Monday, August 25, 2008

Where cats...and dogs...sleep

I can still remember the form I filled out when I adopted my dear doggie, Jake, back in 1995. “Where will he sleep?” the paperwork asked. “Anywhere he wants to!” I wrote down.

So Jake came home and immediately decided sleeping on my bed was heaven...until he discovered the floor-to-ceiling window across from the bed! A large framework sat on the deck that was below that window. Squirrels, chipmunks and birds ran along the beams, often coming nose to nose with Jake as he looked out of his window on the world.

It was his sacred space – safe, cool and wildly entertaining. In the last months of his life, when his legs were wobbly and his eyesight was failing, Jake’s bed was his favorite place – his security blanket.

It is completely different with my four cats! Dickens and his sisters - Molly, Pippen and Star - are constantly changing their favorite little nesting spots. While this shouldn’t be a problem, it does impact my nightly ritual of checking on the cats before I go to bed. The chair Dickens may have slept on for the last month is cat-less, and my big boy is nowhere to be found. The kitchen drawer that holds the aluminum foil - one of Star’s regular sleeping spots - is empty, and a top-to-bottom search of the house leaves me with no clue as to where she might be.

One night last week I had finished the regular cat round-up and, once again, Star was missing. I searched three times behind, under and in-between every appliance or piece of furniture in the house – no luck. I went back to the top of the house to begin search #4, and noticed one of the drawers in the closet was open about 2”. Could it possibly be?

Somehow she had squeezed her way into that incredibly small opening, and was fast asleep in my sock drawer.

So, here’s my question – WHY DO CATS DO THIS?


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cats at the Olympics

I was walking with a friend the other day, and we were talking about the Olympics...and our cats. Had our beloved felines been invited to participate in the games, what parts would they have chosen to play?

Star – my small, graceful beauty would definitely have been a gymnast. She knows no fear, and leaps like a gazelle.

Dickens – my only boy – can you say weightlifter? Yes, even though he’s lost 4 ½ lbs., he’s still a big boy. He would have loved those weights - especially if he
thought they were Twinkies!

Molly – my mystical, cosmic cat, loves to hide in strange places. She would have been a natural in those breathtaking opening ceremonies, where all the performers hid under the boxes and worked in unison to create a ripple effect.

And then there is Pippen. I think it’s pretty clear she would have been the person at the gate, telling you the ticket you bought online was bogus and you needed to leave immediately…before security was called. She would have been good at that.

So, what about your critters?


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Napoleon the Bulldog Rescues Kitties!

Have you heard the wonderful story about Napoleon the Bulldog? My good friend, Judy Ditfurth, who works with English Bulldog rescue in Florida, brought it to my attention.

Napoleon is a well-behaved two-year old white Bulldog, who lives with his family in Michigan. Apparently he raced out across the road the other day and into a nearby lake, then came out of the water dragging something in his mouth.

It appeared to be a burlap bag, which he brought back to his person. The meowing sounds coming from the bag alerted Napoleon’s mom to the kittens that were inside – six in all. Sadly, two of the kittens didn’t make it, but the other four were cared for until they could be put up for adoption.

Over the years I have learned many things from Judy about Bulldogs, including the fact that their large head and chest, compared to their light back ends, gives them the tendency to go bottoms up in water! That fact makes this story even more special.

It is heartbreaking to think there are people who could throw living creatures into burlap bags, and then pitch them into water to drown. One can only hope the person who did this is aware of how the fate of these throwaway kittens was changed by a loving dog, and a simple act of kindness. One can only hope that person has been humbled by this gesture...a creature reaching beyond perceived limitations to do something wonderful...maybe even miraculous.

Thank goodness for Napoleon...he is a true hero.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Share your life with a cat - lower your heart attack risk!

It certainly wasn’t a surprise to me! As someone who shares her life with 4 fabulous felines, reading the report about the health benefits of living with a cat simply verified what I already knew.

The report by Dr. Adnan Qureshi, executive director of the Minnesota Stroke Institute at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, said that
the stress-relieving benefits of having a cat in your home could cut your risk of heart attack by one-third…one third!! According to Dr. Qureshi, that statistic was quite surprising.

The report came from a 10-year study of over 4300 Americans. Data from people who shared or had shared their lives with a cat was compared to those who had never done so. It was interesting to read that cat lovers continued to reap the heart benefits even if they were not currently living with a feline.

Previous reports suggest that sharing your life with a dog, cat or other animal companion can have a very positive effect on your health.

Like I said – no surprise there!