youโ€™re a great Dog Dad and Rayโ€™s a lucky doggie.

        Liked by 2 people

        • When we married, my husband and I made an agreement. He wouldn’t say anything about the number of cats if I did all the work and I do. If I’m ill or incapacitate for any length of time, he is great at cleaning the litter and feeding. He normally gives them all scritches and neck rubs. Mollie prefers his rubs to mine. For us it works. We don’t have a dog because of the extra work.

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            • In our case it was pretty much a necessity. I was retired when Ray moved in. Carol retired a year later so he was pretty much all mine for the first year (and my first dog!). The full story is in the book “Who Said I was up for Adoption?”, and there are quite a few book reviews on Net profits from the book sales will go to the Oakville & Milton Humane Society, being the organization that rescued him and put a lot of time and effort into making him a feasible candidate for adoption. You might find it an interesting read.

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  10. Funny but my husband and I were just talking “around” this very issue this morning – recalling the things we did to accommodate Sammy in his last few years and how we had a whole new set of things to adjust to with Teddy. But we do what we do because we love them and want them to be as happy as possible. Kind of like a good marriage – takes time to get things “sorted out” but it’s so worth it. I’ve never resented an “accommodation” made for the sake of our cats – EVER but I’ll admit (shhhh don’t tell!) it’s a little tougher sometimes to accommodate my “keep to the schedule” husband – even after 30 years. Absolutely beautiful photo of Mollie!

    Hugs, Pam

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    • The last few years are usually full of accommodations. Hazel was probably the toughest because she was prone to diarrhea. I had to be on top of her diet and give her meds when I saw the first signs. For the last year, Jake would wake up around 3 and cry. He did that almost every night and I’d have to “settle him down.” It was as if he woke up and didn’t know where he was. Kitty dementia. Heartbreaking for me (and also I didn’t get a full night’s sleep). I am the “on schedule” person in this house although not fanatic especially since I retired.


  11. Maggie has chicken meaty chunks for her main dinner. It’s dry food by Purina. They do a variety in beef or lamb, but she won’t touch either. She doesn’t like the pack mixed with biscuits which is actually cheaper as we could buy a big sack, though Barney was the other way and liked the biscuits but not the meaty chunks! We ended up buying him dry meat ‘rings’ which he loved as they were a cross between biscuits and meat! Our vet said find something your pet likes and stick with it, so we did and have.

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    • When I told my vet that I couldn’t get Gracie on the “special” diet, she said the same thing. Better that they eat. You and Colin are in similar situations although for different reasons. I know you don’t let Maggie at home alone and he can’t let Ray alone because of anxiety. We make it work though, don’t we?

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      • Maggie howls if we leave her alone at home, but if we take her somewhere in the car like shopping, she is quite content to curl up on the back seat and go to sleep. I suppose it’s because she knows we won’t be long and she hasn’t been ‘left’. We are lucky in that she is allowed in most of the venues where I play darts and is OK as long as she can see us. She is getting more anxious though, but we think that is to do with her failing eyesight and hearing more than anything else, bless her.
        Colin and Carol recognised Ray’s anxiety and were able to act on it. We all love our pets and work something out to suit and keep them content.

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  12. We don’t have any of those issues with Ray, but what we do have is severe separation anxiety. i.e. We do not have a life without him! That has stopped the cycling we used to do together. It means only one of us can food shop. A logical response is usually “so get a dog sitter!” Given Ray’s attitude to strangers who come into our home (total opposite to when he is out), we just couldn’t trust him with a stranger. We do have one “Ray approved” sitter though. She was a trainer at the shelter and he just loves her to death! So our lives, as a result of one dog, are somewhat limited unless Heather is free to dog sit! Do I have any regrets? Absolutely not. He is worth the sacrifice of some personal freedom. It’s much like having kids all over again, except getting them a sitter was much easier! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • I get it. As Jake got older, I was more concerned and watchful although I didn’t need a sitter to go grocery shopping. Many people carry their pets up stairs at night for bedtime or get up during the night to let them out to pee and think nothing of it. Like you said, they are so worth it.

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