Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997
Subject: Cat Story
A little story I forwarded to one of your links about my cat. You said you would like to hear stories also. I hope you find it as amusing as I did.
In 1982, I bought a cat for my 100 pound Malamute puppy. He was left alone a lot, and someone suggested a kitty companion might be just the thing to help keep him amused while I was at work. She weighed about three pounds when I brought her home. I was nervous at first, but the kitty swatted him in the nose the first time he charged at her and they were great friends after that.
She did have one habit that drove him crazy. A 100 pound male dog is well endowed with testicles and a scrotum that tend to sway a bit when they walk. My cat would wait until the dog was about half way down the hall way, and then run like crazy and bat his scrotum, and duck into the nearest bedroom to hide. He was too big and clumsy to react as fast as she could. She thought this was the greatest sport in the world. She never hurt him at all....just antagonized him. He would growl and bark at her, but it never dissuaded her at all. I am sure she was quite disappointed when he was neutered. She lost her favorite "batting" toy. I wish I could have had a camcorder then. I just know I would have won the $100,000 grand prize. I have been waiting to tell this story to someone who might be able to use it. I hope you will.
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 1997
Subject: Re: a story for you
Murphy Does the Mad Squirrel Dance
We adopted Murphy from our favorite bartender at a local pub. Murphy was a teeny-tiny thing, the runt of the litter, and certainly not the prettiest one (she's a lovely tortie now, but she was sort of odd-looking for a while).
Here's how we picked her out: Our friend/bartender had adopted a stray, pregnant kitty. When the "peeps" were born, we were impressed at how hard our friend was trying to find good homes for them. We had recently lost our beloved kitty and had been debating on whether to adopt again. Well, this seemed like it was meant to be, so we visited to pick out a baby when the litter was eight weeks old.
They were all asleep on the fourth shelf of the linen closest where they were born. They woke up and were quite excited to see us. Except for Murphy. She sort of ignored them and us, jumped from that high shelf on to the floor, stumbled a bit from the far leap, and walked a distance down the hall. Then she sat down and stared at us and her littermates. The rest of the little guys were so cute, and very playful and rowdy with each other; Murphy was obviously a loner. I just had to go and pick her up. She was so tiny but she had this HUGE purr and she started washing my nose ...
Murphy really came out of her shell after we brought her home. She turned into a Wild Woman. My husband, who had never experienced raising a kitten, was quite impressed with her antics. She would arch her back, fluff up her tail, and dance across the back of the couch before taking a wild leap to run throughout the house. My husband called this behavior the "mad squirrel dance", because of how her tiny little tail bristled, looking like a squirrel's tail to him.
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 1997
Subject: Re: a story
Hi Harold, Thanks for getting back to me and for posting my last anecdote. I have another! ( No, I don't have too much time on my hands . . . I'm just on vacation this week). Thanks! Why Murphy Purrs So Loudly When M. was just a teeny kitten, she would sit on the carpeted commode top and watch me get ready for work. She sweetly gazed at me and purred REALLY loud, almost as if she was forcing it out. It would start softly, build to a crescendo, then stop and begin again softly. It was just adorable. As M. grew older, she began having these wheezing, coughing fits from time to time. I took her to the vet and he x-rayed her chest. I was in the waiting room with M. when he came out and said, "I want to show you something. I've never, in my 30 years of being a vet, seen anything like this." M.'s x-ray revealed that she was born with a birth defect. Her heart was upside down *and* on the wrong side of her chest. The major artery going from her heart to her lungs was bent at an angle, almost kinked. The vet explained why that caused her to wheeze sometimes. The same effect, we theorized, cause her purr to amplify and gurgle a bit. And that's why M. has a very loud purr.
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 1997
From: Adrian Gentilcore
Subject: Bad Kitty Stuff
My mother's dear friend Zelda Reber had some very unusual cats as well. She's gone now, but she was my mother's best friend for over 40 years and sort of a surrogate Grandmother to me, so this is sort of a remembrance of her and her cats, who were her only companions for many, many years.
Zelda had an calico cat named Fang who had a great fondness for Kleenex. Whenever a female guest arrived to visit, the first thing Fang would do is dive headfirst into the lady's purse and immediately fish out all the Kleenex and shred it on the floor.
Fang's other passion was playing with cellophane cigarette wrappers. I've heard that cats are not easily trainable, but Zelda had Fang trained to fetch and return the cigarette wrappers, sometimes for hours at a time. What was more, Fang was smart enough to deliver them to me upon command.
One time when Fang was pestering Zelda to throw the cigarette wrappers for her, she said to her, in a annoyed tone "Why don't you go play with that kitty over by the door". Sure enough, Fang instantly sprinted for the door to warn off the imaginary cat. That's one smart cat.
Zelda also had a very dumb cat. His name was Boots or Bootsie, but she mostly called him Clod. He had gotten his collar caught in his mouth one time and had broken off most of his teeth, so she had to feed him mostly baby food. Well, this made him enormously fat and lazy. The only really interesting thing Boots liked to do was to urinate in the gutter. I don't know if this was just more comfortable for him or if he was just fastidious, but nearly every day, this huge animal would plod out to the street, but his paws up on the curb and pee into the gutter.
At one time, she had a very luxurious long haired calico cat, named Fluffy, I think. Fluffy was a definite creature of habit. One time, while cleaning the tub, Zelda stopped for a moment to sit on the toilet and pick Fluffy up for a quick pet and cuddle. After that, for the rest of her life, Fluffy would lie in wait outside the bathroom, and when Zelda or guest in the house went to the restroom, Fluffy would jump in their lap for a pet.
Fluffy's other obsession was odd places to sleep. One of her very favorites was a Kleenex box. This was especially funny as Fluffy was extremely fat and well, fluffy, so she only fit into it about up to her neck. But she'd be snoring away, with her well-upholstered fanny sticking straight up.
Zelda also had a sculpture on top of her TV. It was a piece of driftwood with two metal seagulls welded onto it with fine wire. The illusion was that the seagulls were soaring gracefully over a beach. But not after Fluffy got through with it. At least once a week, she would chose that sculpture as her napping spot and would plop herself down right on top of the seagulls and wire and everything. Then after her nap, Zelda would unmash everything and try to bend the seagulls back up straight.
One of her last cats was a grey tabby named Foxy, who had a darling little pointed fox face. Foxy's particular neurosis was where she liked to eat her food. All of the other cats had their regular bowls on the floor. Not Foxy. She would literally not eat a bite unless Zelda put the bowl on the table. Then Foxy would hop up and happily eat her dinner.
Isn't it funny how odd these little kitties can be. I often wonder if animals in the wild have these same quirks, or if we are rubbing off on our pets.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, I enjoyed writing it.
Date: Mon, 18 May 1998
From: Kate Verleger
Subject: A suggestion for the Bad Kitty List
I have a felinoid, named Gisli, who is absolutely convinced that -my- celery sticks are some odd form of catnip. Now, here's the odd thing. There's this feline character, in a group of books by David Weber, named Nimitz, who engages in the same behavior. (Nimitz is a "Sphinxian Treecat", not a real cat, in the excellent Honor Harrington series. -- HR) And Gisli started doing this right after I came home to find him curled up on the open copy of the latest hardback Weber book.
(They always -did- say that cats read through their paws and their butts, which is why they insist on walking or lying on whatever -you're- reading. After all. If it's important enough for you to ignore them for it, it must be important enough for the superior species of the household (them) to read up on it...)
Date: Tue, 19 May 1998
Believe it or not, after a day of not being allowed to sit in his human's lap due to work needing to be done, the cat pees on the back of the computer, causing the human to wash the video board, finally getting that back. After some time the computer begins to degrade, finally having to have its mother board replaced. Cat urine finally corroded the circuits. We still have that wonderful smell every time we turn it on, but the cat is allowed to sit in the human's lap when demanded!!
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998
From: Ruth Jacobs
Subject: [Fwd: bad kitty / scared kitty]
Purrs, Harold, I did not know if you also wanted these "vet stories" forwarded to you. If you have it, may I have the URL for the vet stories? Actually, I have another one: Leopold (the cat who got behind the lab refrigerator) used to rub up against the vet's beard... RuthJ
Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998
From: Ruth Jacobs
Subject: bad kitty / scared kitty
Hi Paul: I got to you from the bad kitty list, which I got to from
ninaproofs website. I am a freelance writer and have had cats almost all
my life. Here are two cat / vet stories.
(1) some time in the early 1980s, I had a grey tabby named Leopold. For some reason, I never got him a cat carrier; he had a basket but mostly when I took him places, I just carried him. On one of our regular visits to the vet (then Robertson Blvd. Animal Hospital in Los Angeles), Leopold leaped out of my arms and ran behind the lab refrigerator. I finally had to squeeze behind there myself, and push, and the vet had to get down on all fours, remove the grate from the front of the refrigerator and pull, to get a now thoroughly dusty cat out. After that, they changed their sign at reception from "all dogs must be on leash" to "all *animals* must be on leash".
(2) after Leopold passed away in 1984 I got Eli and Sara; Eli was a huge white cat and Sara is a perfectly marked black-and-white bicolor cat. When I took them to the vet, Eli used to get all the attention. Unfortunately he passed away from cancer in 1992, and after that, when I took Sara to the vet by herself, when I finally got her out of the carrier, she would hang onto me with her arms around my neck and her legs around my waist, and the vet (at Pets Unlimited, San Francisco) would have to examine her that way. One year I asked him if he had other patients who were that scared and he said "Well, she's kind of high on the fear curve..." (By the way, for some reason last year when I took her for her checkup she did not do that; she is now 17 years old.)
Ruth C. Jacobs, San Francisco)
From: Rita Constantineau
Subject: cake lover
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2000
Mama Cat had a sweet tooth for cake, doughnuts (she could smell them a mile away) and jelly rolls (wrapped or not). Nothing in the nature of cake was safe from her. So when my mother decided to make a cake from scratch, something she did not often do, I heard about it the minute I entered the doorway after work. "Do you know what that cat of yours has done now?" she demanded. I thought of several bad kitty things Mama Cat was good at but she didn't give me a chance to reply. "Come with me," she commanded.
We went out to the kitchen. There on the counter was a freshly baked cake with the centre eaten out of it. My mother was so indignant over Mama Cat's indiscretion it was all I could do not to laugh when she pointed to the hole in the cake and said "That's your piece!"
From: Lois Davis
Subject: Here's a story about our cat.
Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2000
Juanita's Aerobic Workout
At my family's old house, we had a black cat named Juanita. She was with us for many years and had many litters of kittens before she passed on. She and her children always stayed outside because my family and I are allergic to cats. I remember one day, a few years ago, we came home in the afternoon and got out of the car. Juanita came to greet us, or maybe to see if we had brought anything for her to eat. We locked the doors and closed them.
Seconds later, while we were walking to the porch, we heard screeching and scratching noises. We were scared and didn't know what was going on. Then we walked back to the car and saw Juanita hanging from the left-side back door by her tail, twisting and turning in what looked like a high-speed aerobic work out. We were really scared then. She couldn't get loose by herself, so my mom unlocked the front door and reached her hand in to unlock the back. Finally, the door was opened and Juanita was freed. She dropped down to the ground. Still, my brother and I were worried. We checked her tail, and ,to our amazement, it was not bent or broken.
Date: Thu, 09 Nov 2000
Subject: Cat stories
I saw the request for cat anecdotes on Mr. Reynolds' "Bad Pet
Here are some of mine about Hobbes the missing Flying Walenda ("must be up High").
She must be able to reach the highest spot in the room, even if it means climbing the drapes and sitting on the rod. I have shelves above most of the windows now, and enough moderate height and tall furniture on either side so she can jump up there without needing to climb the drapes. They are her favorite perches, and sometimes she goes into the crazy kitty fits and runs around on them meowing and chirping just as I'm trying to go to bed.
If the lid is left up on the toilet in the bathroom, she must soak as many of her soft and fuzzy toys as possible and then take them out into the other room. If the lid is not left up, sometimes the water dishes in the kitchen and bathroom will be used instead but only for the small fur covered mice.
She will chew the leather tail off the rabbit fur covered small mice as soon as she can. Sometimes this leads to bowel blockage, which causes her to go around meowing and complaining about how her tummy hurts.
I have to put drops in her eyes twice a day to treat early stage glaucoma, and she does not like that one bit. In the morning, if I haven't put the drops in by the time I am finished dressing for work, she will go hide in the cupboard on top of the water heater for my small efficiency apartment. It took me a long time to discover that was where she was going, I couldn't figure out if she was crawling under it or behind it, until one day she started chirping to me from there and I opened the door and called her and she chirped again. There is very little room on top, but it seems to be one of her favorite spots.
She has to see what is in my cup -- my fault really, when she was little I took her with me to my family's home for christmas, as the trip took all day I wanted to be sure she would drink some water when I offered it to her so, I would let her drink water out of my cup and out of my water bottle and out of the bottle cap, just to be sure she didn't get dehydrated. No, I don't punish her for something I taught her to do. However, she has extended this liberty to checking out what is on my plate as well.
- "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this
emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."-Albert Einstein
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