• Pets

    Caturday: This is Morgana

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    This is Morgana.

    She’s a rescue cat who spent a few months in the shelter system before we happened across her when my daughter was looking for a cat to bring home, having decided that’s what she wanted for her upcoming birthday. Before the shelter, Morgana spent a winter outside, fed by a neighbour after being abandoned. When we brought her home, she looked like this:

    After a few months she looked like this:

    You may not see the difference.

    Eventually, we put her on super low calorie dry food and diet wet food. These days, she looks like this:

    You still may not see the difference, but she’s down a couple of pounds.

    Still not exactly thin, but we’ll get there.

    Note also the ear tips. Or lack of them, really. During that winter she spent outside, there was a case of frostbite. Winter in Ontario, even in southern Ontario, isn’t kind to shorthaired cats who should live inside.

    She hates being picked up but loves being held and has a fondness for high places.


    We’d had only one cat, King Cyrus the First,


    for coming up on two years when the agreement was finally struck for a second feline companion and while Cyrus was perfectly happy to make immediate friends, she took a while to warm up to him. They’re quite close now.

    She came home to live with us on 25 May 2015, and we did a gradual introduction to the house, with her initial primary residence being Oldest Daughter’s room. These days, she can usually be found on beds and in piles of laundry, though she’ll stake out open shopping bags as her territory, too, and has a strange fondness for plastic ones.

    When she arrived home, the best guess at her age was five years, which makes her seven now, and either the same age as, or a little older than, Cyrus. Has a few years on Morris, though. More about him another post.

    And again, a shelter cat. Shelter first.

    {insert sleeping picture}

    Be well, everyone.

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  • Pets

    Caturday: Meet Cyrus

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    This is Cyrus.


    He’s a rescue cat, retrieved from behind a pizza place a municipality or so to the east of us. When we brought him home, he looked like this:

    After a few months of free feeding, he looked like this:

    Bring me Solo and a cookie.

    But at least he’d stopped dumpster diving in the kitchen. When I was watching. We took steps and started to moderate his caloric intake. Not starving him, but no longer making sure the bowl was always full. These days, he’s much more cat shaped.

    He’s the most aggressively affectionate cat I’ve ever know, forcing himself into your lap and up into your face if you’re not paying enough attention. Sometimes, he gets carried away and may nibble the hand or chin he’s rubbing against. He also may be part dog.

    He came to live with us on 30 July 2013 after we’d been cat-less for a year.

    Our previous feline overlords came to us at a year old and had been with us for 16 years, coming to us at about a year old and afraid of absolutely everything. They spent a long time with us, small, furry members of the family. They left a pair of very large wounds. I still miss them both, and that’s five years in the spring for Xena (the grey tabby) and in the summer for Leo (the orange tabby).


    Cyrus didn’t take their place. He made his own. A scraggly little rat my youngest fell in love with, got her sister to as well, and then convinced their mother it was time.

    I was an easy sell.

    Cyrus will be six sometime soon, though we don’t know exactly when. Or maybe seven. Ages are usually just a best guess with rescue cats. He’s weird, tries to be best friends with our Saint Bernard, was hit by a car sometime during his couple of years outside (long-healed fractures in one hip and a back foot that isn’t quite right), and knows where all of the softest spots in the house are.

    He also came to us from the local SPCA. Always go to the shelter first. And last.

    Be well, everyone.


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  • Life,  Pets

    And Now, Your Moment of Cat

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    Is it normal for a grown man to write about his cat?

    More importantly, do I care? As far as I’m concerned, we all define our own normal. Therefore, it’s normal for this grown man to write about his cat.

    I’m a cat person. This doesn’t mean I don’t like dogs (I love dogs, though I am slightly allergic), but cats have much to recommend them as pets. Even when they’re lactose intolerant, like mine.

    A.K.A. Fluffball, Tribble, Cybacca, Bubbles.
    A.K.A. Fluffball, Tribble, Cybacca, Bubbles.

    They’re affectionate, independent, entertaining, far more adaptable to you working odd shifts than many other pets, and if you leave extra food out to cover them for an extra day due to a crazy work schedule or last second trip, they don’t eat it all in the first few seconds.

    Ah, but I haven’t said why you should care, particularly about my cat. Because it doesn’t matter to you that it’s taken him eight months in our house to get around to exploring the second floor in detail or starting sneaking into people’s beds when they’re not looking. It doesn’t matter to you that he understands and adapts to our schedule and family to the point where he meets you at the door when you come home. And it certainly doesn’t matter to you that when I pick him up, he puts a paw on either side of my neck and starts rubbing on my chin.

    None of those things, or any of the other cute, funny, or annoying things he does, matter to anyone beyond the immediate family, except perhaps on a reaction level of “Aw, isn’t that cute.”

    Except that on some level they inform my writing. Some of his odd little behaviours might find their way into a pet in a story, or a character, or both. The way his fur drifts in the wind when he’s shedding, the scent of a needed clean up when someone has left out half a bowl of cream of mushroom soup somewhere he can reach it, the thump he makes on the kitchen floor when he falls over in front of you so you can rub his belly.

    But there’s a higher level, and a far more important one, than that.

    The fact that I’m a cat person and how I feel about my particular cat will tell the keen observer many things about me. It’s part of how I see the world, and that can’t help but inform my writing, because it’s part of who I am.

    So if I post a picture of my cat on Facebook once in a while, or here, take it for an expression of part of my worldview and smile that he’s cute and fluffy.

    Be well, everyone.

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