Cat Project Archives for October 22-26,
22, 2018: "Don't think that I'm silly for liking it,
I just happen to like the simple little things, and I love
cats!" - Michelle Gardner
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "I was interrogating him and he fell
onto my claws. I swear!"
Cat Mewvie: Journalist Jamal Khashoggi
and the cat. (Trump is a bastard.)
Feline Art: "Mane Bun"
by Travis Chapman.
to do with a shy cat.
by Joan Morris
Q: I adopted two young cats a few months ago from different agencies.
Bella loves and adjusts to everyone. Lovey, on the other hand, is talkative
and loving only to me.
When I first got Lovey, she hid in the closet for two to three days,
finally coming out to be fed. She doesn’t like to be picked up,
although I can do it occasionally if I grab her quickly. Getting her
into the carrier is a struggle — it takes two of us to do it.
I have to take her to the vet each month to clip her nails and put prevention
flea medicine on her as she won’t let me handle her in any way.
She was fostered before I got her, but the foster mother apparently did
not know about her behavior.
The good part is that Lovey and Bella have bonded, play constantly and
really love each other. When there are just the three of us in the house,
Lovey is happy. However, when I have a visitor, even my daughter and
grandson who helped me find Lovey, she runs away and hides.
What worries me now is that family is coming in stages over the holidays
and I’m so afraid she will disappear the whole time — hopefully
hunger will force her out for short periods.
Do you think this fearful behavior will ever change?
A: Cats are a perpetual puzzle. Some are very affectionate, some are
stand-offish, some are both and choose which face to put forward based
on some cat logic that eludes us.
It sounds to me as if Lovey might not have been socialized when she was
a very young kitten. That could be because she was taken from her mom
and siblings too early. She might also have had a rough go in life before
being rescued and arriving at your loving home.I had a cat, Andy, who
also didn’t care for company. Whenever anyone knocked on the door,
Andy disappeared. His magic act was so consistent that friends began
to wonder if I really had a cat.
Then one day, I threw a house-warming party for me and a third birthday
party for Andy, although I warned my friends they likely would never
see him. Just as the party was getting into the full swing of things,
Andy appeared, plopped himself down in the middle of the crowd and began
Apparently, he had just been waiting for a large enough crowd to appreciate
his amazing self. He never disappeared on company again.
Be patient with Lovey. Don’t force her from her hiding place when
company comes. Instead, make a safe place for her to escape to. Put her,
a litter box and food and water dishes in a room, leaving the door ajar
should she choose to wander out.
Keep reminding her, and Bella, of how much they are loved. The more she
interacts with you and Bella, the less fearful she’ll become. You
also could try introducing her to people one at a time and work up to
Lovey might never be a social cat, but she may become less aloof as time
23, 2018: "Actually, cats do this to protect you from
gnomes who come and steal your breath while you sleep." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: While Ted Cruz was shedding his skin Beto
O'Rourke was cuddling kittens.
(This is a totally unbiased view of the Texas Senate race.)
Cat Mewvie: His favorite tune.
Feline Art: "Iron
Giant and Atchoun" by
24, 2018: "I have studied many philosophers and many
cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Every day is "Take Your Cat Voting Day".
Cat Mewvie: Death to Teddy.
Art: "Cat With Sprinkles" by Danial Ryan.
25, 2018: "Maybe cats purposely break stuff off of
shelves so that when the owner buys a replacement, they
can play in the boxes." - carpy
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Do you really have to go to work today?"
Cat Mewvie: Pardon me?
Feline Art: "Kitty
Skull", artist unknown.
26, 2018: "With their qualities of cleanliness, discretion,
affection, patience, dignity, and courage, how many of
us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?"
- Fernand Mery Her Majesty the Cat
Gratuitous Kittiness: "And my AXE!"
Cat Mewvie: The Booping Game.
Feline Art: "Forest
by Artem Chebokha.
learned from an older cat.
by Christine Schoenwald
Yoshi is sitting on the table next to me with his head on my arm, which
makes it challenging to type. He’s all about proximity these days
as he wants a steady stream of affection and warmth from his humans.
I can’t imagine that he’s cold — it’s 95 degrees
in the house, but he is always trying to sleep on the computer or my
Yoshi is an old man, but he’s still my baby. He has been my muse
(this isn’t the first piece he’s inspired), my nurse (still
not sure how therapeutic his jumping-on-my-stomach-after-surgery was)
and my role model.
And now, in his golden years, he’s giving me a glimpse into my
own future as an older adult.
From Older Kitten to Old Cat
Although I don’t know how old exactly Yoshi is (I prefer it that
way), I suspect he’s somewhere around 17 or so — and definitely
a senior cat.
I met Yoshi as a kitten, but he didn’t become my pet until a year
or so later. My friend, who had rescued Yoshi and his brother, needed
to downsize from a house to an apartment and could only keep one of her
cats. I got Yoshi, and he was the best gift I ever got.
I would be remiss if I didn’t give a description of my handsome
guy: his fur is fluffy gray with white patches, he has beautiful green
eyes and his distinctive markings include a white triangle on his nose,
white-tipped paws and a fluffy white beard.
Yoshi seemed to transition from an older kitten to old cat in a very
short time, but maybe I just refused to see the changes along the way.
One day, he went from jumping from the highest perch to having a difficult
time keeping his legs firmly on the ground. Since he has fur sticking
out between his toes, I tried to pass off his sudden sliding to his fur
growing so long he no longer had much traction. Another sudden change
is how bowlegged he has become, which is a sign of arthritis, just like
the kind I have in my knees.
Adjustments for Physical Limitations
I need to have a glass of water nearby when I work, but ever since a
few years ago when Yoshi knocked over my glass and ruined my computer,
I need to put the glass out of harm’s way, so I place it on the
breakfront next to the table.
Since drinking out of a human’s glass is preferable to drinking
out of the large ceramic bowl on the floor (where the water is changed
at least once daily), Yoshi will lean over to the shelf that the glass
is on, putting his paws on either side of the glass while his back legs
and feet remain on the table. This action has much potential for disaster,
so I will move the glass to the table. I hold onto it while trying to
communicate to Yoshi that he should drink from the glass there. Because
of Yoshi’s physical limitations, the act of drinking water has
become something that must be supervised and choreographed.
Yoshi hasn’t adjusted or adapted to his physical limitations, and
as I don’t want Yoshi to get hurt, I’ve made some adjustments
for him. There’s always a chair pulled out away from the table,
so he can use it as a way to get off and on the table. And I clean the
litter box more frequently, as he has been known to sleep in it occasionally
(it’s a covered box, and he may forget what he went in there for).
I’ve also placed stepping stools around other places he may need
to get to, such as the top of the bed or the kitty condo, so he can do
his cat activities for as long as possible.
8 Valuable Lessons About Aging
I know that Yoshi’s time here on earth is limited, but I’m
grateful for the things he continues to teach me every day and for the
love he shows me. Here are eight of the lessons I’ve learned:
• Be honest with yourself about your limitations. I took an aerobics class
that killed my knees — my doctor had said I needed to work up to an hour
of aerobics and to start out with smaller increments. He didn’t say don’t
do it or avoid the challenge, just to be smart about what I could do, what I
could work up to and what I probably would never be able to do, so it’s
likely I won’t be able to be a Vegas show girl. While I don’t think
Yoshi recognizes his limitations in the least, I know I need to.
• Keep active. I know we all should know this, but Yoshi brought it home.
On days that he has energy to play a little with our other cat, Josie, Yoshi
seems happier and less achy.
• Have goals. Okay, so I said to be honest with yourself about what you
can’t do, but there’s still a million things that you can do that
you’ve probably never done. For instance, Yoshi is still determined to
kill his catnip ladybug and his age hasn’t dimmed that desire one bit.
• Ask for, and accept, help. Sometimes we’re too proud to ask for,
or accept, help when it’s offered — perhaps we think it makes us
look weak. I don’t want Yoshi to suffer, especially if he doesn’t
have to, so I’m going to do whatever I can to make things easier and better
for him. I hope that whenever I need help, I’ll take it when it’s
• Be diligent. Don’t ignore the little nagging things, praying that
they’ll go away instead of seeing a doctor. I want Yoshi to live a remarkably
long life (I’m hoping for 20+ years), so I watch him closely for signs
of any behavioral or health changes and then take him to the vet.
• Never underestimate the power of a good stretch. A study in the Journal
of Gerontology found that there were significant improvements with body pain
and the quality of life for older adults when they engaged in a regular regimen
of stretching and flexibility exercises. No matter how old and creaky Yoshi gets,
he still enjoys stretching his whole body so that he’s the length of a
• Know the importance of love. Both humans and cats need to feel love and
affection, so be like Yoshi and demand it. And be sure to give it in return.
• Savor the small moments. Not to be crude, but if you could see Yoshi
as he runs like a puma out of the bathroom after a successful visit to the litter
box, you would see joy on his face. You don’t have to win a million dollars
or go skydiving to enjoy the little things in life; sometimes the perfect cup
of tea or a gorgeous sky can make your day.