T.C. Has Questions and He Ain’t Leaving Without Answers

On a typical evening, I am accosted at the interior door by flailing limbs and peanut butter breath. This evening was different. Someone else had taken over Shiva’s greeting duties and I was instead faced with this:

024

If the look on His Excellency’s face means anything, I had messed up, big time.

Desperate to make amends, the first thing I did was check his food bowl. To my surprise, it was almost as full as it was this morning. Then I checked the three water dishes, all placed in strategic locations around the house. But they were all full as well. So what was his damage?

Deciding to ignore his glare, I took the dog outside and then collapsed on the couch to fire up Facebook. After scrolling my newsfeed, still giggling over the latest George Takei photo, I finally realized the cause of the Kitty Meister’s impatience.

Today is January 22nd, the most important day on the feline calendar – National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day.

023Since I forgot this holiest of cat holidays, I am a jerk. The only way to make it up to him is to sit down and hear what he has to say. The problem with that is, after last year’s debacle when all he did was demand I feed him our pet fish, I am really not interested in pandering to his selfish demands. Heck, I feed him expensive food, brush his glorious fur, and furnish him with cozy places to sleep. Yet no matter how much I do for him, he blows me off every time I want a smidgen of affection. He nigh taunts me with his disinterest, rubbing his body around my legs and then dashing away the instant I lean down for a pet. If anyone should be making requests around here, it is me.

Alas, I am a sucker. One look at those inscrutable eyes and I find myself giving in. It is the day for it, and all. One question wouldn’t hurt. Right?

022

Me: Okay, Kitty. You win. You get one question. Go.

The Cat: I am The Cat, you are my human servant; I will have as many questions as I please.

Me: Is that your question?

The Cat: I believe I am the one doing the asking here, not you.

Me: Is that a yes? There is wine that needs drinking, I don’t have all night.

The Cat: Fine. Ugh. No wonder you humans are such wretched hunters. No patience.

Me: Hey, if you’re willing to sit in my lap, I will answer your questions all night. Until then…

The Cat: Gag me.

Me: Still waiting, Cat.

The Cat: This is a two-part question.

Me: Of course it is.

028The Cat: One: when are you getting rid of the dog? Two: do you know how much you drool in your sleep?

Me: One, never and two… That is not a question! That’s it. Interview over!

The Cat: No, really, because it’s quite disgusting… Wait, where are you going? I didn’t give you permission to leave. Oh, what is that I smell? Is that ambrosia? Is that the most delectable treat in all the world? I must have it!

029

So much for that. At least it is easy to shut him up.

Does your cat have any questions today? If so, I sincerely hope they are less insulting.

My Dog is a Bratface

I was going to quantify the title of this post by putting the word “sometimes” in parenthesis but less than ten seconds ago said trouble-making dog so perfectly illustrated the source of today’s rant that I have decided to leave out said quantifier. Shiva is a bratface. Full stop.

Me? But look how well I pose for holiday photos!

Me? But look how well I pose for holiday photos!

We have a problem here at Shiva’s House of Deluded Dreamers and it’s not going away. In truth, this problem has existed since the day we brought her home. However, previous domiciles enabled us to manage said problem without difficulty, thus preventing me from actually working on it. Now that we live in a new house that lends Shiva much more freedom, the problem has turned into a giant rhinoceros stampeding through the kitchen that we are incapable of stopping.

Let me backtrack.

Shiva will always eat the poison. Always. It is part of her DNA. If there is food available she will do all she can to scarf it as fast as possible. Whether it is waiting for me to look away, waiting for actual permission, or sneaking around in the middle of the night and risking death by falling off the top of the refrigerator. If there are edibles around, she will get to them. It is a law we live by.

One of her favourite edibles in the whole wide world of stomach-filling goodness is cat food.

We have a cat. You may have seen him around these parts before. In case you don’t recall, this is what he looks like:

Not as innocent as he would have you believe

Not as innocent as he would have you believe

Shiva will do anything to get at his full food dish. While we feed him good quality food, just as good as hers, and I am not concerned it will make her ill, we are not exactly pleased by this. For one thing, the cat deserves to eat in peace and he gets cranky if his dish is not full at all times. And I mean all times. He has always self-regulated his intake and so he is free fed. Even if he isn’t particularly hungry at the time he demands the food be there in case he wants to nibble half a crunchy.

For another, we are not billionaires. Good quality cat food is expensive and is not meant to be gobbled up by obsessed dogs bowlfuls at a time.

But how to get Shiva to leave it alone?

In previous houses there was always an easy management system built-in. The furnace room two houses ago featured a nifty door with a pre-cut cat-sized whole. It was magic. As long as we kept the food just out of reach of Shiva’s ridiculously long neck, the food was safe. In the last house, the puppy gate kept Shiva out of the basement when we weren’t around to watch her. There was this convenient little counter down there that was just high enough to give us time to prevent her from jumping up, but not too high to annoy the cat.

In our current house, there is no such pre-made solution. Which means in less than five months Shiva has devoured the cat’s food approximately 45,689 times. Currently, this is where we are precariously balancing his dish to keep it away from her greedy maw:

008Yes, that is indeed a very narrow windowsill in the laundry room. Yes, that is a really awkward place for the cat to balance while he eats his breakfast. Yes, Shiva can still get to it if we give her enough time.

But what to do? We have tried rigging cat-sized wholes in other areas of the house (see below) but somehow the dang bratfaced dog always finds a way in.

010We can’t keep this up. It’s annoying and it’s pricey and it’s not healthy for either animal. But I am out of ideas. No matter where we put the dish, the dog finds a way.

And so I entreat you multiple animal owners of the Petosphere. Have you ever had to out-smart your dog in such a way? How do you keep your dogs from enjoying a midnight snack of cat crunchies? The more creative your ideas, the better. I am at my wit’s end.

My Cat is a Jerkwad

I love this video. I found it originally when it was shared by Cindy Lu’s Muse on Facebook. It proves that cats are creative and smart, maybe even just as intelligent as dogs. It also shows that there are times when cats and dogs can work together and be friends. To be fair, the cat in this video, Dexter, I think his name is, may have been acting out of purely selfish motivations. He wanted to open that door and escape the laundry room as much as the dog did. Despite that, they still both achieved the same goal. The cat didn’t mind the fact that the dog was there, waiting for him to achieve glory.

This little scene would never happen in my household. No, no. It’s not that my cat – The Cat, or “TC” as the author of Kol’s Notes nicknamed him a long time ago – isn’t clever enough to figure this out, especially if he was given such easy access. I wouldn’t doubt he’d have that door open in seconds. However, if he thought the dog stood to gain from his efforts, he’d never go through with it. He would find some other way, maybe open a window instead or tease Shiva to make her think the coast was clear and then WHAM! Slam the door in her face.

Yes, TC is this diabolical. I mean, look at him. Does this look like an innocent face to you?

004

No, no it doesn’t. Don’t let his fuzziness fool you. Inside that fluffy chest is a heart of black steel.

For instance. Less than an hour or two ago, we were all hanging out in the living room after a long day at work. Shiva is still regulated to the couch, a prison that is harder and harder for her to endure every single day. In particular, tonight she has been more persistent than ever in her protests that she is well enough to walk around in perfect freedom. The veterinarian’s orders would say otherwise, so on the couch she remains.

In walks The Cat. In all his autonomous magnificence. The first thing he does, the first thing, is walk up to the dog, sniff her feet, and then lay down on the floor directly in front of her.

When I say lay down, I mean he sprawls in a fashion he would never dare if he suspected the dog had the ability to pounce on him. He knows Shiva is stuck on the couch. He doesn’t know why, but he knows when he prances in front of her, that he is safe, lest she get in serious trouble. So he revels in taunting her. It’s the same way he used to pester her when she was stuck behind the baby gate at the top of the stairs, or the way I am positive he ridicules her when she is locked in her crate during the day. It’s the haughty, prideful, cruel mocking of a true bully.

Yes, my cat is a bully and Shiva is his favourite victim. Unfortunately, he is also smarter than she is and thus, she ends up falling for his mean set-ups every single time.

After only five minutes of tail-flicking and sidelong glances, TC had Shiva completely freaking out tonight. I stopped paying attention to her for less than a second and she immediately took advantage by leaping off the couch and on top of The Cat.

A pretty big violation of her recovery strategy.

For those who might be worried about Hi Excellency’s safety, he is just fine. Better than fine. Dog antagonizing mission accomplished he walked away with his tail swinging high while we yelled at the dog while simultaneously fussing over her stitches. TC always gets the last laugh. Always.

It’s always been this way. The Cat lives to torment the dog. I sincerely believe it is one of his greatest joys. I just can’t wait for the day when Shiva is given free reign of the house again. By then she will have two weeks’ worth of energy to burn. There is a lot of damage a tornado can enact with so much force behind it. Kitty better watch out.

The sad thing is, even at her worst, Shiva ends up backing down to the merciless feline. She can fight with all of her weapons bared but in the end only one of them will end up behind the toilet. And it won’t be the orange one.

Tips For Traveling With a Cat

107 Top Ten Reasons to Bring Your Cat With You on an Airplane

1. You are deaf.

2. You are moving across the country for the second time and the last time your cat’s screeching during the drive nearly caused you to be arrested for animal cruelty.

3. Your practically husband threatened to put the cat in the box of the truck if he had to endure another five-day road trip with His Yowliness.

4. You have a pet blog and think it would be a fun experience to write about.

5. You are insane.

6. Your cat already spends his days plotting your death and may as well have one more reason to hate you.

7. You are seeking revenge on your cat for chewing the cord of your $300 flat-iron.

8. Your cat is deaf and/or dead and/or actually a stuffed animal.

9. You want to discover if the pitch of your cat’s cries is louder than that of a newborn baby.

10. You have a loving relationship with your cat and he or she travels well, ie. you live in a magical fantasy land, ie. your veterinarian is kind enough to give you drugs.

110

Top Ten Reasons Not to Bring Your Cat With You on an Airplane

1. You have healthy hearing abilities.

2. You are moving across the country for the first time and naïvely think your cat will do well on a road trip for five days even though he despises the car and even though you have never leash or kennel trained him before.

3. Your cat’s yowls are easily drowned out by the radio.

4. You decide to put your cat’s comfort first and turn down the job promotion.

5. You haven’t lost your mind.

6. You are pretty sure the pilot will make an emergency landing just to get away from your cat’s screeching.

7. You have a loving relationship with your cat and have spent many years training him so he travels well in the car, ie. you are a far better person than I am.

8. Your cat has healthy hearing abilities and/or is alive and/or is not a stuffed animal.

9. Your veterinarian only gives you a small cloth soaked in feline hormones, an item which is essentially useless when your cat is already stressed from being shoved into a bag, hauled out of said bag when going through security, and then shoved back in for six hours straight without being able to empty his bladder.

10. You are smart and decide to ship him cargo.

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Featuring The Cat

Today, apparently, was declared National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. I am still trying to figure out whose idea this was. Clearly not someone who actually lives with a cat. Everyone who lives with a feline knows one of their best characteristics is their silence. After their soft little paws, of course. No one who knows cats wants to hear their disdainful diatribes. Just because we love them for who they are, doesn’t mean we really want to know just how little they think of us.

But! It is the day for it and who am I to question a randomly assigned, totally arbitrary, completely meaningless holiday? If my cat has questions to ask me, I’d better get to answering them!

007The Cat: Indeed. Bow down to me, pathetic human.

Me: Yeah, yeah. Let’s get this over with. What do you want to know?

T.C.: Why are you the owner while I – a far superior creature – am merely “the pet”?

Me: Because you aren’t capable of opening the food bag. Next question.

T.C.: Fine. Why can’t I go outside whenever I want and then come back in whenever I want?

Me: Because we can’t leave the door open twenty-four hours a day, just for you. Unless you are going to start paying for heating oil. Also, the dog would get out.

T.C.: Why does it matter if the dog gets out?

Me: If the dog gets out she’ll run around the neighbourhood and potentially get hit by a car!

T.C.: Point being?

Me: Next question!

T.C.: Why did you get me a fish tank, fill it with fish, and then put a lid on it so I can’t actually reach said fish?

Me: We didn’t get you a fish tank. The aquarium is for us to enjoy. The fish are also our pets.

T.C.: So… The fish and I are equals? Is that what you are saying?

Me: No. Not exactly. We haven’t named the fish. And they are really more of a hobby…

T.C.: What’s a hobby? Can I have a fish hobby?

Me: Um…

T.C.: Cool. So, when are you going to buy me a fish? Or should I just take one of yours?

Me: No fish! I really think we have gotten off topic here.

T.C.: You are answering my questions. My questions is, can I have a fish?

Me: No! Next question!

002

T.C.: Why do you keep touching my feet?

Me: Because they are so cute and soft and cute! You have the most adorable little kitty paws in the world! Eee!

T.C.: Adorable enough to get me a fish?

Me: Ugh. No! I think we’re done here.

T.C.: We’re done when I say we’re done. Why can’t I have a fish?

Me: Because we secretly hate you. Interview over!

T.C.: I knew it!

Sorry about that… I should have known it would be a massive failure. For a much more entertaining example with 100% less ichthyocide, check out the video below. If your cat could ask you one question, what do you think it would be?

Letter from The Cat

Apparently even though this is a dog blog I have been subtly informed that I do not dedicate enough of my writing to His Royal Highness, the Kitty Meister. This hint was passed to me in the form of an email sent from my PH’s address. I assume either my ever-so-patient fellow human was conned into passing the message on or The Cat hijacked his online account. Neither option is beyond the narcissistic conniving, er, disgruntled feline. To save us all from further angst, I will share his story with you.

So here I am browsing the web and I come across some website dedicated to that mangy pile of drool known as the dog. Really, does that thing need this much time and attention on a website? She already monopolizes the time at home with all her playing, whining, jumping, and all other pointless discharges of calories. She even keeps my pets (I assume this means we humans?) out for hours, even days at a time…

Okay, some things aren’t as bad as others.

My point remains that she already jeopardizes countless hours of my much-needed sleep, but that does not appear to be enough for her anymore. Now she is threatening anyone who owns a computer with her goofy guile. She is infesting computers everywhere with her pictures and videos online, and stories of random antics of idiocy. I am here to tell you to resist the madness of the mutt, she is not worth all your devotion and attention. There are far better things in life to spend your already inferior brain cells on. 

Namely me.

Which brings me to my next point. What is with the pathetic state of affairs that is my official website? (It’s not a website, it’s a Tumblr account. There is a difference, right?) Have anyone ever been on this thing, much less updated it in the last two years? I am a much better mascot for the pet-adoring public than the foul beast you are choosing to follow. I don’t bark at strangers, I don’t run away – often, I will only do what you ask when it should be done – as opposed to anytime food is involved – as nature intended. These are all admirable qualities that demand glorification. Yet instead you prefer random jumping in the air and staring at the camera.

 Which brings me to another sore spot. Pictures of me standing. I will say this and only this:

 I prefer the way I look laying down. I look bigger. Get over it.

I think that  based on the above evidence, you now have no choice but to worship me. I will expect nothing less than absolute devotion and unquestioning obedience. There are no exceptions, and your participation is not optional.

Now that you are on board, I have to chew the air hoses running into the fish tank. It so amuses my pets when I do and I am nothing if not obliging.