It’s cold out there! Sometimes an adopted cat needs to create her own cave for warmth and privacy. My mom often wishes she could do the same. I keep reminding her it’s my blog, but she points out that our cats are SO photogenic … and it’s not like I’ve never been photographed.
“Pumpkin is SO special,” she says.
Mom, you say that about all our cats since I joined the family. Creampuff, Tiger, Ophelia, and now Pumpkin.
“And you’re a special dog,” she says. “A specially gifted chewer.”
Time for a nap. I need to hide sometimes myself.
It’s been cold! My mom has tried to draft me into service as a heating pad but I have steadily refused. It is beneath my dignity as a dog.
Fortunately the cats have stepped up. Creampuff likes to create a little cat cave under the blankets. She has a true gift for finding the coziest spot in our home. Pumpkin snuggles under the blankets with my mom. She’s a living, purring heating pad.
Frankly, I don’t get it. But my mom is ecstatic. She doesn’t like to turn on the heat at night and she’s plenty warm with three quilts and the cat. Go figure.
OK, so I’m a certified snow dog! I love walking through the snow. My fur is thick so my mom hasn’t bought me a coat and so far I’m doing just fine. I love walking on snow. In the city everything piles up on the sidewalks.
My mom, on the other hand, is not a fan of snow. She finally broke down and bought some big ugly boots this year. They’re keeping us safe on snow but she hates wearing them. “They comes with long laces and they’re so clunky,” she says. “And it’s hard to tie them nice and tight.”
I made an offer. I could chew those boots. They’re nice and leathery, just the kind I like.
My mom freaked. “No way, Gracie,” she said. “If you chew them I’ll have to buy another pair. They’re expensive and even worse, I hate to go shopping for boots, shoes, sneakers … anything.”
What an ungrateful mom. I’m just trying to help.
But I should be grateful, as my mom reminds me every day. As soon as the sidewalks clear, we go on nice long walks. I’m tired. My mom’s tired. Life is good.
My mom found this story online. She has really gotten into animal rescue. We now sneer at well-meaning people who actually buy dogs. We become incensed when people fail to spay or neuter.
Then my mom found this story which makes her melt.
Um, mom, this blog is supposed to be about ME!
Yes, I chose you … because I figured you needed a little excitement in your life. Someone to chew things so you wouldn’t get attached. Someone to steal your food so you’d stay on your diet. Someone to keep the cats in line (and become Pumpkin’s new BFF).
So there. Now, let’s get back to finding more ways to spoil me.
One of an endless series of me sleeping. There’s one of me with Ophelia, our former housemate who has crossed the bridge. Pumpkin, our current housemate, likes company. Since my mom is occupied with her work and Creampuff is too ditzy, I’m the logical choice.
So here I am trying to snooze off a long walk and Pumpkin sneaks up for a cuddle. I am far too polite to tell her to go find her own spot. Besides, she’s soft and warm. And for once, she’s being quiet and not yowling for more food.
My mom is so happy when she sees us together.
“Pumpkin was a good adoption,” she says. “Everybody told me to wait awhile after Ophelia left us, but I’m glad we didn’t. Pumpkin’s such a good fit and we didn’t want to lose her.”
Now that my mom’s volunteering at ACCT, the city shelter, she now realizes she would have many options. But of course if we hadn’t adopted Pumpkin, she wouldn’t have considered ACCT.
Things could be worse. Imagine two ditzy cats like Creampuff. Not a good idea: I need my sleep, not a nightmare.
Look carefully. All our fat cats love this condo. They all sit in the bottom.
Creampuff sits on top. Ophelia loved this condo but Pumpkin just discovered it.
So here we are on my mom’s bed. I’m the one on the left. Creampuff is sacked out on the cat cushion my mom got about twenty years ago. Pumpkin is checking out the scene. And I’m being my usual patient, long-suffering self.
“Oh come on,” my mom says, “You guys have it made. If you were down at the animal shelter you’d be getting walks once a day – if you’re lucky. Here you get walked FOUR times a day. And sometimes you go running with your dog walker. What more could a dog want?”
Well, maybe one or more fewer cats?
My mom and I are both exhausted. Yesterday she helped out at the animal shelter. One volunteer was photographing dogs; her job was to help bring the dogs out of their cages to be photographed. The dogs, she says, were big and they weren’t used to walking on leashes. So they pulled! For breaks she took them into the pens and let them run around. Some of them could sit. Some had no skills at all.
“That’s so sad,” my mom said. “Keeping a dog and ignoring it. And they’re so sweet. They take treats right from your had.”
Treats? I’ll take treats any way I can get them.
My mom hasn’t been helping me write my blog lately. For one thing, I’m getting older and more tired. I sleep more. My mom feels sad when she sees me sleeping, even though she always says, “You look so beautiful when you sleep, Gracie. A tired dog is a good dog.”” And then she says, “You’re getting older but you still have lots of energy! And you’re leading a good life.”
Everybody fusses over me. I get so many back rubs and butt scratches. I also get treats when my mom reluctantly says I can. People always want to give me the good stuff, but my mom usually says no. She wants to keep me slim so I won’t put too much weight on my skinny legs.
Also my mom has become passionate about animal rescue. She told me she volunteered in San Francisco, back when she was a grad student. She went out with the van to destinations away from the shelter so people could just walk up and adopt on the spot. She told me she was responsible for many people going home with a furry creature in a cardboard box.
Now she’s on a crusade. She discovered that only 30% of all pets are adopted. The rest come from breeders.
Breeders? I’m well bred. I have beautiful manners and a strong, healthy body.
My mom gets so sad when she thinks about all those animals in shelters. So she’s spending time posting announcements on Petfinder and now she’s going to be making trips to the shelter to help out. That means less time for me, of course.
But we’re having more high quality time. My mom keeps telling me how lucky I am. She’s giving me more tummy rubs.