Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Boss cat and snow woes

I  have created a monster. A very sweet monster, to be sure, but a monster nevertheless. Can you say, spoiled?

In other words she has, in her inimitable cat way, trained me very well. I am her servant, here to follow her every whim and demand.

As you can see, she has recently taken to sleeping on my meditation cushion. I don't mind this, since I only use it for an hour a day. Sometimes she wants to use it at the same time, but she finds room to cuddle up next to me somewhere and I like having her there.

So what's the problem, you ask? That little wand toy with the fuzzy orange ball is a big part of the problem. She is totally addicted to it, wants to play with it during all waking hours, and knows quite clearly that she can't make it move around without me.

She will follow me, whine and talk to me, lead me towards it until I relent and move that little orange ball around the house until she's ready to rest again.

I've never seen a cat be this demanding over anything other than its food dish, so this is new to me.

She's also in love with this new toy, the curvy scratching 'post'. I spent a whole dollar to bid for it at a raffle here last Saturday. Best buck I've ever spent.

At first, she turned her nose up at it, but then I made the orange ball go all over it, under it, around it and she followed. First time she landed on it she noticed the rough texture and stopped playing to sharpen her claws. She's sniffed it, rubbed against it all around to make it 'hers'.

Now, it's her second largest addiction. She rests on it, is a prolific claw-sharpener, and will play all around it by herself with the little mouse toys I hide under the arch. This takes a little pressure off me to play all the time.

She will crawl through it, right side up or upside down. And as you can see, she really wants to make that orange ball move but can't, because it's too heavy for her to bat around like she does with small toys.

Sometimes, she'll grab hold of it and tow the whole thing, wand and all, around the house. Never know where I'll find it.

Gotta love her, though. She is equally demanding when she wants to cuddle. For serious sleeping, it's either her bed under my bed or lately, the meditation cushion.

But there are times -- lots of them -- where she wants company and she'll come jump up wherever I am, settle down on my lap or chest or whatever is handy and go to sleep, sometimes fully expecting that I'll put my arm as a 'shelf' so she can sleep on what might otherwise be a rather vertical surface.

She's been known to even jump up my leg and dig in. Thank goodness for thick sweats, though that's something I discourage with her.

So, a very sweet little monster.  She fully (at least 90%, I have some dignity left) rules this house, but also knows that I'm her person and is really affectionate. And for the most part, she doesn't object when I feel the need to pick her up and cuddle for a moment.

We have still been caught up in snow and ice. A new layer of snow on top of ice came down on Saturday. Weather eventually warmed a bit and by yesterday morning the temp was well above freezing and had been all night, the road in front of the house looked fine. Snow/ice piled in the center and sides, but traffic lanes clear. So, I opted to head to the grocery early in the day just to get out.

Bad idea! Barely got out of our parking lot, and the side street that takes me to the main street was mostly ice.  Off I went anyway, soon found that there were plenty of large patches of ice on the road, and of course the freeway overpass bridge I had to cross was iced up. I was committed at this point, few ways to turn back, so off I went onto the freeway onramp. More ice. Ice on the freeway, though less of it and thankfully, traffic was lower than normal. Back on surface streets near the shopping center, that heavily traveled road was super icy. Turned into the parking lot, more ice, everywhere. The driving lanes were somewhat slushy and driveable, but the parking spaces were badly icy. I found one where I could leave my front wheels on bare pavement, to be sure I could get out. Ice next to the car was really slippery and after I'd gotten in and out of the store I actually slipped on it. Thankfully, I had my hand on the car door handle and managed (rather inelegantly) to keep from falling.

The biggest challenge, it turned out, was getting back into the parking lot at home. I opted to take a chance and go in the back way rather than retracing my steps. Mostly ice, thick, with a slight uphill rise that I wasn't sure the car was going to manage. But it did, and it managed the long length of the parking lot and ice to reach my parking space. Whew! This is the first time I've ever had that car on ice/snow, since I typically avoid such things like the plague, and I was pleased with the way it reacted. Never felt unsafe, although very uncomfortable.

Rain and above-freezing temps all day yesterday and all night have hopefully helped. I need to go out again, but will wait until afternoon and give everything a better chance to thaw.


  1. Aww, such a cute kitty, I laughed at her antics. I just lost my similarly demanding and intensely bonded cat, I adored her but was also frequently exasperated. Right until the end, 17 years old, she'd demand I play my role in the games she'd devised, like chase her as she raced around, and throw pompom balls so she could bat them away. Ah well, it's not a bad way to live, enslaved by a cat.

  2. Hi, Jane. So sorry that you lost your feline friend. People who don't have/love pets don't understand how quickly they can worm into your heart, or how devastating it is to lose them. This little brat-cat of mine is definitely in turns adorable, making me laugh, and totally exasperating, but I wouldn't change it. Happy to be enslaved by a cat!

    Sure wish I could come live in Canada for the next four years, at least, but not sure they'd have me as an immigrant or long-term resident. Not enough money, probably, tho I should check that. The situation here is untenable, and frightening. If you have any insights and suggestions or inside knowledge of ways to get into the country and stay for awhile, please let me know. My email addy is shown in my profile.

    Always good to hear from you.

  3. As she aged, I often reminded myself my cat was impermanent. She got sick a few weeks ago and I nursed her, not wanting to euthanize her and violate the precept. But then she got to a stage where I had clarity that it was the compassionate thing to do, and got a vet who came to my place to put her to sleep, then give an injection. I feel peaceful about it, but of course she was a constant presence in my daily life, it's a big change.

    It must be very alarming watching Washington, not knowing how it'll affect you, and all that drama. I hope they realize the impact on ordinary people. Unfortunately it's pretty much impossible to stay in Canada longer than 6 months, unless you have a job offer or family here.

    Best wishes, Jane

  4. Wow, when you said recently you meant very recently. I can imagine how you feel, missing her and yes, having that constant presence gone. In my experience, it takes a good while to get over that expectation that she'll come running around a corner, or show up somehow. Wonderful that you got someone to come to the house, so she wasn't traumatized at the end by a scary drive to the vet. I'm always torn about the idea of whether or not to have them put to sleep. A part of me feels the precept and feels that this is her karma and that I shouldn't interfere with her karma, but an equal part feels the compassion and doesn't want to see them in pain. Thankfully, I haven't had to make the choice for a long time.

    Thanks for the info on Canada. After my first post I did a little research and found the same thing. Oh, well. It is not fun to be here right now, as the nonsense continues every day and seems to get crazier and worse every day. I try to just ignore it, stay in the present and not be affected by it, but it's getting harder and harder. Of course, my worrying about it won't change a thing. I think they understand the impact on ordinary people, but simply don't care. I suspect things are going to get much worse in this country before they get better.

    But -- at the present moment I am warm and healthy and safe and well-fed. And I have a feline friend. I'll just focus on all that.

    Best wishes to you, too...