Saturday, April 20, 2013

The cats and I needed some fun

 Herb and Art, my two feline companions seem to be quite self reliant, and not in need of much attention, and in the past 4 months that is what I've been giving them. So today, on my way home from work, I stopped off to buy some cat toys. It felt like it would be good for me too, to play.
Herb is looking blase here, but it is because I am taking his picture

 I purchased two mice with tails to pull, that would make the mouse run...and although the toy doesn't go very far, it did create some excitement.

Arthur who tends to be abit greedy at times, although really a nice cat, decided to try and steal Herb's mouse. and he got a good solid swat to the nose.

Here is Art attempting to look dignified after the swat on the nose.

My sweet Herbert was a Humane society cat, and had been found lost in a rural area near to the city I live. He is an extremely benign and gentle animal, and has always been accepting to new pets I've introduced.

When I decided to find a cat, it was in part due to a mouse problem I was dealing with - the first night he spent at home, with me, he killed a mouse, and showed me the next morning, as if to say, he was up to the job of mouser. That year he managed to kill near to 9 mice, and rid my house of mice.I suspect that although he is much older now, he would still be up to the job.

Arthur was considered the baby for some time, but he now is most definitely an adult cat - nearly as big as Herb. Arthur was a stray kitten, who was for a few days sleeping on my neighbour's doorstep, and he simply followed me home one day after I stopped to talk with her. Myrna, my neighbour, was unwilling to take him in as she had already one kitten and a dog, but didn't want to take him to the Humane society - we were unable to find any owner, and so I was lucky enough to keep him.

An acquaintance described for me her Maine Coon cat, and some of the ways Arthur likes to play, and his personality seem to fit with him being part Maine Coon. He does have this interesting fluffy ruff, which comes and goes. Although I would think he would grow it for warmth in the winter and shed it in the summer, instead he has just now grown it back after a winter without.

I once fantasized that possibly Art might have fallen in with a raccoon family for his first few months as a stray, as he often dips his paw into his wet food to feed himself, and likes as well to drink from a running tap.One never knows, but I am sure that idea is just fancy on my part.

This toy is made by Kong, a company which I generally find to make good toys, and of course the popular Kong feeding toy for dogs is practically indestructible - however Arthur ripped through the green section of this toy, and inside is simply polyfilling with catnip, wrapped in plastic - not safe I feel. I bought two so the boys would each have one. I've thrown one out, and will let the cats play with the remaining one, only when I'm here. It's too bad as they really enjoyed holding it, and kicking at it with their back paws. It would have been a great toy, if made more safely.

 I have been feeling tired and sad lately - but soon we will see some spring here, I know. We still have several feet of snow to disappear, and will likely have quite alot of flooding when it really warms up. Today my workplace had a full day workshop, and there will be one more next Saturday. That has meant two 6 day work weeks, and although I do find the program, Learning Language and Loving It to be excellent, I am beginning to be tired.

It is good to stretch, and learn, and I have been doing that this past few months, with one class, and now this participatory program. One thing I'm really finding helpful is that our facilitator is also videotaping us with our children over a period of two months, and really I was pleasantly surprised at how my first videotape was.The woman who videotaped me is such a nice woman, and so supportive, it was quite natural, and not as scary as I had thought.

Today while coming home from the bus stop I took my shortcut through the lane, because I was cold and tired. The lane has snow piled up to the top of a neighbours back fence, and I have been walking along the top of the snowbank, and so I thought well - it is quite cold out, maybe I can still make it across the snowbank. However the snowbank has been eroding, and has formed a sort of cliff, which in the morning I have been able to make it over. Today I made it, til the very end, where the ledge crumbled, and I fell right onto my back, and onto mud and into a small space between the fence and the snow cliff. Part of me was embarrassed hoping the neighbour's weren't looking out their window, part of me wanted to laugh, and part wanted to cry.

However, so far there are no unusual pains in my back... :)

I thought I'd edit here to continue my story, the next morning...

I decided to search for Maine Coon cats on Google, and found some lovely videos of sweet faced kittens, and HUGE adult cats, playing fetch, making a bed, singing and twittering, and generally being captivating. Although Maine Coon's tend to be tricoloured they can be any colour. I found one or two black cats with white bibs - however their faces are so typical with largish ears with points, big widespread eyes, and as well their luxuriant coats, and ruff around the neck, that I felt confirmed that Arthur is a cousin of the Maine Coon.

The Maine Coon coat tends to be smooth, not needing brushing to stay silky, due in part to a down undercoat, and they are also water resistant.  Arthur fits the description perfectly here, as that was one of the first surprises I found - his long silky coat never has mats, and although I brush him for his skin's health, he doesn't really need to be brushed.

 Although Arthur like mouse toys, his preferred toy is this kind of plastic ball. The spaces on the ball allows him to pick it up with his teeth and then stalk around with it. He also throws it and then chases it. When he was younger he and I played a form of catch, which he now seems to have forgotten, so I think it's time to start this game up again.

 I stayed awake until 12:30 reading about Maine Coons and enjoying cute cat videos - falling asleep shortly after trying to read in bed - waking at 4 to turn on the bathroom sink tap for Arthur who likes to have a drink of water every morning right at 4. I generally lie down until I know Art has had his drink, and then turn off the tap.

This morning, at 5, I woke to Herbert's insistent meows (and he never talks much at all). I found that the sink had filled and run over, and so set to work finding towels to soak up the water, and then heard a tapping at my door. My downstair neighbour, Dorothy, wanted to know if I had water running, as she had water dripping through her bathroom ceiling. I followed her downstairs, and we were met by her downstairs neighbour Ron, wanting to know what the heck was going on, water is running through the walls. Ron is generally an amiable, kind soul, who will help anyone in a pinch... I stood there in my nightgown, with my hand covered over my mouth in horror, afraid to admit what I'd done. I finally explained my error of falling asleep after turning on the bathroom tap, and Ron shortly disappeared after learning that the water was temporary - there was some concern that our roof could have been leaking due to snow which is still piled there.

I assured my good neighbour Dorothy that I would look into my insurance as soon as possible, and do everything needed such as staying home to let repair people in. She offered me coffee, and she and I sat at her kitchen table attempting to wake up, and emerge from our unwelcome surprise...we eventually laughed over it, and decided it could have been much worse. I shared with her the story of my much younger sister, very capable, and alert, who left her home with the kitchen sink running, one day, and came home after work to find her bungalow in ruin. It seems like leaving water running may run in my family. :(

Thanks for reading along, if you have. I am planning on an accident free week ahead!