A lifelong dog person reflects on having cats


First, the things I hate about having cats:
Sometimes, they won’t stay in bed with Peggy and me for our morning cuddle, but as soon as we get out, they get in.
They enjoy killing houseplants, and I have forty houseplants.
At nearly nine months of age, Ollie is still “nursing” on Brewsky, which would be bad enough even if he didn’t slurp.

The trust of a cat seems tenuous compared to the trust of a dog.

They sometimes duck and run when I try to pet them.

They roughhouse with one another, but they won’t roughhouse with me. 

Things I love about having cats:

They usually stay in bed with us while Peggy and I are having our morning cuddle. First, they bathe one another—often at the same timeand then they nap with their legs and tails entwined.

Brewsky lies on his back and stretches his legs straight out when he wants to be petted.

Brewsky has spots on his stomach, and his stripes show perfect symmetry.

Watching them roughhouse. They’re so rough that it worries Peggy, but I’ve come to trust that, despite their screams, they’re not murdering one another.

Their loud and beautiful purrs.

The sweetness of having Brewsky press his face into my side at the vet’s.

Ollie’s best feature is that his nose and mouth pooches out, and Brewsky’s best feature is his large eyes. 

Theyre self-cleaning.

They never bite or scratch people.

Brewsky likes to lie with his front legs crossed, and Ollie likes to sit with his front legs draped over the left arm of an office chair.

When we got Ollie last October, he was three months old and weighed less than three pounds. Brewsky was five years old, weighed 15-pounds, and was an indoor cat who hadn’t lived with other cats. Ignoring the book advice about gradual introductions, we put Ollie’s kennel on the kitchen floor and opened the door. He immediately ran up to Brewsky and started smelling him from bow to stern while Brewsky looked like he didn’t know whether to run away or kill a kitten. After a long moment, he performed his own odor exam, and then started bathing Ollie. Peggy and I were almost too joyous to contain ourselves because we knew that living with two cats was going to be good.

They’re happy being indoor cats because that’s all they’ve never known. (Outdoor cats are devastating to wildlife, and their lifespan is half that of indoor cats.)

Ollie is still a house-wrecking teenager, but Brewsky is so considerate that I can’t remember the last time I had a problem with him. Ah, but when he was an adolescent, he was willful, sneaky, and stubborn. He would also ambush Peggy and bite her legs hard enough to draw blood. Since we had previously been dog people, we didn’t know but what he would always be that way.

When I’m having my computer time in the morning, I pull Peggy’s chair next to mine and put my bed pillow in it so Ollie can nap beside me. The problem is that he likes to write, so he’ll get in my lap, look at the monitor (he’s a touch typist), and start writing indecipherable doggerel.

When I’m baking, Brewsky will sit and stare into my face. I know he wants a treat, but Ollie gets just as many treats as he without watching me with an expression that looks like love.
 
Ollie is a small cat with a comically long tail, and I love that tail. I also love looking at four pointed ears when he and Brewsky are cuddling. 

Cats, like dogs, are forgiving creatures. For example, when I step on their tails, or worse yet, their feet, they might run a few feet, but they stop to be comforted when I call them.

Last night, Peggy and I watched a National Geographic documentary about cats, and our cats took such an interest in the show that they watched much of it with us. 

I’m both saddened and touched by how much they miss me when I'm gone. Unfortunately for Peggy, this means that Ollie cries and jumps on her back. Twice, when she and I were away overnight, Brewsky knocked the same peace lily off the refrigerator.

Just as my cats miss me, I miss them. Even when we’re apart for a few hours, I look forward to them greeting me at the door when I come home. If cats were really as aloof as they’re portrayed, I wouldn’t want cats.

When something frightens Brewsky, he looks into my face for reassurance. He and I have a very strong bond, while my bond with Ollie is still growing. For example, a few days ago, Ollie jumped for a shelf, but only his front legs reached it, so as he hung there in wide-eyed desperation, I gently lifted him onto the shelf and petted him. It was partially the accumulation of such acts that bonded Brewsky to me. Dogs just naturally trust people, but it takes effort with a cat.

Ollie is still young enough that he likes to help me with handyman projects. I consider this an utter delight unless it’s a painting project.

I love listening to the sound of running feet when the cats chase one another through the house at night.

Peggy is phobic of spiders, and the cats like to kill spiders (much to Peggy’s displeasure, they also like to dismember them).

I never have to take my cats walking in the Oregon drizzle, and they would think I had lost my mind if I tried.

Ollie often makes things go bump in the night, and Peggy and I get to figure out what he “bumped” (she would put this under hates rather than loves). 

Brewsky's every emotion is written on his face. What a joy to be with a creature who's completely present and totally open!

I love it that the four of us make a happy family in which everyone is devoted to everyone else.

39 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Yes.
And one of our rescue cats does bite and scratch. And still has a permanent home in my heart.
I grew up with dogs, cats, birds, fish, guinea pigs, turtles... And cats have long been my favourites.

Stephen Hayes said...

A cat types out doggerel? Just doesn't sound right, but neither does catterel.

Sparkling Red said...

My parents have two cats. Speaking of helping out with handyman projects, one of my fur brothers was so involved with the contractors, when they were having their house renovated, that he earned himself the nickname "The Inspector". :-)

Cats are indeed wonderful. I miss having a furry, purring body or two in the house.

Carola Bartz said...

I'm neither a dog nor a cat person - I love both and whichever I'm with I love best. Unfortunately we can't have pets due to very heavy allergies of a family member, but I enjoy my friends' dogs and cats whenever I can. Outdoor cats used to come to me and stay in my backyard which on the one hand was lovely, but on the other (the pooping part) was not so cool. I like that your cats are indoor cats, they have a longer and much less dangerous life. They're just such cool creatures and I have never experienced them as aloof with the exceptions of Siamese and alikes which can be really evil (at least the ones I had the questionable pleasure to know).

Strayer said...

What a beautiful tribute and the photos are wonderful. I love this, Snow.

Snowbrush said...

“And one of our rescue cats does bite and scratch.”

Peggy and I only had one other cat (Miss Kitty), which we found as a starving kitten right after we were married. She would bite when we tried to pet her, so we soon dumped her with my parents. My sister lived in a trailer in my parents’ backyard, and one day while backing out of her driveway, she served to avoid Miss Kitty who was sleeping on one side of the driveway and killed her own cat who was sleeping on the other side. Miss Kitty had a total of two tricks. One was that she could climb trees wait for rescue. Once, I decided to teach her a lesson so I left her up a tree for two or three days during which time it rained. It then became clear to me that if I didn’t go get her, she might very well die from exposure, dehydration, or falling. Her other trick was to sleep in the street. I thought that some cat hater would eventually run her over, but she lived to be sixteen and died in her sleep. Once, while Peggy and I still had her, we were living on the second story of an old house. Kitty liked to doze on the window ledge, and didn’t realize that we had taken the screen out to clean the window. Anyway, she came running across the room right in front of us (were were watching TV) and jumped onto the ledge. Without the screen to help her brake, she went right out of the window. We thought she was a goner, but she did a u-turn in the air and caught the ledge with her front feet.

“And cats have long been my favourites.”

I could go either way depending upon what I needed. If I were to live alone on an island, I had rather have dog because I find dogs more companionable, but put me in a highrise, and I would definitely want a cat. One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t replace the one species with the other.

“A cat types out doggerel? Just doesn't sound right, but neither does catterel.”

Catterel even isn’t a word. Mr. Man, and I’ll have you know that I stayed up half the night coming up with doggerel. Prior to seeing your comment, I considered it the cleverest thing I had ever written. Now, I’m planning to give up blogging, cats, and marriage, and live alone and embittered in the Montana wilderness.

More later…

Charles Gramlich said...

I do like those purrs!

fiftyodd said...

I was wondering if you have any children?

Myrna R. said...

I'm definitely a dog person, but know I could love cats too. Glad they bring joy to your family.

Tom Sightings said...

Generally speaking, I'm not a cat person. However, we had "Sassy" for 16 years and she was a darling -- the exception to the rule. My problem with the felines? They go to the bathroom indoors, and boy, does it stink!

Snowbrush said...

“I was wondering if you have any children?”

We have nine. The youngest is two and the oldest 37. I don’t write about them simply because I never liked children, so I regard them as Peggy’s hobby and therefore her responsibility and expense. Peggy has complained a lot through the years when I refused to get up in the night to care for a baby even when she was sick with the flu, etc. but all in all, it has worked out well, for me anyway. Ironically, our kids always seemed to favor me over Peggy. Maybe it’s because she is always so tired, grumpy, and old looking, or maybe it’s because I’m so young-looking and vigorous that I’m more on their level (we hang out together as if we were friends rather than parent/child). Seriously, I told Peggy before we were married that I didn’t want kids, so she thought about that and then married me anyway. She used to mourn for her decision, but she has come to be glad that she never had them, this based partly upon how bad most of her sisters’ children turned out.

“My problem with the felines? They go to the bathroom indoors, and boy, does it stink!”

I greatly prefer it to putting dogs out in the rain, and them just standing there in the yard getting wet while I keep telling them repeatedly to “go potty.” I had a dog who was terrified of fireworks, and every time she would squat, another one would go off, and this could go on for weeks and weeks twice a year, and to a lesser extent for months. No, no, no, I prefer a litter box. The only thing I hate about littler boxes is how much the litter costs. The manufacturer I liked—for compostable litter—went out of business, and now I’m having to pay three times as much for inferior litter.

“Outdoor cats used to come to me and stay in my backyard which on the one hand was lovely, but on the other (the pooping part) was not so cool.”

I can’t dig without running into cat shit, and then there’s the problem of cats killing wildlife. I resent people who have outdoor cats because they expect me to be okay with their cats shitting in my flower beds and having pissing contests on the side of my house, but when I had dogs, people would object to them pooping in their yards even though my dogs were on leash and with me standing there with a baggie. There’s a tremendous double standard between what people are expected to put up with from cats and what they most definitely won’t put up with from dogs, and I can’t tell you how much it pisses me off. I think that people who say they hate cats really just hate the irresponsibility of cat owners.

angela said...

I don't understand the whole cat person dog person. I love all my fur babies. But as I get older and chronic pain gets worse I think I'm leaning towards cats more as they don't need the attention dogs do. So when the fateful day comes when my dogs have crossed the rainbow bridge I won't be getting any more dogs.
I'll stick to cats and birds. Separated of course lol

Ginny said...

I love the pictures of the two of them. When I used to have my mom's cat living with me my cat and her cat would play fight and man it got really loud and rough. I think that's just how cats go about it but it does sound awful sometimes.

I am 100% a cat person. I love dogs but prefer cats.

All Consuming said...

A truly heart-warming post sweetie. It made me laugh and smile lots. "The trust of a cat seems tenuous compared to the trust of a dog"- Hahahahaha. Yep. I think health and mobility factor large when it comes to cats or dogs. There will come a time I won't be able to walk a dog, and when that time comes I'll be getting a rescue cat. I want furries in my life - *combs Snow's beard*. I'm so glad you have them in your life, they bring you both so much pleasue. x

Snowbrush said...

“What a beautiful tribute and the photos are wonderful. I love this, Snow.”

I have thought about your comment off and on for days because to have any praise from you about my relationship with my cats means more to me than anything anyone else can say because of your enormous love of, and concern for, the welfare of cats. I just wish you could simply enjoy cats rather than be to them what, I suppose, Mother Teresa was to the poor of India. It seems that you have no leisure to just BE with them because they come and they go by the score, and you must spend your days seeing to the needs of cats that are often very damaged both physically and emotionally. I don’t know how you do it. I hate to think of myself as an uncaring person, but I’m nothing compared to you, and I don’t say that with any modesty but with straightforward truth. I wish studies could be done on people like yourself to determine what makes you as you are. Maybe, with a few tweaks to our genes everyone could be that way, and the world could be a far more compassionate place. I know that in suggesting that you are a different kind of human, I’m to some extent excusing myself, but the truth is that I think almost entirely of me, while you think almost entirely of others, and I don’t know why this is.

“But as I get older and chronic pain gets worse I think I'm leaning towards cats more as they don't need the attention dogs do. So when the fateful day comes when my dogs have crossed the rainbow bridge I won't be getting any more dogs.”

Our last dog to die was a blue heeler, and I can’t even imagine how I had the energy for such a dog only ten years ago, but at the time, it didn’t seem like it took a high amount of energy. Certainly, cats are easier, so even if you’re someone like Peggy who would prefer a dog, ease of care is nothing to sniff at. She does say that if I died, she would get a dog because a dog would make her feel safer. (Don’t take from this that Peggy doesn’t love our cats because she most certainly does.)

Snowbrush said...

“When I used to have my mom's cat living with me my cat and her cat would play fight and man it got really loud and rough.”

They would play rough even when Ollie was a baby, but back then, it was only Ollie who was doing the screaming. Still, I took a lot of comfort from the fact that Brewsky could hurt Ollie bad if he wasn’t showing a lot of restraint, and that no matter how rough their play might look to me, Ollie never appeared wounded. Also, we lock them in the laundry room at night (otherwise, they would keep us awake), so when Peggy expressed concern about Brewsky hurting Ollie, I reminded her that the cats are alone a third of the time, so we have no choice but to trust them. Another point in Brewsky’s favor is that Ollie has never been afraid of him, and if Ollie trusts him, I’m confident that I can trust him too.

“Yep. I think health and mobility factor large when it comes to cats or dogs.”

Why didn’t I realize this when I was younger? I can look back and see so much that I have been oblivious to in life that seems so screamingly obvious now. I knew a couple in their eighties who had a Springer Spaniel (whose obvious pain from arthritis they neglected), and when the dog died, they soon got a Springer Spaniel puppy, and I thought to myself, you fucking assholes, you can’t care for that dog, and you’ll die way before he does. My point is that it’s not just about what we humans need and want but the needs and wants of our pets, and when I see someone neglecting that, I write them off. I don’t want to know them. I don’t want to be around them. I want them gone from my life.

Strayer said...

Thank you Snow, for the tribute to me and what I am. I can't change it. Not easy either. It's lonely, however.

Snowbrush said...

“Thank you Snow, for the tribute to me and what I am. I can't change it. Not easy either. It's lonely, however.”

I know it’s not the same because I have Peggy, but I’m often lonely too. I wish I had friends, but at the same time, I don’t want to leave home to make any. I also find that while I enjoy most people, the better I get to know them the more flawed they seem, and therefore the less I want to even be friends with them. Also, it’s not like people are beating a path to my door because of their high regard for me.

As for doing good, you and Kylie stand out among the readers of this blog. I don’t mean to dismiss others in saying this because there’s more that I don’t know about other readers than what I do know. It simply appears to me that most people are very similar to me, only maybe not as good, in that while they don’t harm anyone, helping other people and critters isn’t high on the list of ways they spend their time and money. My own efforts in this regard consist mostly of just being kind and helpful to people and other animals, and I don’t just mean people who look likable to me, but everyone I chance to encounter. I also give a pittance to charity, but most of my efforts in that direction won’t come to fruition until Peggy and I are dead. Philanthropy after death is darn poor philanthropy because I’ll no longer need the money anyway, but it won’t be of any less help then, and those who will receive it will need it just as much if not more.

I rather wish that people were more open about the good they do. I saw a show about Johnny Carson in which it was said that he secretly helped a lot of people over the years. The downside of helping in secret is that others aren’t encouraged by one’s efforts. It’s one thing to boast, but there is surely a middle ground between boasting and being open about what’s important in a person’s life. There’s only one kind of charity that’s a definite turn-off to me, and that’s giving money to a church, because churches do so little good for people and none for other species. When I hear about someone tithing, I always wonder if it comes from the heart or from the fear of going to hell if they don’t tithe. Much was made of Romney’s tithing, and all I could think was that he might as have burned the money for all the good it did. Well, that brings to mind another kind of giving that’s a turn-off, and that’s giving money to politicians. I gave a little to the Sanders’s campaign late, and what I got in return was a barrage of emails—up to three a day—about his campaign, and I thought, wow, he could have asked if I wanted them. It was as if when I cracked the door just a little, he went whole-hog trying to force himself into my life. Charities are often that way. I won’t even give to one until I find out of they’re going to share my contact information with other charities.

BBC said...

I like cats and they can be trained to stay off the computer desk (and any other places you don't want them) and not screw with the plants.

Snowbrush said...

“I like cats and they can be trained to stay off the computer desk…and not screw with the plants.”

Great, I would especially like to know how to keep them away from the plants. Brewsky never chewed them, but once Ollie started, he took Brewsky with him into the ways of sin and damnation.

Peggy is away for a few nights, and when she’s gone, the cats sleep with me (they don’t disturb me like they do her). I don’t know why our cats and dogs have always treated me better, but I think it has to do with the fact that she can’t scold them like she means it because it she doesn’t mean it—“I’m afraid I’ll hurt their feelings,” she says. Probably if I squirted water on them and chastised them enough, they would leave the plants alone, but so I’ve just been keeping the ones they like to chew in my bedroom.

BBC said...

Train them by getting on them when caught doing something you don't approve of, spraying is fine. And get them some catnip to mess with. Cats do need some greens at times, let them out to chew on some grass outside.

lotta joy said...

When my costochondritis (inflammation of ligaments on ribs) flared three days ago, in addition to my infected jawbone, I stayed in the front room where my recliner allows me to sleep upright. Beau never left the room in three days except for three emergency outdoor necessities. Joe had to bring Beau's food and water into the room with me, so he would eat. After all that worrying and loyalty, I betrayed him by leaving for four hours to see a surgeon. Beau would sit on a telephone pole with me if he needed to. Cats are just as loyal, but I honestly don't think they process information to the same extent that a faithful dog does. Okay, okay. I'm leaving. Don't hit me!

Snowbrush said...

"Train them by getting on them when caught doing something you don't approve of, spraying is fine."

I thought you had a secret formula. I already do these things, and they do work, but it takes a lot time.

“Cats are just as loyal, but I honestly don't think they process information to the same extent that a faithful dog does.”

No doubt. Dogs hunt in packs, and cats hunt alone, and this makes dogs more like us. Still, if you go to YouTube, you can find videos in which cats defend their loved ones as ferociously as any dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKF3U9UWrBI and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKT3yopL5gk . I can’t see that the cat really needed to defend the child in the second video, but the cat thought he did, and he sure meant business. I knew a woman who was burglarized while she was asleep. While her dog hid under the sofa, her cat jumped into her bed and pounded on her chest to alert her to the danger. Fortunately, when she confronted him, the burglar left.

You’ve made Ollie and me waste a lot of time looking for cat videos to prove my point about the protectiveness of cats, but we’ve enjoyed it. We've seen videos of cats attacking large dogs, standing up to mountain lions, a little cat facing down a whole pack of dogs, a cat that alerted its owner to a heart attack, and even videos of cats attacking bulls and horses. Here’s a video of a cat that regularly slaps alligators of all things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Duqvb-IRv9c

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Very sweet sentiments Snowy!

Belva said...

There are many pluses and minuses for having a cat. I like the self-cleaning one.

I am ready for "the no pet stage" of my life. I barely have time to take care of myself. Both my cat and dog are old but I've made their food, given supplements and taken such good care of them, they may live forever. ha My chickens are work too, but at least they give me something back. And OH, how I appreciate those eggs.

It does take a long time to establish a bond with a cat.I like the story of Ollie misjudging his jump. I can imagine the panic in his face. My cat was wild and wouldn't come within 10 feet of me when I got her. Of course, now I'm stepping on her as she is always under foot.

Snowbrush said...

“There are many pluses and minuses for having a cat. I like the self-cleaning one.”

I refer to them as “features” as in “the self-cleaning feature,” “the litter-box feature,” and “the never needing a walk feature.” “The diminutive size feature” is also a plus as our last dogs weighed 22-pounds (that was the schnauzer) and 31-pounds (the blue heeler) respectively. I didn’t even want a big cat, but when Brewsky grew into a big, what could I do? At least Ollie is a little guy, but oh is he feisty. Brewsky never backs him down!

“Very sweet sentiments Snowy!”

Thank you, my Rottie-dog girl. Please, oh, please, visit this blog if only to see the photo at the top: http://thesmallgodsshallbemyjudge.blogspot.com/2016/05/vaccinations-give-me-your-two-penneth.html. Sad to say that the dog (the four-footed dog, I mean) in the photo died recently.

“I am ready for "the no pet stage" of my life. I barely have time to take care of myself.”

What really got me to thinking about the wisdom of having a dog was when I had multiple shoulder surgeries. These surgeries came with long recovery times during which the operated-on arm was very fragile, and I couldn’t much use it for months. Peggy was gone for a week or more for two of those recoveries leaving me with two dogs to walk—sometimes in the rain—and to pick up poop for. On one walk, a pitfall attacked my schnauzer, and I had to beat it off with one arm while my dogs wound their leashes around my legs. That really got me to thinking that I no longer want the burden of dogs. I had NEVER imagined that I would live so old as to say that, but I know that if Peggy should decide she really wants another dog, it would be a very small dog. On this, we’re agreed. What a joy to not have to bathe dogs, put them out in the yard to poop, wipe their muddy feet, and so forth. It’s not that they’re not worth it; it’s just that I got to the point that I no longer wanted to do it.

“My chickens are work too, but at least they give me something back.”

Cats don’t lay eggs?! Do you mean to say that all the hours I’ve spent looking for them in happy anticipation of a cat-egg omelet have been wasted? I can’t say that I’m totally surprised, what with my cats being boys, but I still had high hopes. As I see it, eggs—even “happy chicken” free-ranging eggs—are cheap, but the love of a cat or a dog is priceless. I also feel very, very good about having rescue animals. I can’t believe that I once bought pedigree pets! What WAS I thinking! Millions upon millions of animals put to death every year because no one wants them, yet on three occasions, I paid people to breed more animals! Well, never again. The next time I simply have to have some breed, I’ll look up a rescue group devoted to that breed.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

One of the most amazing posts I have read in quite some time (and the reason I am now your newest follower). I used to be a dog person UNTIL I got my first house cat, Ruby. She had me wrapped around her little finger (paw) almost immediately. I became a full-fledged cat person due to her. To this day, the sound of a cat purring is among my most favorite sounds. I love this post so much. Thank you for bringing back memories :)

Joe Todd said...

Sorry, I'm an anti-cat guy... Dogs are ok... they all require to much work/money

Snowbrush said...

“I became a full-fledged cat person due to her.”

In my heart, I could never go one way or the other. I miss dogs a lot, and Peggy misses them even more, yet we would both miss our cats a lot also. A month or two ago, Peggy and I went looking for a small dog without even knowing if we would really get one. Our biggest problem is that our relationship with our cats and their relationship with one another is so good that it would be scary to do anything that might change that, and getting a dog certainly would. The question is whether it could change it for the better, and we both have serious reservations.

We are old enough that if we got a puppy, it would our last puppy, just as we’re about at the limit for getting another kitten. I would miss not getting an animal when it’s young, but I’ve no doubt but what I could love an older animal very much. Peggy has more concerns on this score. I think she would always look at a pet that was grown when we got it, and feel a sense of loss that she didn’t get to experience it’s youth. To some extent, I would too, but what can one do? I think it would be a crime for an old person to get a new kitten or puppy.

“I'm an anti-cat guy... Dogs are ok... they all require to much work/money”

I can’t understand people who are anti-cat or anti-dog, although my own dear wife used to hate and fear cats to the point that she had nightmares about them and avoided being anywhere near them whenever she could. Then, when our schnauzer died; we went to the shelter looking for a puppy only to find that they didn’t have any that would work for us. We then decided, just on a whim, to walk over to the cattery. Brewsky and his brother were the first cats we saw. They were kittens and for some reason, were on a half-price sale. Peggy was hooked by Brewsky, so my cat-hating wife and I came home with a kitten, and she loves that cat so much that she cries every time he gives the least sign of “being under the weather.” Not only does she love our cats, she pets all the cats she can when we go walking around the neighborhood.

What I think is that when someone hates dogs or cats, they’ve not had a good relationship with one. I see such hatred as a prejudice that is no different from racial prejudice. At least with the hatred of dogs, it doesn’t usually get as scary as the hatred of cats does when mentally disturbed people think they have a right to kill and even torture them. Maybe you’re anti-cat because they poop in your flower pets, walk on your car, kill the birds you’re trying to feed, and so forth; and in these ways, I share your antipathy, but it’s not the cats who are to blame but their people. I even had someone tell me that she wanted an indoor/outdoor cat because she didn’t want to have to clean cat litter. Clearly, she was fine with her cat pooping in her neighbor’s flowers so that she could avoid taking responsibility for her pet, and that’s the kind of cat owner whom I have problems with. NO cat should be an outdoor cat unless an area that they can’t get out of is provided for them.

As for the expense, you are so right, and that’s definitely a reason to at least limit how many pets one has. An even worse problem is that pets tie us down. We thought it would be a lot easier having a cat because we wouldn’t have to only go to places where we could take our pets (and that’s exactly what we did for all the years that we had dogs), but now we find that our cats are miserable when we leave them, yet we can’t take them places because they don’t want to go. Luckily, I don’t really want to leave home except to go on an occasional overnight camping trip. Peggy, on the other hand, travels quite a bit (she has trips to Colorado and Hawaii planned this year), but she has me to stay with the cats, so it works out pretty good on both ends. In other words, I’m here to care for them, and they’re here to keep me company.

Snowbrush said...

P.S. "One of the most amazing posts I have read in quite some time (and the reason I am now your newest follower)."

Thank you. I've now gained three followers due to this post! Just be warned that I'm not always so warm and fuzzy.

E. Rosewater said...

never try to outstubborn a cat. i don't know if that's a true statement but i take most things heinlein says as the gospel truth.

i grew up with cats and wouldn't mind having one around the house but my wife isn't a cat person. my parents adopted a siamese cat that was very high maintenance and it ended up being called "arthur" after archie's cat on all in the family after hearing archie say "i hate that cat's fishy guts"

my sister ended up with arthur and he lived well into his 20's costing her a small fortune in vet bills.

Barbara Torris said...

I think you might be the luckiest two cat owners ever. That pair is the most precious couple of cats I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing.

Snowbrush said...

“i grew up with cats and wouldn't mind having one around the house but my wife isn't a cat person.”

The worse things about pets is being tied down, but they’re worth it to me. If Peggy weren’t a cat person, I would want a dog, but if she weren’t a dog person either, I guess we would need to have a serious talk bout what to do because I’m going to have either a cat or a dog.

“I think you might be the luckiest two cat owners ever.”

I know. Our last two critters were a blue heeler named Bonnie and a schnauzer named Baxter. We got the heeler in 1997, and I thought it would be fun to get her a playmate, specifically a schnauzer because I had had a schnauzer for 17 years, and liked her A LOT. So, in 1999, we got a schnauzer. The heeler didn’t like the schnauzer, and this was hard for us and for the schnauzer. The heeler finally came to accept him, but it was never really a friendship. So, we’ve now seen having two pets go both ways, and what we have with these cats is an endless marvel. What with Brewsky being a five year male and never have been around another cat, we didn’t know to expect and even had some fear that he would hurt out new kitty. But then it was love at first sight! Even the vet was surprised when we told him that Ollie was actually trying to nurse Brewsky, and that Brewsky seemed to like it.

robin andrea said...

Just stopped by to read your latest post and thank you for stopping by New Dharma Bums and leaving a comment. We appreciated hearing from you. I've just been reading your comments here and had such a good laugh about having nine children. I had to read that one out loud to Roger. Wonderful, truly funny. We had a cat for 13 years, a rescue stray. His name was Bonsai, but he also had so many other names of endearment. At this time in our lives, with all the recent moves, we have stalled getting another furry critter. We miss our Bon-boy, and have considered getting a dog, but haven't been able to make a commitment yet.

I'll be stopping by again, and thank you for finding our blog.

McGuffy Ann Morris said...

This is a well-written, heartfelt post. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Please consider putting a "Subscribe by Email" option to your blog. I really would like to be able to do that, and not miss a post. You can do this through Layout, and add it to the sidebar.

Thank you for visiting me. I do actually follow Strayer, though we only recently "met", during the A-Z Challenge. She is indeed wonderful.

My white cat (Maggie) is a Maine Coon polydactyl. She was retired after receiving her CFA Championship. We fell in love with her not only because of her obvious beauty and charm but at age 1 she was "retired". Too often this happens to purebreds. And many end up in shelters, etc., too.In fact, our Shelties are rescues, as well.

Again, thank you. I am following. Please put up the Subscribe by Email option. Strayer did! Hugs.

Cathy Kennedy said...

Snowbrush, It's nice meeting you. I appreciate the pop in on my blog. Cats have pluses and minuses for sure. Cats can be temperamental to various degrees. We had a cat for years before we had to give her up because of allergies. She was a good kitty. She liked us, but visitors she didn't like too much, but she was never mean to them; she just kept to herself. However, my brother-in-law and his wife's first cat was the spawn princess of Satan. If you came near her, she hissed. If you tried touching her, she'd bat her paws at you (thankfully her front claws were gone) or she'd nip at your hand. If you were laying down, she'd loom you like a vulture ready to swoop in for feed. Let me tell you that's really scary, if you wake up to see that expression, too. Long after that cat died, they got another one and believe it or not, it wasn't a whole lot better in personality. That being said, I know all cats are evil, but are definitely not as warm as man's best friend. Thanks for sharing your likes and dislikes of owning cats. I really enjoyed reading your post. Have a good weekend!

Snowbrush said...

“We fell in love with her not only because of her obvious beauty and charm but at age 1 she was "retired".

“Retired”!!! Ha. I am very dedicated to never again paying a breeder for an animal because to do so is to subsidize cruelty in various ways, and now you have shown me yet another one as I didn’t know that aging cats were sometimes, in effect, sent to the glue factory like aging horses. If I simply had to have a breed, I would get it from a rescue group. I’ve had two schnauzers and one blue heeler, so I’m well aware of the virtues of owning a breed, but I’m also aware of the problems.

“Please consider putting a "Subscribe by Email" option to your blog.”

I’ll look into it if you’ll be so kind as answer one question which is very important to me. Namely, if you get my posts that way, and I later edit the post, which edition do you see? I can edit for a post for days before putting it online, only to make a dozen or more changes as soon as it appears, so if subscribing by email means that you receive the original version, I’m not fond of the idea.

“I know all cats are evil, but are definitely not as warm as man's best friend.”

Several years ago, I had a cat bite my finger to the bone when I tried to pet her. I still see that cat when I take walks around my neighborhood, and I still want to kill her. If I had a cat that bit me like that, I would take that sucker to the pound faster you could say “Scat!” The difference between cats and dogs is that it’s easier to find a lovable dog, yet as I write, my little buddy Ollie is asleep beside me, and I love that cat with as much devotion as I could ever give a dog. Come to think if it, my last dog was a blue heeler, and she would not only bite other people and dogs, she would also bite Peggy and me, yet I loved that dog as much as any dog I’ve ever had, so what can I say but that getting rid of an animal isn’t such a straightforward choice as I’ve portrayed it?

hannah jane said...

Your blog is such a happy place : ). I love all of the pictures in this post and how your cats nap with their tales entwined. I also think it's so sweet that you pull a chair close and they come sit with you. I have a love/dislike list for my two golden retrievers as well. One dog is my soul mate and she can do no wrong. Ha! This actually means that we both do things to purposely tease each other often. And the other dog is Emily Post reincarnated. So her list of all the things I do wrong is probably very long.

MFH said...

Wonderful cats!!! But then, is there any other kind?

I got Smith a walking jacket which we use when hiking trails. In spite of her early resentment -- she ASSURED me she *knew* where the car was and could find her way back, regardless of distance. -- she has quickly adapted to it.


When we camp for the night she gets out and spends about ten minutes getting oriented. Then, depending on how interesting the area is to her, she may disappear for anywhere from a half an hour to several hours. I go to bed around 10:00 p.m. but always hear her knock on the roof or door when she's ready to come in. She sleeps curled under my chin or next to my abdomen.

Friends and lovers have warned me that there will come a time when she will not return. The thought is unbearable, but I cannot bring myself to force her to "live" on a tether. If you could see the joy she exhibits when she heads off into the bush or up a tree you'd understand my decision. But I've been amazed; I never imagined a cat like this. I got the walking jacket mostly to keep her from taking off when I'm packing up to move camp. Being a cat, she seemed to take special delight in disappearing just as I was loading her litter box. Cats!!