Tag Archives: cats

10/14/15 I Meet Ms. Nancy!

Today I met Ms. Nancy, who is an “agent” to Mom (and me). The road to Ms. Nancy’s house started two days ago, with another bath, and the next day a nail clip. The Vet also prescribed medication for my touchy motion-sickness prone tummy. That brings us to today.

Mom gave me my anti-stress half tablet at 6 as per usual, but when it was 10:15 on the dot (Human Time) she gave me a bigger tablet with just enough peanut butter on it to swallow down in a gulp. She said something about this helping me later, but I didn’t know what she meant at the time. Now I know it was the motion-sickness tablet! All I knew then was, “Heck, extra peanut butter!” so life was good!

I saw Mom getting ready and Dad came home early. (Jamie was in school, Erik was out). I just knew I was going in the crate and I cowered with my belly to the floor, giving Mom my most beseeching look ever. Mom looked at me with a funny smile and said, “Stop cringing. You’re the Shining Star today!” I didn’t know what she meant, but I noticed she didn’t turn on the TV (a sure sign that she is going out). Dad came in and said, “The van’s all ready, let’s get her loaded up.”

I was wild with joy when Mom got my (new) leash, picked up her bags and some blankets, and walked me out to the van. Oh, hooray! I was going with!

Ms. Nancy’s house is far away, so while we were traveling, we stopped at a place called an “oasis” for everyone to get a drink and do necessary business. There was a green, grassy place on top of the hill where I could sniff to my heart’s content and keep an eye on my humans. However, several large trucks came zooming past and they frightened me a bit. Mom reassured me, though, and soon we were back on the road.

oasis

I must say, the magical pill from the Vet worked like a charm. I relaxed and enjoyed the ride. I wasn’t stressed or nauseated in the least. It was a good driving experience, and I had the back seat all to myself!

elegant

When we arrived at Ms. Nancy’s house, we were a few minutes early, so Mom suggested to Dad that we walk around the park that was nearby. We did so, and I uncovered a downed bird’s nest and a bird that had flown to heaven. I sniffed at these things quite eagerly, but Mom hustled me away, fearing I was going to roll in this. I probably would have. (I’ve heard of dogs rolling in dead antelope, but that’s another story, from another blogger. Wink wink.)

We went back to Ms. Nancy’s house and we all exchanged hellos, and walked to her lovely garden. I could tell I was going to make a new human friend right away, because Ms. Nancy is a great animal lover and we got along very well.

Ms. Nancy has two fine cats, Mozart and Rene, who kept an eye on me while I was in their territory. They did not meow or fuss a bit, and for that welcome, I am most appreciative.

Ms. Nancy also has a lovely Koi pond with some of the biggest fish I’ve ever seen. They make Spazz look like an ordinary goldfish!

The humans had work to do, and they got busy. Ms. Nancy is extremely smart. For me, there was a lot to look at, and pictures to take, and scents to sniff. For Mom, there was paperwork to go over and questions to ask and answer.

But most of all, there were kisses to give, because this project boils down to love.

mid-smooch

The time seemed to fly by. I lay down on the blanket Mom had brought, next to Dad’s feet. Before I knew it, it was time to leave. Mom was elated at having met Ms. Nancy in person. She said that one thing that really impressed her was Ms. Nancy’s steely determination to get the book published and her wonderful, positive attitude. Mom said she’s “A Special Agent” and I have to agree!

Woof! Love, Maggie

PS – A HUGE thank you to Cindy S. for providing transportation home from school for Jamie. Without your help, we couldn’t have made the meeting. Woof!

05/29/15 Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?

Guess who’s coming to dinner? This guy was on the driveway when Mom pulled up:

turtledriveway

The funny thing was, several feral cats were outside, and a small black and white cat approached the turtle nervously. Mom frantically sounded her horn to warn the kitty away, but when it was about a foot from the turtle, he/she took a good sniff and recoiled and ran for it! Jamie and I watched this unfold from the window, and I thought it was quite funny.

Later, Mom went to take me outside to “p” and look who cut through the swamp and was perched in MY grass:

turtlegrass

Mind you, the pictures don’t do this guy justice. He’s got to be 15 pounds at a minimum.

I think I’ll stay inside until he goes back to the swamp!

Woof! Love, Maggie

3/27/15 The Moors in the Morning

Although we live in the US, Mom often feels very “English” in the morning. When she takes me out around 6:30 a.m., it’s grey and misty. She puts on her coat and her Wellington boots and off we go to squish around on the moors – er, in the backyard.

Once outdoors, we spied one of the black feral cats resting on the neighbor’s fence:

catonfence

Then, we squelched around to the front, where we saw our geese on the pond:

geeseonlake

These quick, morning walks around the house set both of our minds at ease. It’s a peaceful way to start the day.

Woof! Love, Maggie

3/6/15 Car Wash

Mom played a little trick on me today. Not that it was a bad one, but it was a trick nonetheless.

Mom wanted to take Zeus to her favorite car wash, but she didn’t want to leave me and put me in the crate. So she slipped a little pill inside a lump of peanut butter, which I gratefully gulped down, then felt sleepy and rested. All the while I was resting, Mom was getting things ready: a fleece blanket in the back seat, a new air freshener unwrapped, any trash (Mom is nutso about trash in Zeus) thrown away.

After about an hour and a half human time, Mom said it was time to go. I crouched near the floor, thinking it was “crate time”, but Mom laughed at me and called me silly girl and said, “Let’s go outside to the potty, then we’ll take a ride.”

We got outside and there were some interesting ice formations, like this free-standing one inside the bush:

icicle1

and this breathtaking one that Mom says looks like a chandelier:

icicle2

It flows from the roof to the tree to the Evergreen all the way to the ground.

Speaking of ground, when we went out back I saw the two black cats sunning themselves in my backyard. I perked up my ears but did not bark or raise my hair. Mom patted me and told me, “Good girl, let the kitties be” and I snorted and went about my business. Mom was very proud. See, my harness (this is something new) hasn’t arrived yet and I could have easily broken out of my regular collar if I had wanted to chase the furry critters. I know I could have. But I didn’t. Mom says this is “progress”.

Finally, when we were done snooping outside, Mom led me toward the garage. I was excited and happy! I love rides in the car, but usually get sick. Mom smiled at me and told me the little pill should keep me from any discomfort. So into the back I hopped and sat on the fleece blanket.

I enjoyed being in the car but whined a little since I didn’t know where we were going. I have to hand it to Mom, she drove smoothly the whole way to the car wash, and pretty soon we were in the bay. A strange Man sprayed foamy stuff all over Zeus and then we magically went into the dark tunnel.

I was very frightened and lay down on the seat, but Mom talked to me the whole time. I have to admit the soap smelled good, but the huge rags that dangled like monsters’ tongues scared me. They made Zeus nice and clean, though:

zeusback

See? All shiny. Here is a picture of me in the car. I look a little nervous.

magsincar

However, I’m still glad Mom took me with and played the trick with the pill on me. My tummy was fine and I did not get carsick. And, I didn’t have to be in the crate! All this excitement has made me sleepy, so I am going to nap on my chair, now. Woof!

Love, Maggie

3/5/15 Harboring Fugitives!

I can’t believe Mom is harboring fugitives (cats in the Cat Sanctuary!) Moreover, she is thrilled whenever she sees one (humpf!)

Let me explain: Our weather has been crazy here, and the snow has a thin, light, sheer coating of ice on it. This makes everything outside look sparkly and bright. It is also difficult to crunch through to use the bathroom – but! This is not a potty-complain post.

The streets are dry and whitewashed with old salt. The temperature rose a bit and Laurel came over for a brisk walk, some fun play, and coffee and a chat with Mom. As Laurel and I sauntered out the door, Mom brought up the rear with a suspicious-looking bag in her arms. “I’m going to replenish the food at the Cat Sanctuary,” Mom explained. (Double humpf!)

So, while I was frolicking on the street, trying to avoid the wind blowing up my tail, Mom waded out to the side yard, where the frosted snow reached nearly to her knees. She trod through using the path that she’d made earlier in the week, and, after making sure that no cats were about to be frightened off, she refilled the food and checked the hay. She checked the tracks of the cats to make sure they weren’t getting trapped in the snow, and made sure the window wells and behind the air conditioner unit was all clear. (I know all of this, because I heard her talking with Laurel, later on).

Then Mom trudged back to the house. We returned shortly, too, and then Mom made the coffee. I was happy to see Laurel and spend time with her, and so was Mom. Company is always nice.

In a little while, Laurel had to leave and Mom and I went back to cat-watching at the window. Sure enough, it didn’t take long for one of the black-and-whites to make itself comfortable:

catontop

Before long, the black-and-white dashed away and his friend, an all-black cat, came into the picture. But he/she is REALLY hard to see:

catinshadows

As evening fell, I was on sentry duty at the dining room window when the black one – or one of the black ones – reappeared on my porch. I went into a frenzy of barking and was surprised when Mom lay a gentle hand on my back and softly told me to shush. She said I should be nice to the kitty, and they are learning where the food and shelter is coming from. This made me shut up quite quickly. I do NOT want Mom to suddenly stock the house with cats!

I have to admit, though, they are kind of fun to watch from the window.

Woof! Love, Maggie

3/1/15 Feral Cat Sanctuary!

I’ve been writing about the predominance of feral cats around our house this winter. In seasons past, we’ve seen a “swamp kitty” or two roaming about, but this winter is exceptionally harsh and we have about 5 or 6 (depending on the orange one) “regulars” in the woods next to the house. The cats crawl under the fence and sun themselves in my yard.

Our house is the last house on a dead-end street. To the left is a wetland, and in the Spring we have geese. So the geography is “retention pond/wetland/woods” and then our yard. We actually have a large side yard that is not fenced in and the woods border up on our property.

I’m telling you all of this so that you know where Mom put the Feral Cat Sanctuary. We’ve all been worried (yes, even me) about the cats since it has been such bitterly cold weather. Paws2Smile (http://www.paws2smile.wordpress.com) had a great suggestion that we build some sort of feral cat house. Mom remembered that Erik had a large crate in the basement, and thought that would make a good sanctuary for the cats. She spoke to her friend Lisa, and Lisa (being a cat expert) told Mom not to put blankets in the crate because if the cats got wet, they could freeze to the blankets. Lisa told Mom to get clean hay that the cats could burrow in, instead. That sounded reasonable to Mom.

So, Mom enlisted Dad and Jamie to hunt down a bale of hay. She enlisted Erik to bring up the crate from the basement. I sniffed it curiously but slunk away at the sight of, well, a crate.

Erik brought up the crate and took the door off. Mom said she didn’t want someone who was cruel to animals to trap the cats inside and starve them. Then Mom cleaned the crate and sprayed it with disinfectant.

cathouse1

Mom wrote on the top of the crate in big letters so that no one would mess around with it:

cathouse2

Then Mom and Erik went outside and filled the crate with the fresh hay that Dad and Jamie had delivered on the doorstep (I watched from the dining room window):

cathouse3

Finally, since Mom had boots and Erik just had shoes, she dragged the crate to the spot that is in the woods, but still on our property. She added a tin full of dry cat food (with vitamins and minerals). This cat sanctuary is close enough to our fence that Mom can monitor it from the back door window:

cathouse4

Mom trekked through 10 inches of snow to put out the Feral Cat Sanctuary. She said she hopes that, with it being technically on our property, no one will dispose of it or vandalize it.

Now I can watch the kitties, too! And since they have a place of their own, they can stay out of MY yard. It’s a win-win situation!

Woof! Love, Maggie

2/26/15 I Wonder if the Cats Are OK

I had the best day.

Mom was home nearly all day. She only went out for a short period of time, so I spent the day sleeping on the human bed, on my chair, on my blanket, in short, around the whole house, without fear of “the crate”. (I do have to be crated when left alone due to extreme anxiety).

Mom and I also played a fierce game of tug-o-war, and I got lots of loving today. Mom says this is going to become the norm since she is leaving her job at the liberry. She is going to stay home and write and love me. I am so happy! I have come very far from the cage at the shelter.

The day started out with the much-missed sun shining. I slept on the bed in the sunshine and just basked. Mom rubbed my belly and told me I was a good girl. Then she wandered downstairs and eventually cleaned the house. I supervised, but did not try to chase Vacuum Cleaner today.

I was on the alert for the feral cats. They showed up, sunning themselves in a corner of the yard that isn’t packed with snow. However, they are clever. Because to get to the spot they chose, one would have to plow through a lot of snow. So they are smart!

I was shocked when Mom took them out a plate of food. At first, the cats just watched her. But she slipped and the sudden movement made them disperse. Mom left the food in the corner and told me that, under no circumstances, am I to go out and bother the kitties. Hmph! I stood guard against these creatures by the window, and slowly they slinked back to get some chow:

catseat

There are two black cats, two black-and-whites, and a huge, fluffy, grey tabby. The cats just seem to look at me except the grey, who fluffed himself up as big as possible and ran for it. The others don’t move regardless of how much I bark through the window.

By evening, it started snowing again. Mom took me out back and was pleased when she tugged at my collar and I obeyed her. I would have run off by the woods to check for the cats, but I didn’t. “Hurry, up, go potty!” Mom said, the cold flakes snaking down the back of her neck and making her shiver. I shivered too, and hurried up. I was grateful for the warmth of the well-lit kitchen when we were done.

Now I am back home, and getting ready to sleep on my chair. But in the back of my mind I am thinking of the cats, and wondering if they are OK out in the snow.

Woof! Love, Maggie