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.
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.
My mom was so happy! She’s seen the cats on her bed, with a pillow between them.
But now they’ve started sharing the couch.
Pumpkin wants to be friends but Creampuff isn’t so sure. We suspect Creampuff curled up and then Pumpkin saw the opportunity and jumped up.
Their body language says it all One uptight ditzy Creampuff, the calico. One relaxed, friendly Pumpkin who’s never met a stranger.
Pumpkin needed zero adjustment time, my mom says. She never hid in the closet or under the bed. She just sort of took over.
No argument there. She’s taking over the photos in my blog, even though she’s too fat and lazy to help write the posts.
As you can guess, I am a poor neglected dog. OK, so my mom is home all day almost every day. And I get to go running almost every week with my Uncle Jim, not to mention scarfing treats from the building manager and getting free massages from almost everyone in the neighborhood.
Since she moved to Philly. my mom has been SO busy she has less time for my blog and she’s out almost every night. (She recovers on the weekends.)
Here are some of the sneakers she’s been making in her ceramics classes at the Clay Studio. She’s gotten marginally better since I had to help her out at the studio in Seattle. But I think she’s found her groove.
My mom says sneakers are a symbol of freedom, especially for women. “When you feet are free, your spirit is free!” she says. “Who doesn’t associate sneakers with fun?”
Ahem. In case you haven’t noticed I get to skip the whole shoe thing with my paws.
But you’ll see photos of sneakers here. My mom has considered selling them online, which would mean more money for my treats. That’s a GOOD thing.
Notice how Pumpkin, our newest adopted cat, has nudged her way into the background, occupying center stage as usual. That’s because her food area has been turned into a sneaker display. Fortunately Pumpkin is so food-oriented she’d eat even if she just had three inches of space.
My mom has become quite interested in the animal rescue movement.
First of all, we live near a PAWS adoption center. They have mostly cats and no more than one small dog.
Every time we go by, my mom says, “See how lucky you are, Gracie? You have a good home! And you complain about everything.”
Who, me? Just because there wasn’t enough peanut butter in my kong toy… that’s a legitimate complaint, I’d say.
Then my mom became Facebook friends with Karen, who is Pumpkin’s foster mom. She gets all the bulletins of desperate dogs. And she sees the Puppy Mill stories, which make us all very sad.
“Imagine, Gracie,” my mom says, “some of those dogs have spent their lives in cages. They’ve never even had a tummy rub, according to that article. You get massages all the time from total strangers who want to give you a butt rub.”
The cats are rescues too but for some reason they never get lectures.
On the other hand, my mom took to heart the story of the poor dogs who never got a tummy rub. Now I get one every day.
I don’t know what all the fuss is about. My mom saw these 2 cats together on her bed and raced to get the picture.
Creampuff, the ditzy calico on the left, has lived with my mom Cathy for eleven years – since February 2002. Creampuff was in a shelter in Silver City, New Mexico. My mom thought she was too young but the volunteers begged her to adopt Creampuff. This poor kitty had been in the shelter for three months. They gave her some breaks from her small cage but no cat can live in a shelter forever. Creampuff’s number was about to come up.
So my mom took her home and changed her name to Creampuff. Creampuff played with Tiger (if you go back far enough in this blog, you’ll meet Tiger). Creampuff wasn’t crazy about Ophelia and my mom was afraid they’d never get along. Creampuff didn’t want to accept Pumpkin either, but Pumpkin is the ultimate diplomat. She waas determined to make friends.
So here they are. We think Pumpkin should take over the Middle East crisis.
“People are going to think we taught her to do this,” my mom said.
But we didn’t. Pumpkin is an adopted cat with a past. Pumpkin’s foster mom, Karen, tells us that Pumpkin likes to stand on her hind paws and look out at the world. She’s not begging, although she wanted my mom to know her food dish is empty.
“You ate five minutes ago,” my mom said to Pumpkin. “That’s why your dish is empty. You inhaled your breakfast in 30 seconds.”
Pumpkin is not a cat to be swayed by logic. She’s one tough kitty. Fortunately, we get along extremely well. I’m sure you’ll be seeing a few dozen more photos of me, snuggled up next to Pumpkin on our couch and bed.
Let me clarify: “Doggie Style” is the name of a chain of dog retail stores in Philadelphia.
And that fat interloper, Pumpkin, likes to sleep in the middle of the couch. Notice how she spreads out full length. My mom gets so excited when she sees us snuggled up. The truth is, I don’t have much choice.
Our other cats were much more polite. Ophelia always sat politely on a corner of the couch. Tiger liked chairs. Creampuff rarely chooses the couch. She’s more likely to be found on top of my mom’s printer, on a windowsill, or even curled up in the comforters on my mom’s bed.
But Pumpkin believes the world owes her, big time. She doesn’t realize that an adopted cat should be grateful to be in any home, let alone a home with a comfortable couch and a cat-fanatic mom.
Pumpkin doesn’t like to share. My mom has to feed Creampuff in a separate room. When Pumpkin jumps into my mom’s lap, she’s there for hours. It’s not affection. She’s holding that lap hostage from the rest of us.
So what’s a dog to do?
I’m not just any dog, of course. I am the ultimate Canine Urban Princess. So I’m going to claim my space on the couch. Luckily I don’t take up much room and I like to be all curled up in a ball.
And hey, when you stand up to a bully like Pumpkin, she turns out to be warm and cuddly. On a cold winter day, I’ll take her.
I knew it would happen sooner or later. Pumpkin, our adopted cat and newest housemate, isn’t satisfied with dominating the couch and my mom’s chair. She has taken over my bed – my favorite dog bed. As a city dog, I cherish my dog beds as my resting place.
Of course Pumpkin’s getting so fat she almost takes up all the space. She may be an adopted cat but she’s not at all humble about her status. What is the world coming to?