The difference in cat breeds

In a household with 3 Somali’s, a Maine Coon and a Persian, it quickly becomes apparent how different the personalities of the individual breeds are. The Somali’s are your mischievous, bright tomboys looking for trouble at every opportunity – and as they get older they settle for ruling the roost with a solid iron paw. The Maine Coon is far more laid back, but with a core of steel – she will only be pushed so far – and then the hammer hits. The Persian…the white, fluffy Ulysses boy…well, he is just the cutest thing ever… and so not bright…

Am A Bit Worried... Must Cuddle With My Dad...

Am A Bit Worried… Must Cuddle With My Dad…

Sometimes I feel as if I live with this giant, ultrasoft teddybear that moves everywhere in the most endearing, clumsy fashion. I realise that part of it is due to his having had a form of a stroke in his spinal chord a year ago, something that has left him with a slight awkwardness to his gait. Nevertheless, on top of that seems to be a tendency to boundless enthusiasm for getting in my face with ANY part of his body that he can possibly throw my way! When I am sitting on my desk and he begs to be lifted up (after the memorable occasion where he jumped – rather clumsily – and landed on top of Penny, the Maine Coon – well, the fur was flying…), he immediately proceeds to WALK back and forth right in front of me with his (very full) tail very energetically flying. Need Cuddles, he implores, Sooo Happy To Get Attention Without The Monsters !, he shares (talking about the two Somali girls). Are SCARY, he moans….(he moans rather effectively, and in the cutest possible way). So FAST, he whispers. Just You And Me, Mom?, as he snuggles up to me and possessively claims one of my hands.

And when I lie in bed, he jumps straight up on my chest, THROWS himself at me and walks back and forth, back and forth, alternatively tickling my face with his whiskers (SO annoying when you are trying to sleep, I would like to point out!) and sweeping across it with his tail, which by this time is usually full of leaves and branches. Gardening VERY Important, he insists. So Much To Do Out There! So Much To Clear Up! Leading my husband to sigh deeply when he looks at the floor he has JUST gone over with the vacuum cleaner – and while he has put the vacuum cleaner away – the floor has acquired a new accumulation of leaves and twigs, with a very smug Persian plunked down in the middle of it. In the night time it usually ends up with him collapsing on top of my head with his cheek on mine or his belly wrapped around my nose. Good thing I like to sleep with my nose covered in fur..

One thing you can’t accuse him of, though, is having any noticeable amount of brains… He is the softest, gentlest boy on this planet – and all the girls run rings around him at any opportunity.  Whereas the girls think lightning fast and you can almost see the extra-fast  computers going a mile a minute in their heads, Ulysses will laboriously work something through, get half way..and then usually gives up! Too Much Work, he sighs mournfully, Love Me Just The Same? With a piteous look that inevitably gets him a tummy rub and an extra cuddle.

The only real challenge is when it rains. Ulysses LOVES rain! I don’t know why – maybe because his coat is so thick that he never notices it until it starts to penetrate. He will be out even in the heaviest downpour – and when he comes in he makes a beeline for my face. He has realised that the way to get dry – quickly – is to swish wet fur in my face, as that prompts me to immediately grab the towel I have for just that purpose next to the bed. Once dry – he can leave again. Much Better, he says, Now Can Go And Enjoy The Rain Again! And out he goes…

Kittens or adults?

Izabelle on the left, Ianthe on the right. Plant... What Plant? Oh THAT Plant!!

Izabelle on the left, Ianthe on the right. Plant… What Plant? Oh THAT Plant!!

Through my life I have had the great experience of having kittens grow up with me – and the equally great experience of getting an adult cat. In my mind both have great benefits. When you get kittens you get to see them grow and develop their personalities. You have the fun of watching them play INCESSANTLY with each other (or you), and you can teach them to be indoor cats if that is what is best.

The slightly less fun part of having kittens has to do with the sheer amount of chaos you go through… especially with Somali kittens. Currently in our house, all breakable items have been packed away. Table tops are scrutinised for anything that might be swallowed and cause damage and plants are carefully propped up or barricaded so when (notice the when..) they jump at the leaves, they don’t pull the plants over. The open bin in the bedroom has been replaced with a bin with a lid, so we can finally avoid having the contents spread over the entire house. (GREAT Stuff In Bins, they both claim..). Flowers from my husband are carefully placed in double vases, so when (notice the when…) the vase gets knocked over, there is another one there to cushion it and prevent it from spilling water all over the floor. It makes me realise just why my good friend – who is the Somali breeder I got the kittens from – many years ago gave me a special vase that is extremely heavy and has a very broad base. That is the one everything else goes into – it is the only thing that will stand up to the wilful attacks of the two terrorists. Hmm – she must have had experience…

Being quite a few years since I last had a Somali kitten, I must admit I had forgotten the scale of destruction they can leave in their wakes. It is very like having a herd of monkeys – they get into everything and their inventiveness when it comes to pulling things to pieces is truly impressive. Some things we take for granted these days, such as having to pick the tissues off the floor in small pieces. They still think it is a great sport to pluck them out of the box one at a time to shred them. Cat litter is still everywhere – Digging Is A Great Sport And You Can Never Practice Enough, they tell us, and I have given up on my orchid – the bark apparently Must Live On The Floor.  Toilet paper has to be locked away – Too Cool For Words, they shout as they chase the roll down the stairs and you still have to stand to one side when you let them out of the bathroom in the morning – WHAT HAVE WE MISSED-NOW-FEED-US-FEED-US-FEED-US-NOWWWWW!!! Other things are still slightly challenging, such as picking one of our VERY large plants off the floor from where it fell from the first floor to the ground floor – Almost Got The Dog…they whisper…Put It Back Again..Next Time We Won’t Miss! Or fishing a kitten out of the cupboard before she can chew a hole in the bag of flour…or washing one the day she decided to jump across the loo while my husband was peeing…(yes, exactly what you think…)

It does sometimes make me long for the days when I got an adult cat. A lovely, gorgeous, sweet adult cat, who settled into my home with no chaos, no destruction – just lots of sharing personality, learning where best to scratch her chin – and purring….

Oh well, at least these ones will grow up eventually. Come to think of it though… I am going to breed them… and Somalis can easily get litters of 4-6…OMG!!!!  I need a prison cell!!!!!

Hmm – I think she is too fat..

Am Not Fat, Penny says...Besides The More Belly, The More To Rub!

Am Not Fat, Penny says…Besides The More Belly, The More To Rub!

Personally, I think it is sod’s law that when you have multiple cats – inevitably one or two of them are going to end up piling on the pounds. In our household there are 2 – Penny, my Maine Coon, and Ulysses, my Chinchilla Persian. When you consider that we also have 2 young adults who could happily eat all day and still be slender and an old boy that needs all the food we can shove down his throat – well, let’s just say that feeding times are interesting..

Penny is the most important cat to keep slender. She would like to be 10 kg – but her slender weight is around 5kg – and she has elbow dysplasia and arthritis (she is 4…), something that is unfortunately seen in Maine Coons. Even more unfortunately, Penny thinks that Life Is About Food! Even her pain medication is considered Highly Delicious, and the bottle has to be kept under lock and key as she would chew right through it if we let her.  My husband constantly threatens to video how I give her the medication and post it on YouTube.  I maintain that it is perfectly normal to ask my cat to do tricks and balance at full (and considerable) height on her hind legs to get her medicine – after all its her ELBOWS that are arthritic… Penny basically doesn’t care – Will Do Anything For Metacam! She says…

Through the years we have had to learn to organise things somewhat differently to take into account how obsessive Penny is with food. For example, it is no good for my husband to carry in a bag of dog food, put it on the floor and then go back out to the car to get the rest of his things. By the time he makes it back into the house again, the bag will have a hole chewed in it and a (very) large Maine Coon submerged in it and busily munching away..  Similarly, bread or cakes left on the countertop develop suspicious holes in them and have whole sections missing, while plates left on the table while you step out to the refrigerator to get the mayo – are simply empty by the time you get back. Penny will be sitting on the floor looking out on the patio. Wasn’t Me, she will say with wide, innocent eyes. Must Be The Dog!

Penny doesn’t limit her food theft to our plates. When we inherited our dog, Molly, from my mother-in-law, she was a very picky eater. These days – well, let’s just say that the food gets shoved in her mouth as fast as she can…When you have had the experience a couple of times to be late for dinner – and see the last of it disappear down the gullet of the cat – you learn…Dog Food Healthy, Penny insist. Must Have More. Not Good For Dog To Eat All THAT! And if she thinks we haven’t fed Molly yet – she will camp out on top of the bin where we keep the dog food. Ahem! She will politely cough, Forgotten Something? Fortunately she hasn’t – yet – figured out how to burgle the bin..

To help Penny notice that she actually IS eating something, we feed her in an activity board – a white plastic contraption with bowls and spikes and waves that requires careful use of the paws. This has led us to have a fascinating realisation – Penny is actually one of those cats that seem to have opposable thumbs! She will carefully fish out whatever kibble she is after, fold her paw around it – and transport it to her mouth. Penny doesn’t really appreciate the board though… Takes Too Long, she grumbles, Ulysses Will Have Finished His Food By The Time I Get Out There, she complains, Need Something I Can Eat Faster, So I Can Have His As Well!

So far we have managed to catch up with her tricks as she has developed them, though we do warn cat sitters of the hazards of leaving food sitting around… And if we forget to warn guests – well, let’s just say that more than one foreign visitor has seen their nice, English cake or muffin disappear down the stairs in the mouth of the cat – HAH! Was For Me! Really! she chortles..

Living with an old boy

My Bed - he says.. My 17 year old Somali boy, D'Artagnan

My Bed – he says.. My 17 year old Somali boy, D’Artagnan

My original love of Somalis rose many years ago when I met a fantastic kitten named Czardas. He MARCHED out of the cat carrier with such attitude and personality that I instantly fell in love. However – he was just as much loved by his breeder, so I couldn’t have him.. After about a year she decided to use him to sire just ONE litter, and I begged her to let me purchase one of the kittens. When they were 5 days old, I went to see them and immediately focused on a big, clumsy kitten – Must Have More Milk, he said while determinedly shoving his sister out of the way, Need To Grow Up Big To Take On The World! What can I say – it was love at first sight.
D’Artagnan (named from the Three Musketeers, because he was so clumsy when he was small, but I guessed he would grow out of it) developed into a cat of a lifetime. He has been with me for 17 years now, and as is entirely appropriate when you have such a special, old boy, he is the undisputed master of the house (yes, that includes my husband ..). As he has gotten older and a bit senile, the usual old cat patterns have appeared. He will wake us several times during the night for example. Must Eat, he demands. World Will End If Not Fed IMMEDIATELY, he proclaims – and when my husband gets up to feed him for the third or fourth time in the night – he changes his mind; Fuzzy Persian on Mum’s Pillow, he mumbles darkly. Does NOT Belong There – DO Something, he insists – and continues to pester my husband until he wakes ME up and asks me to move Ulysses to the OTHER side of my head….so D’Ar can get the preferred pillow and my poor husband can get some sleep.
As he has gotten older, his hearing has deteriorated as well. This leads to interesting situations where he will seek out a nice place with good acoustics – and proceed to exercise his voice. Just Checking, he cheerfully shares with us. Might Have Lost My Hearing Completely Since Yesterday, he explains. NEED To Shout Very Loudly! Important For Well-being, he insists…. As he sometimes does it when he doesn’t think that the litter box is COMPLETELY clean – we tend to come running..
Recently, he has been eating a bit less. He seemed to struggle to pick up the kibbles, and while it doesn’t entirely surprise us (he only has 5 teeth left, and yet he STILL prefers dry food), we did think it was worth it to get the teeth checked. After the mandatory blood sample found that he was in surprisingly good condition, we brought him into the surgery on a Friday (in case he needed extra nursing on the weekend, so we could give him more attention). He decided that regal was the right approach – sat completely calmly in his cage, only slightly ruining it by pressing against the front and STARING at the nurses whenever they came in – and sticking his paw out and poking my husband in the back when he had the audacity to stand right in front of the cage – and NOT pay attention to D’Ar. I guess I should explain – both my husband and I are vets – so veterinary stuff gets done between us.
Everything went fine with the anaesthesia – the only thing was that he VERY loudly informed the nurse that he has ARTHRITIS in his paws, thank you – so could she kindly not hold them so hard! The nurses love him – he is such a good patient and always lets them do whatever they need to. When I started – very gently – to clean his teeth, I noticed that his lower jaw was moving rather strangely…. Let’s just say that the lower jaw on cats is NOT supposed to have a hinge in the middle on the front!! Needless to say – a swift x-ray was taken and the awful conclusion was there to see – he had a broken jaw!!! Our only conclusion is that he must have hit his jaw while jumping down from one of our tables – because he only goes out in an enclosed garden.
I was mortified… my big, brown baby was hurt – and might have been hurting for a while!! Thankfully it was quickly and expertly fixed by my husband, so now we are waiting for it to grow back together again. D’Ar now has his lower jaw screwed together with a wire – and what does he say? Well, let’s just say that I am the most kissed kitty mom ever… He has been purring and rubbing himself all over me since he woke up from the anesthesia – and he is eating like a horse!!
I did apologise to him.. Daft, he said contentedly, Couldn’t Have Known, Could You? Was a BIG Boy Wasn’t I? Can Make It Up To Me, he earnestly commented – Just Need Constant Cuddles For The Rest Of My Life – Oh – And Food, he triumphantly concluded..

The lovebug

Ianthe at a photo shoot at the veterinary practice - making friends

Ianthe at a photo shoot at the veterinary practice – making friends

Most cats are affectionate. Some can be slightly more reserved though even that usually disappears with the years and when they attach themselves to their Special Person. I have found that to be one of the key differences between cats and dogs. Dogs tend to be happy to speak to lots of people while cats are far more focused on just one person. With that one person they have a special language, special behaviours and special habits.
In our household D’Artagnan is completely my cat. He will deign to talk to my husband if I haven’t been home all day – but it is my pillow he sleeps on, it is my company he wants and it is me he is completely focused on.
When we got the mittens – the mini kittens – we expected them to be very sociable. Somalis almost always are, and these were specifically chosen from a fantastic breeder in Denmark that I have known for years. I had met both the parents and been blown away by how affectionate they were, so I knew I was going to get absolutely the best temperaments possible. Izabelle is lying next to me on the desk as I write, regularly pointing out to me that she Needs To Be Cuddled – Now. Izzie has the laid back approach to wanting attention. She will walk over me and lie next to me and purr – waiting for me to give her some attention. After a while, she will roll around and put a paw on my arm – still very courteously – becoming more demanding, and she might poke my mouse to be sure she gets my attention. She is truly impressive in her ability to direct her purr. I swear, she can poke people with it! Now, this is something I have noticed before with my old Somali – D’Ar. His thing is to sit in the middle of the night on my pillow and just purr – directionally – until I wake up. Much Better This Way, he will tell me. Sleep No Good When Cuddles Are Needed. Cuddle. Now!
Ianthe is a completely different story. First of all, Ianthe does not have a Special Person. Ianthe thinks that ALL people are Special People, and obviously they need to be told! Ianthe goes straight to anyone the moment she sees them. Purring loudly, she affectionately headbutts them. Love You, she shares. Chewing on their chin, she says: Is A Kiss. Really. And while biting their nose, she comments: Most Wonderful Person You Are. At this point she will throw herself on her back in their arms, kneading their face with her paws while purring so loudly that she can be heard across the room. Cuddles Best Thing Ever, she sighs ecstatically. And then she gets up and moves – loudly purring – to the next person in the room. Love You, she shares…and very quickly: Is A Kiss. Really.
While typing on my computer, I will often be helped by her. She prefers to lie on her back in the bend of my elbow, purring loudly and gently waving her paws about. Every 30 seconds she will turn or move to make sure that I keep my attention focused on her. After about 15 minutes we MIGHT get to the point where she settles down, and I will be left to do my work with one arm partly immobilised by a snoring kitten on one side – and by this time usually a snoring Izabelle on the other side. What People Are For, they agree. Comfy Beds And Cuddle Hands. Oh – And Food!

The clean desk policy

Ever-so-innocent girls...

Ever-so-innocent girls…

For some reason all of our cats seem to have a clean desk policy. Their approach to enforcing it varies, but they all agree – Desks Must Be Tidy and Empty of Everything!
The mittens (mini-kittens) go for the brutal approach. Pens, pieces of paper, hair ribbons – anything really – gets fiercely jumped upon. Must Protect Order, one announces. Mess Very Dangerous, the other agrees. Should Chew PROPERLY! They exclaim, while completely dismantling my favourite pen. On my desk I always keep a soft lambskin for the cats to sleep on, and anything loose inevitably gets poked underneath there. This usually leads to a kitten following, and then the big struggle is on! It Is Moving And Therefore Must Be Pounced Upon, shouts the other kitten. HAH – I Have Your Foot! Roars the other one (from underneath the lamb skin). And before I know it, a heaving bundle of agile fur lands on my keyboard and completely rewrites my document. Are Efficient, they declare together. Clean EVERYWHERE!
The mittens have been known to be so focused on the cleaning process that they will even pull the tissues out of our tissue box. One at a time…. Once the tissues are on the table, THEY of course need to be tidied up and currently the preferred method seems to be Shred To VERY Tiny Little Pieces! Much Better That Way, they agree.
Penny has a more deliberate approach. She places herself close to the offending object at hand and studies it carefully. Once she has her approach planned, she extends a (not so delicate – Maine Coons are BIG) paw and very precisely manipulates it to the edge of the table and watches it fall to the floor with great interest. Then she has a look around for her next target and the whole process repeats itself. Requires Planning, she announces. If Lucky, Could Manage To Hit The Dog With Something, she speculates. And if she doesn’t – she often follows up the object dropping with hanging over the edge of the table waiting for Molly – our terrier – to walk by, whereupon she promptly bashes her on the head. Got Her! She chortles..
Ulysses has more of an accidental approach to the whole clean desk thing. He had a stroke in his spine last Autumn which has caused him to have slightly less control over one hind leg. This leads to some fairly hilarious situations when he has to jump up on things, because he arrives somewhat out of control! Everything goes flying, and the fluffy boy gets the most sheepish expression on his face. Didn’t REALLY Mean To, he mumbles. (VERY unusual for a cat to admit that, by the way). Not My Fault, Penny LOOKED At Me, he explains. And promptly walks into the tissue box so it falls off the edge of the table..
D’Ar – the old Somali – has a completely different way of clearing the desk again. He turns his back on the offending object, sits down – and lashes his tail…. D’Ar’s tail has been known to clear a full pint glass off the table (fortunately water and not beer or my husband might have complained more..), so very few things are left standing when The Tail arrives. Papers, pens, cups, soda cans and any incidental computer items get cleared in short order, and his defence is definitely the best – Can’t REALLY Control My Tail – Can I, he informs me. Before he carefully turns himself to line up with the next group of items…

The challenges about cleaning

Izabelle - Me? Not Helping With Cleaning? Don't Know What You Are Talking About..

Izabelle – Me? Not Helping With Cleaning? Don’t Know What You Are Talking About..

When you have kittens in the house, cleaning takes on a whole new meaning. Tissues are abducted from the table and shredded to tiny pieces. Cat litter is enthusiastically excavated and spread over large areas of the floor – Archaeology Research, they proclaim. Must See All Details! Might Miss Something! – and bins are upended, burrowed through and contents energetically distributed throughout the house.. Treasure Hunt, they enthuse. Look What We Found! And they drag something potentially embarrassing or just very gross right past your dinner guests…
Cleaning up after them is then the next challenge. The first step is usually to get out the broom to collect the worst of it. As I sweep across the floor, the cleaning becomes somewhat erratic due to the fact that I have two kittens wrapped around the broom being swept along with it. WooHoo, Fun! Ianthe says. Am A Very Big Broom, Izabelle solemnly declare. And once I have – laboriously – swept everything into a pile and turn around to get the dustpan, usually one or both of them take an enthusiastic run through the pile and scatters it everywhere.
The vacuum cleaner presents its own problems. First of all they are completely indifferent to the noise to the point where you have to be careful not to accidentally hoover right over them. Second, they think that the electric chord is the most fun toy EVER! And if that isn’t moving enough, there is always the hose from the vacuum cleaner to the pipe – you could just bite your way through that!
Dusting is fascinating as well – after all, it is Very Important To Follow That Cloth Everywhere! Needless to say, everything that can break has been packed away or has been moved to a level where it can’t be knocked off.
The older cats are either quietly amused by the whole thing (Penny), round eyed with bemusement (Ulysses) or determinedly ignoring it (D’Ar). D’Artagnan adamantly refuses to admit that he EVER did anything like that. Was MUCH Better Behaved, he claims, Never Emptied Bins! Which – to the best of my knowledge – is actually true. But then he was an only kitten – he was with an older cat when I first got him, and I do sometimes wonder how much of the challenges are due to having two… But then I remember when I got my other Somali kitten – Zito – many years ago. While I don’t remember exactly what he did, I DO remember very much the burning desire to just shut him in another room for a couple of hours! So far so good with the kittens – they are hilarious and they spread laughter everywhere they go – except maybe with D’Ar…

Cats are racist..

Checking on the cooking - Penny and D'Artagnan in the back teaching the mittens what to do

Checking on the cooking – Penny and D’Artagnan in the back teaching the mittens what to do

Did you know that cats are racist? That is the only conclusion I can come to after 46 years of owning cats in various colour combinations.. I used to have 2 Somali’s and 2 Chinchilla Persians. Inevitably, I would come home from work and find 2 cat piles – a brown one and a white one. It was so marked that I used to just chuck them into the cat carriers by colour – I knew they would get along, and indeed, my old Persian girl, Eugenie, used to think of her nephew, Einstein (no, the name didn’t help – he STILL didn’t have any brain compared to the Somalis..) as just another convenient duvet to burrow under.
I have had enough experience with this that I was quite sure the Somali girls – Ianthe and Izabelle – probably would settle down quite quickly with everyone brown – but would take longer with Ulysses, my Chinchilla Persian. Everything has worked out as predicted.
The first one they felt comfortable with was my old Somali D’Artagnan. Not only does he look exactly like them, but he probably feels right and behaves right – after all he IS there many times great uncle as they are direct descendants of his sister! It was only a few days before they were chirping at him and trying to kiss him – much to his disgust.. Kittens Are Annoying, he announced. Too Pushy! Take Up Incredible Amounts Of Space On The Desk, he grumbled. Am NOT Your Mother, he exclaimed when Izabelle tried to suckle him… But mostly he puts up with them.
Penny – my Maine Coon – was the next one to be accepted. After spending the first 5 days staring incredulously at the kittens while commenting You Have GOT To Be F&*^%$^ Kidding!!!, she then informed us that we Had Abandoned Her. Was Poor Kitty Now That Noone Loved. All attempts at cuddles were met with the most magnificent sulks and she even tried to claim that she Had Lost Her Appetite – From Grief! Not that we noticed that actually… Eventually she relaxed and about 10 days in she let us know that she Was Very Important AUNTIE! Have To Look After The Little Ones, she proclaimed. Must Teach Them How To Effectively Beg For Food And Where Best To Sit On The Table When Mum Is Cooking! So now we have a loooong one and two very fast ones keeping eagle eyes on anything that has to do with food preparation.
Ulysses is the one that is going to take the longest. Apart from the fact that the kittens think his tail would make a a great toy (I think they got it confused with the white feather toy we have), they mostly consider him as a Very Fluffy And Soft Pillow. Ulysses walks around them hopefully chirping away, trying to encourage them to play with him. He drags his toy temptingly in front of them, but when I pick it up to play with the three of them, he gets so confused and intimidated by the sheer speed of them that he gives up. His best time of day is at night when we shut the kittens in the bathroom – that reminds Penny that she is his chew toy and the two of them have a rumble – though never as long as he would like… But as for playing – hmm, that is going to take a bit longer…

Hmm – what is it about cat litter…

Ianthe and Izabelle playing..

Ianthe and Izabelle playing..

As I leaned over the bathroom floor, scrubbing it carefully with the cloth in my hand, a spray of cat litter exploded over the fresh, clean and wet surface I had just finished with. At the same time, a light weight dropped on my back and an inquiring chirp sounded in my ear. Double trouble had arrived to help with my project of cleaning the bathroom.
You would have thought after 46 years of owning cats I would be used to the mischief kittens get into, but there were two main reasons why it all seemed harder work than usual. The first was that it had been a good 4 years since we last had a kitten – and then we only had one, while there was two now. And the second reason was that we didn’t just get any kittens – we got Somali kittens. Highly energetic, sociable (read: want to have a paw in everything), agile (read: no safe places), inquisitive (read: REALLY gets into E V E R Y T H I N G) and intelligent (read: stay on your toes or they will outwit you…). So yes, it is hard work.
I sighed, looked at the cat litter that was busy setting as concrete (we use very good cat litter) on the previously clean bathroom floor, and reached up a hand to scratch Izabelle behind her ears, while I lowered my head to get a kiss from Ianthe. And then I went back to washing the floor. Again. For the third time.
What is it about cleaning a litter box that immediately sends any cat in the house into a frenzy of digging through the litter to see if they can manage to get it outside the box again? Doesn’t Belong In Here, they announce. Much Better On The Floor, they comment. Can Live In My Fur, says my Persian, Ulysses. Eeeewww! Says my Maine Coon, Penny… And as for my old boy – a 17 year old Somali named D’Artagnan – well, he rolls his eyes, waits until I have cleaned the litter box – again – and THEN he uses it without digging. Am Clever, he pronounces as he majestically walks past the others, not even deigning to look at them. Mum Loves Me More When I Don’t Spray Cat Litter Everywhere. And I clean the litter box. For the third time….
There is a great saying. Dogs have owners, cats have staff. Sometimes that is translated as cats have slaves. I can vouch for both. In our household we are ruled by iron paws in very soft and delicate fur coverings. And we must like it – because the total count is now 5, bringing the dog, Molly, into a definite minority.