- Pets and Animals
Cats Are Great Pets
Always A Cat In My Life
Here you'll find bits and pieces about the cats in my life, both now, and in the past.
The photo is Tia, the girl I shared my home with prior to my current cat. She is snuggling into her beanbag. She was very spoiled and a trifle precocious, but hey, cats are like that! I wouldn't have missed having her anyway, even if she did wake me at 5 am sometimes.
Whatever their idiosyncrasies, I don't think I'd like to be without a cat!
All photos are my own, unless otherwise noted.
Don't You Dare Pick Me Up!
Tia, unfortunately, hates to be picked up. Now that she isn't allowed outside unless she's in her pen, this is a problem, as the pen is the old chicken pen, and it's at the bottom of the garden.
Usually when I pick her up to take her there, we have an assortment of growls, howls, and sometimes, nips and scratches. Luckily, the nips and scratches are becoming less now that she is more used to being carried to the pen.
I also have to carry her back after she's had her time outside, which is usually a recurrence of the trip out, although not quite as noisy. This is probably because she knows she will now be fed and get a drink of special cat-milk, which she loves.
Wish she was a cat who enjoyed being cuddled and carried though.......
If you live in a safe area, it's a great idea to have a cat door so that your pet can come and go as it pleases. A lock to keep puss inside when necessary is good to have.
Oh No, Not The Cattery!
Well, yes, I'm afraid so.
We went to New Zealand for a break, and after much thought, we decided to put Tia into a cattery this time, instead of having someone feed her at home.
The reason for this was that she was getting old, and there were a lot of cats around here who tried to take over her territory. One tomcat in particular took to coming in through the cat door, stealing her food, and spraying the hall as a thankyou. He even got up on the kitchen bench and stole the chickens' scraps.
It wouldn't have been very safe to leave Tia in these circumstances, so although she'd never been in a cattery before, it was be much better for her to be safe while we were away.
Needless to say, I chose a cattery I'd used in the past, for other cats, so I knew she'll be looked after.
Tia cried in the car, all the way to the cattery, which was a bit upsetting. She wasn't impressed at all with being left there, but the lady who looked after her was petting her, and we hoped she'd settle in ok.
I hoped she would forgive me when I picked her up after the holiday.........
Tia Didn't Like The Cattery One Little Bit!
In fact, to say Tia didn't like the cattery could be an understatement!
She wasn't impressed at all with the trip in the car, which was about thirty minutes, and let us know it, loudly, for most of the journey.
The cat unit she was in had two levels, the top one for sleeping, with pads and a blanket, to which I added her own blanket. There was a branch attached to it, which acted as a climbing rail, and a scratching post. On the lower level were the litter tray, and food and water bowls, with good space between.
Everything looked fine, and I've used this cattery before, for other cats, so we left, feeling we'd done the best we could for Tia.
Halfway through our holiday, we received a call from the cattery - Tia wasn't eating well, and they were concerned about her, and wanted to know if we had any tips to get her to eat. I'd already supplied some of her own food, so all I could recommend was that they give her some warm milk, which she loves, and stroke her head when giving her the food.
It seemed to help a little, and when we picked her up, although she'd lost some weight, she was soon back to her usual self. For the first few days, though, she'd hardly let me out of her sight!
The Cattery Yet Again !
A few weeks ago, Tia had to be put in the cattery once more, because we had to be away for a couple of nights. Fortunately, this time was a much shorter stay and therefore much less traumatic for her. It also was good practice for her, as we will be away for a couple of weeks later in the year. At least she knows we'll come and get her out of 'prison'!
The picture is Tia enjoying her beanbag. I've given her a towel to lie on, but she prefers to get under it, rather than on it. Just after this shot was taken, all you could see were the points of her ears.
Cats Love Places To Hide!
Tia, in the dappled shade of a lemon-scented ti-tree, in our front garden. Cats really love having somewhere to hide away. The only problem with our garden is that all the neighbourhood cats seem to want to be there, and they can make a real mess. :-)
They also fight my cat and each other, mostly in the middle of the night, which is not funny.
Oh No, Not The Vet
Once a year a cat should have a check up and innoculation visit to the vet. If Tia could speak, I'm sure she would have said, "Oh no, not the vet again!" She really hates going there, and gets a bit stressed. Can't say I blame her, because I feel the same about the dentist! :-)
Except for a bit of gum inflammation, and a slight weight loss, which we attributed to the hot weather, and lack of eating, all was fine.
We bought some special tooth cleaning crunchy food to improve the gum and tooth health, got her wormed, and also purchased a six month supply of flea and worm prevention ointment, the kind that goes on the back of the neck.
Vets aren't cheap, but Tia's worth it. She got a special treat of chicken breast today, and I have to admit to giving her some of mine as well, since she asked so nicely! :-)
Guess I'm just a big softie..........
Gifts For Your Cat - Or should I say "Gifts for the boss"?
Heated cat beds are a luxury which cats love to have! They will spend lots of time in them.
How Tia Got Her Name
Usually when I tell people that my cat's name is Tia, they immediately think of the liqueur, Tia Maria. It's nothing to do with the drink at all.
Going to the library one day, I saw someone opening a tin of cat food, and giving it to this scrawny, every-rib-showing cat. When I came out, the cat was still there, and I could see that she was pregnant. The poor thing was crying out for affection, but was also somewhat nervy. Not surprising.
Anyway, the next day, Sunday, I went back to the library to see if the cat was still around. Finding her, I managed to pick her up, put her in the cat box I'd brought, and took her home. My other cat was not amused!
The local animal shelter wouldn't take her, because they didn't deal with my council - what a cop-out! I decided to keep her.
Then came the next problem - what should I call her?
It turned out to be easy, as I'd just returned an Anne McCaffrey book to the library, and the heroine happened to be called "Tia", which is short for Hypatia.
Haven't heard the name before? Hypatia was the first female librarian at the famous Alexandria library, and also the last ever librarian there. She was killed by the barbarians, trying to defend the library against them.
Since I'd found the little cat at the library entrance, it seemed to me to be a very apt name. She's now had it for just over twelve years, and actually comes when called (sometimes). :-)
Do you have a cat in your life?
FIV Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Unfortunately, When she was about 12, I discovered that my cat Tia had FIV. She had a serious abcess a couple of months ago, and the vet thought we should get her checked for FIV. She was positive.
Being positive for FIV (Feline immunodeficiency virus) isn't a death sentence these days, as with care, a cat can remain healthy for years. Of course, she is now an indoors only cat, which she doesn't like one little bit, but it's a small price to pay for continued health.
These days, there is a series of vaccinations, three, I think, which a cat can be given to protect them against FIV. If I'd known about it earlier, then Tia would have been protected.
If you find that your cat has contracted FIV, don't worry, it CANNOT be transferred to humans, as it is different to the human AIDs virus.
One night, a cat, probably the battle scarred tomcat we call Old Tom, had the temerity to actually enter our bedroom, and I'd never heard Tia growl like that before. She took off after him like a rocket.
Poor Old Tom is looking very bedraggled and lean at the moment, and for some reason is now afraid of me. I think someone must have hurt him or really scared him.
At least he can sneak in at night and eat Tia's leftovers, and if I can manage to get near him, I pet him and give him extras. It's really all I can do for him, poor thing, but he can move in if he really wants to.
The image Old Tom on a chair in the lounge, looking a bit unkempt. Why don't people treat their cats better, and have them neutered?
Tia and Old Tom
I hadn't seen old Tom for a while, but it had been all quiet in the garden for a few nights, so thought it was ok.
A couple of nights ago, I saw OT in the garden, with some new scratches and nasty bites on his head - wish he'd learn he's old and small, and can't win around here, poor thing.
Anyway, later he came into the house and had a few bites of food, but mostly wanted to cuddle up and strop my legs. He's such a friendly animal, and I can't understand why his people don't look after him properly.
Tia and he don't seem to have a problem, unless he tries to come into HER bedroom, and she justs sits quietly watching whilst he's in the house. At least that's one cat he doesn't have to fight! :-)
Poor Old Tom Update
....He's still around!
Yep, Poor Old Tom is still around, and I still think he wants to move in, or at least, share himself with us and whoever owns him.
For the last couple of nights, he's come in through the cat door after we've gone to bed, and I've found him sleeping on my cat's favourite chair in the morning. She's been sleeping on the bed!
He does look old and battle-torn, doesn't he? He's very thin too, but has been eating here occasionally. I do feel sorry for cats who aren't looked after properly.
Missing In Action
Later that week, I became a little concerned about poor old Tom - he hasn't been seen in my garden, and I had noticed that he had a nasty bite wound on his front leg. Hope he's alright.
Why haven't his owners done something about it? Don't they care? Do they just put his food on the front step and if he gets it fine, and if some other cat eats it, they wouldn't know?
I get so angry about this type of thing, but I can't afford to take him to the vet: I'm on a pension. If I see him again, perhaps I'll call the animal ambulance charity we have here. Although they may put him down, which is why I'm holding off on it.
Later still: I never saw Old Tom again.
I Am Not The Boss
We all know who is.......
On a cold and wet, my cat decided to stay inside and snooze on the beanbag, when she was not in the study demanding attention, that is
Earlier today, I'd planned on doing the vacuuming to freshen up the carpets a bit, but the cat hates the thing. What to do?
Yep, you guessed it! I didn't vacuum; I actually swept up the bits and pieces with a hand brush and shovel. What some people will do for their pets. What a weak willed person I am, but never mind, the cat's happy. :-) It was an excuse not to do much housework anyway.
The Cat Is ALWAYS In Charge!
Come on, admit it
All people who share their lives with a cat will know just how true this is - cats are the bosses. No way around it, just ask your puss.
You know what they say: "Dogs come when you call them, cats take a message and might get back to you later"
Very true - haven't you seen your cat's ears flick when you called it, but absolutely no movement towards you at all. Sometimes they even go in the opposite direction. It's all part of the attraction of cats.
Another in the series by Lilian Braun - this cat's a great detective! If you love cats, you'll enjoy this series.
One of my favourite pics of Tia. Of course, one never manages to have a camera handy when the best poses are being made, but this was a lucky catch.
Sad But True
Since my earliest memories, there's always been a cat in my life. I was thinking about this earlier, and realised that not one of those many cats has died naturally.
It's unfortunate, but some disappeared, some were hit by cars, a few became ill and had to be put to sleep. It isn't from lack of care, because they've all been much loved parts of the family. I guess it's because cats have a great curiosity about the world, and so put themselves in harm's way.
Tia is no longer with me, but now there is yet another cat in my life, a medium-haired tabby called Magic. There will always be a cat around the house.