The Defiant Cat

defiant cat

It’s hard to believe that it will soon be a year since we rescued Volta and his brother, Ampere.

I suppose it was fate that brought us together that night. My cancer diagnosis was still new, and the surgery to implant my port was just a few days away. So we went for an evening drive to play Ingress and Pokemon Go, just to escape the badness that had only begun.

We found these two hot and scared little kittens in the middle of the park that night. Volta, small and yet brave, stood in the middle of the street, meowing for help. My husband scooped him up even as we heard the pitiful cries from his brother echoing in the storm drain.

A car drove by several times and parked farther up the street, watching us as we struggled to coax Ampere out of the darkness. Finally, finally, they were safe with us.

Since then, strong, sparky Volta has grown into a defiant cat, ruling the roost, so to speak. He loves to dominate and annoy the other cats, caring little when he is disciplined for his behavior.

Volta has matured and mellowed a bit over the past year, but he is certainly obstinate.

He reminds me of a feral cat who had a run-in with our little Anakin so many years ago. So that Anakin could survey our fenced-in yard at our old house, my husband had placed a chair in the middle of the yard. Anakin would sit on that chair, happily enjoying the sunshine.

One afternoon, however, I heard Anakin barking angrily. I ran outside to find that feral cat–obviously a tom who paid little attention to dogs or man–sitting defiantly on Anakin’s chair. The cat ignored Anakin’s barking, really seeming to relish the fact that he was disturbing our Shih-tzu.

I shooed the cat away so that Anakin could have some peace, but I had to admire the strength of that cat.

And now we have our own defiant cat, one who tests our patience each and every day. Although he often disrupts the quiet in our household, I’m not sure how we ever lived without him.

A Tail of Two Kitties

Grant (above) and Ampere (below)

(Yes, I did use “tail” intentionally.)

When we first rescued the kittens last year, I had just been diagnosed with cancer and was already overwhelmed. Taking in the two little street urchins–they had been abandoned in one of the parks here in our city–seemed too much at the time. But take them in we did, and they took over our hearts in the process.

We knew they would impact the already existing cat “culture” of our house, and it was certainly a long, extended introduction. There were many hissing fits at first, but with patience and time, those have lessened, with general acceptance and peace in the household.

One thing that was pleasantly surprising was the friendship between Grant and Ampere. Both are lovable and amiable, laid back in their approach to life. They just want to love and be loved.

And with each other they’ve found a kindred spirit of sorts, a haven from the bullying that they both receive from Ampere’s brother, Volta. (He has become the dominant cat even though he is the smallest of them all; he’s quite a force to be reckoned with.)

Even more happily, Ampere has brought out the kitten in Grant, who is about 5 years his senior. Grant and Ampere love to run and play together, creating quite a ruckus. Before Ampere, Grant had rarely played since his first year in our home, but now it’s a daily occurrence.

Both rescue kitties, Grant and Ampere have become fast friends, two kitties who have found happiness with each other.

Catnip Mice and Me

Catnip Mice and MeSince I have become a cat lady, much of my life seems to be devoted to caring for cats, whether in real life or in my Second Life. Spending so much time with them, I’ve learned a thing or two over the years. For example, cats generally enjoy variety, and they will typically do as they wish.

One of the most important things that Katniss has taught me, though, is that some catnip mice are particularly special.

When we first brought Katniss and Grant home from the humane society, I purchased a big pack of the mice as I was uncertain what they might like. We scattered a few on the floor and attempted to entice our new arrivals with the catnip toys. After awhile I noticed a pattern. While Grant played with any mouse, Katniss had chosen to play with only one.

Three years later, nothing has changed.

As that mouse has gotten more ragged, we’ve purchased other mice, but they quickly wound up in a forgotten heap in the corner of our living room. Like the Highlander, there can be only one catnip mouse in our house, at least for Katniss.

Cat mom that I am, I found myself with some anxiety one day when I realized that her mouse was on its last legs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember where I had purchased that original bag of mice. With a bit of searching on the internet, I finally found a replacement. Yes, I did indeed spend about 30 minutes researching and finally ordering catnip mice.

But will she accept a brand new mouse, even if it’s identical? I have yet to find out.

Her favorite catnip mouse is still hanging in there, providing her with hours of enjoyment. Frayed and worn, it still has its shape and stuffing. Let’s hope it has enough life for many more fun hours to come.

Cats and KittyCatS

Carmina and Jovon Playing_001 PictureApparently I can’t get enough of cats. Not in real life, nor in my virtual life.

I recently returned to Second Life and was encouraged to become a KittyCatS enthusiast by my husband. Well, he only gave me a cat. Somehow it blossomed into much more.

If you aren’t familiar with KittyCatS, they are breedable cats in Second Life, a virtual world. KittyCatS are not free, but for a modest sum, you can purchase kitties (along with kibble) to your heart’s content. If it were possible, I would most certainly fill up our house with the cute cats.

They’re that wonderful. Seriously.

These cats definitely do more than eat. They interact with you, chatting with you in-world and generally making themselves adorable. They play and snuggle with toys, paw at butterflies, and ask for love from their people.

Yes, I’m smitten. Carmina and Jovon_002 Picture

The in-world group is full of helpful and supportive enthusiasts like myself who encourage each other and share pics of their kitties. And my one experience with KittyCatS support so far has been positive.

So if you’re a cat person and would like to explore your love of cats virtually, then definitely join us in Second Life. Because there can never be too many virtual cats!



Simple Pleasures

grant in paper box with quoteCats do seem to be wiser than us when it comes to many things. Rest, of course, is high on their list. All kitties seems to be unusually suited to relaxing at any time, depending on their mood and comfort. Stretching their paws leisurely, my cats will often blink their eyes at me as I go about my workday and then relax back into dreamland.

I have begun to wonder if we could learn a few things from our furry friends. After working 60+ hours per week for the past few weeks, I’m tired. I’m just plumb too old for this, I suppose. When I feel the weariness about my eyes even with a constant infusion of coffee on a daily basis, I know I need rest. That and those simple pleasures that we all take for granted as we get older.

I realized this yesterday when I had a bit of “down time” and lay down to read a book for a bit. So relaxed was I that I fell asleep for a quick nap. How I had missed that! Not exciting, that’s for sure, but pleasurable, especially for us old folks.

Life has admittedly become a chore lately. Maybe with a few lessons from my cats–and more time with the Bible–I can take my leisure and find some rest during busy times.