Living with cats means...
As very well-trained human pets, we present a page on our furry feline family...
a Jewish mother
Kitana has been with us since 1999, even before Steve was part of 'us.' My daughter, Cynthia chose her from the shelter and named her after the nick of an online friend. I was opposed to the choice as Kitana was not very friendly, rather skittish, and seemed rather unhealthy, skinny and weak. Cynthia had recently been traumatized by having a kitten die, so I was hesitant to choose Kitana, who didn't look long for this earth.
Kitana had just given birth when we got her; her milk wasn't yet dried up. She'd previously been a barn cat and was therefore only about half-tamed. The trauma of having strangers drive her home from the shelter didn't put her at ease. She hid under beds and in closets for weeks, while we painstakingly crawled under things daily to show her where food, water and the litter box were. It took some time for her to decide we weren't going to do something awful to her.
Kitana remains skittish to this day, she cringes as if she's waiting for you to kick her or something, though she's never been mistreated. And she is the least likely of our cats to greet strangers. She's timid both with humans and with other cats.
There was a point in my (Jackie's) life where my job was horrible in the most Dilbertian sense, with reorganizations happening so quickly I didn't know who my boss was from day-to-day and over a year of every project being canceled before it went live. At the same time, my home life was miserable, as my daughter had a lot of problems in her adolescence. during this time, the *only* pleasures in my life were when she ran to the door to greet me when I came home and later curled up on my chest purring as I settled in bed for the night. During that particular time of my life, Kitana was my only comfort; I owe her big time.
Kitana doesn't like people much. She takes a long time to warm up to strangers. She didn't forgive me for close to a year when I let Steve move into the bed.
She also doesn't like other cats much. If the other cats are near the food bowl or in bed with us, she trounces away in disdain, like a southern bigot being forced to share a water fountain with a black person.
When we lived in town, I would let Kitana out in the garden with me, but there was too much traffic to let her out regularly. Sometimes, she'd escape anyways, and whenever I'd find her, she'd cringe and skulk guiltily as I scolded her.
Since we've moved to the country, she spends a great deal of time outside. She's become quite a hunter.
Kitana doesn't need affection as often as our other cats. But when she does need it, she really needs it and is quite insistent.
Kitana is not a very vocal cat. She communicates primarily through body language. Where another cat might meow to be let out, Kitana is likely to sit next to the door, pointedly looking at your hand and then the doorknob, repeating until you get the message.
Kitana's primary skill is her ability to induce guilt, which she takes to an Olympic level. Because she is timid and cringes as if you just kicked her and looks at you with warm, liquid eyes, whenever she wants something, you are just guilty as heck until you give it to her.
Little Bit also predates Steve, but not by much. I acquired both her and Steve in 2000.
I had decided Kitana was too lonely as my daughter was in a treatment center and I was working very long hours. So I'd decided to get a kitten to keep Kitana company. My vet had kittens from the local animal shelter in her waiting room and I adopted Little Bit one day.
When she was a kitten, she tended to chase the mouse around the monitor. I decided she was a geek, thus her name.
When she was a kitten, her favorite way to interact with people was to run up their clothes and then sit on their chests. I adopted her in winter, so we were usually in sweatshirts and sweatpants, which made a fine climbing material. But one day, she decided to do this as I came out of the shower. My reaction deeply traumatized her and she's had a skin phobia since.
Little Bit's favorite game when she was a kitten was to hide under a chair and pounce out at Kitana when she walked by. This did not endear her to Kitana who made it very clear that she preferred being lonely to living with such a *cat*.
It took Little Bit an awfully long time to realize that humans were people. It's a bit difficult to explain, but she was almost autistic. She knew we fed her, she knew we petted her, she knew we played with her... but she didn't make eye contact. She was well over a year old before she suddenly clued in that we were people.
One of the amusing things that occurred when she first figured this out was that Steve 'stalked' her around the bedroom. Basically, he just kept obviously staring at her, and it was quite amusing to watch her get more and more self-conscious and perturbed as he hunted her.
The first few times she went outside, she was pretty terrified. About the time she got used to the outside, autumn happened... and these terrifying, noisy leaves were everywhere! By the time we moved to the country, she enjoyed the outdoors so much that she'd disappear for days at a time. But now she is a homebody.
Little Bit is a pretty vocal cat, with a range of noises that goes way beyond meowing. It is very easy to distinguish between her 'I want cream' noise versus her 'I want out' noise versus her 'I want attention' noise.
Some of her amusing traits include hopping up on the washer next to the fridge to ask for cream, walking back-and-forth on a horizontal surface waiting for a human to walk by and then 'grabbing' them with a paw to notify them that attention is needed, and her insistence on being *between* us whenever we're in bed. She generally sleeps in my armpit.
She especially likes playing with 'the hand' which stalks, pounces and attacks like a cat. We have not informed her that it is covered with skin.
curiosity killed the cat?
We inherited Irena from a friend of my daughter's who lived with us temporarily and left Irena behind when she moved on. The friend named her
Irena looks and feels different than our other cats. She is very black and sleek and elegant.
But while she may be a beauty queen on the surface, she is a serious geek underneath. She is the most inquisitive animal I've ever seen.
Irena gets into everything, because she must know what's going on. And she watches you, following you about and seeing every step of what you're doing and why.
Irena likes going for rides as well. You can sling her over your shoulder and go about your business and she'll ride contently for a while.
When we got Irena, we already lived in the country, but it was winter and we didn't let her out until spring so she'd know where 'home' was before she went out. The first thing she did was throw herself down on the concrete and roll around. Apparently, the love of rolling on concrete is inborn.
One of her favorite games is with a tree off our porch that is barely a tree at all, given that it's thickest trunk isn't two inches wide. Steve pulls a twig up the side and she climbs up after it, to comedic effect as the branches she's climbing on bend and twist beneath her weight. Still, she remains graceful, like a trapeze artists or such, even dismounting carefully.
of all the ids
he is the idyest
We inherited Id along with Irena; he is her son. We named him Id because as a kitten, he was a bundle of impulses. He very enthusiastically threw himself into everything he did with his entire little heart and soul.
He had no ego, being completely unaware of the notion of cat dignity and being quite willing to pratfall and be laughed at.
He had no superego, being completely uncaring about the judgements of either humans or other cats of his behavior. He didn't care who he pissed off!
In short, he was all Id.
As he has grown up, he is a tad less impulsive. However, he squints a bit which gives him a facial expression that pretty much says idjit. Further, even if you ignore his expression and just look at his behavior, that says idjit too. So Id turned out to be the perfect name.
Id is also very vocal, but he doesn't have the range Little Bit does. He just has one loud, insistent, whiny MEOW. It's up to you to figure out what he wants, because he may not know himself. He is an Id after all!
Id is a very cuddly boy, requiring huge doses of attention and affection and insisting upon it very vocally.
We love him even though he's such an Id.
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