Wednesday, 30 November 2011

30.11. My Tabby Cat

This month my cat is 10 years old, and as I wrote yesterday, I thought I should mark that with writing a bit about cats in general and of course my cat in particular. I had this great intention of making another movie of him, and having a photo session outside in the garden in glorious autumn sunshine…ehh, but the sunshine hasn’t really appeared, it’s been pouring down today too, and a lot of other things have happened the last 10 days as I wrote about yesterday, so I am afraid the movie will have to wait. But I did take some photos of my cat last night in my ‘studio’ (read bedroom), although not under optimal light conditions, but he looks so sweet so I am posting some of the photos anyway. If you haven’t seen the videos I have made already of my cat, please have a look at his page on my web-site, you can FIND MY CAT'S WEB PAGE HERE.

Back in February this year I wrote a post about when my cat went missing for almost 5 months, and then came back as if he had just been gone for a few hours. That post has been read by nearly 250 people and has quite a few comments already. It is great to see the interest my posts generate, after all I am just sitting here on my sofa, writing about things that happens to me or things that are on my mind; if my writing can help other people and perhaps give them hope that their own cat eventually will turn up again then that makes me very happy. You can find THE STORY ABOUT WHEN MY CAT WENT MISSING here.

I found this very useful list of tips for cats about how to best treat their owners on the Internet. I have seen the list on several web-sites so it is difficult to know where it originated. If you are a cat owner I am sure you recognise a lot of this, if you are not a cat owner but thinking of getting a cat, this list are things you might have to consider in the future once your new cat has arrived. The list must have been circulated in the world of cats for ages; all my cats have always been doing most of these things, even before the age of Internet….funny that :-)

Do not allow any closed doors in any room. To get doors open, stand on hind legs and hammer with forepaws. Once door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an "outside" door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow, or mosquito season.

Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything. Just sit and stare.

If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an oriental rug. If there is no oriental rug, a shag rug is good. When throwing up on the carpet, make sure you back up so it is as long as a humans bare foot. Doing it during the night means a morning surprise.

When your human presents you with a new food, gobble it down quickly and act frantic for more. The human will then proceed to the grocery store and purchase the store's whole supply of that particular food.  Next feeding: Sniff, grimace, and scratch at the floor as if to cover stuff in litter box. Refuse to eat the proffered food ever again. Humans enjoy spending more time in the cat food section of the store than they do selecting human food.

If one of your humans is engaged in some activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called "helping," otherwise known as "hampering." Following are the rules for "hampering":

1) When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted. Also jump out in front of them while they are holding plates of food, it helps them to learn balance.

2) For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.

3) For paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work as possible. Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or pen

4) When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her, be sure to jump on the back of the paper. Humans love to jump.

5) When human is working at computer, jump up on desk, walk across keyboard, bat at mouse pointer on screen and then lay in human's lap across arms, hampering typing in progress.

Let your human teach you some good tricks, do it every time to receive treats and praise. When humans invite other humans over and tell them how wonderful you are and that you can do special tricks and how great you are; lap up attention until your human asks you to do said trick...Once they have asked, look at them like you have no idea what they are talking about, possibly look from her to the other human then roll onto floor and lick your bum with leg in the air or simply walk away and go to sleep.

When using the litter box, be sure to kick as much litter out of the box as possible. Humans love the feel of kitty litter between their toes. Also help them to clear out the box when they are doing it, they love the help, or go in it when they have just finished, they find this rewarding.

Whenever possible do something cute and funny and stay like it for AGES, humans love to take pictures. As they get their camera, stay still, just as they turn it on, stay still, just as they press the take picture button, jump up/move/close eyes/look down/fall off /pull a funny face/stop doing whatever you were doing, humans love this, it help them to be quicker.

Every now and then, hide in a place where the humans cannot find you. Try boxes, empty packets, drawers, cupboards etc. Do not come out for three to four hours under any circumstances. This will cause the humans to panic (which they love) thinking that you have run away or are lost. Once you do come out, the humans will cover you with love and kisses and you will probably get a treat.

Aahhh, if you have a cat, I am sure you recognise many of these points :-)
As I am writing this, my cat is lying next to me with his head half onto my laptop and his paw on the number pad of my keyboard. I have removed his paw at least 4 times, but he is insisting on having his paw on the number pad, which means that every now and then I get a number 6 or a number 3 in between my letters. Charming! But I don’t mind, of course I don’t, I love the fact that he is always close to me and chooses to sleep where I am rather than spending most of the day and night outdoors away from home. As an outdoor cat with free access through a cat flap, he could have been mostly outside, as many cats do, but he chooses to be with me, spending no more than a couple of hours away from home at the most, and often just a short trip out in the garden during the winter and when raining.

As I wrote yesterday, this month my cat is 10 years old, and I do see that he is getting older and more sedate in his manner, well, we both are, to be honest, we both are getting old! That said, he still has a bit of a play-fight with my bathroom rug now and then, as he has done ever since he was a kitten, and the red rubber bands that the postmen are dropping everywhere are still very fun to chew on, especially if I make a Daisy-chain of 3 or 4. No expensive pet toys in my house; no need for that, we use what we got and add a bit of imagination! The most interesting toy I can make for my cat is when I take a kitchen chair into the living room, drape a throw over it and make a small opening so he can walk in and out of what becomes a cave. He will then lie inside the cave and stick his paws under the throw to ‘catch’ intruders coming through to him – even if there is no intruders, but that doesn’t seem to bother him, he can play like that for a long time, even if he is quite a mature cat. After a while he will usually go to sleep in his cave, making sure he’s got some of the throw nicely draped around him.

Ahh, and the communication between us is very good; my cat understands quite a few words and I am quite fluent in ‘cat’ so he doesn’t really need to speak ‘human’ for us to understand each other. Although, I speak Norwegian to him of course, as that is my native language, so the words he knows are in Norwegian, not in English, something that was a bit funny that 2 year period when I had a relationship to a British man….I had to teach my boyfriend a few Norwegian words in order to communicate with my cat :-) But that was fine, my cat understood my ex-boyfriend’s attempts to speak Norwegian, and my ex-boyfriend learned around 10 words in Norwegian which I guess he has absolutely no use for now, as we went our separate ways in early 2006.

I am not going to go in to details here about which words my cat understands, as I then would also have to come with a translation and also for some words, an explanation, as certain Norwegian words and phrases don’t necessarily have an equivalent word in English. But many of the words he understands naturally has to do with food, eating, me getting out of bed or me going to bed and he coming with me upstairs. I am sometimes amazed about what he understands; I can for example ask him if he wants an egg, which he occasionally gets, a raw, lightly whipped egg. He will then look at me and lick his mouth if he wants it, if he doesn’t lick his mouth, he doesn’t want it and if I give it to him anyway he won’t eat it and it will just stand there and dry up until I throw it away. If he has told me he wants it, he usually gobbles the whole lot down in one go. The other day I was on the phone to my mother, telling her about how my cat tells me whether he wants an egg or not when offered, and the cat was sleeping in the chair next to me during the conversation. As soon as I said the magic question, he raised his head and licked his mouth, even if I wasn’t facing him and he had appeared fast asleep seconds before. At first I just tried to ignore him, and continued the conversation with my mother, but 2 minutes later I had my cat standing in my lap, gently head banging me, as he does when he really wants my attention, looking me straight into my eyes and licking his mouth. How could I resist such a ‘conversation’?! I just had to go out in the kitchen and give him an egg, which he usually only gets as an occasional treat. The rest of the chat with my mother regarding this toping I resorted to spelling any words my cat could take as a dinner invitation, just as I spelled things on the phone when my son was a kid whenever there were things he wasn’t supposed to hear. Little pitchers have big ears….children and pets alike :-)

Here is the last of the pictures from the photo session from yesterday evening; I guess I need to round up this post before it gets way too long. But as many of you readers will know; my cat is great company to me and never ceases to amaze me. After 10 years with him I have so many stories to tell, too many for tonight but I am sure there will be more stories in the future here on my blog. Thanks for stopping by, welcome back some other time, until then, take care :-)


  1. My cats must have had something to do with that list, Helene, especially the one about the food. Your cat looks as if it was born to pose....

  2. Thanks Janet, yes that list should be familiar to most cat owners :-)


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