Cats are so dumb…

…and I nominate Creampuff as our very own candidate for Feline Airhead of the Year.

We have a small laundry room in our apartment. My mom keeps the dog food and cat food there. When she goes in to scoop up my daily ration, Creampuff races inside and hides behind the washing machine. Cathy turns out the light and leaves, closing the door. One minute later, she opens the door…and there’s Creampuff, waiting to jump out. You’d think we’d forced her to go in there.

Occasionally Creampuff doesn’t come out and then my mom forgets…until we hear yowls coming from behind a closed door.

But here’s the mystery. Hasn’t that cat caught on yet? What does she expect to find behind the washing machine: A rare treat? A juicy mouse? A secret door to the outside world?

To be fair, Creampuff really wanted to be an outdoor cat. But she got dumped at a shelter in New Mexico and nobody wanted her. Talk about age discrimination. A two-year-old cat is over the hill.

So when Cathy turned up, the shelter staff begged, “Please take her. She’s been here 3 whole months. So you know she’s flexible.”

Since when was flexibility a valued character trait in a cat? Needless to say, Cathy didn’t probe too deeply. She thought Creampuff was adorable.

Hey, don’t blame me. I wasn’t there. In fact, I wasn’t born yet.

Hmmm….humans have tasteless “dumb blond” jokes. So I’m going to ask my canine friends at the Dog Lounge, “Hey, did you hear the one about the calico cat who …” Works for me.

So the pope likes cats…big fat hairy deal.

Yesterday’s New York Times reported that Pope Benedict is a cat-lover…a “soul-mate” to cats, they say. Read the story here.

According to the Times, Popes have enjoyed a special affinity with cats over the years:

“Pope Paul II, in the 15th century, had his cats treated by his personal physician. Leo XII, in the 1820s, raised his grayish-red cat, Micetto, in the pleat of his cassock. And according to The Times of London, Paul VI, pope from 1963 to 1978, is said to have once dressed his cat in cardinal’s robes.”

A cat dressed in cardinal’s robes? Those guys need to get a life.

Sure, it’s nice to know that the tough-minded Cardinal Ratzinger took care of cats in the gardens of his Congregation and even bandaged their wounds. But…wounds? What were those cats fighting about? Could a little spay-and-neuter clinic be the answer? Please tell me it’s not against the Pope’s religion to … um…fix the situation.

Anyway, if the current Pope wants a little souvenir to take back to the Vatican, I’ll make the supreme sacrifice. He can have our two spoiled felines…either or both.

There would be only one downside, as far as I’m concerned. Our cats like to eat on the floor, especially our fat old tabby. Jumping up to the counter, out of my reach, gets harder as we age. So Cathy leaves a food plate on the floor when we go out.

If I’m lucky, she forgets to pick it up when we return. So I get to sneak a delicious snack. I always look very smug when this happens.

Other than that, who needs them? They take over my dog beds. They run away when I try to play. Or they even swat my nose. Cats do not understand the concept of living in community.

cat sitting on backpack

A one-way ticket to Italy…perfect.

Here’s my candidate for deportation, sitting on top of Cathy’s backpack. She looks so innocent… but don’t be fooled. Those little paws can do a lot of damage.

“Our Housemates”

My mom Cathy is about the least mechanical person on the planet. She finally figured out how to use her camera and what did she do? She took pictures of the cats.

As far as I’m concerned, these creatures are useless parasites. Creampuff likes to sleep on top of the DVR. Sometimes shecreampuff the cat dangles a paw in front of the remote control cell so Cathy can’t change channels. It gets pretty hot but Creampuff is too ditzy to notice. She practically lives there.

tiger the tabby

Cathy always says, “Gracie is a mutt but she thinks she’s a princess.” She really ought to say, “Tiger is a fat old tabby cat who thinks she’s the Queen of England.”

No Identity Crisis Here

My mom was telling someone, “Gracie gets into the cat food.”

“I thought dogs wouldn’t have anything to do with the cat stuff.”


I eat cat food whenever I can find it. I even steal Creampuff’s catnip toys. I chew them up and eat the catnip. Doesn’t do anything for me, but hey…it’s a chewing opportunity.

I sleep in the cat bed. It’s just the right size if I curl up in a tight ball…like a cat.

And I don’t do the denning thing. I don’t want to stuff myself into a corner. I’ll take the couch or the bed, thank you very much.

No problem with species identity. I know I’m a canine. When was the last time you saw a cat walking on a leash? Or roughing it up in the dog lounge?

Real men eat quiche. Real dogs scarf catnip.

Living with an Elderly Feline

Did I tell you we live with two cats? My mom Cathy adores them but they’re totally useless.

Cat #1: Tiger is a fat old tabby. My mom adopted her in spring of 1994 – 14 years ago – from an SPCA shelter in Winnipeg. She thinks Tiger is descended from a long line of Saskatchewan barn cats — big tough tabbies.
Tiger has lived with Cathy in half a dozen cities. She’s flown twice by commercial airlines and survived countless car rides.

Tiger rules the household. Sometimes she goes into my crate and curls up to sleep. She hisses when I try to claim my territory and Cathy has to come mediate our dispute. I don’t mess with Tiger.

Tiger makes her wishes known 24/7. Since we moved here, she’s developed a raucous meow…it’s loud and ugly. I cover my ears. Cathy says, “I remember when I brought Tiger home from the shelter. She was full-grown, allegedly five years old, just separated from her sister. She tucked her head in my arm because she was so scared of everything. She was so quiet I thought I’d got a dud cat. But then, she found her voice…”

Did she ever.

The vet says Tiger seems amazingly healthy for a cat who’s probably 18 or 19 years old. Tiger eats voraciously and jumps up to the counter to eat her food, just like a much younger cat. So I guess I’ll be putting up with her for few more years…which is good, because my mom adores Tiger, yowling and all. She’ll be heartbroken when Tiger disappears for the Great Sandbox in the Sky.

As the resident dog, I do my part. I try to get the cats to play. I steal their catnip toys and chew them up. Do I get thanks? Hah. I get hisses, swots on my nose, and an icy glare from Tiger. Good thing I’ve got a thick skin…and first dibs on Cathy’s bed.

Identity Crisis?

Yesterday I wrote about my mom’s trip to Elliott Bay Bookstore to hear Arden Moore, expert on cat and dog behavior. My mom learned a lot…too much, in my opinion.

But she couldn’t understand why Arden kept saying cat and dogs were different.

In our household, the cats are extremely sociable. Somehow they skipped the chapter in the kitty handbook that says, “Cats should be aloof.” They shamelesly run to greet Cathy when she comes home. I don’t. I am either with Cathy or else waiting patiently in my crate with my favorite kong toy.

Last year my mom bought the cats a wonderful round bed when she visited a cat show. (My mom needs to get a life. Dog parks? Cat shows?) I took over the bed. When I curl up in a round ball, I just fit.

Oh yes, I chew the catnip toy too. But don’t tell anyone.

P.S. My mom wants me to add that she knows the other folks mentioned in the Arden Moore article, Sally Deneen and Robert McClure. They lived across the street from Cathy when she lived in Florida with Keesha, her first dog, before I was even born. It’s hard to believe but my mom actually has a few human friends too.

Meeting the dog (and cat) expert

Arf! Gracie here.

My mom Cathy finally did something sensible. She went to an author reading at Elliott Bay Bookstore where she heard a talk by Arden Moore, a cat and dog behavior specialist. The event featured Arden’s cat book but Arden talked about dogs too.

Arden even blogged about my mom Cathy and my roommate Tiger:

Actually Tiger is a grump. You know what they call female dogs? That’s what somebody should call Tiger. That cat sleeps on a special cushion on my mom’s bed. She’s 18 and still jumps up on the counter to eat her dinner.

Then there’s my other feline roommate, Creampuff, whose name accurately describe the consistency of her brain.

My mom adores them. They were here first.

The best part of the day was I got to spend 4 hours in the Downtown Dog Lounge on Bell Street, hanging out with my favorite dogs. The worst was when my mom came to pick me up. I could tell she had been listening to a dog trainer. She had that gleam in her eye that said, “We mean business.”

“Gracie, sit!” she said firmly when a motorcycle went by. Ditto for a skateboard.