Fashion And The Right Thing

94CC1929-1C40-42AA-9996-DF3333BE43CB_1_201_a

Squeaky Wearing Her New Accessory.

Squeaky isn’t a fashion follower, and wasn’t a fan of wearing a funnel-type collar when she developed flea dermatitis on her skin. The vet shaved off fur 16cm long and 10cm wide along her back down to her tail. Being a rescue cat who was abused, you can imagine it was fun catching, bathing and putting cream on her wounds.

Wearing the hard, plastic collar made her sit upright and she wasn’t eating, so I purchased a soft collar. It was much wider than the other one, making it difficult for her to walk. I then pushed it downward. Initially, she looked like a kitty flower and a clown, which clashed with her new punk-style shaved back.

She adapted moving around, and then became obsessed with grooming—not much except the end of her tail and the collar. At night on the bed I’d hear a continuous rasping sound—her licking went on for ages.

She wore her new accessory for three weeks. I felt guilty because she would stare out of the window into the garden for hours, eat a lot and nap. Normally, she’d do her business outside, but now had to use litter. I wasn’t a fan of cleaning out her tray after she used it, and sprayed air freshener around.

107ACA27-86D4-4AD3-9DE4-685457C8F5C0

Happy Kitty!

Finally cured, Squeaky was allowed out. I opened the door and she dashed outside only to suddenly stop. As it was winter, it was pretty chilly and within five minutes she came back inside.

The Human.

Instinct

13460E84-2636-40E3-B03E-758EF2DABDD9

Squeaky in  the garden.

Each bird from a family of magpies can chase Squeaky away. Unlike her predecessor, she is not a skilful hunter. Now when I feed the magpies, Squeaky lounges on the deck.

However, recently she surprised me—her instincts awoken—bringing in skinks, (tiny lizards), from the front garden. They are pretty cute and I’ll immediately try to rescue her prey from splayed claws, returning it outside. I’ve found a skink on the slimline venetian blind and even one in my bedroom.

The other day Squeaky released one in the lounge room, minus its tail—a survival mechanism in which skinks shed their tail, while scurrying away from their predator. After a few bats with her paw, and a glint in her eye, she bit off and swallowed its head. Grossed out, I disposed of the body. Squeaky pressed her nose to the spot and searched for her prey. Suddenly, she pounced on one of her small knitted toys. Dropping to her side, she clutched the toy between front paws and then chewed its head and kicked the body with her hind legs. My angel had finally evolved into a predator.

A few days later I was walking barefoot across the rug when I felt something cold and rubbery. I screamed. After gaining composure I looked down to see what I had stepped on. Ewhhh! It was the skink’s shrivelled tail.

I’ m grateful that Squeaky still can’t catch birds and was shocked while curled-up in my lap, she scratched me.

The Human.

Transition

B33FF193-DAAB-4E81-BC94-6C3542550F92_1_201_a

On my bed.

It’s been 15 months since I adopted Squeaky from an animal shelter. It saddened me because at one year and nine months old, she didn’t know how to play. When I tried to play chasey, her eyes widened and she ran away and hid.

Often, she now expects me to chase her down the garden path and within seconds, clamours-up trees and scales fences, or will suddenly sprint down the hallway. I find her sitting on my bed looking smug, ‘Hey, what took you so long?’

She spends time perched on the deck’s balustrade, basking in the back garden and relaxing on my bed. Every morning, she lounges next to me on the window-box seat and rolls over. Oops, she fell off—too comfy.

FB9DBC8F-88C4-4E41-BD80-6F7FC9CD9EF9_1_201_a

Lounging on the window-box seat.

After stomping on me at dawn, Squeaky then scratches the bed-side rug. I get-up slowly, feed and let her out. She’ll return 30 minutes later finding me back in bed. As I stretch, she saddles up to me, rests her chin on the pillow and purrs, her green eyes focussed  on mine.

Squeaky is annoying too. The other it was raining. I got up to find muddy paw prints stamped across the kitchen tiles. In the garden, her favourite spot is under an echium bush. The dried, curled-up leaves stick to her hindquarters. However, she doesn’t appreciate me removing them, and I’m forever picking them up off the floor after she grooms herself. Also, her fur is hard to vacuum off the rugs.

The Human.

 

Similar, But Different

Version 2

Nine months, almost there… No more hiding.

Squeaky, my rescue cat, zooms down the garden path as I chase her. She leaps onto the teak bench, turns and faces me—I’m still running—or diverts to the left, clambering up the three metre, weeping pear tree. Sometimes she scales the side fence, bounces off, landing in the fork of the giant lilly pilly and scurries higher up. Perched amongst the branches, I spot her bright eyes.

She is similar to my former moggie, but different. There’s no biting or pouncing. I can actually touch her front paws without being injured. She’ll sit on my lap forever. When I ask her to move, grudgingly she jumps down—usually I have to nudge her off.

Absorbing the sunlight, she lounges on the deck’s balustrade with eyes closed. The tips of her fur are ruffled by a light breeze.

Version 2

Sometimes in the morning, I’ll scratch her chin and she’ll lightly chew my finger. To get me out of bed, the former would whack or slash me. She has stomped on my belly twice.

When I went away for 12 days, she wasn’t happy to have a house sitter. Squeaky would sit next to the sitter on the couch. With her head down, but slightly tilted to the right, she would give the stranger ‘the evil eye’.

Upon my return, the furball was even more affectionate. Gone is her scowling, and like the former, she hates her flea treatment and the vet.

The Human.

Starting Over

 

fullsizeoutput_6cc

Squeaky.

Mostly she hid. For a long-time I didn’t hear her voice except when relaxed, there were soft rumblings.

During the first week, my new chunky, grey and white moggie would often runaway as I approached, even hesitant to step forward at mealtimes, her green eyes focused on my movements. She resided behind the TV table or on the bottom shelf of the hall cupboard, body close to the wall. If I moved my hand quickly, she would cower and spring away. I didn’t appreciate her hisses.

I tried to calm her… She had been at a shelter for four months. My previous, old moggie was the opposite to her—dog-like, naughty, with heaps of attitude.

The fluffball allowed me to pat her on her terms, then progress—something small each day—appearing when called, snuggling and not hiding as often.

Stretched out on my lap, she was due for a flea treatment. I squirted the liquid onto her neck. Immediately, she leapt onto the rug and raced off. She didn’t sit long after that, and it took time to gain her trust again.

Currently, she grooms herself several times a day and forms small mounds with her litter covering-up her business.

fullsizeoutput_6cb

Squeaky Relaxing.

Her purr, accompanied with some dribble has a bass tone then changes pitch to soprano. For two months, I hadn’t heard her miaow, and was surprised to her her squeak, and nicknamed her ‘Squeaky’. It’s weird, as she is a deep snorer, (like me). We’ve bonded.

The Human (CD)

 

The Delinquent

fullsizeoutput_6c2

Hanging about in a favourite spot.

At first, I didn’t see the signs. You’ll get better, it’s just a runny eye.You’re in your twilight years, that’s why you aren’t eating as much. We always checked your teeth—surprise, extractions, and then cancer. Tumors formed in your gums, and the cancer also affected your eye.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It’s so quiet. No longer can I hear the thump, thump as you tramp on the floorboards, and I miss being woken by a bushy tail, flicked across my nose. I stare at my bed imagining you there, eyes closed, chin resting on paws, your body curled forming a circle. Your belly rises and falls… Gently I lay my cheek against your head. Lost… I cannot believe that you are gone.
fullsizeoutput_6c5

The last day.

Your were so brave, hanging on for me… I’m so grateful. Fifteen and a half years we shared together:  your leaping under clean sheets as I made-up the bed, jumping out suddenly with an arched back, reminding me that it was time to play hide and seek; stealing the prime position on the couch when I’d get up to make a cup of tea, using my belly as a cushion, scratching the woollen rug before rolling over like a dog when I came home from work, just some of your antics; plus your unconditional love. The essence of your life was comfort, food, playing and having fun at my expense. I miss you! Rest in peace my delinquent moggie, Pookie, (alias Smudge). Love always, your Human.        

‘Truth is Stranger Than Fiction’

fullsizeoutput_6c0

Smudge stretching in the garden.

What’s going on? How is this possible? My geriatric cat is physically more active, having lost some of his mobility handicaps. Smudge is now officially 16 yeas old. He’s snoozing a lot as to be expected, and had months ago, stopped going outside and playing hide and seek chasey, but then things suddenly changed.

Miraculously, a feline fairy must have sprinkled him with youth serum, and now he’s often hanging out in the garden, catching some sunshine or napping under a bush, and occasionally even doing his business in the soil, rather than using litter. Yay! For a minute, he’s started to play hide and seek chasey again; is pole dancing around his scratching post and sharpening those claws at the same time. Previously, I had taken him a few times to get his ‘ninja’ claws clipped. When he’s up, Smudge is happy following me around and head-butting my calves. His purr factor is getting a workout.

fullsizeoutput_6bf

Smudge at his scratching post.

Instead of placing his behind in front of my face or flicking that tail across my nose to get me up, (I suffer from hay fever), he now sits quietly close to my head waiting patiently while I doze. I literally have my own living, furry head-warmer. Sometimes his paw gently touches my cheek, whereas before he’d whack my face. What happened to my delinquent/aging cat?

Constantly effervescent both in personality and his actions—Smudge is always getting into trouble and regularly exasperates me. He still thinks he is ‘Top Cat’.

The Human.


 

Unbloated Bliss

20180501_140621

Get Off My Pillow!

Years ago after finishing his breakfast and dinner, Smudge used to burn around the house—fuelled with energy that sent his paws into hyperdrive. Now literally lighter after using his litter tray and leaving a lingering door, he races down the hallway and round the house in a state of euphoria.

Every morning he wakes me up for his breakfast constantly pawing my cheek, flicking his tail across my nose, or placing his backside in my face. I spring-up, then zombie-like feed him and stumble back to bed. Later he’ll return and snuggle next to me.

In contrast, it’s been awhile since he has slept on the bed all night because I snore. Or maybe it was when my belly was full of chicken, veggies and a big serve of Jerusalem Artichokes—a winter root vegetable—delicious when roasted.

Unfortunately, the later has a bad effect on me… After eating artichokes my belly swells up like a balloon, full of wind. It was that night Smudge leap on the bed and tried to snooze, but for hours I was burping and banging. In the morning, I wasn’t quite as bloated and he was still there. Apart from getting-up to have breakfast, Smudge remained curled-up like a snail shell for the rest of the day.

20180529_203854-1

Flat Belly.

Since the artichoke episode, Smudge hasn’t slept over. It’s an excellent deterrent for a cat-free zone, but an unpleasant experience.

However, it’s a way of getting him back for my daily torture.

The Human.

Halfway

1517912909752

Smudge in prime telly  position.

Smudge doesn’t support equality. The geriatric moggie (15½), follows a ‘Top Cat’ policy and envisages that I will serve him 24/7.

While I’m watching telly he’ll jump up on the couch, make himself comfy, and sit on my lap. I’ll get up to make a cup of tea, but find when I return that he has strategically moved across to my seat in the centre—which is perfect viewing. The fluffball expects me to now sit on either side of him.

The other night I rebelled and pretended to sit on top of him. Smudge didn’t budge, but his ears were flat. I then sat mainly on the seat cushion next to him—filled with foam, it sank down—and partly on the side of his cushion, which also dipped a little. The look I received would have caused a bird to shudder. Immediately, Smudge pulled out a paw from under his chest and leapt off the couch, retreating to the tub chair in the spare room.

20171101_193946

Smudge snoozing – ‘Do Not Disturb’.

A few hours later ready for bed, he jumped on the couch and pawed my arm. Dozing myself, I was being kicked off.

History repeats itself… The next night after getting a cup of tea, I returned to the couch and sat next to Smudge. However, this time, the big mog grudgingly shifted across so I could sit in my prime spot and rested his front paws on my thigh. For a while, I was no longer a slave to the moggie!

The Human.

Morning Madness

20180119_113322

I deserve comfort.

It’s hot, my eyes open and focus on the clock. ‘Oh no!’ I’ve slept in courtesy of Smudge waking me at 6.00am and having stayed up till 2.00am this morning. Since I changed his wet food, the big mog is obsessed with his breakfast and tortures me until I get up. (See previous post for methods of torture)!

I stumble out of bed and open a sachet of cat food, placing it in his bowl. Gobbling up three quarters of the fish pieces, there’s no sauce left. I cover the leftovers with plastic wrap and rush to get ready for work. Already on my bed, Smudge makes himself comfy.

The rest of the day it’s difficult to concentrate and others tell me I look terrible.

Last month, I caught-up with a friend who asked why I was so tired. When I told her about Smudge’s obsession with breakfast, she rolled her eyes and told me to close the bedroom door. I did—there was miaowing and scratching from the hallway. He’d then lunge at the door if it wasn’t securely closed, forcing it open…

20180128_112016

My tail and secret weapon.

The other night, Smudge snuggled on the bed with me. The next day I had bags under my eyes and my brain was scrambled. The furball had woken me up at 5.00am. To avoid ninja paws and a suffocating tail, I constantly turned over and ducked under the doona, but to no avail. My tormentor was diligent, showed no mercy, and was enjoying himself.

The Human.