So continuing from yesterday’s World Cat Day post here is the post dedicated to our own cat goddess. “Meow” ^_^
Top Ten Facts
1. 10 years old, or 10 years young I should say since she’s still like a kitten to us at least.
2. She likes plants and if you move any of her plants or they change in any way, she will know.
3. She is great at football, she can control and move the (tennis) ball perfectly even when balancing e.g. on the beams between chair legs.
4. She’s generally ‘nicely’ tempered, shy with strangers but then my animal companions always know how to act well behaved in front of strangers, aside from normal bad moods, the odd scratch and bite without any heart in it but just doing it to make a point you wouldn’t think that… She’s a brawler. She can go for ages with you thinking she’s all nice and cute and then Bam! Another cat comes along and it’s trash talking and fighting time with the other cat then realizing how stupid it was and trying its best to back out. There’s currently a stupid or sadistic cat next door that knows she doesn’t like it but winds her up in the evenings and sometimes calls her in the day outside, tried to pop in a window once. She got face to face with it once and it look like it regretted it and grateful when I got in between yet it still comes around. Seriously they’re just like annoying people that act tough behind a barrier and think they can get away with it.
5. She loves Mum, totally devoted; follows her around everywhere, loves to lay down/sit next to her and just stare, the closer to eye level the better. They have their own mini-language. They’re a bit of a comedy duo as Mum hates to be touched, doesn’t like touching others, doesn’t like things near her feet etc but loves kitty as much as possible and they are obviously best friends. They argue all the time and are quite similar; though Kitty barely listens to anything she’s told and pushy but whenever she’s in a bad mood with Mum it doesn’t last. She harasses Mum and wants to be centre of attention but they really are best friends as only they can be. For example, when we wake up she’ll totally bypass me if Mum is awake to greet Her. She tells Mum off for the slightest things like singing, blowing a kiss or sneezing – she acts like she’s been insulted when Mum sneezes lol – things that she’ll mostly ignore me doing but she wants to be near Mum and will even stay near quite a bit when in a bad mood but will let her tail do the talking “talk to the tail ‘coz the face ain’t listening”.
6. As you may have noticed we don’t have a ‘proper’ name for her, and that’s because we just couldn’t think of one that suited. So she’s called Kitty which to my mind is like calling a lion ‘Leo’ or a reptile ‘Draco’ and not really a name but Mum says it’s fine; plus she has a multitude of terms of endearment for Kitty anyway.
7. She used to be one of those cats that jumps on anything that moves but has learned to leave insects alone.
8. Is a typical cat in that she has to sit on the top layer of anything, as soon as you put something down she’s on it.
9. She doesn’t like her sides or stomach rubbed.
10. She went through major changes when she was chipped (done to her before she came to us); not only did it leave a bald patch but prior she was a regular outdoors cat and ate anything people ate. After being chipped she got scared of going out by herself without a chaperone, preferred to stay in and would get lost easily outside if not regularly checked on. She became extremely picky about what she ate – no longer eating the same food as humans but only ‘cat food’ and then only in partial amounts before leaving it and if she left it even for a few moments before going back to the plate wouldn’t touch it again. If you tried to show it to her or get her to eat more/finish it she’d just ignore you and act like the plate’s empty – ignoring you altogether or have some biscuits and walk away. Food that she’d seemed to like one day would then go off it, even when alternating ‘flavours’, types and brands. She also stopped drinking from a bowl and would only have running water, not swirling water like in a cat/dog electronic bowl but running water like from a fountain. She was like that for years but after having been with just us she has improved, likes going out and has got her sense of location back. The food issue is still difficult and she’d be better off eating more of what we eat as reading the ingredients on most highstreet brand cat food is sickening enough being animal based but it’s also extremely low quality, filler junk food. I don’t care what the adverts say most of their ingredients lists are very similar and there’s only a couple of store brands that don’t add artificial anything and everything to recipes without buying specialist brands let alone ‘cleaner’ less-gm and so-called less cruel brands. I’ve known a lot of people who feed cats dry food only, many of which also have little to no meat/fish in them and/or just added taurine though still called ‘whole/complete food’. People go on about cats being carnivorous; needing this, that and the other and that it’s neglect/abuse to feed them different diets/’food groups’ but most brands I’ve seen have approx 4% meat/fish and derivatives in them so they’re eating less of it than their ‘owners’. That said kitty knows how to be a yogi when it comes to refusing food, and becoming immune to weather.
An excellent backscratcher for persons of fur and humans?
This is a review I wrote a while back for a ball launcher we bought:
WHY I BOUGHT THIS:
In another time and/or place a bunch of tennis balls have found their way and I hope are living a contented and peaceful life.
However in this dimension my lack of tennis balls equals an annoyed feline which many of us know does not make a happy or uneventful home. It means more running around, shouting, despairing at scratched fabrics and noticing other things going missing, perhaps out of vengeance or spite? I know that the weeble that went missing years ago never turned up again even after determined hunting and a residential move. But then again I think that disappearance was the result of conspiracy between the furry and feathery members of the family/household and so the plan was so cunning and hiding place so clever that a mere foolish human such as myself was unable to find it ever again… not even the cold, wobbly remains of it.
So fast forwarding to the almost present, I couldn’t afford to get another set of 16 tennis balls and despite my search on the local highstreet there was no sight of one. Eventually I found a Poundland and asked an assistant who in dismay said sorry we don’t stock those. Damn I thought, how hard is it to find a ball! Even a bouncy ball! Then at the checkout that same assistant said she saw some of these launchers and that we (Mother and I) could use the ball from that. The price of being free of the kitty equivalent of dirty looks is well worth more than a pound and oh well if it meant storage space being taken up with the unnecessary bit (the launcher).
The product photo pretty much says it all but in short it’s a two piece item; the launcher is a long, smooth plastic stick with curves in all the right places to act as an extended arm, it’s medium Blue in colour and lightweight for ease of use and aim without your arm shaking. It’s like having the arm of a rounders pitcher without the hours of practice. One end is thicker and ridged with finger sized indentations for better grip and the other side is the ball holder which is scalloped to hold it firmly enough until launched. The side with the hand grip is almost hollow, making it really light to hold.
The ball is a simple rubber ball of slightly lighter weight than a conventional tennis ball and coloured in matching Blue and bright lime Green – not quite fluorescent but not far off. The ‘fur’ is very thin and close cut to the ball, so not furry… to start with anyway.
MULTIPLE AND IMAGINATIVE USES
1. First and foremost this toy is used as a masseur. Yep, we thought we were going to give her the ball and that would be it but to our surprise, as I removed it from the bag she immediately went up to it and stroked her face against the ball, whilst it was still in the launcher. She enjoyed it so much that she lay on her back and used her paws to manoeuvre the ball around her face, on her head and under her chin. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
2. The ball is removable so it becomes the choice of the furry person as to whether they want it in the launcher or by itself. When the human holding the ball becomes a burden and unable to serve their purpose as expected the furry person can easily remove the ball from the holder, with their paws if they’re classy or with their teeth if they’re eager, and massage themselves. Good for them, the overworked underpaid human doesn’t mind the extra break.
3. The stick itself next came under inspection and was not found wanting. It could be used as a massager too! The contours make it perfect for stroking curves all over at the same time and its smooth texture means that it can be used for stroking with and against the fur. For a more vigorous massage the head can be used as the perfect head massager. Of course it takes a human to do this, so be prepared when the person of fur gets tired of massaging themselves with the ball. We’ve also found that the launcher removes loose/malting hair really well and in thin filmy layers so it’s all in one place and easy to clean up afterwards.
4. Safety first! An excellent advantage of using this toy for grooming is that you have reach and that it’s not part of your body, that way when the furry ‘bundle of joy’ has had enough and rather than move away, puts up with the stroking whilst getting annoyed at you as if you’re psychically/telepathically supposed to know when to stop, instead of being mauled this handy modern stick and ball will protect you and act as a chew toy.
5. Other than acting as a pampering tool for the furry menace, this toy is pretty damned good at reaching things in high and awkward places like on top of cupboards and under beds so step ladders/standing on chairs and swearing after pulling your shoulder to reach something becomes a thing of the past. Also being superior than just using something long or a regular stick, the head on this makes a substitute light grip for holding and retrieving said out of reach objects.
6. If you’re a fan of Laurel and Hardy – you can do a really weird impression of Stan scratching his head by using the launcher instead…
7. You can actually scratch, well rub your own back with this for particularly difficult to reach places – you have to hold the stick backwards though so that the main arch/curve faces away from you otherwise the head won’t reach your back. It’s not exactly a replacement back scratcher and I’ve only just tried it now to see if it works but it’s quite soothing (lame I know).
ITS ORIGINAL PURPOSE
OK in regards to the actual intent of this playful tool – it’s really designed as a dog toy and for humans to play in harmony with their furry friends of the canine persuasion in the classic game of ‘Catch’. For that purpose this is an immensely helpful toy as not only will it increase the velocity of your ball throwing, it barely takes any effort and could help the reach of those with limited mobility. Your furry friend will get good exercise from this, but it’s best not to get carried away and throw it too hard and fast so that they will lose the ball before they get to the destination especially if you have the ‘fortune’ of living with the one with a thorough and compulsive personality where they have to complete a task no matter how long it takes or how arduous. For example, you don’t want to throw the ball at the beginning of a picnic, finish eating and then wonder where the dog got to…
Also bear in mind that the increased strength, distance and speed that this launcher will give you and the ball means that more items can or will be likely to get damaged in the process; use with caution indoors or in small gardens and the best place to witness the full extent of this simple but effective tool is in a wide open space like a park or field.
I’ve found this stick to be very durable, even with all the scratches and rough and tumble. The curve allows it to bend a fair bit which has decreased the possibility of it breaking but then again I’ve never used it much with rigour or for its original purpose so I don’t know how much strain it can take though it’s pretty hardy.
As aforementioned the ball is removable and hence replaceable. I’ve started debating whether to replace the ball as it could really do with a professional hairdresser. When I originally bought this I actually commented “at least it’s not as furry as a tennis ball, she won’t be able to bite it and get bits in her mouth” – oh how wrong I was. I never would have thought that this clean shaven crew cut ball would end up looking like a troll doll on a really bad hair day. It has so much fur on it that I’m almost incredulous as to how it was so tightly packed down to the surface/rubber in the first place, it’s furrier than any regular tennis ball we had. We find bits of it everywhere but the sticking point is she really likes it and likes playing with the ball of fur, likes biting bits off and playing football with it that way and it makes it easier for her to hold. So I guess for now it stays.
All in all it’s give high value for money with many hours of contented play and other practical and not-so-practical purposes. It has form and function – what more could you ask?
Note of caution (mean but funny) – Be careful to put this away if there’s anyone in your household of a jumpy disposition, because in the dark this really looks like a rearing snake. The similarity is visibly noticeable in the day so at night in that split second before rationalizing what the unrecognized character could possibly be the image of a snake isn’t so implausible and a scream could be uttered or choked before the lights are turned on. Ahem.
(Note – Since the above was written we’ve found that she actually prefers a wooden spoon as a ‘back scratcher’ and it’s much better for a thorough massage, removing loose hair, not poking or being too rough if not brushed gently like many brushes, go figure.)