The Work of Being a Cat


I cannot imagine how difficult it must be, the work of being a cat. Between naps in the sun, one 

Must stalk every individual dust mote that filters through a ray of light on its way from window to rug.

Then there’s the bathing of fur, pink tongue seeking out any hint of dirt or foreign substance with

A rough lick and a promise to bathe again should something upset the delicate balance between 

Tidy and soiled, anxious and calm. Pleasured purring while kneading must be exhausting work 

And is often closely followed by head butting and a thrice circled snuggle into mom’s cozy lap. 

Scratching at posts, and pouncing on catnip-stuffed felt mice often induce wide yawns and paws

Covering eyes. A quick burst of energy when the word, treat, is uttered, even whispered, results in

A mad dash to the food bowl where petting is tolerated, but just barely. “Mom, petting just wears me out.”

Hurricane Prep, Cats, and Faeries

After much procrastination (not to brag, but that’s one of my specialities) I decided to drive into Tallahassee to stock up on supplies. I knew we’d need bottled water, but beyond that I didn’t have a clue. I’m not a terrific grocery shopper under normal conditions, but with a possible hurricane headed our way I needed to focus. 


I only had to shop for Studly Doright and me, so there was no need to go overboard. I figured a loaf of bread, a fresh jar of peanut butter, mixed nuts, Cheez Whiz, tuna fish and chicken salad snacks, crackers, power bars and fruit snacks would tide us through a couple of days without power. Of course I couldn’t leave the store without buying Studly’s favorite Vienna sausages. Shudder!

My problem now is convincing myself not to eat any of our supplies until there’s an actual need. I can leave the little sausages alone, but those Apple Straws look interesting. They were an impulse buy to substitute for my favorite Little Debbie oatmeal cream cakes that had already sold out. Damnit! Everybody wanted that chewy, creamy goodness. Here’s hoping a dearth of Little Debbie oatmeal cream cakes isn’t a matter of life and death.

After putting away the groceries I noticed a note propped up against the cookie jar on the kitchen table. Hmm. Maybe Studly stopped by Doright Manor during his lunch time. But when I looked closely I realized that wasn’t Studly’s handwriting:


The cats seldom leave notes for us, and when they do they mostly pertain to the quality of their treats or the state of their cat litter. Scout once wrote me a thank you note for cleaning the carpet of her upchucked hairballs, but that was an exception. This apparently was another exception. Not far from this bit of writing was the indicated note:


First off, I could see the cats need a lesson in changing the “y” to “i” when creating past tenses and plurals, but I was overcome by their thoughtfulness. 

I delivered the note to the faeries, now it remains to be seen if they trust us enough to accept our invitation. Of course if they do I’ll need to figure out how to feed them. Maybe Studly will share his Vienna sausages. 

Update on the storm: As I typed this post, Tropical Depression 9 was reclassified as Tropical Storm Hermine. I just heard on the Weather Channel that the Tallahassee area could experience the worst storm in decades. Oh joy. Maybe I need to go in search of those Little Debbie cakes.


Peacr, people!

Peppermint Scented Cat

Whiskers a foot long
Her black coat soft, tinged with gray
Smells of peppermint

My own bonny cat
Thirteen years to her credit
Smells of peppermint

Like a dowager
Awaiting a grandchild’s call
Smells of peppermint

Luxuriant pose
Paws stretch horizontally
Smells of peppermint

Scout, my feline fair
Lingered, languished within sheets
Smells of peppermint

I’ve been trying to ward off spiders by using peppermint essential oils mixed with water as a spray for our bedding. Scout, our older cat, has become something of a peppermint junkie. She lounges about on my bed all day, smells wonderful, and seems to be spider-free.

peace, people!

Stranger in the Night

I have a fondness for wildlife, especially when I’m safely tucked inside my home or car or indeed anywhere that the wildlife cannot possibly physically impact me. Sometimes, though, these man-made barriers don’t hold up their end of the bargain and I find myself face to face, or as the case might be, butt to face with a denizen of the Florida fauna.

In the middle of the night I awoke with the urgent need to tinkle. As usual, both cats had to accompany me. Peeing alone doesn’t happen in a household of felines. Scout Kitty was her usual business minded self: “C’mon mom, get it over with and go back to bed.”

But Patches was hyper attentive, jumping up on the back of the toilet and meowing frantically. I felt a ping of moisture on my exposed derrière, and thought she had drooled on me. Ew. Still, something felt off. I finished my business and upon turning to flush realized that it hadn’t been cat drool on my hind end, but this:

  
Now, I didn’t shriek, but I did giggle as I imagined this little guy pinging off of my butt and onto the toilet. 

  
I carefully helped the little stranger climb into an empty trash can and carried him outside where he could rejoin the league of frogs serenading the night. 

“Run free little guy!” I called after him.

You might wonder what Studly Doright was doing during all of this excitement. Snoring. He was snoring. At least Patches had my butt, I mean my back.

How about a little Sinatra? Appropriate in this situation.

https://g.co/kgs/DLjynD

Peace, people.

Shell Game

While giving the cats their treats this morning I looked out the window next to their respective bowls and saw this critter:

  
I wanted to get a closer look, so I threw some jeans and a t-shirt on and hurried outside hoping he hadn’t had time to hide. A turtle can be surprisingly fast.

Of course the closer I got to this guy the further in he drew his head.

   
    
   
Until finally all I could see was the very tip of his nose. He didn’t trust this giantess. Can you blame him?

In other nature news, one of our magnolia trees is working overtime.

  
I have to confess that until I had a magnolia I had no idea what they looked like. The blossoms are super-sized, and the leaves look like they’ve been sprayed with Pledge. And they make a terrific mess on the forest floor. The flower on the left appears to be ready to blossom at any moment. 

Studly Doright has begun working on the beautification of our front entryway. We have quite a bit of work to do and no clear idea of how we want to decorate this area. I’m not a gardener, so I’m not entertaining  thoughts of planting anything, except maybe a few container plants. Suggestions are welcome.

  
   
The neighbors across the road have been busy clearing trees out of their front yard. Like a little kid, I love watching the work being done.

  
Every now and then I pinch myself. How did I manage to end up in such a lush paradise with a lake in my backyard? There are more trees in my neighborhood than within the city limits of my beloved hometown in the dusty Texas panhandle. 

I hope you’re where you want to be this morning. 

Sitting on the Deck in the Company of Cats

Sunday morning wake up call, a pair of paws pat my face

Up, hurry up, we need a treat and then they’re off in heated race.

Pull on favorite Sunday wear, faded sundress and flip flops,

Splash some water on my face, run a brush through my mop.

Stumblebum into the kitchen, set coffee on to brew,

Putter bleary-eyed to the place where the felines sit and mew.

By their urgency one would think they’d not eaten in days,

Their respective weights dispel that lie in unambiguous ways.

Coffee’s perked, a cup is poured, I grab my current book,

And slip outside to honeysuckle’s welcome in my sheltered nook.

Ripples slide across the lake, while a tiny lizard scampers,

My cats examine its every move in hopes that they can batter.

And I sit and sip my coffee with a splash of Irish cream,

As breezes rustle through the pines and invite sweet daydreams.

  
Peace, people.