Dog to Mom: “You’ve lost your mind…”

Mom seems to think our calico housemate Creampuff is lonely. “She needs a cat friend,” she says.

I think Creampuff is ditzy. “She needs an IQ boost,” I say.fat fuzzy ca

But who listens to a dog? Mom fell in love with this kitty at the Seattle Animal Shelter.

There’s her mug shot on the right..

“Meets my specifications,” Cathy says. “Already spayed and declawed. Over 5 years old. Gets along with other animals. Mellow.”

“Read the fine print,” I say. “Overweight. Needs grooming. Spent 30 days in a cage so probably has some issues.”

“Ophelia. A beautiful name,” Cathy’s neighbors said.

“Ophelia? Not for a cat. What about Furball or Fatso?” Cathy said.

For once we are in agreement. But I have a feeling there’s a Fat Furball in our future.

OK, I admit it: we need a new kitty!

Creampuff seems lost without Tiger. She’s running around, jumping and generally getting herself into trouble. Cathy wants time to get used to Tiger’s absence, but she’s also looking through ads on petfinder.com.

I vote for a kitty who’s humbler than Tiger and smarter than Creampuff. Cathy says I get to go help choose our next housemate. Like I really get a vote.

Meanwhile, I will enjoy at least one more day of one less cat.

Good-by to our housemate…

My mom has been hovering over Tiger for the last month. She would get so excited when Tiger ate a few bites of food or jumped up to the couch. Yesterday, Tiger stumbled as she tried to navigate from the living room to her favorite spot in Cathy’s closet. She couldn’t jump anymore.

So Cathy bundled up Tiger in her trusty backpack (“Tiger hates carriers”), grabbed my leash and we caught a cab to the vet. The tech asked if I wanted to say good-by, but I declined. Tiger’s been living on borrowed time. I haven’t teased her in ages.

Tiger has been a part of Cathy’s life for over 14 years and Cathy was feeling really sad. “Worse than losing Keesha,” she said.

I think I’m worth ten cats, but that’s another story.

The good news is I scarfed some leftover canned food that Cathy bought for Tiger’s sensitive palate. Yum!

The bad news is we’re probably getting another cat. The ditzy Creampuff gets lonely. I’d like to show her what lonely really is but my mom is in a fragile state. My job is to help Cathy keep some perspective on what’s really important, like treats and toys.

Dog owner becomes caregiver to aging feline

My mom Cathy finally recognized her limits as a caregiver. She advertised on craigslist for a special needs pet sitter who could help give Tiger fluids. Sure enough, a delightful former vet tech named Jen answered her plea.

Jen came over Wednesday and walked Cathy through the process. She came back today and said Cathy’s doing much better. She even complimented Cathy’s ability to shove a big pill down Tiger’s throat.

Cathy was so excited because Tiger jumped up on the counter and ate a few mouthfuls of food without being prompted. What’s the big deal? I eat all the time, don’t I?cat eating

But I absolutely adore Jen. While she was talking to my mom, she gave me a full body massage. She rubbed my tummy and talked to me in soothing tones, clearly recognizing my royal stature.

Cathy offered to help Jen develop her website when Jen gets ready to expand her practice. My mom has a one-track mind.

Jen did offer a parting shot as she headed out.

“You could give Gracie low-calorie carrots instead of her usual treats,” she said. “Dogs don’t know the difference.”

Who said the f-word? I’m not fat. I’m just becoming royally queen-sized.

Cats get too much attention

With our tabby cat Tiger on her last paws, my mom Cathy has been distracted. She was so excited this morning: Tiger ate almost a whole can of Fancy Feast cat food. Then she jumped up on the table and took a few sips of Cathy’s iced coffee.

“Why is it okay to drink iced coffee but not eat food from the refrigerator?” Cathy asked.

Tiger twitched her tail and headed back to her home in the closet. She likes to sleep there during the day. Fine with me. Out of sight, out of mind. More of everything for me.

Alas, our ditzy roommate Creampuff, who’s healthy as a horse, is developing a taste for all this fancy food. Mom will never get her back to crunchies.

I don’t understand finicky. It’s not in my vocabulary or my genes. Garbage or gourmet — who cares?

aging cat is a hassle

My Mom Cathy has been distracted by our elderly roommate, Tiger, which takes attention away from me. No way to treat a princess.

See, Cathy is supposed to be giving Tiger fluids. So far she managed to stick herself with the needle. She immediately went to her online support group. Apparently there is a HUGE group of people taking care of cats with kidney disease. As soon as she posted she got half a dozen awesome responses.

“Not to worry. We’ve all done it. Just keep the area clean.”

Sigh. Saturday afternoon is no time for a scare.

I’m angling for a fast walk to the Dog Park.

My Roommate Tiger the Tabby Cat Is Getting Old

My mom Cathy has been very sad the last few days. Our roommate Tiger has not been eating. She just kind of nibbles at her food. She still jumps up on the sofa and keeps me in line, but she’s more interested in sleeping than eating.

Yesterday Cathy saw Tiger snoozing peacefully in a patch of sunlight. “That’s how I’d like to end my days,” she told me. “Sleeping peacefully in the sun.”tabby cat

Mom’s going to take Tiger to the vet. She’s not happy to be stressing out Tiger but she wonders if it’s something that might respond to a few pills. Tiger is tough.

Frankly, I think Tiger is a useless parasite, but my mom thinks Tiger is…well, the cat’s meow. They’ve been together 14 years (longer than some marriages, Mom says).

Tiger’s had 3 airplane rides and crossed an international border. She endured interstate moves in a packed Toyota from the vantage point of her cat carrier. She’s lived in at least one Canadian province and 5 US cities. She’s recovered from liver disease and pancreatitis. She has outlived 3 feline roommates and 1 canine roommate.

When Cathy moved to New Mexico, Tiger spent a few months with her friend Bob, a statistics professor in Florida. Bob made sure there were no significant differences in the way he treated Cathy’s two cats. Both were spoiled equally rotten.

Not bad for a cat who found herself in a Humane Society cage at age 5.

So I better keep my opinions to myself. Luckily, today’s my day to run in the park with my Aunt Sara. Mom needs to focus on Tiger for awhile.

Who’s Top Dog In This Household?

What’s wrong with this picture? That’s a 19-year old cat, sitting on her old cushion, looking smug. It’s Tiger, the Queen of our household. cat as top dog

Sometimes I try to play with her. She’s such a grump! She just swats me with her paw and yowls tha raspy meow. Since she’s old, she’s fussier about everything.

My mom ordered a couple of cases of canned food because Tiger won’t eat dry food anymore. I think she’s lost her sense of smell.

Cathy adores Tiger. They’ve been together since spring of 1994. More than some people have been married.

Tiger used to sleep next to Mom’s pillow. Now she prefers to sleep in the closet. But during the day, she likes to sit near my mom.

When my mom works on her laptop on the couch, Tiger sleeps on the armrest next to her. When my mom eats a snack (a lot more often than she should, but don’t tell her I said that), Tiger tries to share.

“When I get old, I want someone to spoil me,” Mom says. “So I’ll spoil Tiger as much as I can.”

How about spoiling me too, Mom? I’m bigger. Double the karma.

Birkenstocks bring back memories…

Yesterday I blogged about Mom’s defeat (or should I say de-feet) by a blister induced by an over-zealous pair of running shoes.

Today my mom’s Birkenstocks are getting into the act and rubbing against her toes.

My mom Cathy has very bad shoe karma. That’s probably why I’ll never wear booties, unless I become an Alaskan sled dog. With a mom who takes cover at the sight of a single snowflake, that scenario is not likely.But the Birkies brought back memories, she was telling someone on the phone.

“People used to think I was a hippie,” she said. “I was never a hippie. Back then I wore make-up and dress shoes.”

That’s hard to believe. But I do believe she never did drugs. In this house, all the prescriptions have my name on them.

The only drug in our house is catnip. My mom loves to say that.

“Back in the 1980s, I was living in San Francisco and going to grad school,” she was reminiscing. “I was in one of those funky studio apartments in between the Tenderloin and Pacific Heights. One day I hired a handyman (recommended by our building manager) to put up screens for the cats and add a shelf. As he leaving, he said, ‘Oh, I found your stash.'”

I just imagine my mom freaking out, even back then. She was terrified some former tenant had left a pile of drugs and would either come back for them or send over the narc squad.

So I am not surprised to hear she demanded, “Show me.”

And then…

“Ohmygod…you smoked the catnip!”

The handyman (who had a very colorful past involving all sorts of things that would be considered edgy even in SF) turned bright red. He said, “Well, it wasn’t a very good high. But please don’t tell anybody.”

Of course my mom told everybody, but they didn’t run in the same circles, so it was no big deal.

Frankly, I’m surprised my mom didn’t demand a replacement for the smoked catnip. At that time she had just one cat, Kitty, a sweet but rather neurotic calico whose size earned her the “Goodyear” nickname.

How do you explain to your cat, “Your weekly fix has just gone up in smoke?”

My Dog Crate Is Really A Castle

When a Canine Urban Princess (a CUPPIE) gets tired, she retreats to her own private castle. Mine looks like an airline crate on the outside.

I inherited my crate from Keesha, Cathy’s first dog.

When Cathy adopted Keesha, about 10 years ago, she dreaded the idea of a crate. “Jail for dogs,” she shuddered.

But Keesha tortured the cats every time Cathy went out. One day Keesha tore a hole in a neighbor’s screen door, thinking the kindly neighbor was dog-napping instead of dog-sitting. Cathy immediately invested in a queen-sized crate. Keesha’s whole personality changed — for the better. And Cathy became a convert.

So when I arrived, I spent a lot of time in the crate I inherited from Keesha. Thank goodness! I had time to enjoy my own space while I adjusted to my new home and family…not to mention chewing on a rubber toy filled with royal peanut butter.

My crate has become my castle. I retreat to my castle when Cathy goes out, when I’m feeling a little under the weather or when we get visitors who operate noisy machines like vacuum cleaners and rug shampooers.
I sleep on my royal blanket and dream of a world with a dog park on every corner.