Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Send Them Forget Me Nots

I'm going on a short business trip in the near future, and the prospect of spending a few days without my boys is making me very nervous. The boys will be in good hands. My fiancee Liz will be taking care of them in my absence, but I'm wondering how this trip will affect our relationship.

Since adopting the boys on November 13th, I have never been away from them for more than 24 hours. Once or twice, I visited my parents overnight while Liz remained with the boys. On Christmas Eve, I left them home alone over night, but was home by 11 am the next morning.

I'm wondering if the boys will forget about me or think I abandoned them. I can call Liz from the road but I can't really call the boys. What can I do to stay on their minds while I'm out of sight? Liz suggested that I leave some smelly socks of mine for them to play with. Any ideas?

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Liz's Bright Idea

This morning, my fiancee Liz went to the local Petco and picked up a new brush to use on the boys. The old brush is metal and this one has softer bristles so we're hoping the boys like their grooming better.

While she was at the Petco, she saw that the local cat rescue group was there as always, and she gave them a small donation on behalf of Arthur and Beowulf.

There are so many wonderful rescues and no-kill shelters out there and they all deserve help, but we haven't heard of a chairty that provides free or low cost veterinary care for low-income cat parents. You may recall that we took Arthur to an emergency vet back in December and we were saddened when we met a woman in the waiting room who almost had to let her cat die because of the incredibly high cost of the surgery her cat needed.

Liz's idea: start a charity to help people who can't afford it pay for feline medical care. I don't have the time or energy to start such a charity now, but I think it's a good idea. Is anyone doing something like this currently?

Cute Cat Film

My finacee Liz and I spent the afternoon lounging around, watching movies we rented from Blockbuster. Anyway, one film we took out is called "The Cat Returns" and it's an Anime film from Japan that has been imported and dubbed over by Disney. The story centers around Haru, a Japanese schoolgirl who saves the life of a magical cat and is transported to the "kingdom of cats."

Clearly, it's aimed at young children, but anyone who loves cats can appreciate the story. On the other hand, I think we'll rent this again the next time we have to baby sit Liz's four year old niece.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Just Call Him Dr. Beowulf

As I said before, I really have noticed that my cats have an ability to help me relax and focus on the positive things in life. Beowulf is particularly good at sensing when Liz or I need him and coming to sit on our legs or lean against us.

Yesterday, I had a sore wrist and he came and sat with me and, as I stroked him, the pain seemed to decrease. It was all psychological I'm sure, but it still felt good. When I stroke him and feel the vibration of his purr, a lot of stress and pain leaves my body.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A Lover and a Healer

Yesterday, I was feeling kinda down when I came home from work, but my boys were there, as always, to cheer me up. I've noticed, however, that each boy has his own way of expressing affection to us humans.

Arthur likes to play games; he'll turn his head, look at me from across the room, and meow for me to follow him. I'll usually end up following him into the kitchen where he'll rub my feet and expect a belly rub in return. Sometimes he'll go so wild that he'll grab my ankle and try to pull my toes into his mouth. This is very sweet, affectionate behavior, IMHO, but I've got to follow him around and play by his rules.

Beowulf, on the other hand, has a great knack for knowing when you need him. If you're feeling depressed or ill or just tired, he'll come sit next to you or lie down on your legs. He's a healer. Feeling the vibration of his purr would be enough to make anyone feel better.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Woman Wins $45,000 in Lawsuit Over Cat Death

These days, we hear a lot of talk about frivilous lawsuits, but I don't consider this suit frivilous at all. Accroding to the Associated Press (via CNN), A woman in Seattle, Washington just won a $45K judgment in a lawsuit against a neighbor whose dog came into her backyard and killed her cat.

Of the $45K, $30K was awarded for the cat's "special value" and another $15K was given for emotional distress. Apparently the 30K value according to the cat tied a record, but I honestly don't think it was enough. Our cats are living beings, not property. I understand that society will probably never give an animal the same kind of respect that it gives to human beings, but I'm wondering how much this woman would have won if her 12 year old son was mauled to death by the neighbor's dog. I think she'd be able to win a few million dollars in a wrongful death suit, not just 30K.

The life of a cat is not disposable. That cat was her family and you just can't put a pricetag on family. I hope this lawsuit at least sends the message to dog owners that they are responsible for their animals' behavior.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Cute Site Alert: Clean Your Screen for Free

Normally, I don't even click on "cute" sites that people send me. I'm not one of those people that needs a cuteness break, but when my fiancee Liz sent me to http://www.clean-your-screen-for-free-now.com, I clicked on it and the cat on the screen reminds me so much of Beowulf.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Candid Kitty Camera

Normally, the pictures we post here at NCC are those that came out pretty well. However, the other day, my fiancee Liz decided to get an extreme candid close-up of the boys by waving the camera strap in front of them. So here they are, whiskers and all.

Is this the Face of a Slave Driver?

When I first started visiting the Cat Forums at About.com, I'd always laugh at the people who referred to themselves as a "slave" to their cats. Now, I'm ready to refer to myself as a cat slave. The boys, Arthur especially, have me trained to do their bidding.

Several times a night, Arthur will want a attention and he'll stare at me and meow. I'll get up and he'll walk into the kitchen, beckoning me to follow, and of course, I always follow. Sometimes, he'll want a treat, but most often, he just wants to rub his head against the top of my foot and for me to give him a belly rub. I'll try to go back to what I'm doing but he'll keep meowing until I follow him back into the kitchen again. He's the king. How can I not do his bidding?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Crate News

This weekend, we tried out the Pet Dreams Cratewear crate cover we just bought. We got this for a few reasons:

  • We want the cage to become a kitty condo for the boys.

  • On those rare occasions when we have to confine the boys for an hour or two (ex: when we're vacuuming the livingroom or taking apart a computer), we want them to be as comfortable as possible.

  • Putting a cover over the cage means that they won't be able to kick litter all over the place if we put a litterbox in there with them.

  • The cage is furniture now. It's in the middle of our livingroom. We want it to look nice to us humans too.

The Cratewear kit comes with three parts: a pad for the bottom of the cage, bumpers for the sides, and a big piece of cloth to cover up the top, back, and sides. Of course, this kit was designed for any 36" cage so it's not a perfect fit. As soon as we put the bumpers on, we realized they were too loose to stay on and the cover itself is such a loose fit that the boys started pulling it off so we put both the bumpers and the cover away temporarily, while leaving the pad in.

Still the boys loved the covered cage. It's the kind of hiding place they have been wanting for a long time. We plan to have my fiancee Liz's mother make some adjustments to the cover (maybe shorten it and add some straps to strap it to the cage bars) and to put it back on. In the mean time, the boys are in love with their new bedroom. We haven't been locking them in there, but they spent half the weekend sleeping in the cage.