We’ve got a new housemate and I think this one’s going to stay awhile. She arrived as a skinny, scruffy cat from Morris Animal Shelter. My mom kept feeding her at all hours and now she’s fluffy. She’s not a normal cat. She won’t get off my mom’s bed, no matter what, except to use the litter box (thank goodness).
It’s been 5 months and now Moka has started blaming me, the resident dog, for everything. She’s an easy cat: we sleep side by side on my mom’s bed every night. One day I moved too fast and she gave me a gentle swat on the nose, which I totally ignored.
Moka’s also gotten very, very fussy. Here’s a recent conversation I overheard as my mom was leaving Moka’s food in the bedroom.
Moka: “This food is disgusting. How can you expect me to eat this? Even the dog wouldn’t touch it.”
Mom: It’s a high-quality nutritious cat food and costs a bundle…and you ate it yesterday.
Moka: I am going on strike. I will starve. You will be sorry.
Mom: I’m going out for a few hours. Enjoy!
Moka: You are a mean, cruel owner. I will ask the shelter to find me a new home with an owner who gives me nothing but Fancy Feast.
Mom: Good luck with that one.
Two hours later:
Mom: Moka, you ate every bit! This is wonderful.
Moka: No. The dog ate it.
Mom: You are in a room alone with the door closed. The dog can’t reach up and turn the knob.
Moka: The dog is very smart.
Mom: Moka, have you considered going into politics?
The three of us all together on the couch. My mom piles on the pillows. I love pillows! Creampuff is being aloof and ditzy as usual. Pumpkin likes to sit on the back of the couch and rule the roost.
My mom isn’t exactly Ms. Homemaker of the Year. Notice the throw that’s clashing with the couch and the pillows that don’t go together. We’ve lived here 3 years and we are still decorating.
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.
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 came home one day and found us sitting close together on her bed. She was thrilled and (of course) rushed for her camera.
“What are you talking about?” she asked us. “Comparing foster homes you were adopted from? Figuring out how to con me out of more treats?”
Hey, can’t a couple of friends just hang out together now and then?
Doesn’t this cat look adorable? My mom thinks she looks like a kitten – a BIG one! She fills up my dog bed.
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.