Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Facebook page of Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat

ANNOUNCING: The Facebook page of Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat. 

Often a lot of things I want to share aren't long enough for a dedicated blog post, and my perfectionistic tendencies slow down my blogging, so this page is a way to "solve" both problems: sharing shorter and more frequent posts about Bear's antics and daily activities ("daily nibbles"). I hope you continue to enjoy Bear as much as I do.

BONUS: The Facebook page of Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat includes all the relevant posts from my personal page, in case you wondered about the Facebook posts that started this whole blogging journey (which I mentioned in my first post on the blog about why I created a blog).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What Your Cats Are Really Saying - To Each Other.

No doubt Bear (as the new kid) and Kitty (as the veteran resident) had some interesting conversations in their "short" {though no doubt seemed LONG} six months together before Kitty passed away. Luckily, given their  interactions, I could be relatively assured that they weren't plotting against us. Soon, I'll post a "Tale of Two Kitties" that shows the remarkable differences between the two felines, which caused much stress and consternation for everyone (hints of these in the conversations below). No doubt, Kitty did not like sharing her home with anyone but her mom.
Above: Bear (left) and Kitty (right)

Below: Kitty (left) and Bear (right)

Here's just a sample of "overheard" conversations:
B: Bear (new kitten)
K: Kitty (15 year old expert)

B: Did you see that ginormous chicken breast I got off the counter?

K: You could have eaten it too if you hadn't carried it over to Momma, effectively telling on yourself. But I do give you credit, you have balls to steal food from the people. Or . . . wait, I guess you had that surgery last week - never mind.
B: WHAT?!?! What surgery? What about my balls? Oooh, momma just opened the refrigerator, I'm gettin' me some food!
K: {SIGH} Moron.

B: Ooh flashlight! I'm going to get you, you silly thing - you will not get away!

K: You do realize that if you just stay still, the light will come back to you, right? Watch this (Kitty stays still, the light comes close enough and she sticks her paw out, "catching" it). See? You don't even have to move, the light always comes back if you ignore it. You look ridiculous running in circles.
B: Ooh flashlight, flashlight, flashlight, I will get you this time!
K: Moron.

B: So what's the deal with the Big Dodo?

K: Mom adopted him a few years ago, though I have no idea why. He's clearly a bit slow and dog-like, even for a human.
B: He doesn't seem to realize that Momma's the boss.
K: As I said, he's a little slow. I've had to live with him and he's weird and completely incompetent. He even peed in mom's bed every day for a month after she got him. Why didn't she get rid of him?!?!
B: Wait, I thought I overheard Momma say that it was you that peed in her bed every day for a month?!?!
K: You'd think she'd be smart enough to blame the big dodo and not me. He was the new kid - not me.
B: So it wasn't you?
K: Why? What did you hear? Peeing in beds is undignified. Cats are too smart (except maybe you), dodo human males? Not so smart.
B: Ummmm . . . 
K: Moron. No one can prove anything.

B: {thinking: oh, she's in the litter box, she's IN THE LITTER BOX, I must watch}

K: Do you mind?
B: Are you almost done?
K: Why, do you have to use it?
B: No, I just really want to cover it up when you are done. Why does it take you so long to go?
K: Because I'm old.
B: So are you done now?
K: Moron.

K: Seriously, mom gave you your own litter box - why do you keep using mine?

B: Because yours doesn't smell like me!
K: Mom even gave you the bigger litter box so all your "boy spray" all stays in the box. Fine. Use mine. I'll take yours.
B: But noooooooo! I want the box that smells like you!
K: Moron.

K: Why are you wearing a lamp shade?

B: What?!?!
K: What's the big cone thing around your neck?
B: So that when I meow, the sound is amplified. Momma wanted me to have it because I'm sooooo important to her that she always wants to hear me. I just can't walk with this, I try to move and don't go anywhere!
K: That's because you keep walking into the wall. Why don't you use your voice amplifier to tell Mom you need help walking and that you're an idiot?

B: {thinking: she's on the move. She's ON THE MOVE. Onward and upward!}

K: Do you seriously have to follow me everywhere?
B: But it's just so cool the way you eat and drink and use the litter box and sleep . . . everything is just so cool! SOOOO COOOL!
K: Remember, I said you have to stay at least 3 feet away. 10 is preferable . . . or no, go outside, I'll let you back in later and Mom will never know.
B: But I want to be with you!
K: 3 FEET, MO-FO, 3 FEET! (roar like a lion and quick bat to Bear's nose)
B: Damn! Ladies with an awesome right hook are SEXY! Wait! Where are you going? I'm coming too.
K: Moron.

B: I am going to dominate you, I am going to dominate you, I am going to dominate you! I am BIG, STRONG male! Be afraid, be VERY afraid. (meanwhile biting the scruff of Kitty's neck)

K: Fine, you win, you are the top cat, now just LEAVE ME ALONE! (Mom enters the room) GET THIS IDIOT OFF ME! Do you see what I have to put up with?

K: If you were smart about it, you'd stay off the counters and do what I do.

B: But, but, there's FOOD on the counter!
K: You rub up against Mom right as she starts to cook and then you leisurely lay on the floor near by. She has to be able to see you; and you have to be far enough away that she doesn't trip over you. She will appreciate you not being annoying (though I realize not being annoying is somewhat hard for you), and will gift you with food. You don't need to get on the counter to show you are there. You also avoid getting hurt - like when you ran across the hot stove.
B: But there was BEEF!
K: Yes, but you never got any. And you had to wear the lamp shade for a week. I just lay here looking cute and the cheese comes to me! No effort!
B: It wasn't a lamp shade! It was a voice amplifier! And I don't like cheese.
K: All the better for me.
B: Are you sure she knows we are here? I think I should remind her just in case.
K: {SIGH} Moron.

K: Why do you always have to eat my food and drink my water? Can't you just stay out of my stuff?!?!

B: Your food is yummy and your water bowl is bigger than mine.
K: Dude! My food is "diet" and specially formulated for my pee, you get high calorie deluxe kitten food! You clearly have no taste.
B: No need to get "catty." Get it? "CATTY" Hahahaha.
B: Okay. But can I watch you while you sleep?
K: I'm starting to think stupidity is a male trait - between you and the Big Dodo, you've got it covered. Moron. 

B: Do we ever get to go outside?

K: Why would you want to do that?
B: I don't know, to roll around and mark stuff - or maybe pee on something.
K: But you have food and shelter without having to do anything! If I can get you outside, will you go?
B: You'll let me back in, right?
K: Sure. Absolutely. {thinking: stupidity IS a male trait}

B: No one can find me, no one can find me, no one can find me. I am so smart!

K: So smart you hid in the fireplace - and now you look like a black cat.
B: I think black cats are sexy. I'm not a black cat normally?
K: Only when you're stupid enough to hang out in the fireplace. 
B: Do you think I'll be a black cat when I grow up?
K: Sure. When I was your age, I was an all white cat.
B: WOW! That is SOOOO cool! So what do I do to make sure it happens? Is there something special I have to do?
K: {thinking: Moron.} Well, you could stay in the fireplace forever or you could sit in that corner over there and wait for "the change."
B: But you never go over there! Does it have to be that corner? Or will you come and wait with me?
K: No son, this is something you have to do by yourself. Besides, I need a nap, in another room.

B: Shake it shake it. Walk like you OWN this bitch!

K: Why do you prance around like a street-walker?
B: Because I'm so pretty! Everyone that comes into contact with me is L-U-C-K-Y! I gotz the pride! I gotz the POWER!
K: Annoying.
B: You're just jealous because you waddle.
K: Say what? I just don't go around strutting my stuff. My butt doesn't need to go back and forth to know I got it! I know I'm fabulous and I don't have to make an effort to show it!
B: You still waddle.
K: Don't you have something better to do? Like stick your paw in the toaster or chew on some cords or something?
B: Why would I do that?
K: You get a surprise!
B: Oooh, ooh, I LOVE surprises.
K: Perfect. Moron.

{Kitty is sleeping in her favorite spot while Bear watches}
B: Do you think my tail is sexy?
K: {Opening one eye} You do realize I'm sleeping, right?
B: Do you think my tail is sexy?
K: What?
B: Isn't my tail sexy?
K: Sure, kid.
B: So you DO think my tail is sexy.
K: Whatever you say.
B: My tail is sexy!
K: Did you get whacked upside the head one too many times by your real mom? Maybe your litter mates?
B: S - E - X - Y!
K: How the heck can Mom go from no-nonsense cat to this vapid moron?
B: But I'm sexy.
K: If you don't stop sticking your tail in my face, you'll be sorry.
B: Don't you wish your tail was this sexy?
K: {mumbling to herself} The quality of our environment has steadily decreased . . . first the Big Dodo and now THIS! I have to question Mom's ability to judge one's character.
K: MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM! The moron is sticking his tail in my face again!
B: You can't handle my SSSS-E-XXXXXX-Y!
K: Imma about to if Mom doesn't show up soon!
B: SSSS-E-XXXXXX-Y. {Bear does his little "sexy" prance} I'm too sexy for my tail, too sexy for my tail. Listen to the other cats WAAILLL!

B: Will you be my friend?
K: Isn't it bad enough that I have to live with you?
B: But we could play together and snuggle and be best friends!
K: Not likely.
B: But I'm so cute and cuddly - Momma always says so.
K: Great for her.
K: Because you are annoying enough in the little time we spend together. Go climb something.
B: Will you come too?
K: Now I get why Mom adopted you, she felt sorry for the survival prospects of the village idiot.
B: But I don't know the village idiot!
K: Exactly.

And finally . . . a Kitty-era conversation between Momma and Bear:
MK: Momma Kat
BC: Bear Cat

{Momma walks in the front door, and looks around}
MK: Ummm . . . Bear, are you OK?
BC: Yeah. Why?
MK: Because you were sitting just like that in the litter box when I left two hours ago.
BC: You remember I followed Kitty in here, right?
MK: Right. After following her everywhere all morning and watching her sleep, eat and use the litter box.
BC: After I came in, she told me I could go first - which was really nice. She told me that while I went she was going to grab a bite of food. She promised to come back and get me so we could take a nap together - but I had to promise her I'd keep the litter box warm in the mean time.
MK: Bear, you can see her food bowl from here.
BC: I KNOW! That's what's so troubling! Something must have happened to her - maybe she got lost or something ate her. We should go find her! I mean, she wouldn't just LEAVE me here, would she? She couldn't FORGET me, right?
MK: {Momma finds Kitty sleeping soundly in one of her favorite hiding spots in another room.} I think we'll just leave her alone. How about we play string?
BC: And flashlight?
MK: Sure.
BC: But what if Kitty gets mad at me for not staying in the litter box until she gets back?
MK: How about some treats?
BC: Oh, oh, treats!
MK: You have to come out of the litter box first.
BC: Oh, right.
BC: Can we play now? Oh string! I love you string! STRING!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The good news is your cat is not pregnant ... the bad news is ... (or How We Met)

To begin to understand why Bear has made such an impression on me (and qualifies for 'extraordinary' status), you must know the story of how Bear became a part of my family. Remember I said "begin to understand;" in later throwback posts, you will see that Bear has an attitude that almost rivals the size of his extra-extra-large heart.

After signing the lease on our new apartment (the basement of a house), the owner commented that if we liked cats (we had a 15 year old cat that was mentioned in the lease), there were homeless cats that came around that the owner occasionally fed. I gasped in horror because my first thought was, "OH MY GOD! I am going to want to save and adopt every single one of those cats!" I knew my husband (at the time) would never go along with that nonsense - and he was shaking his head at me to indicate he knew exactly what I was thinking. I casually asked how many cats there were and the lady said she wasn't sure because they seemed to come and go. Luckily, with all the stress of moving across the country, I forgot all about the cats.

Fast forward to three months later. 
None of the cats had really seemed to care much that we were there and I was relieved that it looked like I'd "escaped" from having to personally save a flotilla of cats. My 15 year old cat had several health problems and all of a sudden stopped eating the only variety of canned food she'd eaten for 5 years (I had to make sure she ate a little after each insulin shot so I fed her a small amount of wet food after each shot). And just to be clear, I kept trying to give her other varieties over the course of the 5 years, and even though she'd eaten them all at one point, for FIVE YEARS she stubbornly refused to eat anything by turkey. Of course, I'd stocked up on this one flavor, so I wasn't sure what to do with the extra cans and the few bags of treats she'd suddenly turned up her nose at. One day as I was carrying in our groceries, I saw this tiny kitten that had a black stripe down its back and stripes of black, brown, gray and white all over. For whatever reason, I thought, well, now's the time to get rid of the food. Because the kitten had hidden under the deck next to our door, I made sure it was watching and placed some treats on the stones next to the sidewalk. I could see it sniffing the air, but it became clear the kitten wouldn't come out while I was there. So I went inside and put a few of the groceries away and then checked outside. No sign of the treats - but the kitten was back under the deck and still watching. So I dumped out the rest of the bag and went back inside. After I got done putting everything away, I checked outside and all the treats were gone, as was the kitten. I felt the pull to befriend the kitten and worried that I wouldn't see it again. 

Little did I know that the kitten had been watching and it started coming around every morning at 5 am when my husband left for work, and every evening at 4 pm when he got home. I'd take out some food in the mornings - but it never wanted to eat while I was there - instead, it rubbed up against me and crawled in my lap and rolled on its back so I could rub its belly. I started to look forward to that 10-15 minutes of my day, in the peace of the early morning, where the kitten and I just enjoyed each other. I couldn't believe that this tiny kitten, who was clearly hungry, preferred love to food (it wasn't guaranteed it'd get it when I left because I quickly learned that as soon as I left, the other cats would come for the food and it'd back away and let them have the food). 

I fought a horrible battle with myself because I wanted to adopt the kitten, but knew it was a bad and dangerous idea because my 15 year old cat had medical problems that were hard enough to manage without bringing a new cat with unknown diseases into the mix. Plus, she'd been an only cat for 15 years so I couldn't imagine how it could go well. She BARELY tolerated my husband (when we moved in together she peed in my bed every day for at least a month), much less another cat. After going back and forth and dragging myself through endless battles, I decided I had to think of my 15 year old and say no. It was getting cold outside, closer to winter. Most of the excess food was gone. By this time, I'd decided the kitten was a "she," and named her "Lily" because it seemed like such a fantastic name for this loving, gentle soul. Unexpectedly, one night my husband came home and told me we were adopting the kitten. Even though I'd made the decision not to, it still killed me to think of what would happen to Lily once winter came, especially if we stopped feeding her. In retrospect, he clearly thought he was doing me a favor and rescuing me from the constant fight in my head. Since he promised to help with the cats, I agreed. But I decided that if we did this, I'd make sure to get Lily checked out at the vet before exposing her to Kitty (the 15 year old) - for all diseases and anything that could hurt my 15 year old. This meant I had to make an appointment and hope Lily would be around for me to snatch her. I also investigated how to introduce cats into a household and litter box train them, bought appropriate food and bowls, and set-up our second bedroom for the task of confining Lily until she got used to our household and was litter box trained. This time in limbo was hard because I was scared Lily would get hurt or disappear while I was trying to get everything ready. I finally made the appointment, but had to cancel when Lily disappeared for a few days. 

The second appointment we made. I put her in the carrier and went back inside to call the vet and make sure they had time. By the time my call was answered, I could hear poor Lily outside (LOUDLY) meowing up a storm and shaking the carrier, almost tipping it over (it didn't help that one of the other cats had come to watch the show). This made me wonder if we were making a mistake - could a cat that was outside and homeless for its entire life adjust to being just an indoor cat? We went to the vet and she was checked out. She weighed only 4 pounds and the vet determined she was about 8 months old. The vet indicated that her belly was distended and insisted on doing an ultrasound to check if she was pregnant. Again, in horror, I listened to her tell me I had a choice to make: do we take in the cat anyway and care for the kittens? Do we abort the pregnancy? Or do we do nothing and let her go outside and give up on Lily entirely? I had horrible visions of kitty abortions and wondered how I could honor my conscience without giving up on Lily (no judgment on abortions intended, but the thought of making the decision for her was hard to take). Five minutes later, the vet came back and told me they'd shaved her belly to do the ultrasound but found something they weren't expecting. She said, "I don't know exactly how to tell you this, but the good news is that your cat is not pregnant. The bad news is that she is really a he." My jaw dropped to the floor. I assumed a loving cat would be female and since I didn't see any obvious "equipment" (never bothering to look up cat anatomy), I just assumed Lily was a girl. Shocked. I imagined all kinds of horror: spraying, territorial battles, and general "maleness" (no offense to males, but I already cleaned up after my husband's messes and couldn't imagine another burping, farting, ornery male). So I sucked it up and assured the vet that we still wanted him and had the tests done - all of which came back perfect. So I drove home, still stunned into that place where you are lucky if you can even remember your name, and brought him home. 

Our kitten on the first day in HIS new home (and yes, part of his belly was shaved before the aborted ultrasound).

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bored on a Saturday night ...

This is what happens on a Saturday night when you and your cat are bored ...

Because, really, what is the scanner for if not to entertain (you and) your cat? 

Unfortunately, he now won't move . . . and the claws and fangs are out! See: No more boring Saturday night!

PS - The cat chose to sit on the scanner of his own free will. No coercion was involved, and Momma was actually slightly annoyed at the sudden inability to scan documents without losing an appendage.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Welcome to Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat

Welcome to Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat. This blog is dedicated to my cat Bear, who entertains just about every one, including himself. I've been posting a lot of Bear related items to my Facebook page and was encouraged by my friends to start a dedicated blog (it remains to be seen whether they really want to read a separate blog or are just tired of all my Facebook cat-related posts).

Why is Bear extraordinary? He's the perfect combination and interplay of big heart and big attitude. Loves are his favorite, then food, then play. But he's not your typical sweet pussy cat. He loves to be mischievous and point out when he is not getting the attention he deserves. This usually involves deciding on a plan, making sure I am watching him, and then executing said plan (like sticking his paw in the toaster or knocking things in the toilet). So he can be a bit of a $#!+ disturber at times, but I'm pretty sure it's not out of meanness, but instead a way for him to get what he wants (he is the cat after all). It's all about him, all the time, except for when he doesn't want it to be that way. I'm mostly happy to oblige and go along for the ride. Above all, he's extraordinary because he is perfect for me. I admire his stubbornness and spirit, while appreciating his great capacity to love. He inspires me, makes me laugh and keeps me honest (he knows the things I shouldn't be doing just as well as he knows what he shouldn't be doing). Some times we are crazy together and chase each other around, but more often than not, we are snuggling on the couch. I wouldn't change either, or all the shades in between, for the world. At times, I'm awed by this little, living, furry thing that brings me so much happiness (and pain, he does have fangs and claws too) and I'm reminded that life is a miracle and something to cherish - whether it be mine or his.

Right now, I envision three main "labels" (you can see all posts for a label by clicking on that label at the end of the post) for the blog: C) Current events, A) Awareness (issues I feel strongly about and want to highlight), and T) Throwback (stories from the 9 years of Bear's life to this point). Yes, those three items spell "CAT;" it was intentional. I plan separate tags for my entries (Momma Kat) and those from Bear (Bear Cat). Yes, occasionally, Bear might even grace the blog with a thought or two (he has many, though most are not appropriate for a general audience). As I am sarcastic and use wit to cope with all the absurdities of life, you will see that Bear is the same (if only because I'm the one interpreting for him). Just as a warning, some times I make jokes (about myself and Bear) that confuse people because the matter is so serious. That is how I cope. I would not say the same things about anyone else for fear that it might be interpreted as not taking the situation seriously or minimizing the seriousness of the situation. But some times, the matter is too much (absurd, ridiculous, out-of-my-control, devastating, etc), that the best way I know how to manage it is to make it sarcastic or funny or anything besides down right depressing.

I'd love feedback! Please let me know what you like and don't like! Every thing is up for grabs here, except for the cat himself: He's mine! But I will share him with you :) 

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